Before my Microblog Monday post – I need to give a belated thank you to Stirrup Queen for including me on the “Stirrup Queen’s Completely Anal List of Blogs That Proves She Really Missed Her Calling as a Personal Organizer” (aka Stirrup Queen’s List of Blogs). Once I can figure out how to add a widget to the side bar, I will put a permalink there. (I have enabled comments in case anyone knows how! Please help!) I also want to thank her for taking the time to read my last Microblog Monday post. I am honored…and that is a good introduction to my post for today…
We, the IF bloggers, are creating a community. A support network, a place to read, reflect and relate. This is important because going through fertility issues and loss can make you feel like you are alone on an island. But you aren’t alone and if you can’t find solace in your physical community, I hope you find it here in your e-community. As a community, let’s break down the taboos about infertility, let’s start a dialogue and let’s be there for each other.
Through good times and bad, let’s be supportive sisters, ok?
There are still a lot of people in the world who ask women if they are pregnant despite all of the social taboos about doing so. It never ceases to amaze me, every single time.
The oh-so-ironic thing about fertility treatments is that they make you gain weight. I don’t just mean the stress eating (I am one of those people) or the wine (after that BFN, yet again), I mean the hormones.
IVF will make you gain 5-7 pounds. The estrogen and progesterone will make sure that you bloat like you are pregnant even though you might not be. It’s a nasty cruel trick. No baby and fat. Awesome.
Let’s not forget the gas and water retention either.
And all of that makes everything bigger and people start to give you that sly look like “oh I think I know…” And I will look them straight in the eye and respond:
“Not pregnant, just fat”.
You know when those moments will come and so you get ready for them. A new job, a large family gathering or any event where there will be inevitable small talk. That moment when someone will ask you “Do you have kids?” and you pray to God that your “No, we don’t” can be said with enough ease and causal air that it does not expose the underlying pain but also has enough firmess that no further questions are asked.
And then you change the subject.
Sometimes I don’t say “no we don’t.”
Sometimes I don’t brush it off. Sometimes I tell the truth. “Actually we would like to but are having some troubles.” Or “We have been through 9 treatments but we haven’t given up hope”. And so on.
What started out as a defensive gesture (really I wanted people to shut up and go away and think twice about ever asking that question again), turned into something more. Most often it was “we had problems too” followed by empathy and understanding.
It also turned banal small talk into something real. A connection.
Yes there is a time and place and you have to read the situation. But more often than not it has resulted in support, openness, and real conversation.
It’s not easy but it can transform that awkward moment into something real.
People love to share stories. Stories like:
-“IVF didn’t work for my girlfriend but right after she conceived naturally and now has 3 kids”
-“A co-worker did 5 rounds of IVF and none of them worked”
-“My 41 year old friend just had her first kid…naturally”
-“The clinic misdiagnosed my sister and they lost a lot of time and money”
-“My friends didn’t start going to the fertility clinic until they were 38 and they have two IVF babies now, it wasn’t too late”
-“My girlfriend when to the clinic for 5 years and they couldn’t help her. She gave up at 40”
Those stories might help or hurt. They might give you hope or they might leave you defeated, but they are someone else’s story.
Her story won’t be your story.
Find out more about Microblog Mondays here: http://www.stirrup-queens.com/2014/09/what-is-microblog-mondays/