Don’t ask, don’t tell

The line between keeping some level of privacy during fertility treatment is hard. I am not generally an ultra-private person, but in some aspects of my life I am. Other times, I WANT to say something (especially if the person is a closer acquaintance), but opening the door is, well, HARD.

At work, for example, the only person who knows what is really going on with me is my boss. My manager is also a long time work friend (she was a confidante before she ever became my boss) so it’s a relief that I don’t have to feel uncomfortable talking to her. If it were anyone else, I’d probably keep the details general… just enough to know why I might be out-of-pocket, or taking a sick day. As far as the other co-workers I talk to on a daily basis, they have no idea.

I also have a hobby on the side which involves a group of ladies I’ve known for years. Even though they know generally that I’ve been trying to have another baby, I spare them some of the details. I had committed to taking a girls trip with them in July and I just canceled but haven’t told them yet. I didn’t want to, but the dates conflict with my upcoming cycle. I am struggling with the right words to tell them I have to pull out…. I know they will understand…. but I am a wee bit uncomfortable thinking about how much I want to share.

I am getting used to infertility invading all of these types of relationships.

Scenarios that totally wreck me are those like one I experienced recently with a Mom I’ve spoken to for the last 4 years at David’s daycare/school. Her daughter is the same age as David, and they’ve been in the same classes since they were 8 months old. She has since had another child and is working on a third, and she asked me recently if I intended to have any more children.

I get that question A LOT from acquaintances, and god I hate to answer it.

I usually try to change the subject. Or, if I know the person pretty well, my stock comment is…. “well, we’ve been trying for a long time, no luck yet.” At that point the other person usually gives me that sad-sack look of pity and simultaneously runs for the hills (like on Scooby Doo, when they are all running in place)…. OR, they say something completely dumb, like
“Oh, it will happen, don’t worry” or
“If you don’t think about it, it will happen” or
the ever-popular “well, at least you have David.”

Worse yet is when people just start spouting tips and hints on getting pregnant.

This scenario has manifested itself often lately, and perhaps I am just being a bit high-strung, but one of these days this may be the comment that flows out of my mouth in response to the dumb comment(s):

“Thank you for your concern, but I am so damn tired of people giving me advice about trying to conceive, cause honestly I’ve been there done that a million times and it’s NOT WORKING. There is no HINT or ASSVICE you could possibly give to me that I haven’t heard. Unless you have a CRYSTAL BALL or something and can tell me with absolute surety that all the pain and anguish, money, peesticks, bloodwork, poking, and false hopes will ultimately result in a LIVE BABY instead of a DEAD BABY…. just don’t open your mouth. Just don’t.”

aaaah, that felt good. I’ll never say it, but at least I got to write it here.

5 thoughts on “Don’t ask, don’t tell

  1. oh, I know those comments of well-meaning (and I generally assume they really are) friends/people in general so well. I’ve come to accept that nothing good is coming out of discussing infertility with most people. Not even friends.good luck with your upcoming cycle!

  2. I feel like most people leave me alone these days. They all seem to suspect the trouble that we’ve had conceiving #2. My poor DH though (we’ve got male factor issues) and believe it or not some of his loud-mouth male co-workers who don’t know a thing about our struggles have said to him things like “can’t you get it up anymore -give that kid a sibling already”. Even though dh is a bit of a tough guy he gets so upset by these comments. I really want to go to his job sometimes and announce over the PA that over the past year I’ve had a miscarriage, an ectopic and he’s got male factor issues – just to shut these clowns up.

  3. Any time I hear something “well, we’ve been trying for a long time, no luck yet” I respond, “oh man, I’ve been there too” — maybe at some point you’ll run into a kindred spirit.

  4. I know most people mean well and are just trying to be helpful, but if we really could take off the kid gloves and give them the brass knuckles response, perhaps they would finally get it.I am keeping my fingers crossed for you this cycle.

  5. While I’m quite comfortable explaing what an RE is and what ART entails, I also dread the dumb remarks and suggestions. While in my head I would love to lash out at people who say, “If you just relax you’ll get pregnant” by replying, “Oh, it’s not getting pregnant I necessarily have a problem with – it’s the STAYING pregnant,” I generally don’t (unless the person is being a real ass). I’m sorry you had to cancel your girl’s trip, but maybe you might feel comfortable letting someone know specifically why. Remember: one in six couples have trouble. Maybe you’ll find a friend in arms, like I did inadvertantly at work?

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