Thursday, September 22, 2016

thoughts for Thursday | infertility sensitivity

It is absolutely no secret that I am a self-proclaimed infertility warrior and proud of it; however, no one chooses to be infertile. No one chooses to try for a baby for months on end with no hope in sight. No one chooses to watch countless friends have "oops" babies that happened "one drunken night" while they cry themselves to sleep praying for a positive pregnancy test. No one decides "oh hey, you know what, I want to pay thousands of dollars to have a baby". No one happily agrees to be poked and prodded and have countless blood tests done to try and pinpoint the right time for treatment. No one is happy to struggle with infertility.  In fact, happiness during fertility treatment was a conscious decision I made every. single. day. I made a point to find the good and the happy during treatment to make the best of a shitty situation. 

I say all of that, to share a little story.  Yesterday morning when I went to get my coffee I overhead one of the most upsetting conversations which sparked this post. I wish I had been the type of person who could interject themselves into the conversation of complete strangers because I watched a woman's face fall and her heart literally break at her friends heartless and insensitive commentary. And I watched her friend continue to talk, completely oblivious to the woman's obviously hurt feelings.

Woman A: So we got the call yesterday that the insurance is covering all of the fertility treatment but I think we want to start with IUI and go from there.
Woman B: Wait, IUI? Is that the turkey baster kind or the test tube baby kind?  
Woman A: (CLEARLY upset by her friends comment) What?
Woman B: That's how my mom described the options to her friends when my brother and his wife went through treatment. He was super annoyed by those descriptions but whatever, it's so accurate. So, is IUI turkey baster or test tube?

I grabbed my coffee and left before I heard Woman A's response. My heart aches for her. However, I am not sure who I pity the most: woman A who is clearly going through something that is difficult and seeking comfort from a friend, woman B who is clearly an idiot or woman B's brother because his family is so insensitive. 

So my plea to anyone reading today is this: PLEASE think before you speak. While infertility is incredibly common, it is still an incredibly taboo topic and it is amazing how cruel people can be about it. If a friend is opening up to you about infertility and her treatment, be cautious with your response. You have no idea how hard it might be for her to talk about it.  Chances are good she spent a lot of time debating sharing this information with you at all. She may have been scared of your response and any judgment she felt might come with her situation. So if you have a friend experiencing infertility and she has picked you as her person, be gentle with your words and her feelings. It will mean more to her than she will ever be able to express. 

So the moral of the story here is: