Saturday, April 28, 2012

NIAW - Scenario No. 4

Scenario No. 4:

Susie’s infertile friend Betsy announces at a lunch with a group of friends that she and her husband are trying to get pregnant.  Betsy excitedly mentions that she is doing her first round of Clomid.  Rookie!  Susie lets out a sigh and casually says, “Well, good luck with that.  I tried it and it certainly didn’t work for me.”

DON’T:  Let Susie get inside your head!

DO:  Feel hopeful that this treatment will work for you.  Everybody is different and what doesn’t work for some can certainly work for others.  Also, understand that Susie is probably down in the dumps from the failed attempt at making a baby.  Just keep smiling; Susie could certainly use a friend in the same situation to show her what it’s like to hope and to have faith.

If you ARE Susie…           
DON’T:  Be such a Debbie-Downer!!!

DO:  Express words of encouragement to your friend Betsy.  If a certain treatment didn’t work for you, zip it.  The next treatment might be the key to bringing home a baby and you definitely wouldn’t want someone to smash your dreams.  Remember, “Always be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.”

Friday, April 27, 2012

NIAW - Scenario No. 3

Scenario No. 3:

Vanessa is expecting her first baby and it is time to send out invites for her skulls and pink bows themed baby shower.  Susie and Vanessa are friends but Vanessa recently saw on Facebook that Susie has confessed to everyone and their grandma that she is infertile.  What to do?! 

DON’T:  Exclude Susie from any baby related festivities.

DO:  Send Susie an invitation and leave it up to her to make that decision.  If Susie decides to go even though she might have to bring out her happy face for the event, she is showing you that she is genuinely happy for your bundle o’ joy just by being there.  But do Susie a favor and seat Meddling Aunt Matilda across the room away from Susie; you had a hard enough time dealing with Auntie May’s inquiries about finding a husband these past 10 years.  If Susie decides she better stay home, please understand that she is trying to save you from dealing with drama at what otherwise should be a happy event.  I mean, unless finding your infertile friend locked up in the bathroom bawling for 30 minutes straight is your idea of a good time, let’s just be grateful Susie sent you a gift from your registry instead.  Maybe she’ll be up for it when baby #2 decides to show up.

If you ARE Susie…

DON’T:  Think Vanessa is trying to be heartless.

DO:  Be happy for Vanessa for goodness sakes!  Would you rather her be infertile like you?!  I didn’t think so; it isn’t something we wish on anybody.  If you decide to go, good for you, I know it isn’t always easy.  If you don’t want to have to deal with any Aunt Mays, ask Vanessa if you can help with serving food or anything that will keep you busy and out of danger’s way.  If you are at a point in your infertility where it is just too much to bear, it’s okay to stay home.  Send your card and gift with a friend.  Some day you might be up for going to a baby shower again, and some day, it might be your own.  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

NIAW - Scenario No. 2

Scenario No. 2:

Martha pulled off a “Rhonda” on Susie 4 years later, but by now, Susie is tired of giving the same lame-o excuses.  I mean, the “maybe in a couple of years” excuse isn’t quite cutting it anymore.  People are starting to think Susie stinks at math.  Susie is quite matter-of-fact with Martha and explains, “We are just having a really difficult time getting pregnant.”

DON’T:  Start spewing advice left and right (unless she asks for it, of course).  Has she seen a specialist?  Most likely she’s seen every doctor in town plus a few more in the big city two hours away, not including the acupuncturist, the massage therapist, the naturopath healer, the witch doctor and DSW (it has healing powers too!).  Has she tried using Maca?  She went through three cases of the stuff and still no baby.  Has she tried to relax?  Girrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl, don’t even get me started on that one.

DO:  Get a hint.  You are prying into some very personal stuff.  Just say, “I’m sorry to hear that.  If you’d like to talk about it, I’d be happy to listen.”  She might not actually open up to you about it, but just knowing you are there to support her helps out a lot.

If you ARE Susie…

DON’T:  Expect Martha to get a hint and drop the subject.

DO:  Be prepared to hear about every possible solution Martha can think of on the spot.  Be prepared for other people to get uncomfortable when you drop the “i”-bomb on them.  Even though they asked the question, it wasn’t the answer they were expecting.  Now it’s your turn to be sympathetic.  Just shrug it off and change the subject before their eyes become cross-eyed from trying to look anywhere but your face.  Hopefully next time they’ll be a bit more sensitive about the subject.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

NIAW - Scenario No. 1

I've decided to re-post these entries from Facebook.  I've had a few comments on these and thought it could reach more people if I posted it on my blog.  I just want whoever comes across this to know that they are not alone!

I am dealing with infertility.

In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week – wait, what?!  Yes, apparently there is an awareness week for EVERYTHING these days (Brain Awareness Week, Asbestos Awareness Week, World Hearing Aid Awareness Week, National Farm Animals Awareness Week, I Have Bunions on Both Feet Awareness Week – okay, maybe I made up that last one).

Anywhoo, back to what I was saying…I thought I’d give some tips and pointers when it comes to infertiles like me because really, who talks about infertility during 4th of July barbecues anyway?  NO ONE DOES, because it’s a taboo subject, everyone feels uncomfortable about it, the awkward silence pushes out the noise of once cackling purple-haired ladies and everyone begins to stare at their plates in hopes that Bob will call out for more hot dog eaters to pick up the semi-burnt weenies at the grill.

Let’s just say I’m going to attempt to do a little educatin’.  You can thank me later…or not, and wish I had just kept my mouth shut.

Scenario No. 1:
At a party celebrating the arrival of Chester and Tammy’s 3rd baby, Rhonda walks up to Susie and suddenly blurts out, “So Susie, when are you and John gonna get your act together?!  You ain’t gettin’ any younger!” (as Rhonda points to the baby).

DON’T:  Please don’t ever question when someone is going to start having kids.  Yes, some people choose not to have any.  But 95% of the time, they are struggling with infertility.  It doesn’t matter if they’ve been married for only 1 year or 7+ years, it hurts all the same.  And for the love of all that is sacred, don’t ask them if they are infertile!!!  Frankly, this topic is none of your business in the first place.

DO:  Find something else to talk about at the party.  There are thousands of other things you could talk about with Susie besides bringing up the fact that she hasn’t popped out any kiddos yet.  Susie will appreciate the good conversation.

If you ARE Susie…

DON’T:  Say what is going through your head, forgive Rhonda for she knows not what she does.

DO:  Churn out one of your polite answers as usual, “It’ll happen when the time is right!”; “Hopefully soon!”; “Oh, I know!  I can’t wait to have one of my own!”  Wait until you’ve left the premises to start bawling, it just makes everyone feel uncomfortable and it’ll be harder to face everyone the next day at Kimmie’s baby shower.

Yay, I hope I’ve made you aware!