You may as well make¬†”infertility”¬†number¬†3 on the top 100 list of unacceptable topics of conversation at polite dinner parties:
Maybe it should even be higher on the list.
Saying to somebody:
“You’ve been married a while now and you still have no kids. I hope you’re not doing any of that fertility drugs stuff.”¬†
You may as well say:
“You didn’t vote for¬†Obama did you?¬†I don’t really like any democrats, or midwesterners, or black¬†people, do you?”
But the dirtiest, darkest secrets, within the glamourous world of infertility¬†exist within our own minds.
What infertile women REALLY think but¬†would never dare say to another infertile woman.¬†So last week, I had the pleasure of talking with Hannah. Even though she’s 31, still pretty young even by¬†fertility standards, she’s been trying to conceive for 8 years already.
“There are so many things¬†I know I shouldn’t think… but…”
The worst case scenario, is when you feel animosity towards another infertile person.¬†¬†But we can’t help thinking what we think.
I mean, you probably don’t want to say these things aloud in a crowd of infertile women. I can’t think of anything I’d want to do less than break up a mob of angry infertile women. (Except maybe watch a “Full House” marathon.)
All you need is one infertile woman to have¬†a¬†mood swing… Then watch out! Find a place to hide and hope you don’t get a syringe in your neck.
So, I said to Hannah:
“Here, let’s step into my hall¬†closet and close the door. Good. Now that it’s just us here (I”m so glad I decided to sound-proof it last winter)–
Just us, in this safe, non-judgmental environment,¬†feel free to just let out¬†all of those horrible¬†things that have been gnawing at¬†your mind for so long. It’ll be cathartic. Your secrets are safe with me. ¬†I promise I won’t tell anybody. What kind of a person would do that?”
So, here’s what Hannah said word for word.¬†Try not to judge her. But above all else:¬† Don’t kill the messenger.¬†¬†¬†
“When¬†women tell me they had a miscarriage, I think… ‘I’m sure that’s awful… but at least you can get pregnant.’”
“Okay, so you have endometriosis. Big deal. At least you know what causes your infertility.”
“What infertility? You can’t get pregnant because you’re just too damn fat. If you lost 100 pounds, you’d probably get pregnant two weeks later. Ta da! I solved your infertility problem.¬† I’m 115 pounds, so now, you tell me, why I can’t get pregnant.”
“I don’t get this secondary infertility crap. Yeah, it would be nice to have another baby…But really, do you think those of us who can’t have even one really care? Why don’t you just enjoy the one you have and¬†move on?”¬†
“You have step-children from your husband’s first marriage. Okay, I get that it would be nice to have one of your own. But it’s not like you have no children in your house like the rest of us.”
And when¬†Hannah was done venting, and heaving, and crying uncontrollably, I put a gentle arm around her and hugged her and said:
“You unfeeling Bitch. How can you even THINK such¬†things, let alone say them?!!! Get the hell out of my closet and don’t ever come back.”