Pains of Infertility

I want to address something we don’t often talk about in the world of infertility.  Sure, we talk about our feelings, and our cervical fluid, and our sex lives, but this one thing – we don’t really address.

Let me start at the beginning.  Back when I was working at the first vet clinic last winter, I worked with an incredibly sweet girl that I will call J-Dog.  She was one of those rare, really nice, genuinely good people.  Even when dealing with co-workers or clients she didn’t particularly like, she was always at least professionally courteous.  On the young side, she was actually fairly mature for her age.  She and I would talk about her long-time boyfriend who was in the military and her dreams of someday getting married and having a family.  But she was always incredibly sensitive to my history of infertility.

After I was fired from the clinic, J-Dog put in her notice (partially because of me, but also because the work environment went way downhill pretty quickly) and now works at a small vet clinic as she is planning her wedding to her military man (which is coming up very quickly!  I am so happy for her.)  Apparently there is a girl at this new clinic with a history of infertility (We’re a pretty common bunch statistically speaking – 25% of couples!) and this girl and J-Dog were friends pretty quickly.

Well, apparently J-Dog and her fiance had a little romantic time a while back, and unexpectedly she is now pregnant.  Coming up to the end of her first trimester (and it has been a really rough pregnancy so far).  Now, on one hand, I remember the sting of jealousy and pain at seeing another person pregnant that wasn’t me – and it was somehow harder when the couple had not even been trying.  But I always tried to remember that someone else’s pregnancy did not somehow diminish my chances of a pregnancy.  But this girl has suddenly become incredibly hostile to J-Dog, coming up with accusations that she stole and broke her pens.  (Which, is kind of a lame thing to accuse someone of, and NOT something I could see J-Dog doing.)  Not just at work, she sends hostile messages on Facebook and via text messaging.

I have to admit, I am pretty sure I made my fair share of wrong choices in how I handled my infertility emotions.  And I know firsthand how powerful those emotions can be.  But it makes me sick to think that this wonderful, sweet human being who has done nothing wrong is being singled out and hurt.  It always bothered me to read about the hatred that infertile women felt was “justified” towards pregnant women.  But so often we don’t say anything to try and stem the hurt we see others inflicting on innocent bystanders.  We just say “Oh, of course you have every right to hate that person, and to take out your anger on that person.” but what kind of support group are we, if we allow or encourage such behavior?  Sometimes the most loving thing we can do is say “I understand the emotion, but you have to find a more productive method of channeling it.”

I have never felt embarrassed or ashamed to be a part of this community.  I mean, it sucks to have to go through infertility and loss, but I never felt I had to apologize for it.  But Thursday night as I was talking with J-Dog I was so ashamed to be affiliated with this community.  And I did apologize to her on behalf of the infertile community.

We say we want awareness.  We say we want recognition.  But how can we want to put our issue out there, when the experience people have with us is so tainted and ugly and inhumane?  How can we expect sympathy, empathy, support when we cut those who come within striking distance?

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Babycrazykiwi on October 27, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Hmm one thing to be quietly jealous and upset but another totals your pain out on someone else. As much as it has hurt me to see almost everyone else in the world utd I’m always thankful that for some it wasn’t full of heartache.

    Reply

  2. I have to come back to this a few times… even managed a phone comment that I see was eaten! But I think this post was very brave so I’ll try to recover it.

    This was a very important thing to say. Yes, IF/loss gives us *very* dark, shitty, difficult emotions – that is normal. And yes, sometimes we lash out at people (badly) because of them – it happens, that is normal. BUT, it is NOT okay to be consciously and consistently hostile to someone and then *excuse* with with the reason that IF/loss is shitty and difficult. It is *not* okay to NOT take responsibility for the behaviour. It is *not* okay to use it as an excuse to just be an asshole. NOT OKAY. Like I said, sometimes we behave in shitty ways because of the crushing pain, but it is our responsibility not only as IFers, but as ADULTS to apologize for unacceptable behaviour in spite of our emotional state, when we are ready and able to do so. Using the IF/loss experience as an entitlement and an excuse to be a jerk with no remorse or consideration for how it affects others? NOT OKAY.

    Great post – a message that needs reiterating from time to time. Thankfully, by and large, I see the opposite, but in those cases when a person uses IF as carte blanche to be an unmitigated asshole, I cannot and will not tolerate that. NOT COOL.

    Reply

  3. That’s awful. And you’re completely spot on. However, I do wonder if that’s all that’s going on here. As much as we can rant and rave behind someone’s back, I can’t see all of that hostility being centered SOLEY around their pregnancy. I’m sure it’s a big part of it… but it just sounds like the lady is a bit of a nut case psycho. I mean, even if she were being hostile at work and in person (which would be wrong anyway, but I could see as being a response to just the pregnancy) I can’t see anyone *in their right mind* going out of their way to cause problems outside of that… maybe I’m naive… but it just makes me think the lady is crazy… just plain ole bat crap crazy… and happens to also be infertile. ??? Maybe I’m just wanting it to not be true, because I don’t want to be associated with that kind of behavior…

    Reply

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