I know I have blogged about this before but it always seems to come up. If you ever want to give me advice about how "you got pregnant on the first try" or "the first month" or "insert incredibly short amount of time", please don't and don't say "relax." I've noticed some of my sister-Infertiles talking about this lately and it just brings up bad memories. For instance, at After the Alter she compares it to telling your spouse to relax during an argument and how well that always works. And her statement is SO TRUE! (Basically, think about this...when you are arguing with your spouse or they are arguing with you and they tell you/you tell them to "calm down" or "relax," does it really help the situation or make it worse? I'm going to bet my entire life savings on "make it worse.") I know when J and I fight, I do tend to say "calm down" because he goes from 0 to mad in about 3 seconds, even if it is just about something stupid. But those two little words never help. Now this isn't to say he gets really mad often, but we have our battles now and then and his temper flares quickly, particularly after a bad day at work. So relate those thoughts to telling someone who wants to have a baby so very badly to "just relax and get drunk." Yeah, not the best advice and you better duck if you tell me that!
So now to the next place I have seen discussion of "just relax" in the last week or so. My dear friend, Kate at Busted Plumbing related infertility to cancer. (Basically she said, "It's like telling someone who has cancer, "Well have you tried chemotherapy?" like its the easiest and most clear option that you must not have thought of because you still have cancer.") Infertility is just as serious and as true a disease. I would never wish cancer on someone, especially having watched one of my best friend's mom go thru Breast Cancer last year - whose ass she kicked! (Sorry, had to throw that in there!) And I would NEVER wish infertility on my worst enemy...yes even my worst enemy doesn't deserve this. Would you consciously ever say that to someone with cancer? Maybe if you were a moron or wanted a good beat down. So please, don't tell me to "stand on my head after BD" or "get drunk" or "have I tried the ovulation tests?" If I haven't tried these things in the past 2.5 years, and have gone to the doctor who we have spent way more than I wish to total, then I am a moron and the doc is a moron for not telling me to do those things. But Dr.H is not and yes, if you can dream it or have heard it from your hairdresser's best friend's daughter, then yes, we have tried it.
Here's another tip...what works for you, may not work for me. Case and point, Femara and my dearest Busted Kate. She had talked about Clomid on her blog many-a-time and at some point I told her about the Femara that I was on (which also apparently treats breast cancer and is the most expensive 10 pills I have ever taken - 3 months in a row). She was talking about the craziness that ensues when Clomid is in your bloodstream - for those of you who haven't had the pleasure of Clomid - picture menopause (hot flashes, fatigue, headaches, and uber-crankiness and sobbing over nothing). I told her that while I had been on Femara, not only did I have large follicles (important for creating good eggs), but not a one side-effect. So Kate asked Dr. H if she could have Femara instead (after I warned her to stock up on money!) and hoped that she would have the same thing. Unfortunately, Kate still had the same side effects as Clomid and they may have even been more severe. Sorry love!
So I know many of you want to be there for me or your other Infertile friends and you are at a loss for words when you see us. Here are some dos and don'ts:
1. Please don't let your first words be - "oh just get drunk and relax, that's how we did it - twice - and got pregnant right away." If you say this, you may find your car doors glued shut when you come out of work next week. (Thanks Kate, love that one!)
2. Don't offer advice.
3. Unless you are very close to the situation and the person, don't ask "how all that fertility stuff" is going or "if we are pregnant yet."
4. Don't give me the pity eyes. You know what these are. These are part of the face that comes out when you know someone just died or got laid off and you don't know what to say. I know they come from a great place in your heart, but they will make me spontaneously break out crying. (Katie - please apologize to your awesome Dad once more for my crying fit at Jenn's baby shower! He took it like a trooper - as did everyone! I probably still owe him for the mascara stain on his shirt!)
5. Don't bitch about being a parent and how you wish you had more free time. At least not to me. I know that someday down the road too, I will feel that way. But for right now, I would trade you my left arm for my own child. My right arm too! Cherish what you have, because I don't and some people can't. Again, I know you might be trying to tell me to "enjoy my "me" time, but trust me, I have way too much "me" time. I am OVER my "me" time and our "us" time.
6. Please don't tell us to "start the adoption process." That is a grueling process in and of itself and not to be taken lightly. Trust me, we have thought of it. Again it's like "chemo for cancer"?
7. Do listen. If we want to talk about it, just let us bring it up and talk. Ask what we are thinking about "doing" and how we are feeling. Those questions are stellar!
8. Make margaritas or bring wine! ;)
9. Give lots of good hugs, not pity hugs, good I'm-so-glad-you-are-my-friend-and-please-know-I-am-here-for-you hugs. (I am so-very-uber grateful for the people that give me these - you know who you are ladies and gents!)
10. Let us babysit! I know you may not want me "practicing" my Mommy skills on your kid, but I guarantee it will be great. I will learn things I don't fantasize about when I fantasize about getting pregnant, and you get to go to the grocery store childless!
11. Lastly, don't offer advice. I know I already said it but it needs to be said again!
Sorry if I got a little excitable this blog, but you would be surprised how often these things come up and from the most random people - people we love! People with great intentions and well-meaning hearts, whose mouths have run away from them. In the end, we will forgive you because we know you are at a loss for words and giving advice is the first thing everyone does. But really all you have to do is say, "I'm here if you need me." That sums it all up beautifully! I seem to be the one apologizing lots of times to these people too because I get annoyed or flabbergasted or even angry. So, please forgive me as well. All I can say is tough situation. Trust me, I am living it.