You have kids now, so I think I’m going to stop being your friend. I know that they all still crap their pants and I may tell a funny kid story or two, but I do still know how to have adult conversations. I find it amazing that children can cause grown adults to act like, well, the children they are trying to stay so far away from. Even worse, from those trying to have children, but just are not there yet.
I have never kept it a secret that I have dealt with fertility issues. All three of my children were products of in-vitro. I know women (and men) who have dealt and are dealing with fertility issues of their own. There is a sort of unwritten rule amongst those in the infertility world that you don’t overly talk about your children when you know someone still trying to get there. But does this mean that friendships need to end and that children should be kept under rocks as to not have hurt feelings? Infertility is gut wrenching, painful, tear filled, expensive, and many many more descriptive words. I of all people get it. However, should that give someone an all access pass to act like a jerk just because a child hasn’t entered their home yet? Getting pregnant can take 30 seconds or 15 years, even for those who don’t have fertility issues. I happened to be extremely lucky with my rounds of in-vitro. I’m sorry you were not so lucky. I’m not sorry that I complained when I had a headache while pregnant, I’m not sorry that I complained my back hurt, I’m not sorry that I was truly exhausted, I’m not sorry that pants never fit me and I complained about it, I’m not sorry that morning, noon, and night sickness was not joyful, I’m not sorry for any of this. I should have been able to be just like any other pregnant woman on the planet and be miserable. This does not mean I love my children any less or that I am any less grateful to have them in my life. This also does not mean that my complaints were a way of throwing in the faces of those who are still riding the infertility roller coaster, that they don’t have kids.
I have read numerous blogs with etiquette on how to speak to someone dealing with infertility. I have even given an “Amen” or a “That’s Right!” when reading some of them. But even while riding that roller coaster, I would NEVER tell a pregnant woman, let alone a pregnant friend to shut her mouth, be grateful at all costs, and to hide her pregnancy and subsequently her children away from me. That’s ridiculous and that would have made me a terrible friend.
So you want a true no nonsense etiquette list on how to treat those with infertility, here goes:
1. Burn all those other lists, they are crap.
2. I’ll pray for you….to take the stick out of your butt. I’m sorry that I didn’t check with you first on your atheist status when offering up a prayer for you to become pregnant. I don’t think associating myself with you or being your friend is going to make me not believe in god, so why do you assume that my well meaning innocent offering of a prayer is going to burn a hole in your soul or give you cooties? You’re trying to get pregnant, you should really learn to get over those cootie fears first before continuing. You will have to deal with this with children, promise.
3. You need to relax. Yes, I realize that relaxing will not get you pregnant any sooner, but it will make you less of a snatch. So chill, calm down, be zen, do something.
4. Take a vacation. Again, I realize this will not get you pregnant, but it may help you do the above and it’s a vacation for fricks sake! Who the hell turns down a vacation? You don’t want it, give it to me.
5. God has other plans for you……no he doesn’t, you don’t believe, so don’t worry about that statement. In all honesty, it’s just as annoying for me to throw Christ in your face (and I would never say that God has other plans for you anyway, regardless if you are a believer or not because a relationship, or lack thereof, with God is personal) as it would be for you to throw him back in mine. Can’t we all just agree to disagree?
6. What can I do for you? This is actually a good thing that I have read. If you ask someone who is struggling with infertility what you can do and they tell you to take your kids and jump off a cliff because they are annoyed that you got lucky by getting pregnant/and or adopted……run far far away and take solace in the fact that becoming a parent for this person is a struggle. The majority of women in the world will tell you to give them space, a 5 minute kid free break, or 10 minutes to cry. Crazy people who should not have children will tell you to leave them alone forever or just stop talking to you completely merely because you have kids. Yeah I said it, THAT’S why you are not getting pregnant. It’s not God, it’s not your lack of relaxation, it’s not that vaca you don’t want (I will still take it), it’s that you are CRAZY!!!!
So pass this list around and spread the word to infertiles/non infertiles of the world. Just because I now have kids, doesn’t mean I lost my ability to remember how to STFU and put my verbal filter on. I do know how to leave my kids out of conversations at times.