Thursday, January 29, 2009

Just relax

Argh! I had a conversation with a good friend of mine yesterday. She is a great person but for the last few months I haven't spoken with her much because she tends to be one of those "just watch, you will stop all these treatments, maybe adopt and then you will get pregnant. You will see" people. And, as a result, I really just don't want to talk with her much. I'm not obsessed. This isn't really killing me. I am just doing all that I can do to get pregnant and it didn't work the natural way...what is wrong with that? I've even stopped talking about it with people hoping that they will just talk about OTHER THINGS. But, no. I felt bad not calling her for the last few months so I finally returned a call yesterday and again I got this statement. We were talking about CGH and what that means for me. She is older and never experienced infertility but is very curious and wants to learn what I am going through. Well, she said, so you have a couple of months in between having your eggs taken and when you transfer them back? I said yes. Again, she said, "oh...great! then you will get pregnant then! You will see! When you are finally off of all of these medicines and your body can do its regular thing, it will happen. I am so excited for you!!" Okay. is that not annoying? I had to raise my voice again and tell her that yes, you do hear about those people who take a break from IF and end up pregnant or those who finally adopt and then have a child of their own and you hear about them alot. But that is because their story is interesting so everyone wants to hear about it but once again...they are the exception. The rest of us, when we stop doing this IF thing end up old and without children!

I am writing this post because this happens all of the time to all of us and there are several people who read my blog who are just friends or are yoga students of mine and I would like everyone to understand that this is not what you say to someone who is experiencing infertility. It doesn't help. I am not mad at you or even upset but if you say this once or twice to me, it is fine, but if you say it every time I talk to you, I'm not going to want to talk to you anymore. It is hard repeatedly explaining the same thing to you every time.

Speaking of that, I have another friend who is terribly sweet but also says something along those lines...even worse. She said "you know, once you stop all this IVF you will get pregnant, this is all just a waste of money. you should give up". NOT HELPFUL. I have spent years on the infertility boards and, to be honest, have seen my share of women getting their BFP's through IVF or other fertility methods. I have seen lots of BFN's. But I've only seen a blessed few BFPs occur during a break. I can name 3. Um, out of thousands of women. Those 3 are very lucky and I am so so happy for them. But those odds aren't good enough. If I can't get pregnant when 4 live embryos are put inside my uterus, what makes you think it will happen when the sperm may not even reach the egg? Argh.

I apologize for the rant. For those friends of mine who read this and realize that they've said these things to me, please don't get upset. I just needed to vent. And, now I have to go because one of my dogs just walked in here and farted. Bad. I need air....

11 comments:

Sky said...

To your friends: I KNOW you guys all mean well.

To Sue: Being infertile gives you front-row view of the REALITIES of infertility, through endless research and conversations with reproductive experts. We become so knowledgeable that it's frustrating to engage in silly, irrational fantasies about how all we need is to "just relax."

My awesome cousin was the most "relaxed" and laid back person regarding conception. She married Mr. Wonderful fifteen years ago. When they didn't get pregnant naturally after 3 years, she casually asked her OB/Gyn at her annual visit if there was anything "wrong" with her. He said she was fine. She's 48, still relaxed about never having conceived. If relaxing had anything to do with it, she'd have been pregnant a decade ago.

Trust me, that's a clear case of infertility that wasn't cured by relaxing!

DAVs said...

Ahh, the well meaning comments. They are SO tiresome.
If relaxing were the key, then why do stressed out women in war-torn famine-ravaged countries get pregnant ever? People always need to consider the flip side before giving flippant advice.

Did you see the latest study in the New England Journal of Medicine? The huge retrospective one that said after six IVFs, women under 35 have live birth rates better than the general population? It's at least a good resource to explain why--even when it feels like maybe we should just stop treatments--it can make perfect sense to keep on going.

I hope your post helps your IRL readers to 'just relax' and keep their silly advice to themselves :)

kayjay said...

I think that a lot of times, people want to say some words of comfort but often don't know what to say. So, they fall back on the most infamous sayings that they have heard over and over again, even though they are horribly trite. I get the stories about people giving up and finally succeeding all the time since I've been at this for soooo looong (6 years). Ugh!

Jill M. said...

Are you serious, all I have to do is relax??? Ok, now I am pissed that I spent $75 on IVF!

Do you need to borrow my husband to give them an etiquette lecture? =)

Not Your Aunt Bea said...

If relaxing was the cure then it would be the treatment for infertility. Going to a spa, getting a massage, eating bon-bons. Would that be nice? Ditto for adopting. If that was the cure then everyone who was infertile would just adopt and poof! get pregnant.

Angie said...

Thanks for posting about this ~ I think the non-IF world needs to be enlightened and the more we can be open/honest about how those well-meaning comments/suggestions hurt, the better. Maybe next time, they will say something different.

Fashionably Infertile said...

I too am very glad you posted this. I have found myself confused when someone tell me to "relax" or "i bet once you adopt you will get preggers". Yes that did happen to my mother...4 years later. I wish I knew what to say to my friends/co-workers. They have no idea what it feels like to work so hard for something that was always taught to us comes naturally. You are so strong and have gone through so much. I am honored to know you and I think your determination is what is going to get your pregnant! You have helped me get up and keep moving ahead.

MamaSoon said...

If relaxing is what it took, there wouldn't be children born in war-torn countries. Mothers with several kids couldn't get pregnant again.

I have a person who has BEEN through IVF (4 cycles) got a child tell me this very thing on Tuesday.

I don't get it.

Hugs, Sue.

JJ said...

Aaaargh, I get upset just reading about those comments. I know people really mean well and just don't know what to say, but still.... My response to the "just relax" one is to tell them I was extremely relaxed and happy when we started trying. It was just when we didn't get pregnant that I starting being less relaxed. And the stories about people who adopted and then got pregnant are extremely unhelpful. I acually know two people that happened to myself, but it's not as if we'd make the very serious decision to adopt a child just so that we can get pregnant on our own. Honestly!

Lost in Space said...

Hugs, Sue. This is so frustrating on so many levels. I know people mean well, but relaxing will not lower my FSH, change the quality of my eggs, or magically make my endo disappear. Infertility is a medical condition. I can't imagine someone telling a friend with cancer to just stop doing all those chemo treatments and they will surely be cured. I'm glad you said it here and hope your friends/family are able to be more understanding to this. Hugs.

Linda said...

Yep, I hate the so-called well-meaning people who say those things. I really hate the "just relax" speech. Sheesh! Unless they've been through what we IFers have been through, they just don't understand. I'm sorry you had to hear that from your friend...again.