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You Know You’re on Your Best Behavior When…


a blog by Pamela Jeanne

What the “fertile” world fails to truly appreciate is the superhuman effort it takes not to get all pissy about mommy and baby talk – especially when an infertile is feeling the effects of her condition in a visceral way. Let me point out a few of the seemingly innocuous gestures and comments that could whip up a black ire in no time flat if we let our anger get the better of us:

The pregnant belly rub. I put this one first because there are two very pregnant women in my office at the moment who have no idea how often they can be found stroking themselves – well, okay, technically they’re stroking the life growing inside them. This activity takes place in the conference room, copy room, break room. You name it. There don’t appear to be any stroke-free zones and that’s a bummer. Because to one conditioned to see this behavior as a nonverbal form of overt bragging (look what I’ve got goin’ on over here) it’s off-putting to say the least.

The “I’m so fat and pregnant” declaration. Um, yeah, you are pretty large. You are well into your seventh month of pregnancy after all. What can I possibly say in response that doesn’t sound disingenuous? Be grateful that I don’t counter with, “gee, that’s ironic, and here I was feeling quite slim, trim and infertile, today.”

The complaint about the increasing healthcare co-pays. Seriously? Someone could get hurt here if they weren’t careful. For those who paid out-of- pocket every step of the way for each and every infertility drug prescription, doctor visit and procedure large and small, it’s laughable that someone whose condition is covered would have the, well, the ovaries to complain about such a thing.

The birth and baby pictures web blast. My, my. I do declare. Discretion and thinking has gone right out the window in the modern age. Do I really need to know how long XX’s labor took while I’m on deadline for an assignment? Can we save these very personal photos, details and announcements for the small alias of family and close friends for whom that news is relevant rather than flinging chapter and verse out over the Internet at large? Sure I can hit delete, but the net result is that the email/Facebook post reminded me yet again about a deficit in my life that I’d just as soon not dwell upon.

The point of this post is simple. More often than not there’s very little consideration or understanding of how far a modicum of sensitivity and discretion can go. As one who goes out of my way not to broadcast the details of my laparoscopies or the anniversary of my IVF losses to those in my extended network I think a little discretion (which translates in this case to kindness) can go a long way.

Any other behaviors or comments, dear readers, which you’d like to add to the list?

Comments (2)

When women with children tell you that you can have a meaningful life without children (yes, I suppose I can but ...) and then they complain about their children!!!

An example:

... the "I don't know how it happened" / "We thought we'd better start trying because apparently some people take a while, but 15 days after stopping the pill! What can I say super sperm."


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