Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Dear Fertile People

Dear Fertile,
My name is Frenchie, and I have taken it upon myself to write you this letter on behalf of myself and my other Infertile friends. We have a few requests for you, if you would please take a moment to consider the following:

1. Please, and I mean PUH-LEEAAASSSE (!) don't whine and moan about your pregnancy symptoms in front of your infertile friends. I know you are uncomfortable, and indeed you have every right to bitch about your swollen ankles and your aching back. But, keep it between you and your fellow fertile friends. Trust me, no matter how "fine" your Infertile friend might seem, she DOESN'T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT. Consider the following: Though you are struggling with discomfort and even pain, it is nothing compared to the pain of infertility. Your infertile friend would gladly take on all the nausea and discomfort if it meant she could be pregnant and deliver a healthy baby. I know, I know, the extra weight of your pregnancy is making your plantar fasciitis bother you even more, and I know it sucks you have to wear that brace thingy on your foot, but your infertile friend would probably cut off her own leg below the knee and stick in a broom handle for a peg-leg and hobble around on that for the rest of her life if it meant she could be pregnant and deliver a healthy baby.

2. Please, PLEASE! If you MUST complain about your symptoms and problems, DO NOT say something like, "I just wish my body would function normally." Hey, all bets are off when it comes to being pregnant with regard to what weird things your body is going to do, and you signed up for that when you got knocked up. Deal. Again, I know it sucks, but keep those kinds of comments to yourself. I guarantee your infertile friend is thinking, "Well, your body functions normally enough to make a baby!" Trust me, she'd trade places with you in a fetal heartbeat.

3. If you have recently found yourself pregnant, don't try and hide it from your infertile friend, but be nice, and find a time when you are not at a party or some other gathering to give her the news. Do NOT under any circumstances, start musing about how easy it was to get pregnant, or what strong swimmers your husband must have. Such comments are dangerous, because they have been known to send Infertiles into psychotic fits. If you must talk about such things, make sure the room is clear of sharp objects.

4. Be supportive of your friend. Especially if she has 1. had a pregnancy loss (no matter how early in the pregnancy), 2. has recently gotten bad news on the type of infertility she and her partner are facing, or 3. has recently had a negative pregnancy test after a cycle of IVF or IUI. Treat these things with the same reverence and caring you would give her if she had 1. lost a "real" living child. Believe me, from the moment she got a positive pregnancy test, that child was very real and living. 2. had just found out about another serious medical crisis, such as cancer. Studies show the stress Infertiles deal with is the VERY SAME level as those dealing with life-threatening illnesses such as cancer. It is a very real life-crisis. 3. had just gone through a very expensive and risky procedure to potentially cure her life-threatening illness, and was told by the doctors that it didn't work.

5. Speaking of IVF and IUI, take TWO minutes to go on the internet and find out what some common lingo is in your friend's world. Really, you should know what an RE is. COME ON!

6. When you do spend time with your infertile friend, please understand, she may not want to hear about every other friend, co-worker, family member or acquaintance of yours that is ALSO pregnant. I know pregnancy is very much on your mind right now, but find SOMETHING ELSE to talk about, honestly. Every new pregnancy announcement is like a dagger in your infertile friend's gut.

Thank you for taking the time to consider these suggestions. If we work together, the relations between Infertiles and Fertiles can hopefully improve.


No comments: