These days, I found out something for myself, although I had read about it, I’m experiencing it right now. It’s the law of attraction. My thoughts most of the time are on infertility and its challenges, and what happens is this; if my mind seeks out infertility in all circumstances, I see the infertility in situations. I’m attuned to it in people, and some days ago, I turned on the television, and what were they talking about? You guessed right, infertility! Even though it was not prime time television, but it was still on national television, on a local channel. I was surprised that this taboo topic had gained so much traction that there was a whole 30 minute-programme dedicated to it.
I couldn’t help but marvel, but I soon felt like beating someone, when the presenter, who claimed to have experienced infertility, started mouthing the platitudes; “Don’t stress yourself,” “Watch what you eat” and all the others you are so familiar with. Why, I wondered, did she ruin a good programme with the usual misconceptions people have about fertility challenges.
However, I was consoled by the fact that there was a programme on infertility challenges – so prevalent in our society but which gets little to no recognition – was finally being talked about. I paid attention; in fact, I’m looking forward to next week’s edition.
Not only was I nauseated by the notion portrayed that TTC moms were not trying enough to get pregnant, I was also made aware of the different people such a mom would meet on the fertility journey. The sad news is that most of these people are not nice at all. They make the journey harder, and leave you feeling worthless, if you are not a strong person. I have chronicled some of these people and they include:
Obviously, the set of people who deserve first mention are those who have told you to, “Stop stressing yourself.” How many times have you heard that, and felt like shaking the person who said it, and tell them it is almost impossible to do that, and that there are more women who lead more stressful lives than you do, but are still able to get pregnant and have babies…even while “stressed”. Stress is part of life, and when you want something you are not getting in a timely manner, you will obviously be stressed. Family and friends are the many culprits in this class of people.
The “What are you talking about?” class: Aha! This class of people can hurt you with their nonchalance. They are people close to you, few of the people you have managed to tell about your journey, but their reactions have always been off. You don’t know exactly what to do about it. Like Nike once told her cousin, who not only was very close to her, but was also her age mate, that she was going to the hospital for fertility tests, but her husband would not be able to make it, thinking that this cousin was going to offer to come with her. No such offer came, in fact the look on her cousin’s face was decidedly blank. So, Nike took herself off to her appointment and her cousin called two days later, to find out if she was now pregnant. Really??? To say she was shocked was an understatement; they remained cousins (nothing she could do about that), but were no longer close. Who asks that kind of question?
The next class of people belongs to the couples who claim to have experienced infertility but honestly had no idea. You might even have started to believe them, until you find out that they only waited for, at most, six months before finally getting pregnant. And then you wonder, isn’t a couple only considered infertile if they have been trying for longer than six months to a year? How interesting that this self acclaimed once-experienced-infertility couple have reduced the international standards to their own taste. What do you do with this set of people? Nothing! You shouldn’t waste any energy. They happened, life happens, infertility happens…move on.
The eternally hopeful! The enthusiasm of this group of people, who also happen to be often friends and family, can be crushing and inhibiting. And I admit I fall into this group. I have a sister who has been battling infertility for years, she suffers from repeat miscarriages, and I’m always hoping against hope that I will get a call one day about the good news of her carrying a baby to term. There have been times, when I knew she went to the doctor, or the other herbal places she frequents, and I would call her with the intent of hearing some good news, but without outrightly asking her how the visit went. I’m very sure she knew the ulterior motive behind the call, because my other sisters would also call. Sometimes, she would indulge us and give one person the news to share with the others, so we would let her rest, and at other times, she just wouldn’t. As the years have gone by, I have ceased to ask, and she has ceased to share. Some things are best left alone until testimony time. See, I’m still hopeful.
Another set of people are the “Have you tried xyz?” These people believe they are giving you helpful tips on how to get pregnant. They tell you about sexual positions that enhance conception, the days in your cycle that are best to have sex, and everything in between. Let’s just say they give you the low down on sexual education as though you have never heard of those terms before. They are the ones who also assign themselves the role of your informal doctor! They know all the fertility drugs and herbs to use to hasten your removal from the infertility list. They make you feel like you are not doing enough! Sometimes, they mean well, and at other times, I’m not so sure.
These are my list of the people you love to hate while TTC. Which class of people belong to your list?
Baby dust for the journey!
Oluwakemi is a member of The Fertile Chick family, and she is a writer, dreamer and mother of two sets of twins. She is passionate about issues that concern women, and does not shy away from airing her views. And words are her weapon of choice! She is reachable on her handle @oluwakemine
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