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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

One Lonely Response

We sat down to get to work and truly, the white elephant in the room that needed to be spoken before we could even talk about the topic of the evening (which became Question #3 for tomorrow morning). We had one response for question two. A question in which we solicited positive experiences.

Was it the caveat that we desired stories where the words and wisdom came from an outsider? I think anyone who has turned to RESOLVE or infertility chat rooms has gotten a virtual shoulder to lean on during the process. We're well aware that our insanely nice RE story is not the norm. But to be honest, we were really grasping at straws to come up with a story that came from an outsider. I know that there were friends who were great listeners. But I can't remember anything specific that was said or done that helped us through IF.

There is definitely a chasm--and the other side is not this evil land teaming with pamphlet-waving psychos screaming that you're going to hell for doing IVF (let's just imagine that those people live on an island in the middle of the river that divides the SQ and SPJ from the non-infertiles. Luckily, for the most part, you can drift right by that island and ignore it unless you know people living there). That land is actually teeming with people who are "well-intentioned" who "want to help." But they manage to stick their foot in it the end of the day...they just don't understand.

The problem actually lies in the fact that they won't admit that they don't understand. There are many places in life where people admit that they can't place themselves in another person's shoes. But when it comes to trying-to-conceive, most people of child-bearing age believe they have a leg to stand on when doling out advice or words of sympathy. I had a coworker
(well-intentioned) who told me that she could imagine what I was going through because it took them three months to conceive and those two months that they didn't were torture. She was trying to be sympathetic. She was trying to relate. But in the end, if you haven't been a SQ or a SPJ, perhaps you can never truly get it.

Though we're trying to change that fact with this book. Providing ourselves (and you) with something we can hand off to the people in our lives who need to understand what we're experiencing. I'm not talking about every friend. Those people I'll just direct to library copies. But the people who matter. Who need to know how they can help. Those people will get a nice copy of our book, expertly wrapped in shiny paper. With a ribbon. Because we're nice like that over here on our side of the river. At least when it comes to the topic of fertility.


Anonymous said...

Maybe a better question would have been, did help and what WOULD HAVE helped?

Nicole M.

Lisa P. said...

So I'm going back through your blog entries...

I have to say that as someone who has experienced recurrent pregnancy loss but both times after getting pregnant relatively quickly, I never know whether I'm saying the right thing, either. I admit that I don't truly understand all that someone has to go through when they do IVF -- I've done my research and read others' blogs and tried to be sympathetic, but I haven't *lived* it. I've lived something else, but not shots and cycles and follicle scans. I still probably say the wrong thing, unintentionally. I've look at my stats often since being linked from Julie's blog, and the amount of one time visitors is up there. I just hope that somehow I can get across that I am trying to understand, and that's something a lot of people don't seem willing or able to do, at all.