You’re Next

As with everything “ranty”, I’ve gone back and forth about blogging about this since my intent is not to offend anyone but just to speak my truth.

While contemplating this post I’ve also had time to think about my feelings and in doing so find myself not really bothered by it anymore. Not sure if that’s because I’m sailing to the top of the infertility wave where everything is sunny and Beyonce having twins is only a tiny little punch to the gut. Either way, it’s not an issue now and I’m glad I’ve had a chance to process it.

Two of my IVF besties have been abundantly blessed recently. One just gave birth and one just found out the sex of her little one. Both of these things happened within days of one another and they both said the exact same thing to me that, at the time, annoyed me extremely.

“Don’t give up! You’re next!”

It annoyed me for a few reasons:

  1. This fantastic news is about you. It has nothing to do with me. I was more than happy being happy for you. In that moment I’d completely forgotten about me because I was lost in my friend’s joy but you brought that to a screeching halt when you reminded me that I’m still struggling. I didn’t want want to remember it at the moment. It was a “you” moment. There’s plenty of time after our conversation for me to have a breakdown but not during. And I understand that IVF moms feel survivor’s guilt and it’s inherent to want to reach out and save someone else from being hurt but it’s okay to be happy for yourself for a moment. Please enjoy it. I’ll be okay.
  2. “You’re next” is a lie. An infuriating one at that. Just based on the fact that, since writing these words, 10 children have already been born. And even if you mean that I’m next out of the 2 of us, you can’t possibly know that to be true. I just feel like “you’re next” is such a lazy thing to say to someone going through this. That’s the only way I can describe it. You couldn’t think of anything supportive to say, so you just blurted out something a fertile person would say? Just stop. The most used one liners tend to be the ones that sting the most and this one stung.
  3. “Don’t give up”… Where do I begin? Firstly, I understand. I understand holding your miracle in your arms and thinking that you’re only in this position because you fought hard and you never gave up. It’s perfectly sound advice. I get it and when I think about it, I can’t really be mad about this advice because it makes sense. You won’t get what you want if you give up. But it bothers me. It bothers me because I think this is our last year of trying. It bothers me that I will feel like a failure for giving up when in actual fact giving up is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s one of the hardest, bravest decisions one can make but it comes with a stigma. Only losers give up. Only losers quit. There’s nothing wrong with quitting, my friends. Sometimes quitting is empowering and necessary. So in the immortal words of someone on the internet, “Do you, booboo”.

And that is the end of my Thursday rant. Like I said, I’ve since gotten over my irritation. For now, I’m not giving up and who knows, I might just be next *rolls eyes*. But I’ve also decided to skip the last paragraph of every birth story and pregnancy announcement moving forward…

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21 thoughts on “You’re Next

  1. I despise the “never give up” comment. I find it somewhat insulting and very insensitive. For my husband and I, we knew at some point we had to walk away from trying. And like I said the other day in my post on this very subject, “I can honestly say one of the things I am most proud of in my life is knowing when to say enough is enough.” Ultimately, we chose adoption, so we today we have our amazing child, and that wouldn’t have happened if we didn’t just “give up”.
    All of this is to say that I’m sorry you are hearing insensitive comments. And know that I’m always sending my love and support to you no matter what happens.

  2. Another factor that plays into this, is that infertility isn’t talked about as much as it needs to be. So, people don’t really know what to say and they feel that they are being “supportive” by offering these words when its far from that. The line I hated hearing the most was “just relax, it will happen when you least expect it.”…..right…like my body will magically repair itself and work. The odds of that are slim. I guess your friends are so caught up in their joy that they may have forgotten what it feels like to be at the stage that you are in. If they are close friends of yours and you feel the need to talk about it, bring it up to them and tell them how you feel! They may not realize that they are doing this to you.

  3. Gross – I hate the idea that people think there’s some sort of divine plan or personal moral “perseverance” for all of this, when really all it comes down to is biology, money and luck.

  4. So much truth. My least favorite is, “It’s going to happen.” You don’t know what will happen. You can’t guarantee anything. What kind of empty promise is that? It’s almost an invalidation of everything going on in the present.

  5. A huge yes to this! I was actually on some IVF facebook groups recently and it was really bugging me how somebody would post a picture of their baby with a long list of how many IUIs/IVFs they did and then end by saying something like “don’t give up! Keep the faith”. Good for them that it worked like you say but fertility treatments do NOT work for everyone. This is also our last year trying and I hope that if things don’t work and we decide to stop that people will support that choice.

  6. SO true! Sorry you had to experience this-especially from people who should get it. One liner platitudes are brutal. All we can do is just get through each day.

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