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:
- 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.
- “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.
- “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…