Our precious boys...

Our precious boys...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

AWKWARD EXPERIENCES = HURT FEELINGS

I’ve had more than my fair share of awkward experiences involving people who didn’t know of my infertility. I’m not blaming them at all – how were they to know I was an overly sensitive woman on a long time quest to become a mother?

The following are a few of those lovely times, I’m sure I won’t soon forget.

At a family reunion in July of 2009 – wait, pause this story. I must tell you that family reunions are big in my family as my mother is a very active and dedicated genealogist for our family history. Family reunions have changed since my infertility. Before it was a fun time to get together with those familiar and/or long lost relatives and share in fun times together. You made new memories while reliving the old and those of past generations before you – ultimately, the reason you are here today. Only now, for me, reunions seem to be a reminder of how I may never have children and therefore, there may never be any family reunions of my descendants.

Okay, back to my story. At a family reunion in July of 2009, an extended family relative in his 70’s asked me, “Do you have any children?” After I answered no, he said, “Well….what are you waiting for?” (I thought he asked it in a snotty sort of tone, but maybe it was my wild imagination playing tricks on me again.) I was caught off guard, but amazingly answered back sanely. I replied saying, “We’ve been trying for a few years.” Another woman understood immediately and chimed in with, “It took us a long time to get pregnant too.” We all briefly chatted about it and I don’t remember the exact details. But after chatting, I was proud I handled it so well. If he would have asked me this the year before, I probably would have ran off crying hysterically. Maybe I am getting over “this.” Whatever that really means!

Another happened during my time at the preschool/daycare. One of my favorite kids there (Wait, did I just admit to favorites? Sorry, but it’s true!) looked up at me and asked, “When is your baby coming out?” I was in shock. This didn’t really sting deep. More than anything I was afraid that this little preschooler was basically saying I was fat. Come to find out they were talking about being pregnant in class and she must have decided to ask everyone she came across that question. Looking back now, this story is pretty funny. Kids sure say the darndest things!

Another experience was at a craft fair in the fall of 2009, my sister was chatting with an acquaintance at a booth where this individual sells natural products such as lotions, shampoos, etc. for babies/children. She was planning on giving me her spiel. She started by asking me if I had any children. I responded, “no.” She then asked me if I was married.” I said, “yes.” Next she questioned how long we had been married. I replied, “5 years.” (I already knew where this was probably headed.) She looked sort of confused or shocked and proceeded to ask me, “Well….do you WANT kids?” I think I quietly said, “yes” but I don’t remember anything else or how I got out of the rest of the conversation. It would probably be a normal question for a normal situation. But for me, it hurt. It really hurt.

At my grandfather’s funeral, a family member, whom I’ve only seen once in the last 15 years, asked me why we didn’t have any kids. A simple question that deserves a simple answer. But it was something that stung really deep. I thought to myself, “You don’t have enough time in the world to sit here and listen to my honest answer to that question.”

During another experience, I had a friend who I had just told about our infertility. This friend was recently pregnant from their first month of ever trying. (Must be nice!) After I was complaining about the scheduled sex, she said, “I know exactly how you feel. It was just exhausting having so much sex that month. I just couldn’t stand it anymore.” (Really? Wow…that one month of frequent sex must have really been rough. Talk about a hamper in your life. Now try that for 39 months straight and then tell me how you were exhausted.)

During our infertility, one of my closest friends, who wasn’t married and wasn’t trying, had a baby. I’ll never forget the day went met for supper in a restaurant and she told me she was pregnant. The feeling of my heart sinking into my stomach was something I had never experienced at that point. It almost felt like a betrayal of some sort. I felt like I was going to throw up inside. I sobbed and sobbed on the drive home. Not because I wasn’t happy for her…but because I was so desperately sad for me.

At one of my appointments at Mayo, a nurse said to me, “So, you have a son, Luke, at home?” I’m not sure why she thought this or where that came from at all. I said, “nope, no children.” It didn’t hurt me too much at the time, because I was focused on what was happening during my appointment. But after, it made me tremendously sad. Thinking back, I thought I could have said something like, “Nope. No children at home. But you can please pull the knife out my from bleeding heart.”

On multiple occasions, I’d be out and about with my two nieces. Of course various people around town assume they’re my children. It’s natural. You see a woman with 2 kids, they most likely are hers! They’d say something to the girls like, “Oh, are you having a special day with mommy?” We’d just laugh. But it did hurt. Although I didn’t take too much offense because I’d take those adorable girls as my own any day…

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