I've got to be honest, you guys. I've completely lost the ability to mask the emotion of infertility. Truth is, I've always sucked at hiding my emotions. I carry them with me in my heart, and symptomatically, on my face. I'll tell you I'm doing just fine, but if you hold a stare too long or lean in just an inch, I will likely turn into tears. It's an uncontrollable reaction, and one I've come to loathe the most about this journey. Certainly, there are worse things than crying in front of your coworkers, or your husband for the 20th time this week, or even the stranger in a Dutch Bros. drive thru. But it's a bitch trying to convince others you're doing just fine as you're crying over your keyboard. Which explains why my space bar sticks...
No, but really, I'm fine.
The thing about infertility is that people naturally don't believe you. Well - intentioned people, people that love you, they really don't fucking believe you. The term infertility holds distinctly different meanings depending on the ears upon which it falls. For me, the "in-fer-TILE" (please read with a dramatic emphasis on the word "tile" for maximum effect), infertility looks and sounds a lot like a big fucking question mark. Why them? Why us? When? How? Again? It's 1,456 questions and 2 answers: eggs look good, and sperm looks good. Great... but.... um, those other 1,454 questions over there? Oh, cool, we will just ignore those annoying bitches. Thanks infertility!
To those outside your ineffective cocktail of sperm and eggs, infertility takes on an entirely different definition. In fact, I'm not sure the word exists in the vocabulary of those on the outside looking in. More often than not, the responses I receive have me convinced that I'm a crazy bitch and infertility isn't a real word. No, no. In fact, if I just believe, pray, relax, stand on my head, rub this oil on my vag, or "stop worrying so much," why, that pesky infertility diagnosis will magically vanish. Whythefuck hadn't I thought of that?! Thanks again, word-that-doesn't-really-exist!
I know everyone means well. And I don't begrudge those who toss their "helpful" advice my way, as they glance at framed pictures of their beautiful children, or regale me with the tale of their long, arduous fertility struggle... of 3 months.
But here's the thing.
I'm fine. And I'll be a lot fucking finer if you wouldn't bestow your wisdom upon me. I know you love me. I know you believe I'm being dramatic, or premature, or irrational. But the truth is, I'm none of those things. My perceptions are my reality. I live this reality each month as waves of optimism fill my heart, dreams float around my head, only to be reminded that it isn't happening this month. It is impossible to shelf an emotion because it no sooner falls out of the fucking box again.
Look, I know it makes you squirm in your chair when you don't know what to say. And I know you want to say the right thing. But you know what? Most of the time I don't need to hear anything at all. And I'm okay with that. And I appreciate a silent hug or understanding nod more than you'll ever know.
And I'll tell you what.... when I'm pregnant, you can give me all the other unsolicited advice you've been dying to tell me but couldn't because that made-up word of infertility threw you completely off.