Interactions With Two Women

Today has been an interesting day.

One of my clients came in for his speech therapy as usual.  We went into the therapy room.  Before his mom exited the room to let him work with me, she apologized and said, “I am so so sorry that we haven’t practiced the words that you gave us last week.  I had a miscarriage at 20 weeks last week and had to have a D & E.”  I was so shocked and felt heart broken for her.  “Don’t even apologize for such a thing!  I am so sorry for your loss.”  I went and gave her a hug and started tearing up for her.  She teared up as well.  I cannot even begin to fathom what she has gone through in the last two weeks.  We got ourselves together and I went on with my session with the boy.

When we were done with the session, the mom and I started chatting about her miscarriage.  She and her husband had gone into get her 19 week ultrasound with the kids so that they could all find out the sex of the baby.  It was at that appointment when they discovered that the baby boy had no heartbeat.  She was so shocked.  She gets pregnant easily and things usually go easily for her at all of her pregnancies.  She had no symptoms.  She didn’t even look pregnant.  And just like that, the baby was gone.  I really don’t wish anything like this upon anybody.  Although she is a fertile person, I really wouldn’t have wanted this to have happened to her.  I probably would fake a smile or two and be bitter for a day or two when I finally discovered about her pregnancy had it not gone this route.  I really didn’t want to find out about her pregnancy this way.  My heart was sad and heavy.  

I also shared my journey with her.  She actually understood what I had gone through since one of her best friends who is in her late 30s as well went through IVF twice and got two sets of twins.  Anyhow, I didn’t expect to have a special bonding time with this mom going into work today.  I hope that giving her a chance to talk about it somehow helps to heal her heart a bit.

After that happened in the morning, I went about my usual business in the afternoon.  My infertile pregnant friend sent me messages on Gchat.  She has gone back to work since Monday and she has been feeling sleepy.  I told her to hang in there.  She told me that she has 16 more weeks to go.  It’s fine.  I just went on my business.  She then asked me questions about my cycles and clinic choices.  I stalled for a bit and didn’t respond until later in the afternoon. 

me:   Insurance pays for whatever services they billed. so we probably have money for the transfer.  We don’t know yet. One round at a time

Her:  Don’t worry, things will work out

I don’t know.  That just didn’t bode well with me today.  First of all, in nowhere did I say that I was worried.  And really?  She knows that things will work out?  How?  Is she a prophet?  I at first didn’t say anything.  Then I thought that maybe this would be a good chance for me to say something so she doesn’t mindlessly offer her platitude repeatedly.  

me:   I know you mean well, but you don’t know if things will work out. I may never have a child or I may.  You don’t know and I don’t know. I just try my best to do what I can. The rest is not up to me.  But thanks for asking.

Radio silence on her side.  

Maybe I will lose this friendship.  Maybe she is offended.  Maybe I am petty.  I just feel the need to say something to her finally.  If she had said that she hoped that things would work out, I’d take that.  But that was not how she put it.  My hubby was saying that I could say that to her, but I also have to prepare for others who make mindless suggestions and comments and I can’t possibly speak to every single one of them this way.  I hope that infertile pregnant friend is right, that things will work out in the end.  I do not wish to prove her wrong. I would LOVE for her to be right. But what she said really doesn’t help me in this situation.  

Now I think about it… Isn’t it interesting that I had a bonding time with a fertile person over an unfortunate event and a disconnect and maybe even a loss of friendship with an infertile pregnant person?  

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14 thoughts on “Interactions With Two Women

  1. I think we all, even those of us who know better, want to believe there’s a happy ending and a reason for everything. We want to believe people lose ther jobs because they’re lazy or the worst people at the company; instead of the company is going through things and the layoffs are entirely divorced from individual merit. Someone is infertile because they do something wrong; they sin, or eat the wrong foods, or don’t drink the sand water as the fertiles (I might have made some of these up); not because these things can happen to good and deserving people regardless.
    It’s a way of controlling the incontrolable. Of course you deserve a happy ending (and beginning and middle) because you’re a lovely person. And it’s hard to see wonderful people go through rough times. So we say stupid things to cope.

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  2. I’m pretty sick of people telling me it will work out fine and well all be worth it in the end. Sometimes it would be nice for them to say ‘this is really shit and it might not ever happen. I’m sorry’ know they are trying to be supportive but… It’s not like we don’t know that’s an option.

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    • Yes! I FINALLY had a friend say to me last week, “I hate that you have to go through this. I cannot pretend to understand, but I just hate that this is your reality.” It was honestly the first time a non-IFer said something that was remotely comforting. (and believe it or not, her father in law is my RE!)

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  3. That is so sad about your student’s mom. You were really kind to open up with her like that. As for the infertile pregnant friend, good for you for speaking up! While it’s true that we can’t possibly correct every single person to say something cliche like “it will work out,” a friend who knows your situation and who has gone through infertility herself should know better than to make those kinds of remarks. If speaking up for yourself leads to the end of that friendship, then I would say it wasn’t a friendship worth keeping anyway.

    I recently had a similar situation with a friend who went through infertility but just got pregnant with her second child. She included me on a group text with a bunch of her mom friends, and one day I got bombarded with a slew of texts from the group about the cloth versus disposable diaper debate. I endured the first five or six messages, but finally I texted my friend and said, “Could you please remove me from the group text? I am not in a place where it’s helpful for me to be receiving tons of messages about diapers etc.” Yes, it was kind of bitchy of me, but she should have known better. Just a couple of months before she had been moaning to me about how insensitive her pregnant friends were. How quickly we forget, huh? Anyway, I think you handled the situation with the Gchat conversation just right.

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  4. I find it shocking that an infertile- even a pregnant one- would say something like that. You would think that she would understand how unhelpful it is to tell someone in the throws of infertility and treatment that ‘everything will be ok’. Because we all know that it might NOT be ok. And we need to deal with that fact every, single day. Perhaps pregnancy has made her forget how stressful it is. Hugs… infertility definitely has the power to destroy relationships.

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  5. Agree with everything newtoivf said. I am sick to death of hearing this and think your response to your friend was great. This won’t work out for all of us and sometimes it helps for people to acknowledge that.

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  6. Agreed–the platitudes are too much sometimes. And even if it does work out, it is not working out the way you hoped and dreamed. Your pregnant friend, although she was trying to help, seems a little clueless, and maybe in the long run, she’s not who you need in your life right now.

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  7. I’m sorry Isabelle. For what it’s worth, I think it’s great that you had the courage to tell you friend how her words made you feel. Hopefully once she’s over the sting, she’ll be grateful that you valued her friendship enough to be honest with her!

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  8. You were not being petty! The whole ‘everything will work out’ platitude is one of the ones that has always annoyed me most, for all the reasons that you mention, and also because I have a distinct feeling that people are usually saying that not to comfort us, but to make *themselves* feel better. No one likes stories that don’t have a ‘happy ending’ and that’s why they can tend to shy away from or deny the realities we live with. I think you were totally justified (and polite) in telling her off as you did.

    I get so sad just listening to the story of your patient’s mom and her loss. As a loss mom myself, I can assure you that you did a wonderful and very compassionate thing in allowing her to share her pain and talk about her loss – something all too few people are willing to do. I’m sure you both left that exchange feeling less alone.

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