Tuesday, December 1, 2009

People and their word choices.

First of all, before I get into the meat of the post, I have to say thanks for all the comments with good ideas.

HP-Oprah would likely filet me for not helping out a needy kid via adoption. She's done a couple of stories on infertility and frankly, got it wrong. Now I'd love to be the poster child for correcting some misperceptions, but I just don't think she's interested.

Sky-That would indeed be quite a story!

Anonymous 1-I have heard of that mythical blogger who worked at Kinkos to finance IVF treatment. In fact, I walk with her nearly every Friday where we bitch and moan about infertility. Kind of funny!

Anonymous 2-Oh please know a producer! Even if someone didn't want to follow my story, I think Discovery Health owes the infertiles a show or two, rather than just all these ridiculous "I didn't know I was pregnant" or "pregnant and ______". Years ago they did The Baby Lab but seriously? It is so out of date now it's silly. It's time to correct the notion that infertile women pursuing IVF 1) always succeed or 2) are Octomom.

Meg-I'll take a music video producer. We actually have our own little IVF music video already made. The thing is: we shot the ending on the positive HPT day. So, um...yeah. Right now we're figuring out what to do with it, and someone the song we chose is no longer quite right.

Now, on to my post title.

I have a friend in real life that I've known since I was a wee little one. I don't see her much anymore, but we used to be really close. She was on a vacation when we got our news, and truthfully she didn't even know about the cycle. So when I got an email from her just asking how things were, I decided to give her the full update.

Here's the response I got:
"I'm sorry about your pregnancy......disappointment. I hope you guys can figure out a way to move past this."



Disappointment is going to the movies to find your showtime is sold out. Or not finding some shoes in the right size. Or maybe ordering something new on the menu to find out that it doesn't taste as good as it sounded.

Disappointment is not four and half years of heartache culminating in a fake-out pregnancy.

Of course, said email came from someone who's two adorable children both came as "surprises" because she just couldn't tolerate the Pill (headaches) and...well, I'll just leave it at that.


I guess I'm not handling my disappointment very well. But golly gee, I hope I can move past it.


  1. Ugh. Sometimes people are just so....stupid. I get that they just can't wrap their head around all that we've been through..but, seriously, think before you speak (or write). I've had some fun ones over the years, including such goodies as, "I'd just want to kill myself if I wasn't able to have kids" said during our 6th IVF cycle by a neighbor with 4 kids, and the good old classic, "If you'd just stop wasting your time and effort on all these treatments, you'd see how quickly you'd just get pregnnat". Oh, lol, that one was GREAT. People just make me so mad. How about a little empathy?

  2. Ugh. She needs credit for trying... but very little.
    People say/do the weirdest crap sometimes.
    I hope that discovery channel thing comes to fruition! Awesome idea!

  3. Some people don't get it, nor will they ever get it. I'm osrry that your "friend" used such a profoundly less word than she should have. I'm sorry, I'm just so sorry for everything you have gone through.

  4. I just caught up on the last 2 posts, and I have to say that I was thinking the same thing about OPRAH! Before you even responded to it, I remember how judgemental she was to some woman who went through IVF over and over, and really just expected that woman to suck it up and adopt. I found it really insensitive for someone who usually does her research and feels for people. She's not been very helpful when featuring IF stories.
    Just wanted to say I totally agreed and also I hope you are hanging in there.

  5. Honestly?! Why can't you just move past this already? I mean, c'mon, aren't you used to being disappointed? Why are you making so much of it! (clearly seething with sarcasm!)

    I just wish well-meaning friends could manage to say, "How awful. I'm heartbroken. What can I do?" and give a huge hug.

    If your friend's husband runs off with the babysitter, would you tell her you're sorry for her "disappointment" and hope she'll be able to get past it - as you stand hand-in-hand with your loving, faithful husband in a committed and fulfilling marriage?

    I get that you can't understand something until you're there but can't you have empathy? I don't know what it's like to lose a child to disease but I can bet if I used a dull spoon to rip my heart out of my chest and shoved it into a shredder, I wouldn't even be scratching the surface - so I'd hope my words would be far more deserving of the situation. But that's just me.

  6. Seriously?! Disappointed?! That's like saying to a cancer patient "you must be disappointed you have cancer. I hope you can find a way to move past it." UGH! WTF?! Comments like that are better left unsaid. I mean how much empathy does it really take to just tell someone how sorry you are and that you are thinking of them? I'm continuously shocked at how many people just don't get this.

    And I totally agree about getting an IF show on some cable channel. If we have to endure "I'm 16 and pregnant," "I was pregnant and didn't know it" and "I am a pregnant junkie" then the rest of the world should have to endure "I'm infertile and don't want to "just" adopt."

  7. Oh dear...what a thoughtless thing to say...things like this just drive me nuts, I mean THINK ABOUT IT before you just stay dumb shit like that...

    And the pregnant and a crack whore shows are disgusting...I just saw a preview for them.

  8. I love the idea of moving to an IVF mandated state where insurance is required to pay for so many IVFs! Can you get a temporary job transfer to another clinic/hospital? I hope your next path becomes clear for you soon as I know that will give you some peace. More hugs!

  9. "You're not pregnant any more? Oh dear, how terribly irksome for you. It must irritate you somewhat. Are you piqued?"

    There are certain moments through this process where you just want to be able to stop time, primally scream directly into someone's face for a few, long minutes and then write 'Insensitive C*ck' in indelible marker across their forehead.

    Ok, maybe that's a bit harsh. Maybe not *indelible* marker...

    Unfortunately friends will never be able to empathise. I think deep down we all realise that pretty early on.

    We lost contact with so many friends over the years we were TTC as they simply didn't know how to communicate their sympathy, and so eventually just didn't at all...

    And similarly, we found it increasingly difficult to engage in pleasantries and small talk with friends about their children, or - at really difficult times - to even see and play with their children. Those worst moments after the BFNs always seemed to coincide with Little David's birthday party, or Little Sophie's Christening, and because initially we were careful who we told, those in the dark probably just thought we were rude...

    It is difficult to understand for people who've never been through it. But Sky's so right: a simple acknowledgement that you can't really empathise, but you'll be there to listen, is often all we're really looking for in a real friend.

    But ultimately 'Me' has the right approach. Just hate people generally. It makes it so much easier. Every once in a while someone might surprise you as being remotely nice, but they're the exceptions to the rule.

    Having just read your earlier post, I have an idea to add into the mix for your treatment funding.

    I see two problems with the suggestions that have been bounced around so far. Firstly, you're looking for one person to pay you a big lump of money for your story, which is a reasonable risk for them. The other problem is that it's not a short-term delivery; there's no newsworthiness which is driving your story forward and encouraging the handing over of the money.

    Why don't you turn the concept on its head? Rather than trying to find someone to give you $20,000, why not try to find 2,000 people to all give you $10?

    But don't worry, I'm not just suggesting you broadly beg.

    You're currently writing a blog. And I have to say, of those I've read, it's incredibly heartfelt and truly inspiring. You're already a great writer. Why not propose to offer a subscription to that blog - say of $10 - which not only gets you onto an email notification list for every new post (forget RSS, that's so passe), but also (and here's the real idea) gets you a share of the book rights for the story of your treatment, should it ever be picked up.

    Writing a book about IVF treatment isn't exactly original, but I don't know what the largest ever distribution of a book's royalties is, but I reckon that 2,000 beneficiaries would be pretty high up the list. That's an interesting 'And finally...' kind of news story. Then try punting it to the newswires. All you need is a small bit of publicity for this blog and 2,000 subscribers could be easy to achieve. I'd happily give you the $10. And it wouldn't be charity, as I'd be getting regular value from reading your blog, and also have invested in the sensational book royalties that would inevitably result... :)

    On a more serious note, I'm glad that you've not decided to give up yet, as I'm really hoping you make it.

    [p.s. sorry for another absurdly long comment...]

  10. Wow - what a horrible choice of words for your friend to use - most people really have no idea. After my first loss, my MIL said "now we are not all going to brood about this are we?"

  11. well see this is what I think about Orpah, she lost a kid herself at what 14? and long ago decided "not to do the kid thing" She'd be no help. Here's tonight's winning lotto numbers
    4, 7,22, 33, 52 and the mega ball is 8.

    Oh bother, we wish. All I can do is pray for you.

  12. I don't even know how you are handling this as well as you are. You are a rock star, even when you are hurting so badly. I am so sorry that this just keeps getting you over and over and over again in a hundred different ways.

  13. I think your friend needs a thesaurus for Christmas...and a heart.

  14. One crappy friend can ruin your faith in humanity - except hopefully the rest of us can kinda make up for it at least a little bit.

    If you want to come out here for some pitch meetings you're welcome to stay in our office/tv/guest/whatever room - it's small, but we have really good pillows!

  15. Unfortunately, I think I know who you are talking about and could say some mean thoughtless things about the way they did things (yes, low blow, I know), but I won't. I just think back to what you wrote about Oprah and this really underscores that people don't understand, do they? Not saying that I do understand because I have not been in your shoes and therefore cannot completely understand. I try to understand. I am disappointed that as your friend, she didn't or she would have never said such a thing.

  16. I like lost in space's comment. Sadly, I think most people just focus on themselves anymore. I highly doubt before your friend wrote back to she didn't take the time to think about how you are FEELING at all. She quickly typed back her response & got back to her life. How sad for her...to be so self involved. UGH!

  17. Oh & I also would LOVE to see a show on Discovery that was more reality based than 'I'm pregnant & didn't know it'!

  18. The more I thought about it, the more that comment REALLY sucks.
    She was typing an e-mail! She had time to process what was being said...
    I have had some seriously unfortunate crap fall out of my mouth, that I've had to later think about, re-hash it in my head and then regret it hard core. You know the in-the-moment kind of junk that you say and then go *DOH*... (Maybe you don't have those moments- you are always so well spoken/worded!) Anyway, I suppose now that it's neither here nor there with this woman.
    I would TOTALLY subscribe for $10, with a chance at the book rights later. That's an AWESOME idea jezzafuji!

  19. I can't even begin to say how horrified I was to read what your "friend" said to you. I want to scream!!! And, about Oprah, well, you would think that with all the years of her show and meeting and hearing the stories of so many people that she would have more compassion and be less judgemental. I guess becuase she didn't want to do the kid thing then she just can't understand the desire to have children. What if someone said to one of her guests about childhood incest and rape, "You really just need to get passed it and move on. I don't understand why you're struggling so much," It would hit a nerve in her, I'm sure.

    Someone here said it best. I don't know what it's like to lose a child to disease, but I imagine it's the beyond any pain my words could describe. Why can't people just express their empathy and leave it at that since they have no clue as to what you're going through. It's okay to not have a clue. It's okay to say, "I'm so sorry" and leave it at that. They don't need to try to help you "figure it out" or feel that they are so special that they can actually say exaclty what you need to hear to make you "snap out of it" and say, "Oh, thanks, I feel much better now. You're the best."

    Did I say I want to scream!!!

    Oh, and when you start saying to some people how upset you get when others say things to you like you're friend did, I'm sure you'll get, "Well, they just don't know what to say" as if that's a good excuse and that you should be so understanding as to give them a pass. Screw that.

    Oh, my friend, keep writing and keep talking. It's here that you will not feel as lost, not feel as alone. It's here where you can find many shoulders to lean on.

  20. This is going to sound strange, maybe. I know you've mentioned once or twice that you're working on a memoir. Have you ever thought about writing a novel about IF? There are already lots of memoirs about IF and I know some authors had a really hard time getting their's published if it doesn't follow the typical "success" storyline (Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos comes to mind). But there are hardly any novels about IF. I think you are such a great writer and it would be wonderful if your heartbreaking experience so far led to something positive after all. And if the sale of your book allows you to do more treatments, then all the better right? :) Just a suggestion.

  21. People don't know what to say. They don't "get" how painful infertility is, they can't even imagine it, and they don't get how difficult the treatment it. That doesn't make it okay, but that is how it is.

    I remember when my brother died, someone said that we'd get through it, and maybe it was "for the best" because maybe he was going to have a hard life. "I'm so sorry" I guess wasn't enough.

  22. after my babies died my cousin told my mom it was a 'bummer'