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This almost makes sense.

November 25, 2009

Disclaimer: This entry contains information regarding our adventures with trouble trying to conceive. Feel free to skip over if you wish to avoid too much information regarding my reproductive parts. I won’t blame you. I’d rather skip this stuff, too.

I’m reluctant to talk with many people in my life about our difficulties with conceiving. Of course there are various reasons for various people, but I just now realized a major factor behind my sealed lips: knowledge. Actually, more than plain knowledge, it’s almost a bitter feeling regarding how much I know about trying to conceive vs. how little others know. On top of that is knowledge regarding dietary issues and what foods do to the body.

Knowledge is power, but ignorance is bliss.

Don’t get me wrong. I love to learn. I’ve always said my ideal career is one that pays me to be a student. The problem is there’s such a distinct difference between choosing to learn something and that knowledge being necessary.

I’m processing this revelation as I type, so I’ll try to make this journey through my mind one that’s easy to follow. It might get choppy here for a bit, so hang tight.

People love to ask about baby plans.

People like to offer advice.

The best way to kill unsolicited advice before everyone involved gets uncomfortable is to present the counterargument for the most common words of advice regarding trying to conceive. Essentially, this means tossing out my diagnosis.

People are fascinated by medical abnormalities. They are not satisfied with “We’re seeing a great team of doctors, and we’re hopeful the plan we have will succeed.”

***

I’m trying to think this through and just reached another revelation. It isn’t so much that I’m annoyed with having to educate everyone who’s interested in my diagnosis and treatment plan. There’s a big part of me that’s happy to be spreading the word about trouble conceiving. It’s a taboo topic that has no business being taboo.

It’s just … well, it’s hard work. And it’s hard work on top of the hard work that comes with trouble trying to conceive. Not only am I charged with learning as much as I can to make sure I’m doing what I need to do, I’m also charged with educating the people I’m close to in order to keep them part of my life. I try to be understanding and gracious and informative, but repeating the same. damn. things. over. and. over. – answering the same. damn. questions. over. and. over. – dodging the same. damn. “advice.” over. and. over. … IT’S FRUSTRATING, OK?

It’s easy for me to retreat to my trusty e-friends, to so many who have been through a similar-enough situation or have watched mutual friends trudge through similar situations. I don’t need to educate them all that much. I can just lean on them.

But retreating to them isn’t fair to my other friends and family, nor is it fair to the campaign (for lack of a better word) to get the word out regarding the troubles women face when trying to conceive. My friends and family want to be there for me just as much as anyone else, yet I close so many of them out because – through no fault of their own – they’re lacking the proper information.

It isn’t fair. It isn’t fair to them as people who care about me, and it isn’t fair to me, who carries enough of a burden without adding fertility education to my responsibilities.

Would it be weird to ask to have brochures printed up as my Christmas gift?

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Alethea permalink
    November 26, 2009 3:15 am

    OMGEEEEEE!!!!! I can’t even begin to explain to you A) how horrible it was to type that & B) how totally much I get what you’re saying.

    I am SO open about my IF. I will talk to damn near anyone. If someone had questions, I will answer them to the best of my ability. Talking about my IF both helps me deal with it & educates other people.

    However, some people really, really suck.

    I was just at the doctor the other day, for the 3rd time in about7 months – the regular doctor, for regular things. I see a small, singular family doctor, whom I adore. His staff is also awesome, both DH & I have been going there since we moved here about 4 years ago…blah, blah, blah. When I was there in July, I saw his newest nurse, for the second time. She was awesome! So easy to talk to, really understanding, super friendly! She asked when my last period was, blah, blah, blah…I told her a date like 60-80 days before hand & she said, “Are you pregnant?” I explained to her that we weren’t, but had been trying for a long time & were seeing a specialist. (All of which my regular Dr. knows).
    SO, I go in the other day (4 months later) and get the same nurse…same questions, same answers. Now, she’s got my freaking chart in her hand! Um, yeah… I know she’s gonna ask me about my last period, but when I tell her it was 7+ wks ago, of course she asks if I’m PG. Of course I tell her no & re-explain my PCOS, annovulatory cycles, seeing an RE, etc. Now, I understand, she has to ask all this stuff for my chart & all – it makes sense…

    Did she really need to tell me it would happen when the time was right and ask me if we’d considered adoption?

    *sigh*

    F thought I was overreacting when I was upset about this.

    My family is very in the loop, very understanding & still very confused.

    It’s exhausting. However, I try to believe that the struggle we go through will only make it that much more incredibly awesome in the long run.

  2. Alethea permalink
    November 26, 2009 12:07 pm

    Sorry for the novella I wrote last night. I might have been a little drunk. 🙂

    Oh, and if you get those brochures, can you mail me some.

  3. Jenny permalink*
    November 26, 2009 12:41 pm

    Hee. I love you, Alethea. No worries about the novella. I get what you’re saying, too!

    I’m pretty impressed that the hot mess I called a blog entry made sense to anyone at all.

  4. November 27, 2009 9:48 am

    I’m just thankful that I can be someone to lean on versus one more person to educate.

    I don’t know about the infertility, but I could have written this on miscarriage education. How I feel it’s my duty to talk about miscarriage, talk about the baby I lost, be honest about it so that people don’t ever think that Harrison erases that pain. Not for me, but so that they can be support & not a student for someone else. But sometimes, it really sucks & I don’t want to talk about it.

    It’s the awful responsibility to be the educator. When sometimes, you’re so tired & burned out that you just want to pass the torch to someone else.

  5. hollytraveling permalink
    November 27, 2009 6:13 pm

    I give you credit, even though I know it can’t be easy. I’m so much of a coward that I’ve told no one (outside of the blogging world) but my sister and best friend that I’m trying to conceive. Just telling people about the PCOS is a nightmare. If one more person says to me “Wow, I wish I didn’t get my period,” I’m going to scream. And I so hear Alethea about the nurse thing.

  6. Veronica permalink
    December 2, 2009 5:52 pm

    Sigh.

    I could have written this. I just want to scream sometimes about the ignorance that plagues our society. But then I have to step back and remind myself that if someone hasn’t been in my shoes, then they really have no clue what I’m talking about. And why should they? I mean, what did I know about infertility until it laid its nasty hand on me?

    It just becomes so tiring to explain it. I commend you for being an educator. For me, it’s still hard to do. I’ve put up this huge wall and it’s hard to tear down. Hardly anyone knows about our TTTC. I think it’s because I’m embarrassed that my body isn’t working like it should.

    I really wish I could hand someone brochures or hell, even put info on iTunes that’s automatically downloaded to everyones ipod.

  7. December 3, 2009 4:26 pm

    I get ya, and I’m sorry that you have to go through all this crap :(.

    I mentioned something about PCOS to my mother in law (oh great, ANOTHER mother in law story from me) and she said “I don’t see what the issue is… lots of people have PCOS and have no issues getting pregnant.” Considering that she needed me to un-abbreviate PCOS for her so she knew what it was, I’m not sure she even knows what she’s talking about. I want to strangle her sometimes and she is the worst person when it comes to listening to anything about fertility. Drives me freaking nuts.

    Anyways… again, I’m so sorry you have to deal with all this. I would also like some of those fliers if you get any. Big hugs to you!

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