Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Asshats and Assvice oh my!

Time for reader participation my lovelies... (and that means lurkers too! - you know you want join the fun)

I've been barraged in the last few days with asshats coming out of the woodwork informing me that: a) it's just not the right time yet; b) parenthood's not all it's cracked up to be; c) well, you know.... you could just adopt; d) I have too many kids... do you want one of mine?; e) well, you know you should be thankful - I had a friend/cousin/hairdresser's aunt's niece's co-worker's sorority sister's friend that had a terrible pregnancy and blah blah blah.... etc. etc. etc.

Things like this used to really get under my skin, no scratch that - it more than got under my skin. It made me question whether I was good enough to have children... it made me question my worth as a person, as a member of the community.... everything about who I am. I equated my "womanhood" with the ability to bear children. I equated my worth as a wife with the ability to pop out genetic progeny.

And then I realized that yes, some of these people just are incredible asshats. Some of them don't even realize they're giving assvice. Yes. We tried robitussin, I drank enough green tea to easily reenact the Boston Tea Party three times over, we tried different positions, different times, different days, shaking a rubber chicken while standing upside down gargling decaf nonfat vanilla chai latte with a hint of cinnamon with patchouli incense wafting through my feng shui compliant dala lami approved bedroom that had been sprinkled with holy water and blessed by a santarian priestess immediately after returning from a relaxing vacation. O.k. well, the last was a little bit of a stretch, but chances are if there is an "old wives tale" that could possibly result in pregnancy - we are old pros at trying it - and you know what?

I'll let you in on a little secret - they didn't work.

Now... that doesn't mean that people don't mean well. Maybe it's the bleeding heart in me - but I think that deep down inside most people are genuinely good. Tactful, not so much... but I don't think they generally mean to hurt us. They're trying to help. Does that mean I don't wish I had a lifetime's supply of duct tape at the ready to quiet their comments? Or perhaps a high powered staple gun? Um, not so much.

It still stings, but it doesn't rip open the wound anymore. It's not as raw as it once was. I've just sort of accepted the fact that this is what's going on in my life - and realized that IT'S NOT MY FAULT. I didn't deserve it - and it sucks royally- but sometimes things that suck just happen to people who don't deserve it.

It's been a long time since I've been this calm about it. Sometimes I correct people when they make blatant misstatements about infertility and treatments ... other times I just decide it's not worth my emotional involvement and just roll my eyes as they prattle on.

So... with that said, I'd like to take a poll about asshats and assvice (for the sake of entertainment only - and absolutely no redeeming scientific purpose). Feel free to elaborate in the comments as much as you like.

1. What was the most ridiculous old wives tale you were told would immediately "cure" you of infertility and result in pregnancy?

2. Be honest - did you try it?

3. What's the most common assvice you get? Is it from friends/co-workers/family/strangers? How do you respond to it?

Bitch session may commence now.


At 11:49 AM, Anonymous Molly said...

I haven't gotten much assvice yet, since we've only been working on it for 9 months -- but I did get the obligatory "just relax" twice and the elevate your hips after sex once.

My father-in-law informed me the other day that God will send us children when His time is right. I know he means well and all, but I can't help think of all of my dear internet friends -- sorry guys, obviously God doesn't want us to have babies. Yeah. Huh. Not that I believe in God really or anything.

At 12:49 PM, Blogger mm said...

A close friend of mine who has somewhat recently found God has told me on more than one occasion that if I would just start praying for a baby that I wouldn't have to put so much "faith" into ART. (Funny, since in college she was the one who was always standing over an HPT, hungover as Hell and praying NOT to be pregnant. But I digress...)

Have I tried praying? Yes, but not bc my friend told me to. I've always sort of been the kind of person to pray for strength to deal with a difficult situation, etc. I haven't asked for a baby specifically. Somehow I think God has more pressing matters to attend to.

I generally don't deal with assvice very well. I either nod and silently throw up to avoid confrontation with extremely stupid people or dissolve into tears (when the assvice is coming from my mother... Until recently she's been big on the "Why don't you just adopt/relax/have more sex?" kind of assvice.)

At 2:53 PM, Blogger MsPrufrock said...

I haven't shared my IF problems with enough people to solicit much assvice, though my mom more than makes up for that. Much of her assvice centres around prayer circles and praying for me individually. Uh, it ain't working.

I'm quite hesitant to say this, but I have a few fertility goddess necklaces from various cultures--the Venus of Willendorf, and a Celtic goddess. I also wanted a sheela na gig, but they are a bit rude and I'd be afraid to wear it in public. Google it, but not at work!

At 3:28 PM, Blogger Jen said...

Hey, my friend sent me a Sheela (not as assvice, she was passing on her CBFM after she no longer needed it and threw Sheela into the box). I put it onto our feng shui fertility shrine (which would be the funkiest advice *I* ever took - creating said shrine) and it just so happened that the next cycle was the one that worked (so far). But that's just it - I think it just happened that way. I don't really give Sheela the credit. More likely the new donor.

At 5:10 PM, Anonymous Orodemniades said...

I just go for honesty, with a healthy dash of bitter and a smidgeon of 'shutthefuckup'.

I've thought about doing the 'I can't have children route', but then realized that if the williteverhappenIVF worked, I'd be perpetuating the 'she got pregnant after x years', and I just can't be having any of that.

At 7:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is why I've only told two 'real life' people and neither of them know the whole story.

The worst assvice I've heard came from a friend talking about another friend who has been having a really hard time. She told her that they probably couldn't have kids because they weren't the healthiest people in the world, you know, they're fat and lazy and need to lose weight. When they're not so fat then they'll probably get pregnant straight away.

I wanted to kill her on behalf on any infertile couple she'd ever said that to but I was too shocked to take any real action. It's stuff like this that stops me from telling people.

At 10:41 PM, Anonymous Gnome said...

I am on my 3rd IVF cycle, but had a abnormal pap smear a few months ago. So i had an appointment with a og/gyn who specialises in abnormal cervical smears.
As I outlined my history he asked what I meant by IVF and what was exactly was ICSI.
Later in the appointment he told me that "you girls worry to much about getting pregnant, you should go to the movies more and go out for dinner more often."
Needless to say I won't be going back to see him again, ever!!

At 10:10 AM, Blogger April said...

Oh Gnome - that is horrible!

I can't believe that this "doctor" had to ask you want you meant by an IVF and ICSI... that's frightening.

Good luck on your IVF cycle, we'll be thinking of you...

At 10:32 AM, Blogger Toni said...

I got just about everything - including being patient. Now mind you - I don't ovulate on my own. So no matter what assvice I got, it wasn't going to get me pregnant. Some people, I let them know that...and some people, I just smiled and said thank you. Figured everyone's got their miracle story of how they sat on this specific rock and found out they were pregnant a couple of weeks later (did I try that? no).

I wish people would be more sensitive...but if you haven't gone through it, you don't know that you should be.

At 12:41 PM, Blogger Chee Chee said...

I think you're right. Most people to mean well, but it is still annoying. Recently, my mom told me "not to go crazy" (read - don't seek IF tx) and that doing something drastic will only "mess me up now." The main thing I need to do is "focus on changing my diet." With only one tube, which is blocked and stage 4 endo, to name my biggest problems, I don't think the "it will happen" routine makes any sense at all.

At 8:42 PM, Blogger Larisa said...

I've gotten minimal assvice - as we are mostly "in the closet". My best friend did mention "relaxing" and that I'm probably too young for a doctor to want to treat me. I corrected her on both accounts.

About the dumbest I've heard is from my SIL - not about infertility per se - but that if we got a dog, that would make us want children. She doesn't know about the IF, but I *guarantee* that she would have 1st class assvice to offer.

At 8:29 AM, Anonymous B. Mare said...

There was the woman who would NOT shut up about royal jelly. Royal jelly, royal jelly, royal jelly. And she was obsessed with the idea of "ovarian inhibition." Like my ovaries were just sort of shy and needed a bit of self-esteem.

It was intensely irritating.


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