Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Do fertiles just not think about these things?!

My cousin, who is exactly my age, is coming to stay with us for a few days at the end of the month.

Today, I received an email from my father filled with newsy news about the extended family, whom he just saw. And embedded within the email was a sentence that this cousin is expecting her third child and is due in September.

I am now dreading her visit.

She knew she was pregnant when she asked me if she could stay with us. I'm wondering if it ever occurred to her to let us know. Or if she was planning to just drop this bomb upon her arrival? She knows that we've been trying to conceive for almost two years and have been going through fertility treatments. And forgive me, but had I known, I'm not sure I would have offered our place for her to stay in during her upcoming business trip to NYC. The last thing I want to do is to hear about her pregnancy - or even worse, to hear her advice about our lack of a baby.

Do fertiles know that their very presence can cause pain? Does it even occur that being around her right now might be tough for me/us? I'll have just finished IVF #4 and therefore will either be devastated or pregnant and as-nervous-you'd-be-after-three-consecutive-miscarriages.

Either way, I wish I had known her condition and I could have helped her to locate a reasonable and convenient hotel.

I'm sinking to an ever-lower life form. But this is what it's come to, that I might not want to see my cousin (or at least not have her sleep over!) because I cannot bear all of her pregnancy talk and infertility questions about us. I feel petty, but darn it, that's how I feel. And I'm really annoyed that she is obviously telling people but didn't think that it might be important to let us - of all people - know before she comes to stay in our rather cozy (read: small) apartment for a few days.

The only thing I can hope is that maybe the pregnancy vibe will wear off on me.

Ridiculous, isn't it? Please, people, talk some sense into me!


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  1. You're not being ridiculous at all. And, yeah, I think they just don't think about these things. My mother still seems to think that since I want a baby, I want to coo over detailed news about everyone else's baby. I mean, I like dogs, so therefore I like hearing about her dogs, right? Surely it's the same thing...

    And you have every right to not want her there - or, if it's too late to back out gracefully, you have every right to lay down the ground rules with her ahead of time. Maybe you or Will could explain - as if you're talking to a very stupid child - that this is a really difficult time, and that much as you might WANT to giggle with her about pregnancy-stuff, it would be way too hard, so would she please make a valiant effort to refrain from that topic of discussion?

    Good luck. Sorry you have to deal with this right now. Ugh.

  2. I think you have every right to feel that way. She had every opportunity to tell you when she was on the phone with you..I had something similiar happen and she had every opportunity to tell me after knowing that we are in teh same boat as you and she didnt cause she didnt care. Hopefully your cousin is different. Dont feel bad because of the way you feel - she would feel the same wasy if roles were reversed...the problem is she never had to suffer through IF so she doesnt understand. Ill be thinking of you!

  3. Who the hell stays with family on a business trip anyway? You get yourself a nice hotel and you expense that shit!!!

    I totally get not wanting some pregnant woman in your house. right now I think that visibly pregnant women should not be allowed in public. Or cute babies. Ugly babies can roam free though.

    I hope you can get out of this or at least survive some how.

  4. some fertiles think of these things, sometimes too much(I've had friends not tell me big news about their family, to 'protect me') but that is weird that she hadn't said anything.

    In my experience, it is easier to be around pregnant people that you see often, vs. those you never/rarely see.

    I am sorry you have to deal with this. My DH had to explain to his Mom that now is not the time to ask me to plan a babyshower for SIL, and he said she sounded like she had just never thought about it before. Maybe you need an intermediary?

  5. I'm pretty sure it never even occurred to her to bring it up. Because in fertile land, pregnancy is so commonplace that it's a non-issue. Seriously.

    Not that that makes it any more palatable. But perhaps more forgivable?

  6. I hear yaa! I'm guessing you are not close to your cousin. If so, perhaps you could save face by saying, "something has come up" and you will no longer be able to put her up. That way, you don't have to explain the whole thing, suggest some hotels to her, and call it good. I agree with the other commenter that if it really is a business trip, she should be compensated from her place of work for the hotel. You don't need the extra stress right now. It's ok to take care of yourself!

  7. How close are you to this cousin? Is she normally a tactful & sensitive person? It's possible that she may have wanted to break the news to you gently herself while she's there, but your dad beat her to it.

    But it's also very possible (and sadly, very likely) that she's another clueless fertile who has no idea what a bombshell this news was for you. (((hugs)))

  8. I don't think you are being ridiculous at all. It is very difficult being around pregnant people. I am sorry she is not more considerate.

  9. I don't think she has a clue. Like another commenter said, these things are so "normal" for the rest of the world it's a total non-issue.

  10. I think they mostly are clueless. Honestly, today I'm feeling like no one who hasn't been through this can possibly know how crappy this feels.

    You do not need to have some sense talked into you! I know you would NEVER tell a patient she was wrong to feel this way.

    I really hope you can get out of it.

  11. I don't think fertile people think about it, and I accept that. Before we had trouble, I wouldn't have understood, either. On a basic level, I believe it's something you have to go through to really "get."

    Second what others have said about maybe congratulating her on her pregnancy and then letting her know that it's just too painful for you to talk much about that topic at this point. If she's a fairly nice/normal person, she'll be able to converse about other things.

  12. We have a right to how we feel. I know that people who haven't experienced it can not possibly understand our pain. We can't shut people out of our lives just because they are lucky and we are not. As painful as it is, we have to realize that neither party has done anything wrong. Some people are just damn lucky. (My sister). The best thing you can do is to be honest with your friends and family. Tell them what you've been through and how you feel. They most likely don't know and don't even think about it. How could they? They've never experienced it. If you shut people out now, when your time comes to have a baby, they may already be too far gone and may not come back. I don't think it's fair to not let her stay since plans are already made. Talk to her...be honest...she may be lots better than you think. I know it's hard and I'm sorry you've been through so much. But we, as infertiles, have to step up to the plate and speak out. Good luck!

  13. I don't think they understand that their mere presence can make us fall into a ball of tears upon the floor. Jeez. ~hugs~ girl. I'm sorry.

  14. Fertiles are clueless. I'm right there with you. And you can't get much lower than me, I've sunk so far down the life-form ladder I haven't even sprouted legs yet. But there are really are times you just can't take it. The days I can handle it, I will and I do. But if I don't think I'm up for something, I don't force it. Your feelings are valid, and very normal for all you're going through.

    Completely feel your pain on this one - hope you can redirect her if you need to.

  15. I also got the feeling that maybe she was saving it to break the news to you, slowly, after her arrival. But... of course, that would not help one bit. I like both what Leah said, regarding being honest with your cousin, and what Phoebe said about making an excuse that something has come up and that she can't stay over anymore. It just depends on how close you are with her, and how you feel is the best solution for now.
    good luck!

  16. Yeah, I think they just don't think about these things unless they've been on the infertile end of things. I was ready to throw myself under a bus when right before Thanksgiving I learned not one, but 2 of my cousins were pregnant. The news was delivered by my mom who oh so nicely told me "but K has been trying for so long." Really? REALLY?! How about your own daughter that has been trying since before K was even engaged? I wanted to shove her rationalization right down her throat.

    I'd have to be frank with her and ask her not to discuss anything pregnancy or fertility related with you.

  17. To add, I do have tremendous "pregnancy guilt," my own little version of survivors guilt, for all my infertile friends I've made in both real life and blog land.

  18. Mo - you gotta take care of you, for some reason we put ourselves in situations where we feel guilty, where we are suppose to feel something that we are not.

    Call her tell her she can't stay because you are going through a very difficult time right now and need some time alone, I see no issues. One of the biggest problems I had, is that I stressed myself out with these unreasonable expectations of myself - the most important thing is you and Will and this cycle, and I KNOW that she wouldn't even consider letting anything come between her and her having another child.

    You should not be expected to play hostess to any pregnant ladies when trying to get pregnant for years (unless it's a fellow infertile - then it can be inspiring).
    AND i don't think she's being mean, she probably just doesn't realize how uncomfortable it makes you feel, most people are not great with being empathetic (it's like the employed complaining about working long days to the unemployed). But, you gotta sometimes isolate yourself, people and real friends will always be there for you and will understand why we have to drop off the face of the world sometimes.
    I'm with sprogblogger - you got to deal with this now so it's off your mind.

  19. Mo - I have nominated you for an award on my blog - you kick ass.

    Also, I do not think you are being ridiculous - it can be so, so painful...it makes me even angrier when people avoid me or avoid telling me things. Most do it thinking they are being compassionate - but it still pisses me off...

  20. You're NOT being ridiculous. Fertiles should totally get it that their very presence can cause real pain. And they should be sensitive to that. I don't think it's too late to gently suggest a hotel.

    I think people forget that infertility affects EVERYTHING. It's not fair but we infertiles shouldn't have to be the ones always trying to figure out how to make other people comfortable. But put yourself first, you are TOTALLY entitled to it.

    I'm sorry things are so hard.

  21. No, fertiles do not usually care about things like our 'measly' hurt feelings. The world is all about them and their needs. It sucks big-time, and I'm sorry you have to deal with it.

  22. If Will is willing (hehe) have him talk to her (unless you can just get out of the whole thing) Seems fair that you shouldn't have to have her pregnancy "in your face" in your own home. Best of luck to you in this cycle!

  23. That is so incredibly rude. I'd totally email her a list of 'recommended' hotels, just in case she felt like treating herself a bit on her trip. Stupid cow.

  24. You are not being ridiculous at all. I also vote for somehow extracting yourselves from this uncomfortable situation - maybe you have some home maintenance issue come up and your guest room is suddenly unavailable.

    If she knew about your fertility issues and neglected to tell you that she is pregnant, and then wants to stay at your place, she is probably either completely clueless or very selfish. I'm sorry this is even something that you have to worry about. You need to take care of yourself. Don't worry about potentially offending her by suggesting a convenient hotel. Like others have said, if she's on a business trip, she won't be paying out of pocket.

  25. yeah. i don't think that is ridiculous at all. did it just slip her mind? i totally don't get it! arg.

    i still have high hopes for this cycle.


  26. I think it is ok to back out. And I also think that what bothers me most in these situations is not the baby/pregnancy issue, but the feelings it brings up-- feelings that make me feel like I am being petty, selfish, and immature... I don't like being made to feel that way.

    I'm sorry you have to deal with this while mixin' and injectin'-- hope you can find a resolution you feel good about.


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