Infertility and Party Conversations During the Holiday Season
Thanksgiving is first. (Or is it Halloween?)
Quickly followed by the beginning of the holiday parties.
They begin earlier and earlier. Often by the last week of November, right after Thanksgiving, you will have your first holiday party.
And so it goes all the way to New Year.
How painful to be in the midst of these parties and feel completely alone.
Infertility often does that.
We don't talk about it. Sometimes not even with those closest to us.
It doesn't really make great party conversation, does it?
"How are you?"
"Oh, we're going in for a egg retrieval tomorrow and next week, we'll need to give a sperm specimen to be washed and put into a petri dish with an egg to see if they fertilize."
PIcture the open mouths. The dropped jaws. The glazed over eyes. The grasping for something, anything, to say in response.
Not exactly party conversation.
My approach was, and still is, an academy awarding winning performance. I do believe that I should rightfully own several gold statues of Oscar.
Here's how that conversation would go.
"How are you?"
"Oh, we're great. I got a promotion, so more money, more vacation time. We're off on vacation later this month."
Applause and the Oscar goes to me!
The result? I would feel totally alone in a room full of friends, family or peers.
I would also feel dishonest.
And the shame would be like an invisible scarlet letter on my chest.
How grateful I was, during that time, for my support system of friends and colleagues, who knew everything about my fertility treatment.
They were the ones that I called after the party.
They were the ones I cried to after hearing yet one more announcement about a new pregnancy or new baby.
What kept my sanity was that group of women who understood it all, without my saying a word.
We all need support during infertility and fertility treatment.
Ladies Night In, is one important place to come, while in treatment. Talk, share, laugh, eat, cry. It all happens.
I look forward to seeing you there next month. Carrie Van Steen and I will be there, next month, in the midst of holiday season.
Meanwhile, please write to me here if you need a quick pick me up or a word of comfort and support.