Okay, this post is sure to rattle some, but look you’ve left me no choice. I coined the term “Momzilla” over the holidays when I was trapped in a hair salon next to two women who could not shut up about the wonders of pregnancy and motherhood. There I was less than a foot away draped in a poncho with my hair soaking wet, half of it held back by a clip and a woman standing behind me holding sharp shears. It was a good thing my hair stylist had a good grip on those shears because I fantasized about sticking sharp objects in the eyes of the two Momzillas.
I accept that mommy talk happens, a lot! I usually just sigh and suck it up. This incident, though, was far from normal hair salon chit chat between a bubbly pregnant hair stylist and her super happy mommy client, Willow (I do live in California so the silly name is to be expected). It was the loudest, most obnoxious, in-your-face “where were you when your water broke?” conversation I’ve ever witnessed.
At first I thought they were joking around — putting the rest of us on with their over the top, “what about the first time the baby kicked?,” “what about the first time you breast fed?,” “what about the cravings?” “the glow…”. Then it got so bad I had to wonder what I had done to get the universe so intent on torturing me. Even my own stylist, normally unflappable, caught my eye is the mirror and said quietly, “enough already, huh?”
I share this story because as I continue to read across the various infertility blogs and see the veritable gloating going on among those who managed to achieve two pink lines following a tough battle against infertility I’m reminded of the old adage converts make the worst zealots. We are happy for you, truly, and the pregnancies you’ve worked so hard to achieve, but do keep in mind that there are those out there who 1) still struggle mightily 2) may never get there or 3) may have timed out permanently.
You may have departed one sisterhood for another, but don’t abandon those who have supported you. Guard against becoming the dreaded momzilla.
February 22, 2007 8:01 pm
Again — great post. Some people are just oblivious, almost determinedly so, re: miscarriage and stillbirth and also the pain of women who never get to experience PG. It’s as though once the first trimester is over, any anxiety vanishes. I’ve witnessed this among my more fertile friends.
The “survivor’s guilt” debate makes the rounds of PG-after-infertility blogs very often. Having never experienced the fabled 2 pink lines, I’m not sure how I would convert my blog to a pregnancy one. I think that a blog can be whatever its author needs. But it’s always an awkward transition.
February 22, 2007 10:33 pm
The women in the hairdressers, eeek! It reminds me of when I was at the dentist a month ago, and my dentist, a woman and her assistant were going on about their little ones learing to walk/getting their first teeth etc, right over my open mouthed head. There was no escape. AND they knew about our struggles too, they knew I was waiting to start IVF.
February 23, 2007 8:07 pm
Wow — I just found your blog through stirrup queens and I’m so impressed with your writing! We’re still trying, but I know that there’s eventually going to be a limit to the money and effort we want to put into this. I hope you don’t mind if I add you to my blogroll — I plan on coming back pretty often.
March 1, 2007 7:54 pm
Truer words have never been written. My 44 yo neighbor has turned into a Momzilla. She knows of our 5+ years struggle and insists on cornering me at every opportunity to give me ‘hope’, because she’s 44 and I’m not and look at her! It’s all quite self-serving actually and she’s been very smug ever since she got pregnant (her first). Now I know she’s happy and all all, but she goes out of her way to bring me into the conversation. She does so under the guise of wondering ‘how I’m doing’ and it ends up talking about her and the baby with her periodically stopping and cocking her had to one side with fake consternation to say, “Oh, but I don’t mean to make you feel sad. It will happen for you.” Not when I’m 42 and we just got diagnosed with a rare genetic issue after 5 years of trying; it’s not likely.
I’ve literally been like a prisoner so as to avoid her and one of these oh so not helpful ‘bonding’ sessions. It’s really miserable when it’s a neighbor. It’s like have a fertile SIL move in to your guest room.
March 1, 2007 9:29 pm
I was just directed to your site by a friend. We were active participants in the infertility blogosphere for a long time, and we joke about how we are “the last ones standing.” Good to see you out there with us, mate. (Well, not really — I don’t wish this pain on anyone nice, but you know what I mean).
I’m so glad there is a blog like this. I dropped out of the blogosphere because it got too depressing to be one of the few without a baby, those ones for whom there probably isn’t going to be a happy ending. I got the feeling I had a few commenters who were a little too gleeful over my failures. Who needs it. I even failed at donor egg. Hey, not only can I not have my OWN baby, I can’t even have another woman’s baby!
I look forward to spending some time here. Thanks for being here.
March 2, 2007 12:38 am
Oh, Em, I feel for you, truly. There’s nothing worse than disingenuous people — and Momzillas in particular. Doesn’t it seem that there’s an army of them out there? Worse still to have one stalking you in your neighborhood. Your neighbor sounds like a real piece of work.
I’m surrounded at the moment at work by three pregnant women and, not related to their condition, three men bursting with pride at their impending progeny. We only have 30 employees so you can imagine the level of baby-related talk I’m subjected to on a daily basis. Fortunately I have a door (which I close frequently!)
Even the handful in the office who know that I made every effort to conceive still lapse into platitudes or assume that infertility is like a cold — once you’ve stopped sneezing you must be over it…again, my refrain, ah that it were that easy.
March 2, 2009 9:10 pm
After being in the blogosphere for a year and a half, I have to say, I am surprised that I didn’t realize, right off the bat, that *most* IF blogs eventually become mommy blogs. :p
September 4, 2009 1:09 am
Oh wow – I don’t know how you could stand biting your tongue with those women – you have amazing self-control. Yes, I often think about the fact that getting pregnant has turned into another “achievement” to add to one’s resume for the haves, which only serves to ostracize the have-nots even more. Thank you for sharing your experience.