Conversation Etiquette for Fertile Myrtles


In addition to connecting with those in various stages of
infertility treatment, I’d also like to reach out and engage
those in the fertile myrtle world.  You know who you are…

You’ve never once questioned the importance of your FSH
level (and more than likely didn’t even know you possessed an FSH
in the first place). You’ve never toted injectable hormones and alcohol wipes
in a cooler to a dinner party or picnic so that you could sneak off to the rest
room to get your twice daily hormone shot on time, and you have no idea what it
might be like to have your eggs harvested under general anesthesia.  All
of this and more only to find out at the end of cycle that despite your best
efforts only one pink line materialized on the pregnancy test. So it’s back
to the drawing board and a chance to start all over again — assuming your bank
account can afford another $12,000-$15,000 hit.

So, gather ’round fertile ones. I have stories and experiences to share.
Hopefully from them you’ll come to appreciate how awkward and uncomfortable
those mommy and daddy tales can be for some.  First let’s start with a
little conversation etiquette lesson.

1) When you’re out at a party and meeting new people do you (a) immediately ask
if those new someones have children (b) hang back to wait and see if the
other person volunteers they have children (c) ignore whatever they have to say
because you’re too busy pulling the photos of your kids out of your wallet

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Correct answer: (b) — if someone doesn’t make a point of mentioning their
children in the first 10 minutes they probably don’t have them. Do you really
want to make them uncomfortable by asking?

2) If you just launch right in and ask someone you’ve not met before “do
you have kids?” are you (a) willing and prepared to hear the long and
involved answer if it’s a no (b) blown away when he/she tells you honestly that
their uterus or sperm just won’t cooperate (c) too dense to realize that the response
when negative is likely to have layers of complexity.

Correct answer: Trick question. It’s (a) and (b)– don’t assume that the
question is a throw away or an ice breaker that allows you to talk about your
kids. Keep in mind that it could elicit a complicated or emotional response.

3) If you’re surrounded by women prattling on endlessly about their children
and you see a woman hanging back and not saying anything do you (a) assume
she’s a stick in the mud and ignore her (b) try to top the kiddie stories with
the latest antics of your own child (c) gracefully attempt to change the
subject to something other than kids so that everyone can participate in
the discussion.

Correct answer: (c) – could it be anything else??

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I know we’re all more sensitive now to the feelings of those around us, yes? If
not, let’s then start from the top and try again.  And if that doesn’t
work, try this: consider how you would feel if your little one was on the
playground and the other little kids had a regular habit of making he/she
uncomfortable or misunderstood. Now it’s starting to make sense. Well,
big people have feelings, too. Please consider who’s around you the next time
you launch into a mommy or daddy monologue.

P.S. Thanks to all of you who were kind enough to respond to my last post. You’re wonderful and caring souls and I appreciate you more than you know.


3 Responses

  1. DD

    February 27, 2007 3:44 pm

    I have certainly developed a sixth sense in these kind of surroundings. If my son isn’t physically standing by my side, I don’t volunteer anything unless I’ve been asked. And even then, as proud as I am of him, I never gush. Give the facts and answer the questions. That’s it.

    So many women define themselves by their children and how many. Instead ask me about my career (if I have one); my tastes in art; politics; religion, etc. I want people to see me as a person first.

  2. Summer

    February 27, 2007 9:50 pm

    Great quiz. Wish I could make people I don’t know take it before I find out the hard way that they are not someone I want to spend time talking to.

  3. Bumble

    February 27, 2007 10:47 pm

    Great post Pamela Jeanne! Very well put.

    I’m sorry about my last comment, I didn’t mean sad testament in a bad way, I just meant that you’ve been through this whole journey from beginning to end and know what you’re talking about when it comes to this. But I think from your writing, you do seem to cope very well. Your experiences are extremely valuable here and I’m very grateful for them.

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