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Infertility makes me ballsy

on January 3, 2014

I am not a person you would describe as “direct.” I’m more of a “be nice and courteous to everyone so you don’t make them uncomfortable” type. I hate to make people feel awkward or embarrassed and typically will put up with a lot in order to avoid it. But in these last 16 months, I have put up with enough ignorant comments that I have started not letting them go. Almost like I can’t.

First was when I finally told a good friend at work that she had to stop telling me to “just relax.” She had said it at least 5 times and it was making me insane. I was so afraid to say anything to her, like she would think I was some crazy lady making a big deal out of nothing and being sensitive. This particular friend is not very concerned with political correctness or protecting people’s feelings so I put up with it for a long time before I finally texted her shortly after she said it in front of a bunch of people. I told her that she really needs to stop saying it and that I have a medical issue to the point where I am seeing a doctor and when she says that I need to relax she is implying that it’s all in my head. I felt so scared of what she would say while I waited for a reply. To my surprise, she said that I was right and that she was sorry. That it was a sensitive issue and she should treat it that way. Whew! It made me feel really good to stand up for myself and make someone realize that what they said wasn’t okay.

Then when i was home for Christmas and I was holding my 1 year old cousin, my uncle said “hey you better tell The Husband that he needs to give you one of these!” and without really thinking about it I just said “Well, he’s trying.” This particular uncle I do think knows about our struggles and just said it without thinking. He just kind of changed the subject and walked away. It felt good.

So today I was at work, minding my own business. My department manager (my boss’ boss) was standing at the desk next to mine talking to my coworker. She has a cold that she got from her 15 month old and was lamenting to my coworker (who has a 17 month old) that she always gets sick when her kid gets sick. Let me point out that I was not involved in this conversation. At most I maybe glanced up from my computer a couple times. Then my boss’ boss looks at me and says “Mallory, Do NOT have kids! It may seem like a good idea, and they’re cute, and people say it’s great, but it’s not.” I just kind of cringed and didn’t really say anything, but she continued “seriously, just don’t.” I just couldn’t stop myself. If she would have said less, if she would have been less insistent I would have ignored it but she just kept going on about how much it sucks to have kids. So I looked at her and said “well, don’t worry, I can’t.” I kind of said it with a smile, but kind of a “eh, what cha gonna do?” type smile. I felt my face flush as I said it. She said “oh my gosh, are you serious?” and I said “kinda, yeah.” Then she said “Well I’m not going to talk to you about it right here right now but you know I offer my full support.” And then she delightfully told me she will call me in the middle of the night when her son is up and I can come take care of him. Thanks a lot. When she got back to her desk she emailed me and said “open mouth, insert foot. I am so sorry!” Then of course I lost my steam and felt really bad for calling her out like that. So I told her it was fine and I shouldn’t have said anything and that it happens all the time. a couple other idle exchanges where I tried to assure her she’s not a jerk and that was it.

I do feel kinda bad for making her feel shitty, but you know what? She made me feel shitty first! I know that when people say “hurry up and have kids!” or “oh god kids are awful, you don’t want them” they’re not trying to be assholes, but the fact remains that they are being assholes. Even if it’s not on purpose. And they will say something assholish to another infertile if I don’t (sort of) kindly let them know that it’s not a good idea to say that to someone. So maybe now she will think before she opens her mouth! But probably not. One thing I did learn from this is that the three managers who do know about my situation haven’t shared it with the three who don’t. I wouldn’t have cared it if came up and they knew, but this made it very obvious that they don’t.

In better news my bestie wants to let me and The Husband take care of her two month old for an evening while she and her husband go to dinner. They have left the baby with each other, but I’m not sure they have left her yet with anyone else. I feel so honored and excited! We are finding a new way to relate to each other now that baby is here. It’s different, but it’s okay.

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10 responses to “Infertility makes me ballsy

  1. I loved your come back for just relax. May have to steal that one. 🙂

    • Mallory says:

      It definitely seems to put people in their place! Unless they actually think it is all in your head…then there’s no helping them because they’re just jerks!

  2. Amen. People can be heartless. Those in the loop and those not in the loop. My sister in law is in the loop and still says the most cruel things like she doesnt know. I get in my car. Breathe. And say I shoudl’ve said this. Maybe one day I will.

    Go you for stepping out.

    • Mallory says:

      Yeah I could have forgiven her for the first comment, but then after I told her she did the “you can take my kid anytime!” Thing. Boo! I encourage you to say something to your SIL. Just focus on how the things she says make you feel instead of pointing out how rude they are. Hopefully she will get it.

  3. Hey, I stumbled across your blog from someone else’s and followed you because I am having trouble TTC (in a different way, but trouble all the same). I’ve enjoyed reading your posts, and thank you for writing.

    As for the topic of this post… I am so tired of people telling me to relax all the time. Not many people are in the loop, but those who are still don’t really understand. My sister-in-law wants my husband and I to tell my other sister-in-law (because we haven’t talked to/seen SIL #2 in a while and she’s taking it personally…SIL #1 things if SIL #2 knew what was going on, she’d understand). I’m angry because I feel like I shouldn’t have to share something so personal and private to justify someone else’s hurt feelings. I dunno if you got all of that, but my point is people just don’t think sometimes.

    Anyway, thanks again for writing. Look forward to reading more of your posts, and wish you luck TTC.

    • Mallory says:

      Well procreation seems to be one of those things that everyone seems to think is their business! It’s definitely risky if you’re unsure if the other SIL will be supportive or will just say dumb and hurtful things. Good luck and thanks for reading!

  4. Good for you to be sticking up for yourself! I am totally like that too, won’t say anything because I don’t want the other person to feel bad or the situation to get awkward. But sometimes, we just have to!

    • Mallory says:

      I know right?! The urge can be overwhelming! Plus I am a very honest person so if someone asks me what’s up with our lack of kids, I will tell them and watch them squirm! But also feel bad.

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