Please don't tell me to relax

I haven't written since Evan was born. I know... I know. But, life has been busy.

He's seven months old now.

Seven. Months. Old.

That just seems crazy.

Earlier this summer, I participated in a Writing Workshop for teachers where we not only talked about teaching writing, but also engaged in writing to help us view ourselves as writers.

Getting back to writing was magical.

So, here is one of the pieces I pounded out in a 15 minute quick write. I think I will be doing a little more of that as I have the time.

I realized having Evan didn't heal the wounds of infertility. Yes, he is remarkable and so much more amazing than I could have imagined. But, infertility changed me, fundamentally, and the scars are still there.

So, my writing workshop peers encouraged me to publish this and "put it into the world."

Here you go, folks.




Please don’t tell me to relax
I used to cry in Target.

I used to avoid baby showers.

Just relax and it will happen.

Making the baby is all the fun.

People often like to tell you to relax, like it’s a panacea that will make it all better. Just relax is the worst advice anyone can give you.

I dealt with infertility for more than seven years. You wouldn’t believe the advice… unsolicited advice people give you when you are trying to have a baby.

I used to be very private about it. I mean, infertility deals with sex and that’s not something we should talk about…. Right?

But, the longer I was married and the older I got, the more people asked “Don’t you want kids?”

At first I said someday.

Then, as the clock struck 30, somedays started becoming fewer. Relative strangers liked to point that out, too.

“You haven’t got forever.”

“Have them now, while you have energy.”

No one really wanted to know about my intimate life…. That for many years, I dealt with thermometers and calendars and apps, all in the hope of having the thing that it seems too many people disregard. I relaxed. I stressed. I got a massage. Nothing worked.

So, I got a slew of doctors on board and paid them thousands and thousands of dollars, only to find that far too few of them realized I was a human being who needed compassion with my treatment. “Just relax,” the advice remained. “You get to have fun making the baby.”

Have you ever laid on a table in a doctor’s office, undressed from the waist down, with a team of six doctors talking over you? Your ultrasound is on the monitor and your husband is pushed away from you, into the corner, so the doctors can see. I have the same appointment 6 times in a month.

Then finally, it’s time.

Husband heads to a sterile room. He hands his contribution off to a lab tech. I wait to be called back, for the six doctors to come in, this time with a catheter. It goes as planned.

Now we wait.

And wait

And wait.

And it failed.

Which part of that was supposed to be fun?

I changed my clinic, and found empathy. Thank God for Dr. S helping me find Dr. D.

More ultrasounds. More appointments. This time, I learn to inject myself with hormones that make me crazy and force my body to do what it won’t do “naturally.” But first, I give the pharmacy a chunk of my savings, putting an actual price on hope. The needle phobe sits on the bed, looks at the syringe and gives herself a shot. For seven days in a row. More appointments. More ultrasounds.

Have we gotten to the fun yet?

Finally, it’s time again.

The husband heads to the new clinic, in a new sterile room that is all too familiar. I wait amongst the outdated magazines and people with eyes which never quite meet mine. It’s dangerous to look at each other. You are afraid there might not be enough hope to go around, and if you look at them, you will be forced to see yourself in their eyes.

After the lab tech does her magic, it’s my turn. Another table, but this time only one doctor. My husband holds my hand. Maybe this time. Maybe this time. It looks great. Couldn’t be better. One more catheter. Wait 30 minutes.

Go home.

Go about your life.

Wait two more weeks.

Wait. wait. wait.

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