What’s that saying about walking a mile in their shoes?
I’ll be the first to admit I have a lot to learn about life and love and its experiences… I have friends who have lost parents; I cannot relate. I have friends who have suffered miscarriages; I cannot relate. I have friends with cancer; I cannot relate. We all have struggles, some very personal and hidden from others, and some more obvious to the world. I hope and pray I’ve never offended another due to my lack of understanding. I pray I’ve showed compassion, even if that was all I had to offer in times of another’s sorrow.
Yesterday as I was walking out of work with a male coworker it became blatantly clear that he has no f-ing clue when it comes to pregnancy and related struggles. He’s been married for a few months and it’s my understanding he and his wife plan to start a family within the next year. I was carrying my ginormous bag of goodies (infertility meds and syringes) and he was attempting to peek inside, you know how annoying men do when they are curious. I haven’t been able to hide my countless doctor’s appointments from several at work and this particular coworker is thus now aware that Eric and I are attempting IVF. (Looking back, I should have tried a lot harder to keep this private from coworkers, especially the asinine male ones, but too late now.)
So as we are walking the good fifteen minutes to the transportation center across the street from the hospital, this coworker expresses how damn excited he is to start trying to have a baby, and how it doesn’t matter if it takes a while, as it’s so fun, and what guy wouldn’t want to HAVE TO HAVE SEX lots and lots, and blah blah blah. I remained calm and for the most part kept my mouth shut, as I was slightly afraid of what might come outta it.
This coworker and I separated at the transportation center, as I have Eric’s amazing parking spot (for only 29 more days) and this coworker waited to catch the next bus to his commuter lot. As I finished the walk to my car alone I couldn’t help but feel angry. And I’m so embarrassed to admit that for a brief moment I wished this awful journey on he and his wife. But no, I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy, this longing for something that seems just out of reach. This empty feeling. Being left out of the ‘having kids’ conversations at work. I didn’t wish this awful journey on he and his wife, I wished for understanding. I longed for him, anyone really, to know what it’s like to see NOT PREGNANT on over 50 home pregnancy tests over the course of 15 months. And yes, I know many who have tried for much, much longer than Eric and me… I simply can’t imagine.
In my car and on my drive home I thought back to the excitement of ‘trying’ the first couple of months, of the anticipation during those two weeks after ovulation. When seeing the smiley face on the ovulation test was actually fun! The wondering, when the wondering wasn’t so difficult. The imagining of the what ifs. When the trying wasn’t work, when we still wanted to jump in bed together, when it wasn’t so planned. Those were the days.
This infertility ‘stuff’’ for lack of a better term, has certainly changed my relationship with Eric. I hope for the better as it has forced conversations we might not have otherwise encountered… Eric has been very involved in this process, although obviously not physically present at really any of my appointments aside from a handful. He’s remained extremely positive though, almost to a flaw. Sometimes I just really want to hear, ‘it might not work, and that’s okay’, instead of, ‘it will work, relax.’ Eric understands this process, the medications, how they work, and what to expect. Being urologists handle male infertility, he’s privy to lots of details I can only assume the average couple wouldn’t be. I love he’s able to explain all my test results in detail, and his, as God knows I retain very little from chats with my physician, which always seem rushed.
Eric is on call this weekend, like most, so I traveled to Mason City this afternoon to spend the next couple days here with him. Hopefully his pager stops disturbing us so we can spend a few hours of quality time together!