Infertile Gatherings

(Act I Becky wanted to hear my recap of last Thursday night’s presentation by Dr. Local, so I’m going to write this without reading her entry.) 

One of our local hospitals runs a “Spirit of Women” program that periodically hosts sessions on women’s interests in our area.  Last Thursday night, the session was called When Hope Is Not Enough (fitting, eh?) and it was an informational session on infertility given by our very own Dr. Local.  I was informed of the session by a hospital rep who wanted me to pass it on to WAITT, so Becky and I went.  It was kind of a strange group overall: it reminded me of being in the waiting room at the RE’s.  It was like no one wanted to make eye contact or really talk to anyone other than the person they came with.  Kind of like everyone was a little embarrassed to be there in the first place.  Well, other than me, Becky, and her entire family; we were laughing and passing notes at the table, and enjoying the complimentary snacks.  I was a little uncomfortable, but that was because I didn’t know the etiquette involved in interacting with the three people in the room who had seen my hooha — it’s odd talking to your nurse when she’s in real clothes and you have your pants on.  I mean, what do you discuss? 

The presentation itself was full of good information; the slides are supposed to go up on the hospital website eventually, so I’ll link over there when they do.  Dr. Local went through an overview of the process that they go through when initially diagnose someone as infertile, and ran through the various treatment options available.  I’ll be honest, the diagrams of IUI, HSG, and laparascopy had me wincing.  I’m not sure I really wanted to know what they are going to do to me.  Becky remarked that the presentation was like “Infertility 101”.  Useful stuff, but we’re working on graduate degrees in the subject.  She did leave some WAITT fliers with Nurse ES, so hopefully we’ll be able to get the word out to more women, maybe even some of the ones in the room, that there they aren’t alone. 

(Act II.  Scene: Saturday afternoon at my house.)

Segue into Saturday.  I held a Southern Living party at my house, in part to get a discount on a piece I wanted to buy and in part to get to host my friends over for the afternoon.  Becky and Jessica both came over, as well as my friend J and her mom, so that made 5 people in the room who had dealt with IF.  Or so I thought — after the party, Becky was talking to SILX and mentioned that she was going through treatment for infertility.  S, the Southern Living Consultant, heard her and immediately asked what she was doing.  Which quickly turned into a conversation between the three of us, with SILX listening in, about our diagnoses, treatment, feelings, and the possibility of S starting treatment with Dr. Local soon.  I realized after about half an hour that my SIL must be feeling kind of like us infertiles do at baby showers, completely without anything to add to the discussion and unable to leave.  The irony of this does not escape me. 

I ended up giving S the little journal and business card that Dr. Local had given to us on Thursday.  Hopefully she’ll be able to find an answer with either him or the other RE who works in our area.  It’s just another example of how common IF is: of the 8 people in the room Saturday, it turned out that 6 of us had dealt with IF.  S remarked to me as she was leaving how she used to feel like she was the only one going through this, but recently she had met so many women who were in the same process she was.  Why, why, do we have to act like this is some secret!  Grrr. 

(Act III. Foreshadowing.)

You would think that all this togetherness would be enough for our local IF community, but you would be WRONG!  If you are in the North Alabama/Southern Tennessee area and would like to meet up with the rest of us, WAITT is meeting for dinner on Wednesday evening, April 25, at 6:00 pm at the Logan’s Steakhouse on University Drive in Huntsville, AL.  Come by and meet us!

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8 thoughts on “Infertile Gatherings

  1. Oh, I have so many comments! I was going to post about the SL party, but wanted to ask if it was ok with you first. However, then another friend sent me what I posted today, and I HAD to post that. I too found it ironic, how the talbes were turned. Not in a mean way of course, because we did include her in conversation and explain things. I hope people don’t get the imagine that we made her feel like crap. I think she must have gained a bit of insight from that conversation. Ok, at least I hope she did.

  2. SIL was fine — she hung around until a little after 9 that night. She knew we’ve been trying a while, so it was more of “hey, here’s exactly what’s going on” than anything else. And while she does say some outrageous things when we’re around friends and family, she’s always very considerate when we’re alone. We always seem to end up talking about baby plans/nursery furniture/how she’s feeling, so it wasn’t IF all night long.

  3. Okay, here’s where I get on my soapbox about IF and what’s causing it. I really think we need to be “loud and proud” about it (well, not proud, but very, very loud). So people realize that this is a much bigger problem than anecdotal evidence would suggest. I think the chemicals in our modern environment are destroying our fertility – and it will only get worse. Yes, yes, I know it sounds all tin-foil-hatty, but studies have shown that chemicals, plastics, etc. disrupt endocrine systems (of which our fertility is a part). I wish someone, anyone, would help connect the dots so we can get this stuff out of our food supply, our air and our water. End of crazy speech.

  4. It is so wonderful to see your outreach with WAITT. The good stuff that goes around will come around. I am still so hopeful for you and always wishing for you…

  5. I totally agree–all you have to do is bring up infertility, and all sorts of infertiles come out of the closet. Like Adrienne, I feel we need to be “loud and proud” about it. However, not every conversation or relationship lends itself to an infertility discussion. There are many people who don’t know about my problems, not because I’ve been necessarily hiding them, but because bringing it up would be rather awkward. Like, for example, at the scrapbooking party where everybody was talking about their babies. Talking about our difficulties would definitely have been a conversation-killer.

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