Fable of an Infertile Female: Waiting Rooms

I have visited this waiting room many times.  Many women and couples going through IVF.  It is no secret why you are there.  There are anywhere between 20-30 other people in the room.  Some people are thumbing nervously through magazines they could really care less about reading. Others are fidgeting or tapping their foot rapidly.  Some are playing games or reading books on their electronic devices.  Most are just staring down at the floor waiting for their name to be called for their blood work.

Each time it is the same.  Faces may change but the same expressions are apparent.  Nervousness, anxiety, fear, worry, resentment and anger are just some of the feelings that fill the room.  No one makes eye contact.  No one speaks.

On the last visit to the waiting room two friends were visiting.  One of them apparently had a son, and the other was there for IVF.  It was hard not to hear their conversation, since they were the only 2 in the room talking at a normal volume.  The woman with the son was talking about the latest things her son said or did that made her laugh.  She followed nearly every statement to her friend  with “if you get pregnant”.    Each time she told her friend “if you get pregnant” a few in the room would cringe, wiggle in their chairs, or sigh.   It was obvious the woman was trying to be supportive of her friend, but clearly did not understand what it was like to have fertility issues.

When we left, my husband pointed out how awkward it felt to have someone talking so loudly about their child in that waiting room.  It almost felt as though the woman was trying to inspire everyone to keep pushing forward by gloating about her child.

It occurred to me how many times I have witnessed someone putting a baby in the arms of a woman with fertility issues or talking about how wonderful it is to have a baby when the woman/couple is open to sharing what they are going through.  It is almost as if the person thinks that you will magically conceive a child if you are around babies.   It is like talking loudly to someone who speaks another language.  They are not deaf or hearing impaired, they just understand things differently.

Worst yet, is when you are trying to conceive and someone asks, “are you going to have kids?” or “you better get busy starting that family of yours, because your clock is ticking”.  People do not know what you are going through.  After my experience with infertility, I would advise people never ask the question. If your friend or family member is open to sharing this information with you, they will.  You just do not know what the person may or may not be going through to start that family.

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