Now that I’ve made it to the other side, I will talk about my infertility journey with pretty much anyone who wants to listen. But when I was in it, especially the first time around, I kept pretty quiet.
Part of it had to do with the feelings of shame that I experienced early on. With each miscarriage, and with each passing month, I felt like a failure.
But there was another reason…
Everyone I told seemed to have the answer. In hindsight, many of those answers were actually fairly entertaining. But at the time, I wasn’t so easily entertained. I might have even been just a tad bitter with a bit of a short fuse. Maybe.
Now that I can look back at these little tidbits of wisdom from people who never experienced infertility and laugh, I thought I would share them with you.
Because while there isn’t anything funny about infertility, sometimes the infertility advice provided by friends and family is downright funny.
Do it EVERY day: Um, that’s not happening. Ever. Who are these married people who have sex every day? I am fairly certain that they are just a myth. I heard this gem a few times over, and it was always said with a huge grin. Every day? Really? Please tell me I’m not alone here…
Headstands: Yes, we’ve all heard about the legs in the air technique. And some of us might have even tried that. A few hundred times. But one helpful friend told me that the real trick is to practice more yoga so that I would be able to do an actual headstand. On my hardwood floors? After sex? Clothes or no clothes? This was just too much. I do love yoga, but under no circumstances can I do a headstand (especially naked and after sex).
Get drunk: As if I hadn’t already exhausted this strategy… People love to reference the fact that this is how teens get themselves in trouble. No such luck for these old eggs…I did keep trying that one though. What’s the downside, right?
Relax: My favorite advice ever! As if us infertiles can just hit a secret relaxation button and poof…the stress is gone. Not that I didn’t try. Acupuncture? Check. Exercise? Check. More water, less wine? Ok, maybe that’s where I drew the line. A girl has to have a vice, after all.
Eat fish: In our (much) younger days, Sean and I were vegetarians (I know, I can’t believe it either). This, of course, resulted in a lot of feedback about our infertility. More than one person hinted that Sean needed to eat more fish for the fatty acids…because miscarriage can be caused by sperm lacking in fatty acids? Not so sure about that one!
Take a vacation: Here’s the thing about vacations: They are meant to be relaxing (see above). Sometimes you can even leave your troubles behind for a few days and just check out. But when your troubles reside in, say, your uterus? Or your ovaries? Or both? It’s kind of hard to leave them behind. Besides, the vacation fund went toward infertility medications not covered by insurance.
Stop trying: I had more than one person tell me that I was trying to hard. That if I just stopped trying, I would be pregnant immediately and carry that baby to term without a problem. Solid advice. With one small exception…I don’t think that trying too hard is ever really to blame.
Track your cycle: Genius! Why on earth did I not think of this on my own??!!! They should invent some sort of test kit to let you know when you’re ovulating… Oh wait…they already did!
Get new lingerie: Apparently the real problem was my sleepwear. Who knew? I can’t believe I wasted all of that time trying to get pregnant when all I needed was a quick trip to Victoria’s Secret. Sigh. There should be a handbook clearly stating these rules of instant pregnancy.
Stop exercising: While I know that marathon runners and Olympians are at risk of problems with ovulation due to excessive exercise, I don’t think this truly affects the general population. Not. An. Olympian.
Did I at least get one laugh out of you today? Because I always have more…
Now it’s your turn to make me laugh. What’s the funniest infertility advice you’ve received so far?