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Do We Judge Fellow Infertile People Harsher?

I was emailing with a friend, and one of the points we touched on is do we expect more from others who have been through infertility or loss.  They know the emotional position we’re in, so do we expect them to rise to the occasion: to use the right words, to deliver the message in the gentlest way?

Because let’s be frank; we are annoyed by outsiders using the wrong terminology within adoption, but we are enraged when insiders say the same thing.  We roll our eyes when our great aunt tells us all we need to do is relax and we’ll get pregnant, but we would be angry if a fellow infertile woman suggested that our problems could be solved with a vacation.  We expect our infertile friends to deliver pregnancy announcements well — though we don’t have a standard definition of “well.”  It mostly involves being discreet, respectful, not posting 100 sonogram pictures each day.

It was something to think about.  There have only been three pregnancy announcements that have upset me (at least, that I can remember), and all three came from fellow infertile women.  I wonder now if it was what they said and the way they said it, or if it was the fact that I believed they should have been able to put themselves in my shoes and give me the information better.

Would I have found the thoughtless way the news was delivered permissible from someone outside the experience?  Would I have maybe rolled my eyes instead of cry?

But really, what is the point in sharing information at all if it doesn’t grant us a little empathy?  I mean that with fellow infertile women that we share our journeys with as well as all the people we open up to along the way.  What is the point in knowing these intimate details of each other’s lives if not to help us know how to support one another?  Isn’t that why we share our stories with other people — so they will be sensitive when we need them to be sensitive?

What do you think?  Do you expect more from fellow infertile women (and men)?  Or, beyond that, anyone you share the intimate details of your life with?  And is it fair to do so; to expect more?


1 Maria { 12.13.11 at 7:43 am }

Abso-friggin’-lutely, I expect more sensitivity from fellow infertiles. I once had a fellow IF friend who berated me after she got pregnant, because I didn’t ask enough questions about her pregnancy (how are you feeling, do you have symptoms, do you feel movement, are you going to find out the sex, etc). In fact, we are no longer friends because of it. I totally expected her to not expect those questions from me. Neither one of us was wrong and neither was right….it just was what it was. But, I do know from that experience that I expect fellow IFers to increase their sensitivity 1000-fold over the layperson; or even above those I’ve shared my infertility with….they still don’t “get it” quite like an infertile does. Am I “right”? I don’t know…..it’s just how I feel.

2 missohkay { 12.13.11 at 8:01 am }

I think so. Back when the pretending-you’re-pregnant-for-breast-cancer-awareness meme was going around, I was maddest about a fellow infertile who participated. I just expected her to feel about FB pregnancy announcements the way that I feel about them and to avoid the meme accordingly.
I also expect people “in the know” about my situation to behave better than they do – sounds like a great idea for a blog post of my own! I’ll let you know if I write one 🙂

3 Tara { 12.13.11 at 8:12 am }

No, I don’t treat the ones I know more harshly; quite the opposite, I treat them with a great deal of compassion and empathy (perhaps more than I thought I was able). Perhaps I’ve been lucky to have not been exposed to some of the conduct you’ve described. (I have also essentially stopped reading Facebook to avoid status updates which will upset me out of the blue).
I have a friend who is now expecting #2 after many, many years of trying (indeed, far more years than I think I could expect to hold hope for). I ask her only about generalities of her current pregnancy and she doesn’t offer the specificis. She does ask me lots of questions about how I am doing, and supports me with her advice and experience.

Though they don’t bother or upset him, my spouse has learned not to share every home video or photo of our 6 month old niece that my sister-in-law sends (you know, the one who decided to get pregnant on a whim and thus successfully did so in a month). So, in his own way, he’s figured out how to be supportive of me.

4 HereWeGoAJen { 12.13.11 at 8:39 am }

I think I do expect more from my fellow ALIs, but I think that is because of past experience. They’ve always BEEN better than your average person. In fact, I have been thinking back and I can’t think of any time that someone who “knows” has said something awful to me. That has all come from people who don’t get it.

5 niobe { 12.13.11 at 9:17 am }

At this point, I think I probably expect less from people who’ve had similar experiences.

Mostly because they tend to believe that similar = identical and, often, they have the most trouble seeing that others (meaning me) might have different reactions.

6 tara { 12.13.11 at 9:23 am }

expect more, yes but I *know* it’s unrealistic. As a woman in the sciences & academics, I am constantly emotionally surprised by how sexist women are to other women… but I’m not rationally surprised. I just can’t seem to explain that to my emotions though.

7 Stephanie { 12.13.11 at 9:26 am }

Hmmmm…I think that I do expect more from fellow IFs, at least in terms of pregnancy announcements. In my experience, the over-the-top pregnancy announcements in the staff room don’t come from people who’ve struggle with infertility, because they understand the struggle and conflicted feelings. I would certainly NEVER make a big deal of a pregnancy announcement. I probably wouldn’t have before either, but for different reasons…mainly because I don’t like being the centre of attention. I wouldn’t have thought to be low-key and gentle because other women were struggling until I struggled myself. It’s amazing how clueless I was before I set down on this path myself. That said, I didn’t say stupid stuff like “you should just relax”. I just…didn’t think about it at all.

8 Hope { 12.13.11 at 9:55 am }

I don’t know if I expect more from people in the ALI community as a whole, I probably do, to some extent. But in my life and in my blogging, I tend to assess what I can expect of each individual, and then choose how much to interact with them, based on that assessment. It’s only if someone is totally out of character for *themself* that I get blindsided. I also try to tell the people I’m closest to, the ones I really lean on for support, exactly what I want and need from them. And I don’t bother spending much time with people I don’t have the type of relationship with where I can tell them what I want/need and expect them to actually try to give me that. But then, I’m an introvert, and my life feels full as long as I have a small handful of close friends.

9 Gail { 12.13.11 at 10:05 am }

I do expect more sensitivity and understanding from fellow infertiles, but IRL the infertiles that I know have rarely given that to me. My SIL suffered from PCOS and other issues for a number of years before she got married to my BIL. In fact, they often joked that they likely wouldn’t be able to have kids and would just have to save up their money to adopt from China. They even referred to their future child as Ming-lei. Then, they got married and got pregnant within 3 months. And, they decided to start trying for #2 a few months ago and got pregnant on the first try. Yet, she doesn’t understand, empathize or seem to care about the fact that my husband and I have been trying for 2 1/2 years (longer than them) and that I haven’t been able to get pregnant no matter what we do. She makes insensitive comments all the time and I no longer consider her a friend. We used to be close and shared all sorts of stuff, but we have grown apart which has made it hard to build a relationship with our young niece and soon-to-arrive nephew. I expected more from her. I expected her to be more sensitive and caring of others going through what she thought she would go through, but that didn’t happen.

10 loribeth { 12.13.11 at 10:14 am }

I know I expect more… although I have most certainly been disappointed. The thing I struggle with most, I think, is how many of my friends who have been through infertility &/or loss but go on to have other children (biologically or through adoption) — who make thoughtless comments to dh & me, such as “You want to take him/her?” when their kid is acting up. (Actual frequent quote from a couple who used to facilitate our support group with us. You would think they, of all people, would know better. Sadly not.)

11 Toni { 12.13.11 at 10:28 am }

Yes I do. But that doesn’t mean I ever expected anyone to be perfect. Just because you’re in the know doesn’t mean you’re going to know the absolute right thing to say every time. But it should mean that you’ll avoid all of the ignorant, clueless comments that come from people who have no understanding of infertility at all. There should be a level of sensitivity there that you wouldn’t find elsewhere.

When I got my BFP, I felt a certain responsibility to my readers and those still trying. I knew what it was like to read of a pregnancy announcement, an infertile or not, and I also knew what it was like to have someone you read every day suddenly cross into this new world. So I don’t just expect more from others who’ve been touched by infertility, I expect more from myself. Getting pregnant and having a baby doesn’t suddenly erase the past. You really got to wonder about those who pretend it never happened.

12 Molly { 12.13.11 at 10:36 am }

I do expect more, I admit it. I think the difference is in the details–letting me know ahead of time (to avoid the big announcement, immediately followed by everyone looking at me to gauge my reaction) and generally not continuous complaining about fatigue and morning sickness–there are plenty of other people to talk to about that. I have found an interesting trend, though–toward telling me how hard it is to do labor/delivery/breastfeeding with the caveat “I’m just being *honest*” and usually a comment about how adoption is easier. Very strange, indeed. I do try to take the long view–eventually my situation will be on a normal plane and I would like some friends on The Other Side, so I try to let it go. Try, anyway.

13 Jess { 12.13.11 at 10:42 am }

I just wrote about something similar! A hurtful comment from an IF couple, I felt should know better! http://alittleblogaboutthebiginfertility.wordpress.com/2011/12/10/the-point-of-new-return/

14 Elizabeth { 12.13.11 at 11:01 am }

I think Niobe hit on something important.

15 serenity { 12.13.11 at 11:20 am }

I do expect more from a former IF, yes. But I realize, too. A lot of my IF friends who have gone on to complete their families can’t win with me. If they complain how hard of an adjustment it is, they’re insensitive. If they talk about how lucky they are, they’re insensitive.

The problem with IF is that it always hurts, no matter what. It’s MY baggage, my issue, which hurts me when they say something insensitive. I try and keep that in mind at all times; generally people MEAN well, they want to help FIX your pain. Which is impossible.

Easier said than done for sure, but it’s how I approach my life, especially lately.


16 Eggs In A Row { 12.13.11 at 11:48 am }

I totally see what Serenity said. It’s like they are damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

17 Deathstar { 12.13.11 at 11:56 am }

I do in a way. I supported a woman through a difficult time when her IVF was unsuccessful and again through her 2nd attempt. She was successful the 2nd time (with twins) and then she promptly forgot that I was still infertile. I kept getting invites to her kids’ birthday parties, I listened to her while she had post partum depression (all the while I prayed to have post partum anything). I had another infertile friend who was with me through every step through my first IVF to promptly drop me when it failed me and left me out of the loop when she attempted IVF. I was so hurt that I couldn’t be there for her. Years later, we reconnected and then I found out the details. I have learned not to take things personally anymore, but at the time it really hurt.

18 The Cornfed Feminist { 12.13.11 at 12:33 pm }

I wonder if we’re so used to hearing that stuff from fertiles that it just comes out of our mouths without even thinking about it. As an infertile woman I’ve caught myself thinking “Just relax” or “Just adopt” at a woman when I know nothing about her situation. I don’t know if that’s an instinctual response or if I’m repeating what I’ve heard because I’m a sheep. I also know that I’ve accidentally enabled people to marginalize chemical pregnancy because I’ve pretended that it wasn’t a big deal for me. I’m going to stop doing that now.

19 JDragonfly { 12.13.11 at 12:44 pm }

The problem with expectations is that they change… At times while TTC I wanted people to treat me tenderly and with extra sensitivity. At other times, it really pissed me off when I felt like someone was treating me differently, like they were patronizing me. Based on my experience, now that we’ve finally conceived, I’m aware that a comment from me that may feel supportive to someone at one minute might be really painful to her at another. How do you know what thing to say when?

I try to be sensitive – both to those I know are struggling with IF and to those whose struggles I’m unaware of… Like, I don’t FB every detail of my pregnancy. But, in some ways I think that my sensitivity to others is depriving me of some of the (unconstrained) joys of pregnancy that fertiles get to experience. Once you’ve been there, though, I think it’s cruel not to think about how fellow IFers will feel about what you say and do. So, whatever I may be missing out on, it’s worth it to me to spare them the pain I sometimes felt as a result of a careless word.

20 Eve { 12.13.11 at 12:56 pm }

Yes, Serenity, here here! Damned each way with me I think. Frankly, it really all depends on where I am in my own emotional space. Even after having two of my own children, I still find myself some days bristling at joyous pregnancy announcements (especially early ones) or getting agitated at the whole “I’m just fertile myrtle” kind of talk. But other days those things don’t get to me. I have a friend who lost a child, though, and I do hold her to a higher standard for understanding my own loss…unfortunately, it has put a rift between us because she just hasn’t performed up to my expectations. In the long run, though I have never been let down by responses in the ALI community…I’ve been comforted in my low times and celebrated with in my high times…and I often wish that I had the same experience with my RL friends.

21 geochick { 12.13.11 at 1:39 pm }

I actually I think I’m hardest on people closest to me who I’ve attempted to educate again and again. I only have one other friend in state who is also infertile and she totally gets it. My firends on the other hand whom I’ve told time and time again that adopting does NOT mean I’ll get pregnant? I’m ready to kick them to the curb.

22 jjiraffe { 12.13.11 at 5:07 pm }

Huh. Tricky topic. I don’t have any IRL friends who are infertile (either that, or they keep quiet, which, ??? as I am an open book about IF) so my ALI bloggers are my peeps. There was one time that a blogger who had gone through infertility really offended a number of me and my buddies with a post about motherhood and I blogged about it and kind of took her to task about it. I don’t know if it did any good: I know I hurt her feelings but she did seem to become more sensitive at least in the aftermath.

The truth is, my post made me feel like a jerk. I probably would have just done an eye roll if I’d seen the post elsewhere, but because the blogger had gone through infertility, I expected much, much more from her. I guess because I have no one in my life who understands, I expect to be able to read ALI bloggers and feel good, or nod my head in understanding. I’m not sure, though, that this is right.

23 Marissa { 12.13.11 at 6:04 pm }

I’ll be honest and say that when I hear someone *who actually did IVF* say “and we implanted 2 embryos” or “we froze 3 eggs (when they mean embryos)”, I get pretty irritated.

As far as the emotional stuff, yes, I also expect more from IFers. I understand we’re all human and we all make mistakes, but I really do feel like some “grads” do their best to either forget or ignore everything about IF. I’m much less willing to say, “I’m sure she means well, but it really hurts” with someone who battled IF than to say, “She really should know better”.

24 stephanie { 12.13.11 at 6:25 pm }

I never know what to think. When I was trying to get pregnant, I would take every “Oh man, today was hard for reason xyz” as an insult. I wanted a child so bad that it was hard for me to read a complaint. Except, now I am on the other side of the fence and sometimes I want to complain a little bit. But I don’t do it. For fear of offending someone: a fellow IFer, my children, my husband. I want to kvetch, but I want more to appear like not an asshole, so I don’t.

25 Courtney { 12.13.11 at 6:34 pm }

I do expect more from them because it is hard to roll my eyes at their announcements and pictures like I do with fertiles. The problem I’ve found is often how soon they forget what it was like to be infertile. My friend tried for several years for a baby, finally got pregnant through repeated IUI’s, then bam is pregnant a year later with another with no help. This time there was no letting me know discreetly that she was expecting instead I had to learn about it on Facebook like everyone else. It upset me. Now that I have adopted most people assume that I got what I wanted (a child) and that I’m over the infertile stuff. I’ll never be over it. It will always be a part of me and I expect others who have gone through it with me to remember and recognize it as needed. I would do the same for them.

26 It Is What It Is { 12.13.11 at 6:48 pm }

It’s not that I expect MORE from fellow infertiles as much as it is that I don’t expect much from fertiles when it comes to sharing their pregnancy news. And, because I expect that fellow infertiles ‘get it”, I probably cut them even more latitude because if I share with a fellow infertile that they chose the wrong word or maybe didn’t say what they meant, they almost always immediately get it without defense. But, try to tell a fertile the same thing and I am met with excuses and defense and justification or am told, subtly or not, that I’m too sensitive.

And, even I, an infertile to the core, sometimes stick my own foot in it navigating the newer waters of family creation or building that go beyond own egg/own sperm IVF and into gestational carriers using donated eggs/donated sperm or even donated embryos. I don’t think we’ve fully meted out the what’s what. However, intention goes a long way, so if one’s approach is well intended, even if they don’t get it quite right, there is usually a happier ending.

27 a { 12.13.11 at 8:22 pm }

Well, here’s where a generally pessimistic view of people comes in handy…when people do something nice, I am pleasantly surprised. When people are not nice, I am not really surprised. Have low expectations of everyone – you’ll never be disappointed. 🙂

I also don’t think you can classify fellow infertiles as people who “get it.” I was talking to a woman who would swear she was infertile – I’m not sure what problems she had, but her doctor put her on Clomid precautionarily to have her second child when her first was just about 2. She was going on and on about her troubles (she was actually on Clomid for about 3 seconds before she got pregnant) in front of me (too old, broken eggs, bad system), a girl who lost a baby at 20 weeks, has a 4 year old and hasn’t been able to get pregnant again, and another girl who had a miscarriage after almost a year of trying for her second. She might actually be infertile, but she certainly didn’t get the idea of struggle at all…unless you count not getting what you want immediately as a struggle. I felt the need to shoot her down, which is probably insensitive of me. (But I never claim to be sensitive)

28 Her Royal Fabulousness { 12.13.11 at 8:47 pm }

I think it all depends on who it is coming from. In general, pg announcements are hard. But whether the friend is an IFer or not, I expect them to not become a completely different person, aka the Preggo Monster. I just want them to be tactful and remember to not let the pregnancy become the center of EVERY comment. I have seen both IFers and non IFers be guilty of that.

29 Trinity { 12.13.11 at 9:42 pm }

My initial thoughts echo serenity’s and JDragonfly’s… I do hold IFers to a higher standard, and that is largely because they set that standard–they have historically, for me, brought up the average, so to speak. I’ve been spoiled by this, so when another IFer commits a fertile faux pas, the reverb is especially strong.

I expect that I’ve likely written things in my blog that may have been perceived as insensitive to my IF peers, but it’s a tricky road to walk. Blogging has become far more complicated now that I am parenting. My child is nearly a year old, and I STILL gnash my teeth and wonder if mentioning a trip to the pumpkin patch or discussing first birthday party plans will hurt someone. I STILL feel like a piece of shit when I reference feeling sleep deprived… Do I not write about those things for fear of them stinging someone? But is this–parenting as an infertile–not also a part of my infertility journey? Isn’t it relevant? It’s hard. I suppose it *is* entirely how you present it.

In all fairness, I must own that I dwell in a double standard of sorts: I hope that my IF peers can grant me a little grace when I talk about pregnancy and/or parenting, but I am finding it hard to extend the same amount of grace to my blog friends who are expecting or are parenting their second child.


30 Esperanza { 12.13.11 at 11:53 pm }

I absolutely hold ALI/IFers to a higher standard. I expect them to be sensitive to other IFers, ESPECIALLY when it comes to pregnancy announcements, pregnancy and parenting.

At the same time, I do not extend that to what they cover on their blogs. I think an IFer should be able to approach their blog in whatever way they want, even when they’ve crossed the divide. Most won’t go über-fertile all over the place anyway but if they wanted to, that is their prerogative. I, or anyone else, can step away if I want to. But when it comes to pregnancy announcements or emails or anything else that involves one-on-one correspondence I do expect more understanding and tact than from a fertile. After all, haven’t they been there? Shouldn’t they know better? I believe they should, though I concede that I could be setting my standards too high. It’s happened before and probably will happen again. 😉

31 Lynn { 12.14.11 at 8:03 am }

Very interesting topic! I must admit, there is a difference for me with IFers IRL and IFers in blogland. I have a lot more patience and empathy for those experiencing IF that I know through blogging. Those who are in my day-to-day life (my sister, a former co-worker) I expect much more from and am constantly disappointed in. I think the reason for this is that I find myself more jealous of them. I also have little patience with the fertiles in my day-to-day life for the same reason. Any pregnancy announcement or talk of motherhood from these people really sets me on edge.

Those I know through blogging I find myself feeling joy for when I hear a pregnancy announcement. I can honestly say I don’t remember having felt anger, bitterness or resentment over a pregnancy announcement of a fellow online IFer. As I said earlier, the same cannot be said for those I know IRL or the fertiles I’ve heard these announcements from.

Apart from the jealousy aspect, I’m not really sure what the difference is. I know that, should we ever actually have a pregnancy announcement, while I hope I’ll be sensitive to my fellow IFers, I’m pretty sure that after the 8 years (or however it is at that point) we’ve tried without ever having a positive HPT, I’m going to be shouting it from the roof. It’s not that I don’t have sympathy for others who are experiencing IF, it’s just that, for me, it will be a HUGE deal. It will be the most exciting, amazing, wonderful, miraculous thing that has ever happened to me and I’ll want to share that with the people I love and appreciate. It won’t mean I’m not sympathetic to what you’re going through, it will simply mean that my joy is so overflowing that I won’t be able to keep it in or keep it tamped down. I hope that, after the initial shock wears off, I’d be able to come back to earth and be more reserved about it, but initially….all bets would be off. I think that’s how a lot of those getting a BFP after struggling feel.

32 Julie { 12.14.11 at 8:16 am }

I think sometimes we make the mistake of believing that a common experience means a shared flavor of humanity, when in fact, infertility happens to assholes, too. Infertility changes people, sure, but sometimes it doesn’t change the ones who most need changing.

33 Gee { 12.14.11 at 11:18 am }

I try not to, but I am a little disappointed when a blog I enjoyed following immediately switches to all-preggo-talk-all-the-time mode after getting knocked up. It’s like, I liked you for other reasons than just IF, now that you’re pregnant I won’t mind if you post something besides a weekly status update on your pregnancy symptoms.

34 Mali { 12.15.11 at 5:45 am }

This is a really interesting question. I think it is an issue of ignorance versus insensitivity. When a fertile says or does something that might be upsetting, it is slightly easier to forgive them, because they haven’t experienced what we have, and haven’t been on the receiving end of the comments, looks, attitudes etc. They’re ignorant of our sensitivities. But when an infertile, who has experienced this – and sometimes especially an articulate blogger who has discussed these very issues – behaves in the same way, in a way that would have upset them only weeks or months earlier, then it is harder to understand the insensitivity.

35 kateanon { 12.15.11 at 6:26 pm }

I think Mali hit the nail on the head. You expect them to know better. To have already had a similar experience and therefore, they should be aware that what they’re sharing could hurt. So, you want them to proceed with caution.

36 Kir { 12.17.11 at 10:45 am }

Yes, as wrong as I think it is in the final analysis , I do expect from other IF women(and men). I want them to have a higher consciousness with the pangs of being IF. I hate to admit that I get on a soapbox more often than I should becuase of it…but for the people in my life that know about our struggles I expect more from them too..to be sensitive to other IFs they may meet.

I know we all have moments where we say something we wish we could take back or send out in a better, gentler way but that’s being human and you have to be tolerant of that too…people are going to make mistakes…but I do wish they do it minimally and have some respect for the struggle and heart of the person listening.

37 Bea { 12.18.11 at 7:05 am }

Yes, I expect more, and yes, I think it’s fair. I expect someone with a degree in veterinary science to know more about healing animals than the average person on the street, for that matter. It’s pretty much the same.

But I think at the same time you have to be careful with exactly what you expect. A little humility and sensitivity, a little slack when taking in your reaction, these things are reasonable. Not so reasonable is to expect them to know exactly what pushes your buttons or precisely what you need. They have knowledge and experience in their own infertility, not yours. They know generally that it’s hard, but they don’t know how you prefer to respond to this hardship. To return to my earlier analogy, you can’t expect a dog vet to know a lot more than anyone else about how to treat a fish.

So more? Yes, sure. “More”. But I think expecting anything too specific is a little unfair.


38 Dr Spouse { 12.19.11 at 1:43 am }

Absolutely. And I refer you to this post
about the Couple Known As Holiday Pregnancy Couple.

39 Brittany { 12.21.11 at 10:24 am }

I think there is absolutely a standard that we hold our fellow IF’ers to when they cross over to the other side. But with that said, I think once you do “cross over” there is a standard that is held as well. A community that was so supportive during your IF struggles suddenly becomes non-existent, leaving that person who has crossed over feeling alone and abandoned. Because let’s face it. Those who don’t understand someone who goes through infertility treatment won’t understand a person whose gone through infertility treatment and gotten pregnant, either. While there is some sensitivity that absolutely needs to be portrayed by the newly pregnant person, I haven’t quite figured out yet why we are so quick to abandon those who HAVE gone through all of this, and then been successful. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is a right answer for either side. It’s human nature to judge one another, no matter how bad we don’t want to be that person.

40 Cat { 12.21.11 at 12:41 pm }

I think that if the whole IF experience *doesn’t* make someone more sensitive to others, then something went wrong. Just the other day, I was chatting with my sister-in-law about adoption, which at the moment was a hard thing for her. And as we were chatting, I asked her if she wanted to change the subject — I was happy to talk about something else! She said no, that it was all right, that I was just sensitive after everything I had been through.

And you know what? She’s right! We ALL need to learn from our experiences and translate them to whatever situation we are in — IF-related or not!

As per your post, I guess I would try not to judge someone else too harshly about it, but I sure as heck don’t want to be *that person* myself, which is perhaps more to the point.

41 Chris { 12.21.11 at 1:33 pm }

Oh My, this is quite an intense topic. I am almost to afraid to even comment. We should all try to extend some love and grace in both directions (fertile/infertile) and if you can’t be happy for someone else, that really is tragic and I am afraid that they are damned if they do or damned if they don’t. Love your friends were they are and leave the judgements for God.

42 Nicole { 12.21.11 at 4:41 pm }

Absolutely to both the questions you posed at the end of this post. We should certainly be able to expect more tact within the IF community- that is a great deal of the appeal which draws us to it. And we should be able to expect more tact from those non-IFers with whom we share our experience. If I know you well enough to share with you my deepest, hardest burden and the raw emotions that result from it… our relationship goes beyond the boundaries that would excuse tactless behavior. If you know about my struggle with IF, you should know how and want to cause the least degree of pain possible (when pain is necessary, ie: pregnancy announcement). You don’t share with a friend your insecurities, let’s say weight or skin or hair or whatever… and then not expect that friend to both build you up in that regard AND help defend you against the tactless comments from others.
Very good post though! Read about from Katie at “from IF to when”

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