At my consultation with my new RE (I feel so officially infertile now!) she told me to not feel intimidated on my cycle day 3 appointment when I walk in and find fifty other women sitting in the waiting room at 7AM. It seemed funny and a little obnoxious, until I walked in on Day 3 and holy shit she meant fifty women.
It’s a strange feeling to be sitting in a room full of fellow Infertiles when nobody wants to talk about it – like meeting someone who looks like your identical twin and no one says a damn word. Sure, let’s NOT address the fact that for all intensive purposes, we’re the same person. Like, hellooooo – where’s the table of bagels being swarmed by hormone-fueled women and the rotating list of who’s on mimosa duty?! We could all sit and sip as a group while hold-my-beer-ing each other, one upping on the “shit that’s wrong with me” scale. Instead, we wait in silence while our struggles stare back at us from tens of different faces. Couples quietly bowing their heads as they whisper about upcoming procedures, lone women knotting their fingers, all while I’m itching to turn to the Infertile next to me and say, “So, what are you in for?” We’re all prisoners of our own bodies here, might as well share with people who are equally frustrated with their reproductive organs.
Not including a sign-up sheet for cycle buddies at the RE seems like a real missed opportunity. You know that the women you’re sitting with are local, you know that you’re on the same schedule, and you know that they’re just as over this BS as you are. Why aren’t we swapping numbers and planning weekly brunches? They say that people are more likely to bond over something they hate, so: infertility is my nemesis – and the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Let’s get together to build friendships based on medications that play with our emotions and the dream to one day not be violated by an ultrasound machine. We should make t-shirts and have a secret handshake and a bitchin’ code name (even though I’m partial to The Infertiles, regardless of its lack of subtly).
Since Mocktails and Mimosas is never going to be a thing at my RE’s office, I’ve moved on and managed to make some behind the screen friends (my favorite kind of social interaction: none!) and I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s been a game changer. You may not think that you’re in need of a fellow one-in-eighter to share inappropriate fertility memes with, and who will proclaim, “Best sex you ever had?!” after each IUI, but there are few key reasons why an Infertile (or another TTConceiver) is the best friend that you didn’t even know you needed:
- Nothing is TMI because everything is TMI. No more blushing as you talk about morphology with friends, or including a disclaimer with every infertility conversation that you start (WARNING: this is probably gross and you don’t want to hear it BUT I NEED TO TELL SOMEONE HOW MUCH EWCM I HAD THIS MONTH!). Welcome to the circle of friendship where it’s weird if you’re not oversharing. Tell us about that lining thickness, bitch about the drugs, and don’t leave out the size of those follies!
- Um, hello – someone who ACTUALLY gets it! Need I say more? Forget about sighing as you have to explain what “Clomid does exactly” and why HSGs are the things that nightmares are made of – now you’re walking into a club where everyone’s cheersing ironically to “vag suppositories…amiright?!” and who are all in the middle of laugh-crying about how freaking ridiculous this all is. These are your people – they’re ready to vent about how peeing in cups is damn near impossible and how peeing on sticks is even more emotional than a Fixer Upper home reveal. When you’re sharing with someone who has been through the same hell as you, at the end of the day a “girl, I hear ya” might be just what you need.
- Someone’s rooting for you, even when you can’t root for yourself. We’re our own worst critics, even (ESPECIALLY) when it comes to our uterus’, so it’s important to enlist someone who can assure you that your baby-maker is healthy and cooshy and will (soon!) make the best little home. And if you’re a walking ball of negativity like I so proudly am, then you’ll suddenly start sprouting positivity like polyps because now you have a friend to cheer on (and let’s be honest, we’re the tad bit happier for our not-so-fertile pals). It gives you all those good feels when you find out your IUI buddy is late or has the most beautiful two pink lines you’ve ever seen.
I hope each woman has a friend or cousin or faceless online comrade who they can complain and cry to throughout these days, because I don’t have the lady balls to create a pull-tag sheet with my contact info to start the Infertile Sunday Fundays. Instead, I’ll sit here in the shared silence – cyst-free, pumped full of Letrozole – while glancing at each of my Infertile peers’ faces and thinking I hope I don’t see you here next month. Now…who’s on mimosa duty?