Cringe Factor

News flash: the world is not designed for infertile people.

This should come as no surprise, seeing as how 90% of the population apparently has no problems in the baby-making department. The schoolyard rhyme doesn’t say First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes infertility and if you’re lucky THEN a baby carriage. For most people, there is a natural assumption that pregnancy will just happen when they’re ready for it and infertility isn’t even an issue until they’re gobsmacked with it themselves. So, it really shouldn’t be so shocking when those assumptions about pregnancy are BAM! – in yo FACE, suckaah, haha, you can’t get pregnant! But. But to an infertile, as innocuous they may seem, some of those perpetuated assumptions can make the skin crawl. Four kids later, this is still one of the things I can’t seem to completely shake off. Take, for example, these two skin crawlers from this weekend:

Friday night on Ace of Cakes Duff and the Charm City crew made a rather unique Georgetown Hoyas bulldog wedding cake. One year prior, they had made the couples’ engagement party cake. At the end of the show, Mary Alice (whose sarcastic wit I find amusing) mentioned that in another year, they would probably be making the newlyweds’ baby shower cake. In that moment, I wanted to tell dear Mary Alice exactly where she could shove her baby cake. I had the irrational thought that the 1-year prediction for a shower cake was a curse that may well have twisted Bride’s tubes or caused Groom’s seminiferous tubules to shrivel up and dry out.

Saturday I found myself somewhat bored and downloaded Dream Day First Home to play. It’s your run of the mill "I Spy" type of game where you have to locate hidden objects from a list in various scenes. This is the third edition in the series, its predecessors being Dream Day Wedding and Dream Day Honeymoon. All three games follow the same slap-happy couple, and in this game, they were working on renovating their new home. Each level passed in First Home allowed access to bonus games, and each win in the bonus games resulted in a gradual transformation of the dirty attic space into some other room. Each of the 12 bonus levels improved the space in some way. First the clutter was removed, then more of it. Then drywall was put up. Then a cheerful yellow paint was chosen and applied. You, dear Readers, no doubt can see where this is headed. I, for some dumbassed reason, did not. It wasn’t until the purple border with moons, stars, and teddy bears went up that it clicked for me. Well cover me in shit and call me a diaper, they’re going to have a baby!

What I would like to see is Dream Day Reproduction Sucks edition, with a hidden pictures scene of a trying-to-conceive-paraphernalia-cluttered bathroom – Find these items: 15 Clomid pills (because your ovaries suck so much that you’re up to 150mgs), a triphasic psych-out chart (those temps looked good for a minute but you knew it was all over once they dipped below cover), hCG trigger syringe, 5 negative pregnancy tests (no explanation necessary). Bonus level: find all the hidden dildocams in the RE Office scene and win a free cycle (with meds included!!!).

Despite being flanked by Jaiden and Jordan (Mommy, I found the thimble!) and Kaelyn swinging from my neck like a Monchichi, I still felt that surge of uncomfortable wrongness upon the realization of the attic’s conversion into a nursery.

Well hey – there goes one just now! Frank and I are watching the premeire of New Amsterdam and the bartender dude just said to the protagonist, "Well, when is it supposed to happen? When you kiss her? When you marry her? When you go to Lamaze with her?" The skin. It’s crawling.

What would happen if for just a day, the tables could be turned on the 90% and they could be the ones left with the skin crawlies? What if every IFer had just the right retorts at just the right moments and actually let them fly instead of biting them back?

You guys have been married for TWO YEARS – when are you ever going to have those babies?
I noticed that you’ve been dieting for two years – when are you ever going to actually going to fit those pants you’ve been squeezing yourself into?

If you just relax, it will happen.
I already am relaxed. Lucky for you, because if I wasn’t, I’d kick your ass right about now.

Why don’t you just adopt a baby?
Why do you ask? Are you putting yours up?

Maybe you just weren’t meant to have kids.
And maybe you WERE meant to just kiss my ass. Pucker up, buttercup. 

If I’m even in the same air space as my husband I get pregnant!
If I’m in the same air space as your husband I get nauseous.

Here’s one that’s personal to me. When I got pregnant with Kaelyn, i.e. baby #4, many colleagues naturally had a lot of assclown things to say about it. I’m sure they meant it all in good fun, but geez, did my skin crawl. My favorite was, "Dang, don’t you know what CAUSES that?" as if my pregnancy was the accidental result of a missed birth control pill (HA!). I just smiled blithely and shrugged my shoulders but what I thought was "It wasn’t caused by what YOU think, jack ass. Do you know what causes your stupidity?"

So I ask you, Readers from the IF community – what makes you cringe? A few folks from the surrogacy community read here – what common assumptions and assclown comments most make your skin crawl?

17 thoughts on “Cringe Factor”

  1. I think the worst one of all was when I had finally started a new cycle after about 80 days and I was bloated as all hell. Some lady in the bathroom who didn’t know me from Adam just boldly asked “When are you due?”. I just looked at her and said “I’m not pregnant” but what I really wanted to say was “You mean, when am I due to kick your ass? I’d say right now.” She pretty much ran out of the bathroom after that comment.

  2. Mama2BandT aka Maranda

    What I love is all the well meant but dumb ass comments from people…like don’t know you know how it happens…did you mean to get pg again so soon? (in reference to our second son) what is so funny is that 90%of these people know that I am married to another woman so i just would look sweetly and attempt an innocent expression (which is pretty tough for me if you know me) and say why no the doctor just slipped and accidently rammed the catheter up my cervix w/ the sperm that we’d puchased OOPSY guess I should be more careful! LOL dumbasses!

  3. Look, you owe me a new keyboard, ’cause all you proposed snappy comebacks to stupid remarks are making me spew coffee. You are completely hilarious, which is just one reason I’m thrilled I found your blog.

  4. Glad I could make you laugh, Niobe! Our keyboards must be fit for each other, because mine has donut crumbs jammed between the keys. 🙂

  5. As a surrogate, I get a lot of “why on earth would you want to do that?” and “how can you give up the babies that you carried for 9 months?” … Most people are sweet and supportive. This time around, I’m finding the ones who aren’t are the medical professionals I’m dealing with, which I find pretty disappointing! 🙁

  6. Amy, I’ve heard both. Last time I only had two people say really ignorant things. One was one of the cafeteria ladies at my school. The whole pregnancy she would say things to the nature of, “You’re going to want that baby at the end, just you watch.” Grrrr.
    Another teacher (who lacks all semblance of tact as it is) kept making comments about the financial factor: “Your bank account must be PADDED, now! Shoot, if I was younger I would have other people’s babies so I could make some extra money.” Wench.

  7. Wow, some of the comments that your commenters have gotten are horrible. I cringe when I hear women talking about scheduling their pregnancies to be at convenient times, or when a friend complained that it took them 3 months to get pregnant, because her husband was away from home the first two months. Gosh, must have been real tough for you.
    I love your responses.

  8. Hey, Ann! Aaaah yes…the “timing” factor. Your comment made me realize that “timing” has a completely different connotation for those who have no trouble conceiving. Timing for me means not waiting to do anything, then having to wait on my body to do something. Because of the hurry up and wait, that means no time to waste on “timing.”
    Have you guys recovered? Haven’t seen anything from you in a while!

  9. thanks for writing the comments and following my blog. It’s like a little present i get to open when the mailbox pops up!
    We’re still trying to keep positive thoughts, but now we are having to think about the 1st trimester screening for birth defects and such. I guess the worrying will never stop will it?
    Anyway, my most hated comment is probably when someone says (after you’ve had a miscarriage) “Well, that baby was not meant to be” What if we said the same about one of their children if they had died of something unexpected like pneumonia or whatever? Geeeeez!

  10. Eew, that’s a particularly nasty one on the cringe list, Suzie. How can anyone possibly thing that’s a comforting thought?

  11. Suzi what a horrible thing for anyone to say. I can’t imagine what it must be like to hear that. Good luck at your screening.
    Hi Moxie! The timing thing has been on my mind as I try to decide whether we’ll try again, because if we do, I should probably wean Zoe so that my body gets back (maybe) to something resembling normal, so we can get back to the hurry up and wait. We’ve all recovered from the nasty sickness, I’ve just been having difficulty finding something to write about – it’s like this long winter has sapped my voice (though obviously I found something to write in this comment – heh).

  12. The cringe factor is everywhere.
    Just yesterday I was at a physiotherapy class and the woman taking the class said that if you don’t want bladder problems you should just adopt or hire a surrogate.
    It really burned me, am thinking about complaining because surely I can’t be the ONLY infertile who’s been subjected to such shite?

  13. Just as an observation from a non-breeder. Kids aren’t the definition of your life. Not being able to have them is a GOOD thing! Suck it up and move on. You have no idea how much of a pain it is to deal with all of the contraceptive BS year in year out until eventually having to have invasive surgery just so you won’t get knocked up. Not to mention the occasional screw up and resulting annoyance of abortions. Such a pain.
    If you define your lives by self replicating, you really haven’t evolved beyond the level of a cockroach climbing a wall with an egg sack hanging out. Well done – you can procreate.

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