When I was dealing with infertility, IUI, IVF, FET, M.D.s, R.N.s and R.E.s, I felt like I had no friends during the holidays. And frankly, that's the way I wanted it. Call it self-preservation. Why subject myself to being around people at a time when all they talk about, even more than the rest of the year, is… the kids? “I don’t know what to get for… the kids.” “We’re going to my mother’s with… the kids.” “We’re going to see Santa with… the kids.” (The only thing worse they can say in my opinion is “kiddos”. How annoying is that word?) I never felt bad about avoiding certain people around the holidays. Why should I? They probably didn’t want to be around me any more than I wanted to be around them. My friends knew what I was going through trying to get pregnant. So having me around them during the holidays, I’m sure a lot of them said to themselves: “Oh great. Here comes childless Lori. Maybe I should ixnay talking about the idkays” and then they’d get so caught up in their own holiday crappola that they would forget all about being sensitive and watching what they said and go full throttle into asking me to help them pick out toys and onesies. But that’s okay. Like I said, it was a two-way street. I think people dealing with infertility make a big mistake in believing that this is the time of year you really need your friends the most. Your infertility-friends, sure. But the rest of them? Are you kidding? For one thing, our friends are boring as hell at this time of year.
For example: Infertile or not, does anyone want to stand next to their friend for 20 minutes while they scroll through their phone to show you all of their kids’ holiday pictures? First, you’re just standing there like a jerk waiting for her to find them on her phone. Then you’ve got to look at every combination. Joey and Stella. Joey, Stella, and Lily. Joey and Lily. Stella and Lily. Just Lily. Just Lily in her Santa pajamas. Just Lily in her teddy bear pajamas. Just Joey in his Santa pajamas. Joey in his Santa pajamas and Stella in her elf pajamas. And you have to have a ready reaction for every stinking photo while trying not to reuse any: “Cute!” “Sweet!” “Awww.” By the 9 minute mark, you’re thinking about giving up on the whole IVF thing. Who wants kids anyway if this is what it’s going to be like? After 14 minutes, you’re thinking about getting your tubes tied. 16 minute point, you’re picturing yourself as a nun whether or not you’re Catholic. As you excitedly realize that she has finally, at long last, reached the final photo, your mind has regained its proper focus and you just want to take the scissors away from the wrapping paper and plunge them into her neck.
At least if they have the old-fashioned camera print photos, they typically just hand the massive stack over to you. So even if they’re looking over your shoulder so they can narrate every photo, you usually can get away with looking at only every third one by “inadvertently” moving a few that “stuck together” to the bottom of the pile at the same time.
And anyway, have you seen the shape of your friends lately? They’re not a pretty sight at this time of year. They’re running around, clothes disheveled, hair a mess, yesterday’s Target popcorn out of their pocketbooks, frantically mumbling to themselves: “One more store! Just one more store! I know I can get it cheaper! Or maybe online! I shouldn’t have bought that stupid thing for Stella. Now she has 6 things and Joey and Lily only have 5. What was that toy called? I know it must still be available somewhere!”
Geez look at her. I don't even want to go near her. So, right, my friends didn’t want to be around me during the holiday season. Well, as luck would have it, I didn't want to be around them either. I didn’t go within a hundred yards of any friends. (I'd say fifty yards, but my normal speaking voice tends to carry without me really trying.) Who really wants to be near all of that stress, exhaustion, frustration and financial freak-outs? Wow. I never realized how much infertility and holiday shopping had in common.
Thanks a lot for stopping by! I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. This holiday season, give the gift of laughter to someone going through infertility, or yourself, or someone in your life who really doesn’t “get it” which would also be a gift to yourself. https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/