What is an infertility graduate? Well, an infertility graduate is like any other graduate, the main difference being that any other graduate isn't accustomed to wearing a gown that leaves your bare ass hanging out like an infertility graduate is.
Not everyone of course who is done with infertility and treatments considers themselves an infertility graduate. People tend to stop treatments for one of two main reasons:
Either they have the runs:
- We've run out of money.
- We've run out of patience.
- We've run out of time.
- We've run out of new options to try.
- We've run out of the emotional and physical strength to deal with it anymore.
Or the problem has been solved:
They got pregnant, stayed pregnant, and had a baby or two or three.
Those obviously are the infertility graduates. That's where things get tricky. How much of their happy story do people still going through it really want to hear? Do infertile people in infertility support groups respond by thinking: "Wow, she was struggling for a long time. Maybe there's still hope for me."?
Or do they think: "Yeah, okay, good for you, congratulations...bye."? Where's that fine line drawn between:
"Let's be happy for one of our own!" and "Great. Here's yet another person in my life who I have to put on a happy face and pretend I'm excited for. This is what I joined this group to get away from! She's not one of us anymore... Now she's one of them."
I convince myself that I'm okay to be an infertility graduate and still be part of all these groups and sites because I graduated a long time ago. I'm less emotionally attached to the outcome than I was 11 or 12 years ago. I can still put in my two cents of advice without mentioning my wind-up at all. But when people just have a baby and are glowing and gushing, even if it's been a long, bumpy road to get there.... who in one of these groups wants to hear that? I know you're excited and you want to tell the world and you're all caught up in the new baby hoopla... so it's hard...
I don't think anybody really glows and gushes to say: "I'm not one of you losers anymore. So long suckas!" You've shared a lot of emotions and heartache with these people over months or years and now you want to celebrate. I think people have to resist the temptation. The second you're an infertility graduate, the baby joy and delivery agony have already begun to chip away at your memory of how painful it was to hear about other people having babies when you couldn't and weren't sure if you ever would.
An infertility support group online or in person is a place for people not to be put in the same awkward situations that they find themselves in everywhere else. It's a safe place where you can trust that nobody is going to ever ask you to babysit, come to a baby shower, help them shop for maternity clothes, listen to their motherhood woes or look at endless pictures of their newborn.
So if you're lucky enough to be the valedictorian of your class of infertility graduates, maybe the most inspirational speech you can give to all those who will hopefully one day follow in your footsteps is one where you say nothing.
Thanks for stopping by! If you'd like more laughs at infertility's expense, please sign up for my bimonthly newsletter at the very top of my home page (http://laughingisconceivable.com) and take a look at my little eBook written about my own personal bout with infertility, IUI, IVF, FET, BA, BS, DVM, LOL... It's been downloaded by 1000s looking to de-stress from the needles, the bills, the spouse, the nurses, the waiting room, the receptionist etc etc... and is recommended by top fertility experts around the U.S. (see their comments in "Look Inside" on Amazon.) https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/ Available on all Amazons, Nook, & Kobo.