Infertility Transparency. Tell them everything. No secrets. CEOs and politicians talk about transparency all the time. Let the people know everything that's going on. I think people struggling to get pregnant should have the same policy: Infertility Transparency. The people in our lives-family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances, coworkers think they want to know everything about our infertility. I think we should tell them. We should tell them all. We should tell them everything. And I mean everything. If that doesn't get rid of them...
So next time you visit, shall we say, your mother-in-law, before she starts in on the "When are you going to make me a grandma? I'm not getting any younger you know" (Yeah, no kidding)... Perhaps cut her off and start this conversation:
"And then they gave your son a specimen cup like they give you for a urine sample. But they don't need urine of course. They need his sperm and there's really only one way to get it. So he goes into this private room with his cup and a magazine. He actually brought his own old magazine--wow I just realized-- he said it was the one he had under his mattress when he lived in that room right there... What a coincidence. I'm right here telling you this story and we're standing not eight feet away from where he kept that magazine for like six years. Anyway... he takes the cup into a private room and "reads" his magazine... Did you ever know that he was ambidextrous? I mean he writes lefty and eats lefty but... anyway... It turns out you were wrong about what you told him when he was fourteen--it can't possibly make him blind. We've been through this four times already and he's still only mildly myopic like he's always been."
Well, that takes care of your mother-in-law. Doubt if she'll ever bring up the subject again. I'm sure she left the room appalled when you spilled the specimen cup details. You probably told the entire magazine monologue to the kitchen cabinets.
So, now that you've begun to experience how freeing it is to be so open about your infertility escapades, who else around the house tonight might benefit from your new-found infertility transparency policy?
Your father-in-law naturally. Na, he doesn't want to know. Not from you anyway... Your mother-in-law will tell him later. Maybe she'll give him the Disney version (though I'm not sure what the Disney version of that story would be.) Maybe she'll just say how disrespectful you were to her. Either way, you win: 1) You won't be there to hear it and 2) Neither of them will probably ever ask you when you're going to give them grandchildren ever again.
So who's next? How about some neighbors? They always seem interested in why you're not pregnant yet. Let the infertility transparency opportunity knock and see who answers, shall we?
"Hi Michelle. Remember the other day at the mailbox when you came across the street to ask me if I was pregnant yet? And I just gave you the short answer: 'Nope' and ran into my garage? I don't want you to think l was blowing you off so let me fill you in now. You might want to put down that laundry basket. It looks kind of heavy. Well, that day I went to the doctor to have them check my uterine lining. So I'm wearing nothing but a paper gown with the back open and my mole is pressing right against the examination table... You know about that mole I have on my right cheek don't you? Well the whole time, my legs are flying high in the air in a "v" shape. It always reminds me of when I was a cheerleader. What's with the look? I'm talking about doing splits during the games. What did you think I meant? Anyway... There's only one way to check my uterine lining. You guessed it. They take a flashlight thing with I think a condom on it and put it up there and have a little laser light show in my uterus. They could at least play Pink Floyd or ABBA, right? And I seem to always get the exam room with the air conditioning vent directly above the table. I mean of course I've had my hair blown dry before but not... Wow, did that laundry basket just land on your foot? I knew you should have put it down. Should I maybe come in? Or do you want to hear the rest on the porch too? It's actually great out here. I won't have to repeat myself. Now all the neighbors know what you know."
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