Saturday, January 5, 2008

Assvice RULES


I'm laughing so much right now over a public ttc message board post.

The board just got a random pregnant girl who's never posted before to us. Meaning, she wasn't part of our ttc board during her time ttc. Well, she was well intentioned (like they ALL are) and she just "popped in" to tell everyone how we shouldn't give up as her own signature gushes over heartbeat rates and due dates. It's all because, of course, she just stopped obsessing and just let go. And she got pregnant while, yes, relaxing. Yes, she offered the advice of "just relax and it will happen" to a bunch of infertiles (this is ~not~ an "in the beginning" board, it's a "been trying forever and it hasn't happened" board).

So of course, I try to explain how while we understand her good intentions, the "relax and it will happen" assvice pretty much tops the lists of what NOT to say to an infertile. I was nice. She said she couldn't believe that advice isn't welcomed because when SHE got that advice, she took it and it worked for her. (yes, she actually said that). A few other of the regulars also tried to explain it to her - all being very nice. She was nice in return but you could see she was still not in agreement that her assvice wasn't exactly what we've all been waiting for.

I left another response, very nice and understanding, but cited some references of the "what not to say to an infertile". And then, after we thought it was all finally understood, there's one more comment from another board member that was just gushing over this preggo's thoughtfulness of giving us this advice. And how she should go to all the other ttc boards so she could bestow even MORE people with her wisdom.

Heh. Cracks me up. There's always one of these types on every board, isn't there? The one who is just terminally happy and will live in a world of rainbows and puppy dogs and kittens. The one who will ignore the fact the advice was seriously "just relax and it will happen" and root the preggo on. Which, in turn, will make this preggo think everyone else who was not celebrating her assvice were just loony and she'll continue to piss off infertiles everywhere, as she spreads her gospel.


Samantha said...

That advice will never die! Even my own doctor has offered it to me. Ha!

Io said...

Are you trying to tell me that relaxing doesn't make babies?! G*dd@m^!t

Poltzie said...

I hate to admit this but I actually said that to a woman once. God I feel like such an idiot now. It was about three years ago and I had no clue about TTC (either with fertility issues or not). I was totally talking out of my ass and while she didn't say anything to me at the time I can only imagine what she was thinking.
I thank you and other blogs for making me realize what an ass I was and hopefully when I encounter a friend going through fertility issues in the future I will be a little more appropriate with my response!

Anonymous said...

ugh, hate that. it's one of the reasons I stopped using ttc boards. well that, and everyone else got to move on but me and a few others and that gets old pretty fast. (now I keep in touch with the veterans via email instead, which is much better support.)

also wanted to thank you again for your kind comments before. I don't know about assvice, but you rule. ~luna

Katarina Jelly Beana said...

May the insufferable twit be vexed with a combination of severe hemmohoids and uncontrolable flatulence.

trisha said...

I honestly think that most people dont understand the true difficulty in being infertile. Until i 'met' some online girls and watched their journey and listened to how they felt, I would have had no idea that this was bad advice. Although i dont give advice to this kind of thing..i may have 'thought ' it. I think its just a good idea to remember that most people mean well and that even though they may not understand an invididual plight, as all are completly different, that its the support that should be recognized, rather then the words.

Anonymous said...

I saw that post and agree that it was completely uncalled for and unappropriate. However, is there any kind of encouragement, from a pregnant woman, on those boards that everyone would see as appropriate?

Many of those women spent time on those boards and still feel a connection to them and some individuals on there. At times it is difficult to not want to encourage them or give some advice. The comments are not meant to be malicious and insensitive. They are just trying to reach out to people who have been were they were not so long ago.

Just a thought...

Lisa (aka. hisangelface)

nancy said...

Lisa, Although I really don't want to point out this person (as I tried to let it remain anonymous as to where it was), she was never part of the ttc group. So to "us", it's an outsider telling us to relax. Hence it being a little worse.

Remember, I was a pregnant one WANTING to give encouragment to the girls I left "behind" but in being in both shoes, I understand that sometimes the best support isn't advice. Maybe a little post here and there saying "hey! just wishing you luck this cycle!" is ALL the support a pregnant girl CAN give.

But you are right, there is rarely the encouragement a pregnant girl can give on the ttc boards that all will appreciate. Although I have to say, little small posts of "hugs" ~without~ advice works really well. I always appreciate those who have graduated before me to still root me on. And usually, these girls know what IF feels like, so they don't give ASSvice. They just give their needed support :)

And I know none of it is with malice. It's all well intentioned. Hell, I was the one who wanted to give everyone the advice of "use preseed!!" when I swore up and down that's what got me pregnant the second time! (16 cycles later of using preseed, I'm not so impressed anymore ;) ).

Bottom line, support is great. Advice is easy to give but harder to take.

trisha said...

Nancy, i noticed in your comment to lisa about an outsider coming in...I cant leave this alone. LOL. On a public message board, what gives other girls that post regulary more of a right to be there then someone new that comes in...espiecally if its like webmd or something and you just never know who is lurking or on or even just popped on. Maybe you should do a blog about that. I am curious.

Anonymous said...

I relaxed and we are are now pregnant. I was so relaxed lying with my feet in the stirrups while waiting for my FET that I almost feel asleep. See Nancy, it does work! (OK, don't know how to convey sarcasm in writing, so please know that this is said with a very sarcastic tone). Hugs, Kristen.
PS. Still hoping that wonderful IVF coverage is not actually required.

nancy said...

"her not being a part of the group and therefore has less of a right to post" is definitely NOT what I meant by calling her an outsider.

The "outsider" issue is a ~long standing~ phenomenon we TTC girls have talked about for years. The first example is when someone who has NEVER posted to the group, will suddenly announce her BFP. She'll usually say something like "I've been lurking for however long, but have never posted. But I just wanted to tell you all I GOT MY BFP!" All the newbie girls will congratulate her but it wears on anyone who's been there awhile because we know the boards are a give/take thing. We give support in the good and bad and in return, we get it back when we need it. But these girls never gave anyone a pat of the back. Never told anyone she was sorry when someone's cycle failed. Never did shit. But when something great happens to her, she'll be the first to gush about it so she'll get the support she wants. (and this is where a lot of turmoil on JSO starts from, because someone will mention how the old timers are "just jealous" and that's why they don't congratulate. But that is NOT the reason at all. We think it was selfish of anyone to take without ever thinking to give. And it's worse when it's someone who says she's been lurking for MONTHs, never to give an ounce of herself for someone else.

The second case of an "outsider" is the what I was speaking of w/ Lisa. The public group in this case is a tighter group of women thatn JSO, those who have been trying for well over 6 months (most of "us" have been trying longer). We've all supported eachother and given eachother advice through all our cycles. Our disappointments. Our joys. Our failures. It's not a JSO atmosphere, because we've all been through "it" already and we know what we're doing.

When "one of us" finally do succeed, it's still hard for the now pregnant girl to come on the board without hurting someone's feelings - even with BEING "one of the group". It's strange we can't just simply be happy for them without looking at their BFP and feel sorry for ourselves. We know it's a flaw in all of us we are well aware of it.

So, when the now pregnant ex-regular lurks back on the board with support, it's accepted by most because we KNOW that person. We know that person knows what it's like to be "one of us". We know that person is still the same person she was before, just pregnant now. And the now pregnant person knows she doesn't have any magical advice we didn't stumble on before she was pregnant, so RARELY does a now pregnant, ex-regular come to lurk with advice. The now pregnant girls will still come and lurk for us infertiles, but it's usually very understated and filled with SUPPORT, not advice.

Also, it's an unspoken, sometimes spoken, "rule" that once you DO get pregnant, you move along. If we want updates, we'll find the preggo on the trimester boards or we'll email them. General "updates on my pregnancy" have NEVER EVER gone over well on the ttc boards (although on WEBMD's JSO board, newbies usually like to hear about it and welcome it, only to definitely change their minds once they get a taste of IF). This is why when an old timer, now pregnant girl comes back to lurk, she usually does so in an understated manner. She's polite, sensitive and usually will put "trigs" in the subject line in case someone else doesn't know her and know what her signature will entail.

You can see now how we acknowledge it's difficult to get advice from someone we all love and care about. The now pregnant girl also ~knows~ how there is a rare circumstance where she should even try to give advice. Imagine how we take advice (especially really lame advice like "just relax") from not only a now pregnant girl, but someone who never even supported us or vice versa when she was TTC herself.

It's the worst case scenario. She's excited for herself and wants to share that. And she expects we should thank her for her advice, cheered on for taking the time out of her happy pregnancy, to "give herself and her knowledge" to us, the poor infertiles. I know I'm being over dramatic, but that's what I've seen in the 3 years I've spent ttc. When these people don't get the "wow, thanks for all your encouragement", they get indignant. They can't imagine it's not only because they are full of shit advice, it wasn't their place to begin with. :)

Of course, this is all my opinion. And as I've found, many long time ttc-ers feel the same. But I know I'm not speaking for everyone.

Anonymous said...


I do understand how upsetting advice can be especially on the over 6 month TTC boards. That is why few women who have moved on make an appearance on that board. They also generally add "trigs" to the subject line to make sure they they warn the readers.

All I have to say is that there are many women who have moved up that are still rooting for you and many others on the ttc boards. Hopefully it is obvious that I am one of them. I am constantly coming to your blog to get updates to see how you are doing. I am happy to hear that all is looking very promising this month. I wish you the best of luck. I believe that you deserve to make another child's life better...

However, I am not posting this to upset anyone. If it does, I will simply lurk. I just know how good it feels to know that someone has remmebered you and cares to ensure that you are doing well. I personally have appreciated the women who have passed along their well wishes and congratulations on the pregnancy boards.

Once again, I hope this post has not upset anyone. Nancy, if you feel that it might, please keep this comment to yourself. Good luck in the upcoming month. I will lurk to see how things go...

Lisa (aka. hisangelface)

nancy said...

Lisa, I hope you saw in my comment to you and in response to Trisha, that the support you and others give IS what means so much to us. And it's people like you, who are sensitive to our feelings while we're in the trenches, who put "trigs" in the subject line, who cheer us on but don't give us lame assvice, it's people like you who we do appreciate more than you know.

That is what my last hugely long comment to this post was about. How there ARE "now pregnant" ex ttcers who ARE welcomed. And it's in these understated, quiet, supporting, checkins that show us you didn't just forget about "us".

The "ones" many of us ttcers have a problem with are the ones who don't care about US. They are the ones who are just interested in their own achievements. The ones who will come to the ttc boards for no one imparticular - just to announce their newest pregnant acomplishment. The results of their big u/s - the imenent labor pains - the birth. While all of these ARE exciting and worth shouting to the world, these are the things that when just said to a group of ttc women, is hurtful. You don't do that. You come to ME in a response to my latest update (well, maybe not just me, just using me as an example) and you tell me you are checking in on me and rooting for me. And it does nothing but make me feel good. So thank you :)

Nico said...

The 'just relax' comment has always ticked me off. No matter where it comes from (and this includes my mom). As far as I know, most people *are* relaxed when they first TTC, it's only after it's been a while and it's not working that more stress comes into play. So why is it that all of a sudden relaxing is supposed to help? In my case where I wasn't ovulating, all of a sudden relaxing was supposed to help my hormonal system right itself?

SaraS-P said...


Relaxing only "works" if you're not infertile in the first place, ok?

My friend who had 2 unplanned pregnancies actually had to "try" for her third child. Like, OMG, it took 3 months! The trick that worked for her was to stop trying and just take a break. after 2 months you were spent and needed a break???

Jewels said...

I must not be a very good sport right now, I'm so sick and tired of saying things nicely, If I saw that post, I would have ripped her Fu#in Head off. And not given a Shi# eithr. F-- Her and her "Not trying to be rude" or "Good intentions" I'd tell her "Yeah! Well I AM trying to be rude, Get the he!! Out of here!"
(deep breath)
Sorry, I just dealt with this over the weekend and I'm not taking to kindly to it right now, I've tried relaxing, not relaxing, taking pills, not taking pills, Charting, not charting, Educating my self and being really dumb, Being really good and being really bad. So far, nothing has worked, I'm about to try a new man and see if that works, good lord, and if another lame brain comes up to me and says "Just relax" I'm gunna punch her in the nose.
(I'm not bitter or anything am I?)
I say this with good intentions, a smile on my face and love in my heart :)

shinejil said...

I'm with Jewels. I don't have time to try to be polite to clueless numbskulls. I'm too busy relaxing.

I think next time someone recommends relaxation as a fertility method, I will quite literally relax every muscle in my body and collapse smack dab in front of them.