Sunday, August 10, 2008

I'm a little bit offended ...

so I'm going to simply vent about it here, where it's my personal domain and I can say what I want.

Infertility is a tough cookie to chew. I'd say that 90% of you reading this right now know that oh too well. Going over that first 12 months is hard, but going through treatment after treatment, each failing, is even harder.

No, no, no. I'm ~not~ going to compare IF. Each person's journey is hard in their own way. I'm simply saying that in my own experience, a treatment cycle failing was harder than my natural cycles.

Every now and again, you'll see the blessing of a bfp be bestown on someone who may have been going the treatment route, but the surprise comes to them naturally. Every IFer hopes for that natural bfp miracle. Show me anyone who goes through IVF and I'll show you someone who was disappointed their "hail mary cycle", the one immediately before their IVF cycle, didn't end in a BFP.

But many, many, many women do end up conceiving naturally. They get that bfp on a natural cycle before a big treatment cycle. Or the cycle or two after a failed treatment. You get my drift.

Of these very happy women, a very few of them will end up inadvertently offending me with things like "thank the heavens I didn't have to do that IUI!" or "I'm so glad I conceived naturally, because we all know it's best to not have treatment!"

Okay, I get what they are trying to say and what they are feeling. Hell yeah it's "better" to NOT have to take out a second mortgage to fund an IVF cycle. Yeah it's "better" to not have to conceive while you are in a bright clinic room - feet up in stirrups. And hell yeah I wish I would have conceived before going through anything I went through. I wish I didn't have 4 uterine surgeries. 3 medicated IUIs. 1 medicated mock IUI. 1 IVF. 1 FET. (and even though I said I wouldn't compare, I would like to point out that next to many others, what I went through was ~nothing~!!)

So yes, I get it. But hearing it still makes my IF hairs stand up on the back of my neck. I hear "natural is better" and I want to say "so my FET baby is inferior?". Even though I totally know that is ~not~ what the newly bestowed BFPer is trying to say. It's simply what I hear. And I wonder how many others hear that too.

28 comments:

jenn said...

I know what you mean- if only in a small small way. I too had that desperate wish for a 'hail mary' cycle before having to go to IUI. But when that didn't work we moved on & I'm also amazed & grateful & shocked that the iui actually worked the first time. But to say natural is better- that I don't get. Of course I wished I didn't have to scrape up 1400 bucks to do an IUI & I knew that I wouldn't be able to go from cycle to cycle, making it even more of a one shot deal. but now that it has actually worked I could never imagine wishing for it to happen any other way. (I am getting off topic here...)
So- while I understand the thought process behind such comments, even though I only dipped my toe in the IF & treatments pool, I can still feel my blood pressure rising slightly when hearing such statements, especially knowing how amazingly lucky I personally am to have gotten here.

Rachel Inbar said...

I don't know if I would have heard it the same way as you - probably more as a statement of "wow. I was so lucky that I got pregnant without medical assistance." I highly doubt anyone actually thinks a 'natural' pregnancy is better than an ART one. (and ART kids will always know that they were wanted :-))

Celeste said...

I imagine we all wish to get pregnant the simple and natural way but when that isn't possible and it's important to us we do what we can using other routes. It's crazy to say one is better than the other they both result in a baby.

Leslie Laine said...

I agree with you completely. We're amidst a Hail Mary cycle right now - getting ready for IVF, and I can't tell you how much I wish it would just work out (I'm sure I don't have to!). I am amazed at how insensitive fellow IFers can be - it's shocking to me. I have a good friend who got pregnant from IVF #2, and she has little or no sensitivity re: what I'm going through now as we are still trying to get pregnant. How can someone go through that and not get it?

I couldn't agree with you more! It's terrible when someone says something that makes you feel unnerved and even worse when it's someone who has undergone (or almost undergone) IF treatment!

Mommyof2boys said...

I'm just going to say that EVERY baby is a blessing !

Tara said...

It's like some people get their miracle BFP and it gives them IFA.

(Infertility Amnesia)

MrsSpock said...

I get what you're saying. I conceived J on a natural cycles after 4 treatment cycles, while I was supposed to be resting my ovaries to start foll.istim. I feel incredibly lucky, but, quite frankly, I don't give a toss how he was conceived. I would have felt blessed if he had come along during one of the earlier Clomid/IUI cycles.

I always tell my husband not to expect this again. Because it was unexplained infertility, there is no knowing what caused us to fail and then succeed. "Look at Nancy," I say. " She hit the jackpot at first like we did, and now she's had to go through Hades."

It would be wonderful if a magical fairy sprinkled her pixie dust and fixed my innards, but, I know that if she doesn't, there won't be a lick of difference between this child and one conceived through IVF. Our bank account would just be smaller.

m said...

I am hearing you, sister.

Cate said...

Maybe it's because I lost a baby that was concieved during treatment and was lucky enough to bring home the miracle baby I concieved naturally but no baby is better than another, every baby is precious and those comments burn and make me mad.

Nikki said...

I agree - a BFP is a BFP and people should leave it at that. Specially because if that natural BFP had not come that month, the person would have moved ahead with the treatment cycle anyway. If she got pregnant after treatment, would she then say "I wish I did not get a BFP this way, because natural would be better?"

Good topic Nancy - it's sensitive, but needs discussion

Sugar and Ice said...

I hear those things too sometimes. I usually make myself feel a little better by reminding myself that whoever has said it doesn't even know about our three years of natural cycle failures, our two failed FETS, our two fresh IVF cycles, etc, b/c we chose to keep it all under wraps. Somehow it makes me feel better that they didn't say these things withthe knowledge of what we went through.

Candi B. said...

I hear you. The ones who are just thankful to be pg...you can be happy for them so easily. But the ones that keep doing the inadvertent IF "digs", its like "Yo babe, you were an IFer like me just 2 days ago!!"

Duck said...

No one wants to do treatment, no one wants to be infertile, but, there is nothing less about you're children because you had fertility treatments, I can't even imagine someone saying that to you, it's totally rude.

Topcat said...

Some people are just so absolutely clueless, that's almost funny. Almost. I'm sorry they don't think before saying things like that to you.

Thank you again for nomming me the other day. I passed it on.

XOXOXOXOXOXOXO

nancy said...

Rachel, the EXACT comment was "We all know it's better to conceive without treatment." So she did say it like that, but I'm not sure she meant it that way.

JamieD said...

I ran visited with a cousin yesterday who had also been trying to get pregnant for about two years - she started about six months before me and also had a miscarriage along the way. She is pregnant now and she actually told me we needed to QUIT TRYING and we would get pregnant lickety split if we did the same.

I think my jaw is permanently on the floor.

It isn't the comments themselves that upset me, it is the fact that some former IF'ers forget so soon.

Jewels said...

I'm not sure my thoughts are too heatlthy or sane right now so I hope I dont offend anyone, just know I'm feeling particularly vulnerable and sensitive, but I was for one thinking today how lucky I think the women of the world are today to at least be able to have options to have medical assistance to conceive, I cant imagine you having to give up because IVF didnt exist, it would break my heart to no end, and it's not even my body, I just know your baby boy is meant to be. Second (this is my sick thought but I have a feeling some women have had moments of these thoughts) but I wonder if help on my part would help give me a healthier pregnancy, but again, I'm just hurt and desperate. (I hope my posting this doesnt upset anyone - I just feel so broken sometimes).

Kaci said...

I'd be pissed if I heard that comment, and I'm not an IF'er. I don't think there is a person out there who would choose that route but a baby is a baby, it doesn't matter. I can't imagine the insensitivity.

Not in the Water said...

FYI There's been studies that show FET babies tend to be healthier that Fresh IVF babies.

http://www.aolhealth.com/health/how-birth-affects-health

I'm not saying that Natural babies or IVF babies aren't healthy...just reporting some results from a study.

Kim

theclam said...

Hmmm, I hear those words all the time in the comments that some ppl have made in the after glow of a "hail mary cycle" BFP...

I have had people tell me that they are so glad they did manage to conceive naturally cos they would have felt like complete freaks if they had to *actually* go through with the planned treatment cycle (erm yes...).

I have also had a friend (who had her first child "naturally" and was a complete oopsie but is battling to have her second) tell me that there is no way she would EVAH go through fertility treatment cos her running would suffer like mine has....

I think that each baby conceived whether "naturally" or via ART is a miracle that we need to be grateful for.

I'm sure my friend how has her twins via IVF loves them and dotes on them just as much as my super fertile friend who has had 2 babies in 2 years does...

Sarah R said...

I think sensitivity should always be used when talking about pregnancy, especially to an IFer (I, for the record, am not an IFer, but I know people who are and am sensitive to their feelings). Anyone who makes a rude comment is in the same category as people who complain about every single thing with their pregnancy, not realizing that an IFer would give anything to be in their shoes, even if it meant puking their guts out the entire 9 months so they can experience the blessing of motherhood.

And yes, I understand some complaining is okay; I'm talking about the people who whine the entire time and say things like "get this kid out of me" when they're 30 weeks along.

Wordgirl said...

Hi Nancy,

You know I think about this all the time --but more in the context of the personal rather than the global --

I think IF is kind of like coming out -- in the sense that it's a long m'f-ing process -- and you think you're ready and comfortable with things and *bam*, wait a second...something else comes up -- and for me when I think about how reluctant I am to do IVF personally -- it has nothing to do with how I feel about others who have -- but I think we each have our timelines for approaching these things...and my hope is that the person you were talking to just had no idea how it sounded -- but, of course, in an ideal world none of us would need ART, if it could happen as it does for so many -- without the heartbreak and the waiting and the blood-draws and the ultrasounds and the shots and the suppositories...and the...well I'm preaching to the choir aren't I?

I personally think how nice it would be if I could do IVF without paying 23K plus medication.

*ugh*

Tammy said...

Isn't that sorta like calling a biological child a "real child"? Being adopted doesn't make a child any less "real". The same for IVF, FET, and IUI babies. They are no less "natural" than a non-medicated conception. '

A child is a child, no matter what.

Hollie said...

Good topic Nancy - I have not had the unfortunate experience of hearing someone say something ugly about what we have done. Everyone has been supportive. I feel blessed to carry a child that took so much work and energy (and science) to create. To me, it shows how much I wanted this child. I'm not saying a natural easy BFP is not just as good. But I know that I personally wouldn't have been so happy and grateful if it would have come easy. And I used to say that I wouldn't do IVF because I didn't like the idea of a scientist making a baby... But the desire to have that baby overruled. Now I think the scientists are great!! I just think people cannot quite comprehend IF until they are there.

Anonymous said...

Nancy - this is really interesting and I used to actually have people say things to me before I got pregnant almost verbatim from what you wrote.

Now that I'm one of those people who actually did get a miracle (truly) BFP in between a 2nd and 3rd IVF cycle (after spending $30,000 in treatments out of pocket on IVF and IVF with PGD and an IUI) all of that money was of course worth it to get us where we needed ot be.

I'm a big believer in fate and that everyone's baby is supposed to be theirs. I look at it the other way: I think that you were supposed to have that FET because this little boy is supposed to be your baby.

I don't even need to try hard not to speak condescendingly to others about it because it's not even a thought in my mind. Those that say, don't do IF treatments because it will happen, in my opinion, are out of their mind. Why did we get our miracle BFP? I have no idea, but I thank G-d for it every day. Would I have done a 3rd or 4th IVF? In a heartbeat! Would I have thought it any less of a miracle? No way!

Anonymous said...

That last anonymous post was from me, Nancy - I forgot to sign my name.
(Heather from Web MD)

Shinejil said...

I think the term "natural" is so silly. As if babies conceived via ART were somehow synthetic or unnatural.

I've gotten to the point where I don't care how I get pregnant. My only ongoing regret is the money we're dropping to get there.

Motel Manager said...

I've totally heard that, and I have the same reaction, even when it's definitely coming from someone who doesn't mean it that way. Similarly, a good (and very kind) friend of mine had a very easy labor and delivery, and in the euphoria afterwards, she said something like, "I guess my body is just made to have babies," which of course made me immediately think, "Well, so mine is NOT, eh? DOES THAT MEAN I SHOULDN'T HAVE THEM?" I didn't say that out loud, but boy did I feel it. (This was after multiple IVFs, various complications, a c-section, and chronic low milk supply.)