In all the kerfuffle surrounding the Effin’ Cyst, I almost forgot to relay my most favorite encounter (*ahem*sarcasm*ahem*)during my visit with the RE on Friday.
As H and I were waiting to be called back for the ovary scan, we were sitting in the front lobby reading magazines, chatting with the clinic financial coordinator (nicest woman on the planet- their whole clinic could take a note from her on bedside manner…), and just waiting to find out what our next step in this grand and expensive science experiment would be.
And in walks this woman, probably in her late 30s, dragging a toddler behind her, rail thin, perfectly coiffed, and tells the woman at the counter that she’s here to do “something, um, three day labs?” The woman at the counter says hello to the toddler, and they begin chatting about the kid, and I hear that this woman is SO HASSLED because her nanny can’t work Friday mornings, and that she has to get this done before she goes to work, and that she has to drop her son off at school today, and what a hassled, harried morning she’s having.
Which is all fine. You expect a little of this contingent in that area of town, lots of doctor’s wives, and other self-important, overpaid corporate workers live in this area.
But then… but THEN, bitch starts going on and on and on about how her son was “the cheap one”, he was “free”, “didn’t cost [her] a thing!”, and how she was sure that the lab work wasn’t going to show anything because “I’ve done this before, obviously!”, how this will surely be no big deal.
And the thing is, had this just been a conversation I was eavesdropping on, it would have been a different matter. But this is a small clinic, with a tiny front waiting area, with maybe a five foot span between the waiting room space and the check-in counter. And she was speaking loudly and clearly, and turning her head in our direction when she spoke, clearly intending to make sure that we heard her words, that she was not like us, she had done this before, she was not one of those lowly “real” infertile people. She had acheived the status. And we, she wanted to make sure we knew, had not.
And then she said that she’s only doing this because she’s just “impatient” for number 2.
And then my head exploded.
And then I put the pieces back together and bit my lip, because I try really hard not to participate in the Pain Olympics (“My situation is worse than yours!” “No, MINE’S worse!”, “Well, mine is horribleterribleawful!!!”, etc., etc. Who wants to win that game? Geez.), and had I said what I wanted to say, it would have come across that way.
But now, I wish I had her email address, because I would send her a thoughtfully written note explaining that while I understand that secondary infertility comes with it’s own bag of issues, that flaunting your “free” child, especially while sashaying around a fertility clinic, while “woe-is-me”-ing about being without a nanny for one day, is just in poor taste. Even with insurance (which she doesn’t know we have), this is not a cheap matter. And furthermore, despite financial costs, there are extreme emotional costs as well. And physical costs, too.
No one goes into this lightly. And despite it all, we show up here. We find a way to make it work. We accept these costs because in the end, these procedures generally offer us a pretty good chance of becoming parents. And while I understand that building the family of your dreams should be a right, at the same time, boasting about what a hassle your mommy status is to people who are clearly going through a lot just for that chance? Well, that’s just not very nice.
And clearly, this is all a shock for her, or at least I have to be generous in assessing in that way, given her behavior, because otherwise, she’s just a total bitch. I can imagine that entering a fertility clinic when you already have a child gives you a weird feeling, and so surely she was just acting defensively because she was uncomfortable with this new status as “possible infertile”. And soon enough, she will figure out that she’s really not that different from us. (Actually, I know the universe’s sense of humor, and she will find out the day her drugs are ordered that she once again got knocked up the old fashioned way, and I will be in the room next door to hear the good news, and she will tell me as we bump into each other in the hallway, that it’s true what they say, that you just have to relax and it’ll happen. That’s what will probably happen…) Regardless, I really think she needs to be taken aside and told about the way her words come across and the way they impact other people.
So. What would you have wanted to say to this woman? Would you have opened your mouth and said something in the moment? Or would you have just sat and stewed and later write an incensed blog post about it? What’s your best “Gah, I wish I would have thought to have said that!” thing?