Gloating While Infertile

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?


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21 Responses to Gloating While Infertile

  1. says:

    i probably would have called her a bitch in my head and then talked about her on my blog. There was nothing "cheap" about having my daughter without medical intervention. It happened to work out and I am so grateful for it.and gah! i probably would've been a good person to say something to her, except that i don't have a nanny or a job outside the home so i probably wouldn't have been able to understand her "plight"

  2. Photogrl says:

    Are you kidding me?My take on her, she's a bitch. Maybe I'm being judgemental, but honestly, saying a child was free!?!I'm living in secondary IF hell right now. My RE's office sounds a lot like yours, with a very little waiting room where you can't help but overhear everything being said at the "window". I've never taken Miss O. with me, because I never wanted to hurt anyone's feelings. But I do understand that things come up and sometimes you can't find someone to help, but I would never, ever make a scene like that. And you're absolutely right, it's not just the money you invest in IF treatments.I don't know how you didn't say anything.((HUGS))

  3. Sue says:

    Eventually we're all humbled by life. Her turn is coming.

  4. jenn says:

    I like to think I would have said something to her along the lines of- listen here lady, while I can appreciate how difficult it must be to find yourself in this particular office in this particular situation (ie- you already have a child without having to face this particular brand of hell before) this is an emotionally, physically, mentally & financially taxing situation to find yourself in in the best of circumstances. The least we as human beings can do is be considerate of the others around us who are obviously in a stressfull situation.But more likely I would have either a- complained equally loudly to the hub about how difficult this is & remember the 'good old days' of day 3 bloodwork & how glad I am to have a supportive husband in these very trying times since sensitivity is so important, blah blah blah- which most likely would have been wasted on her.or even more likely i would b- mutter 'bitch' under my breath & have a little quiet cry.argh.

  5. Star says:

    It sounds like she was having diarrhea of the mouth to me, like people sometimes do when they're in a situation that makes them nervous or uncomfortable (though some people have it all the time!). Those are things you think but don't say out loud. I certainly wouldn't be saying them to a receptionist at a doctor's office. I mean, I have definitely given thought to how unjust it is that anyone has to pay in order to get pregnant when so many idiots out there do it for free, so I can't fault her for thinking that (though the way she said it was artless). Maybe she was trying to explain her child's presence there, but to go on and on like that was thoughtless at best. The clinic I went to has a policy that you can't bring children to their office (regardless of whether they are the result of treatment). I think if more clinics would adopt that stance, situations like this could be avoided. So sorry you had to deal with her thoughtlessness.

  6. loribeth says:

    OMG! I will admit that I would probably have sat & stewed & then vented on my blog about it later. You reallly cracked me up in the second-last paragraph about the universe's sense of humour. I would like to believe, as Sue does, that she'll eventually get hers — but some people just seem to be able to land in a pile of you-know-what & come up smelling like a rose every time, don't they?

  7. Oh my God! She HAS to have enough sense in her to know that that was a bitch move. Seriously! Even IF she was acting defensively, it was still rude, insensitive, and just plain not nice.I would have done exactly what you did. I would have seethed on the inside and wrote about it. I can't believe her.I'm sorry you had to hear that. I do hope that she understand how painful infertility is.*HUGS*

  8. I agree with you, sure and photogirl. OMGah. And, hello-her son was hearing that. Awful. Awful.

  9. Shinejil says:

    You know, the clinic administrator/nurse/receptionist/whomever she was chatting so freely with should have cut her off. Seriously. That was very inappropriate and not fitting an RE's office, where all kid-related stuff should be downplayed to an extreme. Speak with someone there, let them know what happened: it's their job to care for your health, and that includes your mental state, if you ask me.I feel sorry on some level for women like that. They'll never really know how good they have it. Sad.

  10. JJ says:

    Dude, this gets me all fired up. Not cool, not cool at all…HA-and my word verification is: beheadYes, evil laugh

  11. I'm just shuddering at her unbelievable rudeness. I do think that probably she was compensating for her own discomfort to some extent, but honestly – couldn't she have delivered that monologue internally?Shinejil raises a good point, as always – not a bad idea to raise that with the clinic staff and remind them of the need for sensitivity, including them taking action to quiet somebody down. Easier said than done, often, but still worth a try. And I would never have had the guts to say something to her – I would just shoot daggers at her with my eyes and rant about her later.

  12. tireegal68 says:

    Great post! Eavesdropping award to you! Not that you needed to eavesdrop because she was announcing her superiority to the whole place. Eeegads!!! Euch!!!

  13. Congrats on the Kirtsy, dude! This really is a great post – reminds me to try to speak up in a gentle and compassionate way when I can and when it is needed, as it so clearly was in this situation. Sometimes I think people need to be told that their behaviour is hurtful to others – even if their first reaction is defensive, and even if they never get past the defensiveness. I still think it's important. Just so hard to actually DO.

  14. Moky says:

    I'm a secondary infertile currently cycling for my first round of IVF. I can honestly say, at no point, no way, no how, would I bring my daughter to the clinic with me. I have made alternate arrangements for care for each appointment, which includes leaving DH at home with her while I go to my appointments alone. He asked why I wouldn't bring her and I was shocked that it wasn't obvious to him. Why would I, after almost three years of (known) infertility, shove what I do have in the faces of others? I know how painful it is for me, I can't imagine how painful it can be for others (no matter what their situation) and if there is any way I can avoid hurting someone else, I will.What an insecure, self-righteous bitch.

  15. Courtney says:

    I'm really sorry you had to hear that..I know that had to hurt. It sounds like to me that she is obviously in major denial. She probably got pregnant very easily with the first, and she might have even been the type to "brag" about it with friends. You know the type…"my husband just looks at me." She might have even been so confident that she was telling everyone when they were going to try to perfectly time conception and delivery around some date. Now everyone is asking her if she has some news. And obviously walking into the REs office was a reality check, and she wasn't willing to face reality so she was letting everyone and herself know that "she is not infertile." Give her a few cycles, and she will hopefully come to grips with her diagnosis. I actually feel sorry for her.

  16. Jendeis says:

    Her behavior reminds me of Sam's post about people thinking that IF is contagious.I recently saw a couple different people bringing their kids into the clinic. It just sends me into orbit. And there are signs all over the clinic and they give you a big paper with your info packet about no children allowed. What? They think the rules aren't about them? Man, people suck.

  17. Meghan says:

    Here from LFCA.Fantastic post, I never used to understand the people who brought kids to the clinic. I get that child care might be hard but there has to be some way to work it out.And her talk…dear god! I would have sat and stewed and taken it all out on the next person to piss me off. Funny how different people's reactions are. Anytime I am out with Sweetness, I always talk about what a miracle she is and how hard we had to work to get here. It's like I want everyone to know she wasn't free (in the emotional way mostly)

  18. Delenn says:

    OMG. I am a secondary infertile and I would NEVER EVER have thought of my son as the "cheap" one. Also, I am sorry, but I would have maybe called the clinic and arranged things over the phone–I am sensitive enough to realize that dragging a child into a Fertility Clinic is tactless and heartless. (And yes, maybe she had no other way–but be flipping discreet and DON'T complain about the hassle!!)Um…I wouldn't have said anything but sorry–cuz my husband would have smacked her.

  19. MrsSpock says:

    I have a "free" child, but would never, ever consider taking him to my clinic. Or referring to him as "cheap"- or trying to act like I'm not one of "them". Geez. Rudeness all around!

  20. Kait says:

    Oh my god. That women sounds awful. I'm so mad thinking about her I don't even know what I would say. But I know it wouldn't be pretty. And might get my arrested for harassment. It's too bad her toddler was there too, that would have put a damper on socking her one right in the kisser. What a horrible excuse for a human being. Seriously.On another note, you're name's Kate and my name is Kait. We both love Grosse Pointe Blank (one of my favorite movies). Just thought I'd throw it out there. We are definitely kindred spirits!( – why must the rivalry between wordpress and blogger thwart me so!)

  21. kswan says:

    I actually see her as nervous and insecure. She maybe felt bad about having the kid there which is why she shouted out her morning plight, and also she feels nervous first entering infertile land, and its dawning on her she is in it — for as long or as short as may be, which is completely out of her control. Methinks she doth protest too much, because a part of her knows…

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