Saturday, May 10, 2008

The few versus the many

So, if you're reading this, you probably already know that I'm a nestie because you probably clicked on my blog link in one of my posts to arrive here. I reached a milestone in my nestiness a few weeks ago...I attended my first Nest get together or GTG since acronymns amuse me.

Someone posted about the get together on the TTC 6+ Months board which is where I usually spend my time. First off, the GTG was at Panera's which is my favorite. I love their tuna fish sandwich. It's so good it should be called some other word that means something way better than food. I would attend a meeting about how to properly file taxes or how to identify amoebae if it meant I could eat at Panera's. Second, it's a get together! What fun!

However.....

A few days before the get together, I have a horrible thought. What if I'm the token infertile girl? This is followed up with other equally awful questions. What if there are pregnant people there? Like, really pregnant people? Who all got pregnant on their first try or, even worse, when they weren't (whispers) even trying? What if someone tells me I should "just relax" or "take a vacation" and I'll get knocked up? What if I am rude to a nestie who tells me to "just get drunk" and I'll end up pregnant? What if, after an insensitive comment, I end up using the swear words and storm out (resulting in a bad nestie reputation!)? What was initially very exciting is now causing me major anxiety. For the next few days, I proceed to completely freak out.

Saturday rolls around. I put on a cute outfit and even do my makeup extra nice so that at least I'll look good when someone insults my infertility which I am now fairly certain will happen. I think about chickening out, but the tuna sandwich's allure is too strong. I get in the car and head to Panera's, my stomach in knots the whole way.

I'm the first one to get there. I circle the joint. Nobody's an obvious choice for being a nestie. Back out the door to hang out.

A few minutes later, a nestie approaches. I just know....my age-ish, alone, dressed cute, she's here for the GTG. We chat and wait for the other girls to arrive. Within a few minutes, all five of us are there.

After ordering, we spend a little time feeling each other out with casual chitchat. And then.....one of the girls mentions her RE! My ears perk, it is now impossible for me to be the token infertile. There's definitely at least two of us. I breathe a sigh of relief.

Within ten minutes, every girl there is talking about her infertility. Aaahhhhh! I'm dying from excitement! It's not that I find joy in my newfound friends' infertility struggles, it's just that I'm not alone. For the first time since this whole mess started, I'm sitting around, a group of five women, casually talking about our infertility. The feeling is something that I can't quite capture in words. It was beautiful. And it brought me so much comfort. A certain comfort that fertile women's words just can't provide me.

Couples go back and forth about who they should tell about their infertility. We struggle with privacy issues. It is afterall a pretty intimate topic. And we fear the insensitive comments that inevitably come, often from people who mean no harm and are just trying to help. I can't and don't want to tell anyone else how to deal with their infertility. I can only speak for myself. I never truly know how someone will react to my infertility until I tell them. People have and will continue to make stupid remarks about it. But, I will take the good with the bad. With the negative comments from a few has come love, support and sharing of stories from so many. Sometimes the people whose reactions most concern me are the very ones who surprise me with the most supportive comment. When I keep my infertility hidden, I inevitably feel an odd sense of shame, as though my unwillingness to throw it out in the open leads me to believe that I am a failure in some way. Infertility is one of the greatest challenges I have ever faced. As I walk this long, difficult journey, I want as many hands to hold along the way as possible.

4 comments:

Amy said...

Great post...while I'm not a "nestie" (Can't bring myself to get on that board) I have found comfort from the women whose blogs I read and from IVFC...though I seem to be the only one in IL...

Glad you felt comfortable and have "new found friends"...we need them all.

Allison said...

It was good to get together with you and the other nesties. I agree it was great to talk to people who are going through the same thing and understand how hard going through IF can be.

Stephanie said...

I am so glad you found some great women to talk with about infertility. I really don't have anyone IRL to talk about it with. You have held my hand so much along my difficult journey, so my hand is here for you to hold too. (((BIG HUGS)))

Kim said...

Glad you have found comfort and understanding in your new friends! It is a wonderful feeling to be completely understood!