I think I expect way too much from people.
I feel like I am a pretty sensitive person. I work hard not to say things that would be offensive or bring someone sadness. I monitor my words and actions the best I can. I’m not perfect by any means, and I often find myself with my foot in my mouth. But I really put a lot of effort into making sure I don’t bring anyone sadness because of the things I say.
Because of that, I automatically expect others to be the same way, and I find myself disappointed when they don’t live up to these expectations.
The community I expect the most from? The infertile community. And they are always the ones who disappoint me the most. Some of my most crushing moments have come from people who “were” infertile, the people I think should “know better”.
Of course, I ask the impossible sometimes, and I know it. How is someone supposed to know that this is the *wrong* day to show off their baby’s pictures? How is someone supposed to tone down their excitement about an impending child, simply because I’m in the room? And would I even want them to? What kind of person would that make me?
Even so, there is story I have to share, if for no other reason, to remember it for the future and ensure I never do something like this to my ‘infertile sisters’.
When Ryan and I arrived for our last IUI appointment, the doctor’s office was packed. We took the last 2 chairs available, and they weren’t even next to each other. I had never seen it this crowded!
During the wait, as I was inconspicuously looking around the room, I noticed an older mother, one or two grandmothers, and an older gentleman. I thought this was strange but I didn’t think much of it. Suddenly, a young couple burst out of the back room with huge smiles and ultrasound pictures in their hands. I knew they must be pregnant and I smiled to myself. Good for them.
But then, as they crossed out of the lobby and into the breezeway, I noticed all those other people get up and follow them out there. They were all relatives of the pregnant couple. They proceeded to stand in front of the office, jumping up and down and screaming.
The entire waiting room of 10-15 infertile people got to witness this moment through the full-length windows of the office. We got to see her hold up the pictures, tell everyone there was “just one”, laugh, cry and hold each other. This went on for about 5 minutes.
And there I was, sitting in my chair, my husband two seats down, watching it all happen. I looked around the waiting room and saw the mixture of pain and sadness on all the other couples faces. Not jealousy… pain.
This couple and their family were beyond excited. I don’t blame them. They had no idea I was thinking about my miscarriage and the ultrasound picture I would never hold. I wondered about the stories of the other waiting couples who were watching this with me. I’m sure some were there to ask why their IVF didn’t work, some might be getting their own ultrasound only to find no heartbeat, some were just starting their own painful journey.
I found myself in a world of emotions… Why would they bring all their relatives? I couldn’t even sit next to my husband because they had to bring all these people. It was a beautiful day. They could have waited outside. Did they not think for a second about celebrating like that in front of an audience of infertile people? Could they have walked 10 feet down the breezeway and then celebrated? They “used” to be one of us… Why would these thoughts not cross their mind?
Some people would tell me this situation should have brought me hope. It didn’t. And from the looks on the faces of those around me, I wasn’t alone.
Maybe I shouldn’t hold people who have had infertility to a higher standard. But I do. The one week I was pregnant, the biggest thing on my mind were those people who were still waiting, whether I knew them personally or not. I did everything I could think of to make life less painful for them. But maybe I didn’t do enough. Maybe I was one of “those” people. That thought makes me sick.
Maybe I expect way too much from people. All it does is hurt me in the end.