Thursday, April 26, 2012

100th Post: Don't Ignore

Today's topic is purely coincidental, but I can't think of a more perfect subject to commemorate my 100th post.
It all began so innocently. (Oh man, that’s how most of my stories start.)
We were talking about the arrangements for the upcoming baby shower. We knew to expect two additional pregnant women that afternoon (IF and WHEN) and we both knew that IF and her husband underwent treatment to become pregnant.
And then she said, “IF must be the complainiest pregnant woman ever.”
I was surprised. This woman is so kind and so caring. She never says a mean word about anyone. Why would she say something like that? And then it hit me: she didn’t know.
So I replied, “Since IF underwent treatment, she may have had multiple treatments. She may have spent tens of thousands of dollars to become pregnant. She may have had multiple losses. When an infertile couple becomes pregnant, they will be worried about every little twinge or cramp or spot. They know too much - enough to know that it’s never a sure thing. IF won’t be secure or calm until the baby is born alive and healthy.”
And do you know what she said?
“Thank you.”
See, that’s what happens. Most of the time, these comments are not made out of malice. I think that the general idea behind them is, “She’s finally pregnant. Why can’t she just be happy?” What the speaker doesn’t realize is that she IS happy. And with happiness comes fear. She’s seen other people be happy -may even have been there herself- only to have happiness replaced by soul crushing loss.
Happiness is dangerous.
But when you explain this, they usually get it. And then they won’t make that comment again. All because you cared enough about that infertile person in your life to educate someone.
So, don’t ignore it.
To those of us who love the ALI community, don’t ignore the comments. If you hear an insensitive comment, educate the speaker. If you read an insensitive post, educate the writer.
We are positioned to be a voice for the hurting. We haven’t experienced the pain that comes with infertility or loss, so these comments don’t hit us with force and break us down. Instead, we can calmly educate the speaker so that they won’t make the same mistake in front of someone who would be hurt by their ignorance.

Be a voice.

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