02 January 2008

The best words are left unsaid

Recently, at a family gathering, I was having a discussion with one of the nicest, sweetest, gentlest women around. Somehow the subject of children came up, I don't remember why, and she said, "I haven't asked because don't like to pry. I know some couples like to wait a few years before trying to have children."

To which I replied, "We've been trying. We can't have children."

She gave me one of her sweet smiles, and said, "you know what's wrong?"

And I thought, "Oh, please G-d, no. Don't say it. Please don't say it. For the love of G-D, woman, please DO NOT SAY what I know you're going to say no matter how hard I pray that you don't say it."

"You're trying too hard. You need to-"


"-relax. If you just relax, you'll get pg right away. I know someo-"

Through the rush of sound in my ears, I interrupted her. I wanted to be 5 years old again, because then it would be acceptable for me to stamp my feet and shout, "stop it, stop it, stop it!!!!!"

Since I'm not 5, I restrained myself as best I could, and sort of spat out through my pasted smile, "You know I love you dearly, but I have to tell you that is the worst possible thing you could say to anyone who is trying to get pg."

As I spoke, I relaxed a bit. I explained that our problem is medical, and no amount of relaxing is going to get us pg.

She was truly surprised that it was such a bad thing to say. Her eyes welled up with tears, and I felt like the biggest shit for making this sweet, wonderful person feel bad. She gave me the biggest hug, and asked if she could keep me in her prayers, to which I replied, "of course. I'm grateful for any prayers."

I'm still not sure if she teared up because I hurt her feelings, or because she was hurting for me. I do know that the tidal wave of terror that welled up in my chest when I knew, I just knew, what she was about to say, was very very real. Hearing "just relax" from acquiantances or even strangers is one thing. Hearing it from someone you love, someone you know is sincere, someone you'd never want to bark at and snap, "eff off, what do you know?" is... I don't even know how to describe it. That welling up of fear, the roaring in my ears and the overwhelming feeling of wanting to run far and fast was a new feeling for me.

And this is after Hubby and I decided we're done.

Which, apparently, now we're not. But that's another post.



At 2/1/08 4:53 a.m., Blogger Erin said...

I am amazed that you found the words to let her know that it's not the right thing to say. I'm sure it was hard to do, both for you to say and for her to hear, but you now know she'll never say it again. You've probably protected someone else from hearing it, and she'll likely tell others the same thing if she hears them say it.

Being roped into educating about infertility seems like the draft sometimes, but you've done a wonderful thing by telling her what you felt in your heart.

At 2/1/08 5:06 a.m., Blogger Bea said...

I think you handled it well, and I think she sounds like the kind of person who will really appreciate the advice.


At 3/1/08 3:33 a.m., Blogger Stacie said...

You're amazing. Bravo, to a job well done. I just sat and listened to them go on and on about relaxation while I screamed in my head to try and drown them out.


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