I went to visit some friends whose little girl was in the hospital, just to show my face and check on them while they waited the many hours until her surgery was over.  (Just down the hall from Ramona Mae, who continues to amaze).  The wife of this couple I know, but the husband I had barely met.  We chatted, and then when I mentioned that we’re doing IVF, the husband (call him Chuck) was very enthusiastic.  "That’s just great!" he said, more than once.  "I am really behind that," he said, or something like that.  I was a little taken aback.  I often get a glassy look from friends, especially fertile friends; they know that we have to go through a bunch of stuff to try for kids, they know of other friends who went through a bunch of stuff and never got anywhere, they know there is a big pile of heartbreak that might break loose all over them at any moment for being fertile when I am not.  And sometimes I get the tentative response from Christians who feel uneasy about doing fertility treatments, which means, incoming! I better duck because I might be about to hear "If God wants you to have a baby…" or some other … uh, remark.

But this guy, Chuck, was so enthusiastic about my Lupron belly shots and the whole nine that I was suspicious…   you’re an RE, you work for Acme Hormone Works, you have stock in whoever makes the IVF drugs with the porn-star names (soon I will begin taking Vivelle, oooh baby), or what?  So he said he was all for our IVForts again and I said, warily, "Why?" 

He said: "Kids are great, and you should do whatever you have to to get one."  I was so touched.  Being infertile is such an outside-looking-in experience.  It piles on top of whatever "I-don’t-belong" baggage I may have (oh trust me, it’s there).  Sometimes fertile people will suggest that since they just let it happen, we should maybe just let it not happen.  I loved what he said: so accepting, so enthusiastic, so supportive, so inclusive.  Mindlessly fertile people don’t often think to be inclusive.  They don’t know how incredibly helpful and nice it is when they say "When you have kids", not "if."  When they acknowledge their own – luck, blessedness, gratitude, whatever – for being able to just make love, and make a baby.  When they remember that it’s not their right or their health or that God likes them better; it’s a miracle, every time.  This guy didn’t think twice about what he said, he just saw himself as partaking of a gigantic gift, and he hoped I’d get me some too, and he had the generosity of spirit to say so.

It’s pretty often you hear about things people say that hurt.  But this guy said something that was really healing, and he probably doesn’t even know it.  So I lift my glass (actually it’s a handful of chocolate chips, but, same thing) to Chuck, fertile guy with a big heart who gave me a gift.  Thank you.

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