A Toast

To all the young mothers here who are busy pro-creating and making us old folks all grandparents.

Yup, in a group of about 20 people I listened that to that toast this weekend.

Yup, I swallowed hard, my skin crawled and I kept quiet…

Until….

Another young lady who has no children said loud enough for everyone to hear  “there’s no way I’m drinking to that!”  And her husband said quietly to her “maybe one day you can.”

I over heard there intimate comment, so I chimed in loud enough for everyone to here.  I guess I shouldn’t drink to that either, I didn’t procreate.

The individual giving the toast began trying to pull their foot out of their mouth, it was almost humorous.  To me they said well, you still found a way, you have Baby MPB.  To the other women they quickly said you still have lots of time, soon enough I’m sure.

.

Surprisingly, I actually felt a bit bad for the individual who made the toast.  I know what they were trying to say and I believe they didn’t mean to be hurtful.  So, having 2 of the 5 mom’s in the room voice how they didn’t fit was not the intention.  BUT, as much as I feel for this person as they put their foot in their mouth, I also believe they should have known better – they know the details of what we went through as we continually miscarried, so they should have some insight into how hard infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss are.

But, more then anything, I felt for this women.  Without having an actual conversation with her (it was not an appropriate time), I could sense something was going on.  I remember how much those comments stung – I remember trying to escape to the bathroom, and the late night tears on Mr. MPB’s sholders.  I remember the pressure put on us to have a baby (or 2 or 3), and the heartbreak we felt when we clearly couldn’t no matter how hard we tried.  And, my heart hurt for her, knowing that she may very well be going through her own version of this very struggle.

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16 Comments on “A Toast

  1. I dont think your or that young lady’s comment was inappropriate. I have a friend who has been trying for almost 12 years and only re ently went to dr. B upon my recommendation. Our third friend had isdues, but her husband is young and extremely healthy and with a minimum dose of meds,she managed to get pregnant twice and get 3 kids. But this lady, who happens to work with my friend has been so insensitive in her comments toward our friend rhat i hadto draw her attention to it.shewas not thinking to a huge extent.should i call itselfishness or stupidity-i dont know.i think itis a matter of personalities,not experience because my mumtold me a story of her work colleague who was infertile. There were 4 of them in the office and they never even told her they were pregnant until their stomach would appear. Thats thoughtfulness.

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  2. It’s awesome that you spoke up. While, like you say, the intentions of the individual making the toast were probably pretty benign (although since he/she knew your story, it does seem a bit careless not to think that through), those words can sting something fierce. Even now I still find myself wincing when people say things like that because I know exactly how close we came to not taking our daughter home – and that if we hadn’t, or hadn’t had a child at all, we’d still be worthy of dignity and respect. Spend any time in the ALI community and it seems unreal just how many of us there are out there. At any given gathering, odds are that someone is struggling.

    I’ll bet that woman appreciated your words and not being alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, the toast was insensitive to those who can’t procreate easily, but what was the context? Was it a birthday party, shower, large celebration? Or was it just a couple of couples? Even in my darkest time, I never expected people in large settings to cater to my situation because their party/celebration/reason for gathering is not about me. Sure, I would have cried about it or gone on and on and on about out to Brian later, but I would not have thought, “she shouldn’t have said that,” and I certainly wouldn’t have said anything at her own event out DURING her toast. I would have rolled my eyes and then quietly slipped down the hall to shoot myself up of repronex/stims in the nearest bathroom before coming back to the party.

    I say this with love… I know it’s hard to remember that it’s not all about us when we’re in the midst of the struggle, but it is important to remember that others CAN’T relate without having been there themselves. If we all catered every toast, every comment, every sentiment to the challenges of those around us, we’d have very little to verbally celebrate. I’m actually sad for your friend that that woman interrupted her toast. That was unkind.

    Liked by 1 person

      • But MPB has a baby, so the gal probably just thinks, “she’s a mom now!” because she, personally, didn’t struggle like MPB did to become a mom. And the gal may not even know about the other woman’s struggles. We can’t expect people to know what they don’t know! And we can’t expect people to get it right every time for us. We’ve become way too focused on ourselves as a society and this is just a very small example of that. If the woman was spewing hate or consciously making hurtful comments, then yes, interrupt. But to interrupt a TOAST because you don’t like the message because of your own struggle that others may not even know about? No, that is not OK.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It is one thing to toast and recognize a joyous event – it’s another to make a joke that alienates your invited friends or makes them feel faulty and flawed at the same time. I’m sure it wasn’t intentional, but it’s still surprising. There are countless other celebratory phrases that could have been used, so I get why these two guests’ hearts stung at the choice of speech.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I totally understand why it stung. As I said, it would have bothered me too. But I would never have interrupted the toast, and that’s coming from probably one of the most bitter infertile people alive at the time (me) 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • “If we all catered every toast, every comment, every sentiment to the challenges of those around us, we’d have very little to verbally celebrate. I’m actually sad for your friend that that woman interrupted her toast. That was unkind.”

      I think this is a valid point. I tend to want to be sensitive to everything for everyone, but it is certainly a fine line to walk. The reality is virtually everyone has a story that could break your heart, a struggle, and something they are sensitive too. It’s absolutely ok to feel hurt and to feel as though someone was not thinking of you, and to discuss with them your feelings privately where you can actually talk & educate. Cutting into someone’s toast feels mean spirited though. That being said, emotions get the best of everyone, and that’s okay. But like Courtney said, if everyone were to do this for their own reasons, we’d be left with little to appropriately toast.

      Liked by 1 person

      • See I think that if you are toasting to two people it’s ok to say what this person said but when it is in a group of people unless you know it will apply to everyone it’s not an appropriate toast.

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  4. I didn’t have infertility issues, but have adopted. And I notice many “foot in mouth” moments and comments now. I was likely not sensitive enough before I understood. Some days I handle these comments better than others.

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  5. That person definitely could have said things very differently, and still made her point. I think people just don’t THINK before they say things sometimes. It maybe would be different if she had no clue whatsoever…but if she definitely knew your story, and maybe even knew the story of the other woman, she should have been a bit more tactful and sensitive. I’m glad you both spoke up for yourselves. Hopefully everyone in that room will think before they speak in the future.

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  6. Well, I can kind of get why people feel each way. I’m still more infertile than a mother, and being pregnant doesn’t change the sting of infertility and loss. Maybe if I actually end up having the baby, it will. But right now I feel for the woman who spoke up and I feel for you.

    Personally I don’t think it’s over-catering to not focus on procreation all the time. I definitely feel there’s more focus than not. Would I have said something? Clearly not – this is coming from the person who went and held a baby at a christening around her due date. It bloody hurt. And sometimes we can’t easily control our emotions.

    At a gathering or whatever, I wouldn’t be expecting to be assaulted with my childlessness. But equally I understand many people who’ve had kids easily don’t understand how hard it is. As a childless person I try and avoid certain types of event, but you can’t avoid them all. I definitely feel for that woman because it must have absolutely sucked.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. We learn what’s appropriate or hurtful by making mistakes and being corrected – lovingly and with grace but still. I respectfully disagree with folks who think no one should have spoken up. We don’t toast to losing hair when there’s a chemo patient in the room and we shouldn’t toast to procreation when KNOWN infertile folks are present.

    Liked by 1 person

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