Professional Life, Kid(s) & Infertility

In all aspects of my life, I make no secrete that Little MPB was a hard fought for kid.

In my professional life, when kids come up in conversation, I always talk about Little MPB – let’s be honest, anyone who is willing to listen to me gush about my kid, gets an ear full.

But in my professional life, as a independent consultant without any additional staff, I always make a point to say we are one and done.  The reality is, no-one will hire a sole consultant at procreating age, without any back-up plan if they get pregnant and take an entire year off from work.

Sometimes people push the conversation a bit more, like those who are of a similar age and have 2, 3 or even 4 kids (apparently everyone I work with procreates like bunnies).  These people are particularly guilty of encourage me to have more kids, I always say something like:

Little MPB was so unbelievably hard fought for, that we are just excited that we even got to be parents that we just want to spend our time enjoying him.  So, we are definitely one and done.

I am becoming an expert at shutting down the multiple kid conversation.  But I feel it is important to also be honest about how hard it was to have a child for us, simply because there are so many people out there who suffer in silence – in fact, I suffered in silence myself for a number of years, and I remember the deep sense of loneliness.  That said, I don’t go into details, just acknowledge our battle and move on.

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This weekend, while texting a colleague about non-work stuff, they asked: May I ask, is Little MPB an IVF baby?   (To be clear, on more then one occasion this colleague has heard me comment on how hard fought for Little MPB was, and they chose a safe time to ask me.  I did not feel put off, or hurt in anyway by the question).

I instantly knew this was a loaded question because in my experience, no-one asks these things, unless they know the hell that is infertility.

I responded, and opened the door to a deeper conversation.  No, he isn’t.  But our family was brought together through adoption.

They took the invite to the conversation, which lead to an hour long conversation about infertility hell.  It turns out, their family member is going through infertility and they wanted to learn more to support them.  I shared the basics of what we’ve been through, and how we lost 5 babies on the way to Little MPB.  I offered to talk to their family member anytime.

They were genuinely amazed at what we’ve been through and they offered a shoulder for me to cry on or just a listening ear, anytime I need.  (A rare and very much appreciated offer, even if I will probably never take them up on it).

I suspect next time I see this colleague in person, there will be another conversation, as the door is now wide open.

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For me, this was a reminder, that once you’ve been through struggles to have children, the impacts last forever.  And, I cannot not just pretend it never happened, even if I wanted to.  Instead, I must continue to raise a voice to the harsh reality of infertility.

And so, I always advocate that finding a community of those who understand is beyond critical.  And, while I have my son, I will always offer my support to those who are just entering and/or in the midst of trying to survive the world’s worst club.

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7 Comments on “Professional Life, Kid(s) & Infertility

  1. Not really related, but sort of related. Last week we were at a local baseball game in the city and I overheard a discussion between two men sitting right behind me. It started out talking about traveling and then moved to the story of how one of the men and his wife are about to do their second round of IVF after the first failed. He talked about how they had miscarried 3 times prior and they were really hoping the second round of IVF would be “the one” because his wife is really hurting and is starting to withdraw from a lot of aspects of their life. It was the next thing that made me want to turn around and smack his buddy for. He did the common thing of telling a story about friends of his who did two rounds of IVF and neither worked and when they had given up, they managed to conceive naturally. He then said the words “maybe that will happen for you guys too”. I know he was clearly trying to be a supportive friend, but the response from his buddy of a sad “yeah…maybe…” killed the conversation right there as he was clearly not ok hearing this success story from someone who wasn’t going through what they were going through. It’s conversations like this that make me appreciate the fact that you are open and honest about your journey to Little MPB. By having advocates about loss, fertility challenges, adoption struggles, such as yourself, it helps the world have a greater understanding of the impact of their word choice when dealing with someone with no kids, one kid, or even multiple kids because none of us truly know what they are going through or have gone through. I truly had wished that the one guy had taken the opportunity to talk to his friend about how his words made him feel, but…they are men…and that’s not exactly common. Plus it was clearly something very fresh for him and there was a lot of pain in his voice too. So maybe he wasn’t ready to be the strong voice behind infertility yet.

    Liked by 2 people

    • When we were in the throes of hell, the most common comment I got was , you are wasting your time, its not a big deal, you can always adopt.. what she meant was getting to be a family is a bigger deal than the way you make it. It hurt, because sometimes, all you are looking for is an open ear to listen without saying anything. we want to talk, not get answers on how to fix, there is a medical fraternity for that sort of talks, qualified professionals that too! not your , it worked for my aunt’s cousins dog, so will work for you!

      Liked by 2 people

      • 100%!!! I myself didn’t have to go through the struggles of infertility and loss, but many of my very close friends have and some are still going through them and I have made sure to properly educate myself on how to talk, or sometimes not talk, listen, to someone going through this struggle. We are always so quick to try to give answers or uplifting ideas. But this is one of the areas of life where those answers or uplifting ideas can truly hurt someone more.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I keep getting asked the, oh 2 boys, why don’t you try for a girl!
    I laugh it off, but in my head, I cringe and say, ouch no. I am grateful for what I have, in our community, I realise how blessed I am, but no thank you. I do not wish to slide that slippery slope ever again.

    My husband who was so stoic during our journey, told me recently, I am so glad we are done with procreating, I cannot handle the stress anymore.

    In a work front, something I will never forget someone who was reporting to me took the courage to tell me she was going through IVF hell and wanted time to recover. That made me realise as supervisors how important it is to keep the communication open, esp with female employees. I had just m/c’d and was in shit zone at that point, so I just felt doubly awful since she too was in that shit zone with no support at work.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s why we are so open about our struggles to have M and V. I’ll talk to anyone who wants to listen and listen to anyone who wants to talk. J likes to open the door by stunning people with “we have two in the freezer” and waiting for the horrified look, followed by confusion and sometimes understanding. It’s a crazy conversation opener that we can’t use any more, since the transfer failed and we have nothing in the freezer now, but it worked for a while.

    Like

  4. I am fairly open about our struggles, especially if people ask. I just am so tired of hiding it. I think it’s great you’re able to share your journey and give advice that hopefully helps your client be more supportive of their family member. If only all people could care so much to learn about what their loved ones are going through and how to support them.

    Liked by 1 person

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