Shortly after bringing her baby home, Myrtle was at that point of feeling overwhelmed, emotional and sleep deprived and called me in a state of panic a few times. I’m not sure why she thought I would be of any help to talk to, but for some reason the things I said were of comfort to her, and it gave me the feeling that I might actually be able to do this mother thing if I ever have the opportunity.
Although she couldn’t quite figure out why we still wanted to have a baby after the reality she had been describing for us. Myrtle continued to ask how things were going in that department. I was too embarrassed even to tell her about sleeping through the window of opportunity last month, which now felt like a non-issue given my last conversation with my RE. I gave her a quick recap. “I’m sorry you’ll have to do IVF, but that what I thought you were planning to do” I silently sighed to myself. I think I must have explained the difference between IUI and IVF to Myrtle at least five times. I need to remind myself that the language of infertility is completely foreign to her.
“Will you try the socks theory for me?” she asked. I wasn’t sure when she became involved in our conception process, but I was curious enough to keep listening. “I’m sure you’re going to laugh” she started. “You need to wear socks after sex. If you keep your feet warm, it leaves more blood to flow to your uterus to help things stick”. I’ve only been practicing in women’s health for ten years, but after getting pregnant once, she seemingly knows more than me. At the same time, I was also a little annoyed that she held out on her fertility secret for so long. She went on to describe that yes, it was November in Connecticut and she didn’t know what she would have done if she was still trying to conceive in July and had to wear socks in the summer heat. I realised at that moment that she seriously thought the socks helped her conceive. She couldn’t appreciate that she conceived because she and her husband had working parts and good gametes and would have conceived with or without socks. More so, she still didn’t understand that our challenges required more than an old wives tale.
That night I send her a long email complete with an infertility primer and I concluded ‘I know you think we’ll conceive naturally, and I hope you’re right. I do appreciate all your faith and good wishes, but I need to be realistic that we’re going to need some form of assisted reproduction. Your socks tip was cute, and no it won’t hurt, but the reality is that we need more help than socks’ She sent me a text the next day with the message “I’ll call you later, I want to be there for you like you were for me” I felt like I finally had a break through with Myrtle.