After my WTF appointment, I prepared to face heavy traffic on my drive home. I also decided that I would call Myrtle. As my new car has bluetooth capability, I thought it would be a good use of time. I hadn't spoken to Myrtle in a while and she had been trying to get in touch with me to offer condolences for my grandmother's death. Once we had exhausted every topic of conversation that wasn't asking about our fertility, she broke over six months of silence, by asking "so, how is that going?" I remembered her utter insensitivity after my first FET failure, and simply answered with "still not pregnant, just came back from my doctor." I thought that would be enough to shut her up. Apparently not.
"So, do you even have any eggs left?" she asked. Those words hit like a slap in the face. I thought I might be over reacting, but when I told Co-worker she gasped and put her hand over her mouth. With all due respect to my friends with Premature Ovarian Failure and Diminished Ovarian Reserve, what was so insulting to me is that she doesn't understand that this isn't our issue! As a matter of fact, my ovaries were rockstars during our last stim cycle! (not that it mattered) As I started to explain that actually we have three euploid embryos available, it occurred to me that she has absolutely no idea what that means. Husband, who reacted with a palm to the forehead, was just as irritated. "I really broke everything down for her in the simplest of terms. It was the Idiot's Guide to IVF!" I think she meant to ask if we have any embyros left, but as she doesn't know the difference between an oocyte and an embryo, she has no clue how inappropriate it is to ask an infertile woman if she has any eggs left. It makes me feel as if I'm at the point of needing to search under the sofa cushions for loose coins, although when Husband heard that we had 20 oocytes retrieved, he asked my RE if that tactic were employed.
Although along those lines, she delivered another punch with her next question, "how are you able to afford these treatments?" Once again, I felt a bit insulted. I alone earn close to Myrtle and her husband combined, and Husband's salary is not too far behind mine (yeah baby, I'm the breadwinner). Not that it matters, as Myrtle is a trust fund baby, although most of her money is tied up in investments. That question was being asked by someone who decided against a second child, as up until four months ago, her husband didn't have a proper job. A job we're not sure how long it will last as he's unqualified for the position, as was only promoted because the manager likes him personally. That question was being asked by someone whose fertility related costs were less than twenty dollars. Myrtle spent a grand total of $17.99 for a digital pregnancy test. Just one expense that confirmed she was perfectly pregnant and her healthy gorgeous daughter was on the way. Let that sink in for a moment.
Admittedly, I was in a more sensitive state as I was recovering from her "do you even have any eggs left" comment, but for the first time I truly felt as if I were being judged. As if I were frivolously spending or being irresponsible with our money. I could almost hear Myrtle thinking, you're not going to be able to afford a baby if you ever do have one! Among my irrational concerns is that she'll treat us like a charity case if we ever get to that point. More so, I felt that she was criticising us for being on this path; All Jane has to do is just go home and relax! I know so many people who became pregnant after they stopped trying so hard. Or why doesn't she just adopt -that's free!
So many potential responses entered my head. Most of them involved a combination of the words 'fuck' and 'you' and 'none of your business'. Rather, I decided to invite her into the mindset of an infertile woman. I told her about how I learned I would be receiving a small inheritance from my grandmother on the night before my beta test. Instead of thinking 'oh, that will be great as we'll be having a baby!', my thinking went to 'that will cover further treatments'. Unfortunately, this just gave Myrtle an opening, "I know you're not religious, but don't you believe your grandmother's death will lead to new life?" Actually Myrtle, we already ran that play. Twice. Didn't work. Thanks for trying.
I know it's so hard for Myrtle (or anyone) to find any comforting words in this situation, and I know don't make things easy for her. Yet it never ceases to amaze me; how is it that she knows nothing about infertility but she has mastered saying all the wrong things? I guess I answered my own question.