Sunday 12 May 2013

Oh, you're infertile! Congratulations!

I've always had my bits waxed before my hoo-ha appointments long before I started fertility treatments; it's a GYN vanity thing. I started going to a national chain waxing centre as it is close to my office. I feel I've traded the convenience of the location for the imposition that the staff are all sales people and they are always promoting a special on a product or service. Additionally, the techs try to schedule my next visit after each appointment. I usually decline and explain that I'll call closer to the date when I'm due (the salon is not that busy and I've even been served on a walk-in basis). At my last visit, the tech again pressured me to commit to a follow up session. I decided to inform her that I'm going through infertility treatments and my waxing needs revolve around those appointment. "Oh, Congratulations!" she said to my surprise. I'm sure my head spun a little bit; did she seriously offer me congratulations for being infertile?

I know it's an awkward announcement and many people aren't quite sure how to respond. Most will offer some form of well wishes and recount a story of someone they knew who was infertile and somehow became pregnant. Seriously though, are congratulations really in order? As she was young, I figured maybe she just didn't understand and thought I was revealing that I was pregnant. Or perhaps she didn't fully comprehend the situation of infertility and just through that was an appropriate response. Amber at Old Lady and No Baby had a similar experience when she had some paperwork notarised before her FET and the agent offered her congratulations, not once, not twice, but three times for good measure.

Well I've decided that it is an appropriate response and congratulations are in order:

  • For acknowledging your infertile status
  • For having the courage to meet with a specialist or adoption agency 
  • For mastering skills such as giving yourself injections
  • For being brave enough to face the uncertainty of fertility treatments or adoption process
  • For holding it together during many baby showers, first birthday parties and a pregnancy announcement from a friend who 'wasn't even trying!'
  • For enduring the well intended suggestions to 'go on a holiday and relax!' 'wear socks after sex and stand on your head!' only to eventually be told 'it will happen when you stop trying...'
  • For all the times you dried the tears from your eyes and found a way to laugh or smile
  • For discovering that you are much stronger than you ever thought you were
  • For finding how much love is in your heart for your baby long before he or she arrives

Happy Mother's Day to my infertility sisters. Amazing women who are already mothers in their hearts and are merely waiting for their babies.


  1. This is great. Congratulations to us!

  2. What a great post! Thank you! We are all stronger than we may think! Hugs!

  3. Here, Here! Well said! She probably said congratulations because like so many others, she believes seeking IF treatment is like going out to buy a baby, a guaranteed success.

  4. I love it! My favorite part is all the "tips" all to end in "stop trying and it will happen."

  5. **love** Congratulations, indeed!

  6. Love this! Thank you so much, and you are right: we DO deserve to celebrate ourselves. We are one beautiful, resilient lot!

  7. Great post! We should celebrate all we do to start our families. It takes a lot of strength.

  8. Maybe she meant congratulations on being surely your RE's most-well-groomed patient? Who knows. But why not? Congratulations!

  9. oh my goodness this is a great point! I read Amber's blog and did not think of this! We totally deserve a congrats for making it through what we go through! Great perspective (not that I expect anything less when I visit here!)

  10. Wow, am I behind in my reading! Thanks for mentioning my blog :) You are totally right, we do have a lot to be congratulated for! Now, if only these people realized what they were saying....but we can interpret it any way we want to!