Saturday, 4 May 2013

Perhaps, not so kindred spirit...

There are several different idioms that warn of the consequences when one decides to assume. However, sometimes there is a rational basis for making an assumption; and does anyone notice that if your assumption turns out to be correct, it gets retrospectively defined as a presumption? Our personal experiences often shape our perspectives and there are some underlying kernels of truth that allow sterotypes to survive. Nonetheless, it still is never wise to assume, as I was recently reminded.

When I had to leave in the middle of my swim meet for my baseline ovarian monitoring, I simply explained that I had an appointment. Perhaps my coach thought I was seeing one of my patients, but she didn't ask any further questions, and I didn't offer any information. Although, I thought about telling her about the real reason for my departure. In the time that we've gotten to know each other, I learned that she got married was she was 36 and she had her first and only daughter at age 40. Okay, I have to claim a little professional bias, but I suspected that she may have had fertility issues given her age at conception. I thought she may have been a kindred spirit. Guilty as charged for assuming.

Last night our swim team got together for a few beers at a local bar. One woman announced that her older sister was pregnant again. Wow, I remembered shortly after I started swimming, she learned what I did and asked me some questions about her sister's upcoming induction. It was only a few months before we started trying to conceive. I've now been swimming and attempting procreation during someone''s interconception period. "And you?" asked Phelps, who had three kids before reaching the age of 30. The soon to be an aunt replied, "I have a year left of my physical therapy training and then I need to get a job, but after that, I'll be open to the idea..."

"How old are you?" asked our coach, who is now in her mid 50s
"I'll be 35 in two months, so 36 when I graduate" she replied.
"Ohhh... plenty of time..." she reassured.

Hmmm. I thought to myself. No infertility or pregnancy loss survivor would advise a woman already classified as advanced maternal age as having 'plenty of time'. Although I do realise I am making another assumption, which is what would have led me into trouble if I confided in my coach, believing her to be an infertility survivor. However, how many of us personally know others that age or younger with diminished ovarian reserve? Her husband is a very nice computer programmer, who enjoys brewing his own beer and created his own couch to half marathon training program (day one, couch; day two, 13.1 miles). He can swim, but can the little boys?

"I can run numbers for you" I offered.


  1. I find myself telling everyone I know under 30 to start thinking about having kids. I tell mothers to advise their daughters not to wait. This is something I would have never done years ago. Plus, almost all of the women I have "met" on here, that have struggled with IF in their 20's, have still gone on to have children. Age is a huge factor, especially if there is another underlying cause for IF. Anyone who got pregnant at 40 without help, is very fortunate and of course, oblivious. Just the other day, someone mentioned Halle Berry and I wanted to scream. Somehow beauty equates endless fertility. Please! She should do us all a favor and fess up.

  2. M likes to say that when you make an assumption, you make an ass out of you and umption. Ah, my husband! I made the assumption about one of managers at work who is in her 50s and childless. When I mentioned our situation to her to explain some absences, she suggested I needed to hang around with more people with babies and it might rub off. Yep, assumption wrong on that one! No one who has gone through this would say that.

    1. My husband uses the expression "assumptions are the mother of all fuck ups" it doesn't play off the word, but an accurate description!

  3. I find that people often say the stupidest things! Infertility has caused me to tread lightly in any conversation. And yah, assumptions are not good - love your husband's expression.

  4. It's hard not to make assumptions when we've gone down this road. The difference is, we know better than to talk about it most of the time. IF teaches us to tread lightly.