Over the course of the past few days, it has been suggested to me that, if only I could 'just relax', I might still manage to conceive 'naturally'. I have been regaled with tales of a friend of a friend of my sister-in-law's who apparently did just that, and who then miraculously fell pregnant just before she was due to start her first cycle of IVF. I have been asked to consider the possibility that perhaps we are not meant to have children of our own and that, given the circumstances, we could always 'just adopt'.
All of the above is, of course, standard assvice. Anyone struggling with infertility will doubtless have heard similar things before from their own friends and family. But why is it considered helpful, or even acceptable, to say these things? Do these stock responses in fact say rather more about their embarrassment and discomfort, than about my infertility? It strikes me that there is at the moment no broader discourse on infertility and loss - or rather, that in the act of telling our stories and sharing our experiences, we are in the process of creating one here in the blogosphere. Unfortunately, however, the ripple effect seems slow to spread. Perhaps in time, people will begin to have greater understanding of the difficulties associated with infertility, and will stop and think before coming out with this crap.
Surprisingly enough, none of this came from my mother-in-law, who managed studiously to avoid the topic of our infertility - instead, she spent much of the weekend criticising Mr H and cooking up the type of highly-processed food that I never buy at home - over the course of the weekend, I've eaten more saturated fat and refined carbohydrates than ever I would in a month of Sundays.
I am accordingly both exasperated and bloated, but indescribably relieved to be back home!