Thursday, February 28, 2008

Salt in the Wound

First let me say that I really liked the new therapist I saw at my RE's office. I'll write more about my first appointment in a later post, but first I have to share something that happened just before my appointment that really bugged me.

There I was in the waiting room ready for my first appointment at my clinic's counseling center when a couple came into the small waiting room with their 9-month-old. First I was in total shock. I think mostly because I see that area as a safe place. It's where I wait for acupuncture and it's a soothing environment. There are soft colors and lighting, green plants, even a waterfall. This is one of the premier mind-body infertility centers in the country. It's been designed to feel like a haven. I guess it shocked me because obviously there are no havens.

When the shock wore off, and I realized the little family was sitting down next to me, I started losing it. I couldn't look at them, it hurt so much. Honestly, it felt like someone had kicked me in the gut and if I caught a glimpse of them I felt kicked again. I pretended to read a book, Conquering Infertility (yeah right), but I was just trying really really hard not to cry. When the dad started playing with the baby, making gorilla noises I started tearing up. It was one of those situations where I just wanted a hole to open in the earth so I could disappear into it. I'm seeing a counselor there because I'm having a hard time coping with the idea that this next IVF cycle is our last, that DH and I may need to let go of the dream of having a biological child. I know my response to this family was strong. That's why I'm there. But why would you bring a child to the counseling center of all places in the clinic? Yeah, let's go to where people are hurting the most and rub salt in their wounds.

I thought that maybe they were getting couples counseling but I couldn't figure out how you could do that with a child in tow. It seems like it would be kind of distracting. When I thought I was going to have to leave and go wait in the lobby, finally a counselor came out and called the mom in. Just the mom. No couples counseling. She kissed dad and he left with the baby. I got mad when I realized that he was leaving. WTF! If he wasn't staying anyway, why didn't dad just leave with the baby in the first place? What makes it worse is that I heard the counselor and the mom talking about how they had seen each other about 2 years ago so the mom must have experienced primary infertility. How could you forget what that felt like? I think I'm harder on my fellow IFers when they do something insensitive than I am on others who are just plain ignorant. She should have known better.

Children at the RE office is one of my pet peeves. It just strikes me as so inconsiderate and insensitive. I sympathize with not being able to get a babysitter, but I hate the idea that's it's OK to do something that hurts other because it's too inconvenient for you to make other arrangements. Let's face it, if you really wanted to find an alternative you could. It may not be your first choice, but it is possible. Bringing your child to the RE is either a willful disregard for the feelings of others (I know this hurts you but my needs come first) or a willful diminishing of them (you shouldn't be so sensitive). I'm sure a response to my rant would be that if I were a parent I would feel differently. I like to think that if I were faced with the same situation in the future that I would not forget the pain I'm feeling now.


Anonymous said...

I 100% agree with everything you wrote. If you haven't already, I would complain to your counselor about the incident. You deserve one small place in the universe where you are not subjected to this type of insensitivity. There is absolutely no reason why dad and baby had to be in waiting room since they were not receiving any type of treatment.

Big hug to you. I would have cried in this same situation.

Freyja said...

I agree that taking a baby to the RE is an unacceptable action for a former IF'er.

I think genuine empathy is as uncommon as honest and truly unselfish people. I think most people want what they want when they want. I see a lot more "nice" people in the world than I do "kind".

Daisy said...

People are assholes and I generally hate them. This happened to me when I was going through IVF. There was a single girl cycling with me who brought what appeared to be her sister and sister's baby to every appt.