I've been thinking a lot about the expectations we have for ourselves and how, in dealing with infertility, we sometimes (and, for some of us, more than sometimes) have to re-evaluate and alter those expectations. But, we'll deal with that another time.
I want to talk about the expectations that other people give to you and, really, how unfair that is. I remember someone telling me recently that she went for her first RE appointment and the doctor told her "it's not IF you will have a baby, it's WHEN you will have a baby". Now she was probably 10 years younger than me, but, still, the little hairs on the back of my neck stood up, my stomach flip-flopped, and I entered "protection" mode.
I hate to hear things like that. The doctor is not G-d. The doctor, despite his or her best efforts, may not help that person succeed in having a baby. I'm not trying to be overly negative here and take hope away from anyone. Honestly, you cannot go through all that we infertiles go through and not have hope. Sitting here, on the brink of IVF #6, I still have hope. Sometimes I wonder if it's not hope, but, stupidity, but, that's a whole other story.
But, hope is quite different from false expectations. I have hope. I no longer have expectations. Did I at the onset of our first IVF? I'm sure that I did, but, it's so long ago it's hard to remember. Am I jaded? I don't know, I'd like to think that maybe I'm just more realistic. Nobody.....NOBODY going through infertility treatments can know for sure that it's going to work and to set those false expectations, to me, just seems wrong.
Similarly, I struggle every time someone who has dealt with infertility and, by the grace of G-d, successfully gotten pregnant, comes out and says something like "hey, if it happened for me, it will happen for you!". Usually statements like these are not said to me individually, but, posted on an infertility message board as "Girls, I can't believe it worked and I'm finally pregnant! I swear, if it worked for me, it will work for all of you! Just hang in there!!". Please don't take my comments here to mean that I'm not thrilled for them. I truly am. But, honestly, just because it worked for you - after 2 months on clomid, 1 IUI, or 4 IVF's - doesn't mean that it's going to work for me or anyone else. I know that these women are excited, and rightfully so! Maybe I've just reached a real bitter stage, but, statements like that actually feel more like a slap in the face now because I can no longer include myself in that group who "expects" this to work.
"Girls, I can't believe it worked and I'm finally pregnant! I swear, if it worked for me, it will work for all of you.....er...um....well, maybe not all of you....possibly not you, Lisa......but, everyone else, I swear, this will work for you!!!!"
And, the likelihood is that, yes, it will work for a lot of those women. I guess it's hard being in the hearty and tested and eternally hopeful group who may never succeed.
Interestingly, though, it was nothing online that set off this thought process today. It was actually another person (yes, there have been more than a few) in my real life who like to tell me "it took us 2 (or 3 or 4) years so, hang in there, it will happen". That's what sent me down this long and winding path.