This weekend, as I was silently muttering and cursing under my breath about some real or imagined slight from my husband and step-daughter (PMS. It's a bitch.) I started tho think about what the equivalent of swear words are for those of us suffering through infertility. What are the words that are breathed in reverential terms or have caused us to cry?
The first word that comes to my mind is hope. Hope is a 4 letter word, both literally and figuratively. Hope can lift us up, but it also lets us crash down hard when CD1 arrives. Hope - the ability to ignore the fact that a low sperm count, inability to ovulate, and sex at the wrong time can still lead to a biological child in that cycle. I've fallen prey to it countless times. Each month, it creeps in and then, pulls the rug out from under me.
The second word is period. The dashing of hopes, the end of a cycle. The sign that yet again, anything we did would not end with a baby in 9 months. While not technically 4 letters long, I've been known to mutter it like the most vile curse word on more than one occasion.
Another set of words is baby shower. Nothing sets my heart pounding like a baby shower. The cute little invitation, the prospect of cooing over baby items, the mother-to-be, smiling and rubbing her belly with an almost beatific smile upon her face. The only reaso I go to these things still is because I'm still hopeful that one day I'll have a child as well and I really want the hand-me-downs.
Loss announcements. These bring the stark reality of the fact that even a BFP doesn't always lead to a baby. Each time I read one, it sends pain through me, wondering the what-ifs that plagued me after my own miscarriage.
Pregnancy announcements are by far the worst. I think those can be counted as swear words by infertiles. When one is made you have to fight back tears, smile and pretend to be happy, and make some kind of congratulatory statement. It's difficult, painful, and often just maddening. Invariably it's the 2nd cousin twice removed on your long lost Aunt Mabel's side that wasn't even trying, but oops! She's pregnant. Then she mentions that wouldn't it be great if you got pregnant right away as well? Then you'd be pregnant together and your babies would be the same age. By the end, your blood pressure has spiked, you're seeing red, and the last thing you want to do is be nice.
Just relax. How may times have we heard this. Just relax, you'll get pregnant right away. Who cares that your husband has no sperm. Who cares that you haven't ovulated on your own since high school. All you really need to do is relax. Apparently, it makes babies.
Another favorite that has been accorded 4 letter word status is "Why don't you just adopt?" Because it's so easy to wave a wand and have an adoption ready to go. Because everyone is called to adopt and then once they do, the magically get pregnant as well.
What are some of your infertility 4 letter words?