I have struggled about whether to post this or not, but I feel like I need to get it off my chest. For years, my parents (OK – really, my mom) bugged me about having a baby. They didn’t understand that this was exactly the sort of pressure that made me NOT want to have a kid just yet. These conversations often ended up with me in tears while my mom declared how horrible a mother she must be for her own daughter to not want to be a mother. You can probably tell where this is going…
So I never said anything when we first started trying, figuring that eventually I would just tell them hey, guess what, I’m pregnant! Well, 9 months after we started trying, after getting an earful about having kids during every weekly phone call, I finally broke down and told her what was going on. That I was already seeing an acupuncturist, that I had thyroid auto-antibodies that were going to make it more difficult, that I was getting ready to see an REI and considering starting fertility medications, etc.
Her response? Nobody in our family has ever had fertility problems, this just couldn’t be my problem. She didn’t come right out and say it, but I knew by her tone she was insinuating the problem must be with my husband – the same husband she disapproved of for years before we got married. I explained our testing so far was not coming up with a specific reason other than my thyroid issue – which really was not a huge surprise to me given that I have an aunt with autoimmune diseases, including one of the thyroid. Still, my mother insisted this was just one relative of many, this just couldn’t be an issue. Never mind the fact that I have a medical degree, that I’ve read more than I care to remember about infertility and the thyroid… no, it’s because we exercise too much, or don’t eat right, or go out to much, etc. It must be something that we’re DOING, that we can easily just change – that’s why we can’t have a baby! I finally lied and said I had to go somewhere just to get her off the phone.
The next week’s phone call was worse. She proceeded to talk about some of her friends who she remembered having problems conceiving back in the day, and oh, she was going to find out what procedure Auntie M. had because right after that, she had G! And then there were her friends who married late and were having trouble for a couple years, when an accident forced the husband to stay home from work on disability, and yes, they got pregnant immediately after! And no, I shouldn’t take fertility drugs because they’re too risky and there’s no need for me to use them.
Just before my parents visited over the holidays, she sent another infuriating email, filled with a shocking piece of information I just can’t even repeat. At that point, I broke. I replied to her that even though she thought she was being helpful, she was not. And in fact, it was just hurting our chances more by stressing us out. I basically told her to butt out and not say a word to my husband about cutting back on exercise or his diet or whatever while they were visiting, that our acupuncturist was fully on board with what we did and how exercise is our biggest stress-reducer.
My mom never replied to that email and I was worried I’d pushed back too far. But a week later my parents visited, and my mom didn’t breathe a word. On phone calls since then, she just sounds hopeful, asking how we’re doing. I have chosen not to tell her anymore about procedures or medications that I may take. Hopefully one day soon I can call and give her good news, but in the meantime, I really do not want to talk about fertility (or our lack thereof) with her at all.