It happens every year. The first cool breeze wafts through the air and with it comes the smell of panic from infertile people everywhere. Everyone– Infertiles and Fertiles alike– anticipates the holidays… Everybody thinks: Family! Food! Traditions! But Infertile folk also think: Interrogations! Thanksgiving is upon us and all those struggling mightily to conceive here in the U.S. hold their collective breath.
Thanksgiving makes many of us tooooo full. Too full of parades, football, dog shows, turkey and… most of all….too full of chatter. And inevitably, among that chatter, somewhere between the opening kick-off and Tupperwaring next week’s lunches, people feel compelled to start talking about kids: Kids who are running around the living room like lunatics because they’re still high on Halloween fun-size candies. Kids spoon-flicking stuffing across the table who make you consider reconsidering “this whole ‘baby’ thing.” Kids ditching cranberry sauce under the table whether or not there’s a pet on the premises, because someone decided to break from family tradition and use a recipe instead of a can opener. And so while half the people are bragging about their kids to you and the other half are fantasizing about relocating the kids’ table to the un-heated garage, there always has to be one yutz who will look at you and bring all other conversations to an abrupt and screeching halt with one simple phrase: “Speaking of kids… ”
Oh Geez… and they’re off.
“Aren’t you trying?” (wink wink to the husband)
“You shouldn’t be waiting so long. I mean, you know it’s harder to get pregnant as you get older.” (Knowing glare at the wife)
“How long have you guys been married? Oh, we had three kids by the time we were married that long.”
And while you’re being grilled like a cheese sandwich, you’d think you’d at least gain some sympathy, if not actual support, from those at the table who had been grilled in holidays past: Uncle Dave who was taken out of a National League ballpark and ended up either incapacitated or incarcerated. Nobody would say which. Or cousin Sue who’s brought three different boyfriends to the last three Thanksgivings. (I once made the error of saying “Warren looks different.” To which she replied: “It’s a different Warren.”) But no. It’s every cheddar and gruyere for himself.
And then the fricken infertility poker game starts with everybody trying to raise the ante… A family twist on the true meaning of Cutthroat Kitchen. It’s only your life. Why not turn it into a game show?
“I have a friend who had twins at 40.”
“I have a neighbor who had triplets at 42.”
“I read about this woman in India who had quadruplets at 51.”
Luckily most of the time, you don’t have to respond or even speak at all. These Thanksgiving think tanks are usually running on empty from the start and quickly head out to the Sea of Stupidity.
“Whatever happened to the Octomom?”
“John Travolta’s wife had a baby at 61 or was it 49?”
“Isn’t he married to Kelly Clarkson?”
Yeah, there you go. See? That didn’t take long at all. And this year we have someone unexpected in our corner who hasn’t been present at previous Thanksgivings. If somehow the chatter gets diverted back to us, all we have to say to instantly deflect it away again is: “Hey, did you guys hear what Donald Trump said today?”
*If you’d like to take a look at my ebook, it is available on Kindle (click on photo icon on left) as well as Kobo and Nook. Also, please visit my posts at Fertility Authority including: “Real Housewives of Infertilityville”: https://www.fertilityauthority.com/blogger/lori-shandle-fox/2012/11/07/infertilityvillea-holiday