I read a lot of other blogs and forum posts where people suffering from sub fertility have had bad experiences with unwelcome advice from friends, colleagues, families and even strangers. I have been lucky enough to not had any unwelcome advice from people I have confided in. In fact, I have been overwhelmed with the love and support we have been offered in return for confiding in our journey to conceive. Am I lucky or have I just been super careful to who I tell?
I asked my husband if he had any unwelcome advice so far….he has been very open with our journey with his work colleagues, so I was intrigued if they have been helpful or unintentionally upsetting? (My husband is tough skinned though, so he can take a lot and not take things to heart like I can quite as easily). Apparently, he has only had one bad experience where he felt like he wanted to punch his colleague in the face, but it was surely unintentional.
We have had amazing support and advice which has been welcome so far…but to what extent do you risk putting yourself out there to get hurt by a friend’s unwelcome advice (unintentionally, of course, it’s not their fault, they don’t know)? For example, this week I am on my work travels in Paris, but I have had to cut my trip short by one day for my CD 12 ultrasound – how do I explain this to my work colleagues? So far only two people at my work know about our journey. Worst of all, how do I explain it to a group of people I am just about to meet and work with for the next year and a half? I am having moments of bravery, where I fell like just coming out with straight away:
“I’m very sorry I have to leave a day early, I have an important medical appointment back in the US – oh no, nothing serious, it’s just that my husband and I are going through fertility treatment”
Hmmmmm, doesn’t sound very professional. But I don’t want to lie either. I have approximately two hours to figure this out before I meet the group.
My conundrum is not really about sounding unprofessional, but more about exposing myself to unwelcome advice from colleagues I barely know. I probably wouldn’t want to punch them in the face, but I would probably want to run away and cry. And when I cry, it takes hours for my face to return to a normal colour again!
I’ll let you know how it goes and what I decided to do!
9 thoughts on “Welcome and unwelcome advice”
Bless you, this is a tricky one. Hope it goes ok for you xx
Thank you! It didn’t go quite as I thought it would…. :-s
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I haven’t gotten unwanted “advice” so much as unhelpful platitudes that people think are really nice. For example, “I’ll pray for you,” or “It will happen for you,” or “My sister-in-law/cousin/aunt/brother’s third cousin twice removed went through that and now she has 5 kids.” Like most medical conditions people don’t really know how to respond and they just look for anything to say. It’s actually pretty easy to just smile politely and thank them for their kind words and thoughts, and even when what they say is totally thoughtless deep down you know they are just trying to be supportive, which always feels good.
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This is true. You remind me of what happened at my regular doctor’s last week when I went for my annual work medical – I updated my doctor that we were going through fertility treatment – IUI at this stage. She said ‘oh my friend went through all that too, so I understand it’s tough times, but don’t worry, even she got pregnant in the end, and she was aged 41, so I know it will work out for you, you’re young still’. She was very sweet and I know she thought she was helping by reminding me that success will come – eventually…. but all I felt was a little bit of sadness about the whole ‘eventually’ part.
I hope you are at peace with whatever decision you make, and I hope it goes well!
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Thanks, I chickened out of being bold because it turned out one of the ladies in our new team is pregnant! I didn’t want to make anything awkward with her talking about her pregnancy or tip toeing/being polite around me. So I simply told the group I had an unavoidable doctor’s appointment – and so far everyone has been too polite to ask why or ask if everything OK.
I was actually looking forward to being bold and being open about it with my new colleagues.
You can still be open and bold when the timing is right for you and when you feel it will be respectful for the other lady on your team. 🙂