One of the hard things of dealing with infertility is that you don't know who else is. Because it deals with such personal issues (like MY CROTCH), most people don't, you know, bring it up around the water cooler. So when you're dealing with the various indignities of intra-uterine insemination and the cost of dildo-cam appointments that aren't covered by health insurance and what it's like walking back into the fertility clinic that you triumphantly--and pregnantly--sailed out of three months ago, it's hard to find those "Girl, I know" moments.
As good as good friends are--as sympathetic a sounding board as they can be, and level headed as they can be when Clomid is making you cry for reasons you can't even put into words and as you apologize they can say, "I think that's Clomid talking, hon,"--as lucky as you can be to get that support, even those friends (especially those friends) will acknowledge that there's aspects to your situation that while they might understand, they don't truly know.
I should know, I have great friends. So that when my family or inlaws make well-meaning but bonehead moves like sending me emails about how great adoption is, or how "it's meant to be, so it'll happen", those great friends are there to be outraged on my behalf. When yet another friend finds out they got pregnant the very first time they tried and isn't that funny? these wonderful saintly friends will let me rage and rant and cry until I'm ugly and they still love me (I think). I'm super super lucky on that point. But... they don't, and they can't, and I wouldn't want them to know
And I just don't have the wherewithal to go make Infertile Friends because blech. I don't want to be friends with someone just because they can't get knocked up either.
Which makes my newish friend a lifesaver. I'll call her Rhoda.
Rhoda is really a friend of a friend. We've orbited past each other for a decade or more. I've known of her for a long time, but we've met and hung out for the past few years a couple times a year and I've always really liked her. She can be crass (like, um, someone else I might know) and that's a good thing. She can be funny. She can be thoughtful. She's not embarassed to be blunt and to have a sense of humor about things that suck.
And some things suck a lot.
Turns out we see the same fertility doc. The same Doogie Howser has his face in each of our crotches.
Ordinarily, this might be awkward.
With us, tonight, it was a chance to compare pubic grooming.
We drank cheap beer because her second IUI just failed and I'm preparing for IUI#3 and we're both wired on Clomid and we toasted the crappy things People Who Don't Know Better say.
"It's good you miscarried because it means something was wrong."
"At least you know you can get pregnant!"
"Just relax! I have friends who..."
"Have you ever thought of adoption?"
We made each other cry and made each other laugh and bought each other another round because hell, we're not pregnant so we might as well drink! And Mother's Day is Sunday! And I know I'll get a call from my mom and I dread her fucking sympathy! And then...
... and then we talked about how her husband doesn't understand that mesh tank tops are not hot and my husband accidentally shaved his head last week (yes, it can be done) and where is there good shopping when you're not a size eight and what's it like working with all guys (as it turns out: a lot like working with all teenagers, so a lot of great same-experiences going on there) and we talked about things that had nothing and everything to do with all this crazy shit we're both putting our bodies through.
And suddenly five hours passed.
Because she knows. I don't have to explain why I threw a full glass when I found out my sister-in-law was pregnant even though I really am happy she's pregnant, or why I resent having to be the one to email pregnant people to let them know it's okay to talk to me, infertility isn't catching. She doesn't have to preface a story with "I know so-and-so's trying to help but..." when explaining the crushing blow someone inadvertantly landed or feel lame for describing crying her eyes out when hearing that her sister got pregnant from a guy who isn't really sure he wants kids. Because I know.
But also because we both know that we are more than our bruising desire to be pregnant, and so having a conversation meander off into the embarassing story of a dream one of us may or may not have had about her high school students (it's a dream! we can't be held responsible for our dreams!) isn't weird or awkward because it's what friends do. And then we could both twirl around back onto the topic of our pregnant friends who complain about gaining weight because they're pregnant or how tough their choices are and we both know that anger that has no place to go and we aren't scared by that anger from each other.
We're not friends because we get thrice-montly dildo cams and count those two-week-waits every month... Our friendship as the two of us that isn't mediated by our mutual friend is still new-ish, but I think this is the beginning of something good.
In fact, I know.