Sad vs. Sad

I was texting with my sister the other day. We’d both had long, crappy days and we’re commiserating about it– mostly about how much wine we’d need to consume to recover. Out of no where, she texts me:

Sis: I think of you much with the fertility stuff. Just for you to know that I’m here for you to talk if you need it!


Me: Thanks- sadly I have become an expert at grieving over the last year. It’s nice to have your support.


Sis: I want to help in any way I can. It is sad- all this stuff. I am here for you.


Since I’ve “come out of the infertility closet,” I’ve been interested in how other people react to it. Not a lot of my friends know– just the ones who I would typically turn to into any life crisis. My family knows. And I’ve told everyone I don’t want this to be something we tip-toe around. This is my life. It’s happening. Let’s be grown ups about it.

Mostly, people are sad for me which is nice. (Better than someone saying “Thank goodness! I never thought you should reproduce.”) These are the people who are closest to me, so they want to see me happy. This is infertility business, as we’ve discussed, makes me sad.

Part of the reason I didn’t want to tell people was because I didn’t want to be confronted by the perpetual sad face. You know, the well-intended friend who holds your hand and basically expects you to weep openly every time you talk about your recent test/procedure. I do weep openly. In the shower. Alone. Then I put on my big girl pants, and get on with it. (Then blog about it. That too.)

They keep checking on me to make sure “I’m fine.” Just calling. You know, caaaaausally… And I think they are surprised when I say (with some amount of truthfulness) that I am not sad.

To be clear, I am not sad. I feel sad. But I refuse to become a sad person because this is happening. I can’t actually set up camp underneath a bridge like an old hag, and wait to die. That seems like a pointless way to spend the life I’ve been given.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I love these people, and see how their responses come from a loving and supportive place. I am fortunate in that. More like their expectations for how I should be handling this are more accurately reflections of how they feel.

This weekend, I met up with my friend Sparrow who I have not seen in some months. (This is Sparrow of the “Statistical Anomaly.”)

Me: So Mr. Ostrich and I are officially going for infertility treatments.


Sparrow: Good for you.

Reaffirming. Empowering. Not ready to give up.

And not sad.



  1. thebarrenlibrarian · June 25, 2014

    Proud of you-it’s a powerful thing to realize that you feel sad, but that you and your existence are not sad.

    • thecommonostrich · June 26, 2014

      Aw, thanks! It took me a while to come around to that one. If I learn nothing on this journey, at least I’ll be more self aware.

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