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It usually came from mums, often accompanied by an eye roll as they watched their beautiful child toddle up to my TV and bash it with a remote control.‘See, you’re better off without them, they’ll only destroy your house / keep you up all night / subject you to stinky nappies / cost you a fortune’ – yada yada yada.There’s one lesson that usually runs through them: children are the greatest gift of all. Now I want to help other women come to terms with their infertility. So here, affectionately meant, are my top seven infertility faux pas.‘Kids are a nightmare anyway, you’re better off without them’ This has to be the one that got to me the most when I was struggling with infertility.I had ‘dodgy eggs’ that were old before their time, meaning it was near impossible for me to conceive naturally. I felt so strongly about my own experience of infertility that I made the central character in my book, Claire, infertile and examined how it impacts her role in the world.During the five years I struggled with infertility – enduring three gruelling rounds of IVF – many of my friends were fantastic and knew exactly what to say. I always knew they had my best interests at heart so I'd never think badly of them. In one passage in the book, Claire says: “It’s how we’re programmed to think.Instead: Arrange a night out to take her mind off it. Just a few more hundred injections, blood tests, legs akimbo … And then there are the financial implications, too.We infertile girls might find it hard to relax but we’d love to have some fun trying. This was my worst nightmare: spending a chunk of my life enduring intense fertility treatment. So to hear someone offer this anecdote like it was a positive thing used to make me cringe.
‘There’s always adoption’ I know people who say this are desperate to show there’s light at the end of the tunnel.Tracy Buchanan’s book, The Atlas of Us is published on July 31.The Big Short, the film adaptation of Michael Lewis' book of the same name about the causes of the financial crisis, opens in UK cinemas this weekend.‘I bet you’ll get pregnant on holiday’ This is just one variant of the ‘relax and it will happen’ cliché.There are plenty more and I reckon I’ve heard them all. Yes, being well rested can help in some circumstances.
Sometimes, I got so caught up in my infertility that I craved normal conversation and something to make me feel like my old self.