to be furious with myself! What should I have said? (Ivf)(61 Posts)
I went out last night with some of the mums from nursery. It's the first time we've ever got together and we were having a pleasant evening until one of the women mentioned that her neighbour was having IVF. Then another woman suddenly said "I think it's wrong and interfering with nature." There was a short discussion about how nonsensical an argument that is, and she kind of agreed but then kept saying "we'll sorry but that's what I think."
I'm normally quite chatty but I was dumbstruck and to my shame, made an excuse and left. My children are the result of fertility treatment, after years of heartache and although I've never discussed it with any of the school mums, I hate the thought of being judged in such a way, and worse, that my children might be treated differently.
This woman has changed her hours at work and will be doing the school run more and I can barely look at her!
What should have I said? I'm so cross with myself for bolting like that!
People are often rude about things they are ignorant or ill-informed on. I think those women just didn't have a clue and didn't engage their brains before thinking.
I think it might be handy for someone (although maybe not you) to open their eyes to the reality for many many couples.
YANBU to be upset, but maybe if you wanted them to buck up their ideas you could have tried to educated them.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.
There are moral pro's and con's with fertility treatment. Not everyone will hold your opinion that it is the correct course of action. It is an emotive subject.
I think you were fine to ignore it & leave. There's no point arguing with such an ignorant person. At least no one else agreed with her.
Don't be furious with yourself. Having been through ivf & succeeded is a major achievement. It shows you're strong & tenacious.
Surely you know that this woman is very unusual in her views? There must be very few people who think like this
I agree with Holly. Not everyone has to have the same opinions. This lady isnt wrong to hold that view, just as you are not wrong to hold yours.
I suspect that had she known your personal experience she might have just kept quiet. Who knows.
She is allowed to have her opinion, TBF. Am I right that she didn't know you had treatment, so she was not judging you per se, just saying she didn't agree with it. TBH, it's great your treatment worked for you and you have wonderful DCs. You can't help how other people may feel so don't sweat it. Enjoy your babes! BTW, your children will not be treated differently. I'm adopted so I can at least appreciate it doesn't matter where we came from, just that we are loved!
OP you ask what you ''should'' have said.
Well IMO there is no should about it. It's not your job to educate her or try to change her mind. You may have gotten nowhere with her even if you had tried all night!
Although it sounds a slightly harsh statement in this circumstance, it might actually help to remember that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and rather than stressing about the wrongs and rights of it, put it behind you and just stay off the subject with her.
Yes I agree - she is entitled to her opinion, I think I was taken aback that she came out with it the way she did. I think if she had given me the impression that its not a route she would have chosen but she can empathise with the pain of infertility etc I wouldn't have felt so shocked but she was so, well, outspoken about it.
I sympathise, although as she didn't know your circumstances she obviously wasn't having a go at you personally. When I've been in this situation I try to say something mildly like "well, it's easier to hold strong opinions on this when you haven't needed fertility treatment". The argument that it's somehow 'unnatural' does rather tend to fall down when you ask them to consider how they feel about antibiotics, painkillers, hip replacements (to pick three other random aspects of medical science)... Although there is no "should" about it -- you don't have to justify your choices -- I think if you can bear it, it is good to talk about IVF as it educates people about the reality of it and makes it a less taboo topic, which can only help our DC in future.
Coconutty I sat in the car seething thinking I should have shared a bit of our story to educate her on why we reached the decision to have ivf and that she was mouthing off about something really raw and sensitive, but I do t really want our business to be common knowledge.
I'd have said something like "Have you never taken medicine then? Been on the Pill? Isn't that 'Interfering with nature?'"
But it would probably have depended on how much wine I'd had.
That's awful what she said I mean! Not your reaction.
I'm in the process of donating eggs and there is one woman at work who simply won't speak to me now because I'm going against nature. I get the impression she is trying to sway others.
Ignore ignore ignore is the best approach. You are unlikely to change the views of people who feel strongly enough to condemn others.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.
My late grandmother had the opinion that black people were not equal to white people.
Some people have the opinion that homosexuality is repugnant and should not be practiced.
Others still have the opinion that women should not pursue certain careers, or in some instances a career at all.
There are some opinions that are so far beyond the realms of what we as a society consider normal and acceptable that to voice those opinions is against the law.
This doesn't quite fall into that category; however, I believe that it is extreme enough to have been considered highly offensive and likely to be distressing in the extreme to many, as it was to the OP.
I wonder if some of those advocating "she is entitled to her opinion" would have been quite so open minded had the woman voiced an opinion that to treat cancer "goes against nature" if you or a loved one were undergoing chemotherapy, or that to transplant organs went against nature if you or one of your children were waiting for a kidney or similar?
My guess is you would feel just as taken aback, upset and annoyed as this poor woman does. Someone has just told her, albeit in a roundabout way, her children are "wrong" for existing.
OP, YANBU to feel as you do but there's a lot of idiots in the world. Don't let them get to you
Maybe it's a religious thing or she/ her dc was adopted and thinks if everyone had successful ivf no children would be adopted. Misguided but there might be some context to it....
YANBU to feel upset at her ignorance but YABU to be furious at yourself. In future I think what Coconutty said would be a great counterpoint.
Don't ever feel inferior about having ivf to conceive, your children won't be affected I'm sure. I sometimes don't understand why people (once successful) keep it a secret, but then I've never been through it.
what she thinks, even if she expresses her opinions, does not have to affect you at all. having received ivf does not mean you have to jump to its defence in public. and as she doesn't know about your situation, she wasn't aiming her remarks at you.
There are many people who disagree with IVF.
To me I wish the couple all the luck in the world that ivf will bring them that much wanted child.
All reasonably valid arguments. However, not everyone allows their beliefs to be corrupted due to personal circumstance.
FWIW - I would not have chemo or radio having witnessed what it did to a friend. I would not put off the inevitable. I'm rather an advocate of Digitas, even though suicide is something that goes against my core beliefs.
Ditto, IVF is a path I, personally, would not have chosen to tread, for a variety of reasons. It is a subject where I would keep my opinions to myself. I would point out I have two close friends who have needed intervention and I have been outwardly supportive of them and their situation.
I wouldn't have said anything. Se is entitled to hold that opinion every bit as much as you are entitled to hold yours, although she would have been wise to keep strong opinions to herself amongst people she doesn't know well.
You would have felt even worse if she had listened to your story and still held the same opinion afterwards. If she's outspoken about this, she is probably outspoken on other things too, so try to not take it personally.
That's true, b4bunnies, but would you recommend the same if she'd said something racist or homophobic? It is always easier not to challenge people and when they're total strangers, maybe fair enough, but I think a friend should be made aware if their strong views are relevant to you personally so they can moderate them. Hopefully a friend would not want to upset you.
I would have said "yes, you are right. it IS interfering with nature. And isn't it fantastic that we can 'interfere with nature'? Or me and many others wouldn't have our fabulous children, and everyone who got cancer would die from it, and we wouldn't have vaccinations, so we'd still have things like small pox and we wouldn't even have an aspirin to take when we've got a headache. I am really pleased with mankind's ability to interfere with nature."
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