October 10, 2009
Breaking up is hard to do-oooooo
Several weeks ago, I finally sent off an email that I had been dreading for a long time, telling my acupuncturist/herbalist that we would be moving forward with IVF #3, and effectively dashing both of our dreams that we could use TCM (chinese medicine) to get me pregnant “naturally.” I know that it was ridiculous for me to care as much as I did, but I really felt like I was breaking up with him. Even though I had planned to continue acupuncture during IVF, I knew that this would essentially say to him that I knew his way wasn’t working, and I felt bad. We also had grown closer (I thought!) than a standard client/practicioner relationship because I had been regularly babysitting for his son and bartering our services. Add that to the fact that he really stands by his practice and Eastern medicine in general, and doesn’t seem to believe in (or agree with) IVF, and I was a bit worried about being judged.
After over a week of radio silence, I finally got a response. Here are some of my favorite (insert sarcasm here) parts:
- In response to my comment that I’d be seeing the chief (doctor) at one of the best teaching hospitals in the state:
Does he wear a big headress with feathers and do you smoke a ceremonial long pipe in his teepee?
- In response to my saying that I feel good about moving forward, but hope that he’s not disappointed in me:
Sure, it is your choice…I just want you to be strong enough to carry the pregnancy.
And more of the same…essentially what I thought was a very condescending and not at all supportive response. After asking him to clarify what he meant by not being strong enough (to which his answer was concerning uterine lining and hormone levels – not related to any specific problems I’ve had, just the things that are important to a successful pregnancy, and also, clearly all things that the doctors would also be monitoring!), I basically said that I thought we should take a break. After lots of awkward back and forth where I had to explain what parts of his email I thought were condescending (!), I finally got the response I had been looking for, which was a simple “I sincerely wish you guys the best – you so deserve to have a family. Please do keep me posted.”
At this point, I still feel a bit sad that things had to end this way, but I’m proud of myself for standing up to him. He deals with clients with serious and sensitive health issues on a regular basis, and I felt like he needed to know how he was coming across to others and that I needed to stand up for those who might not be able to stand up for themselves!