Tuesday, October 21, 2008

We need to invent a new phrase... where's Mel?

We were at shul (synagogue) tonight for Simchas Torah. (yes, I'm on the computer on a holiday. We're working towards complete observance, but we're still probably years away from it. The internet is probably my biggest obstacle... but I digress.) There's a woman in our congregation who absolutely loves to hold Kali, always has. I've always handed Kali over promptly because I could see that "I want to cuddle a baby" longing in her eyes. I've assumed that there was a story behind that look - she has two kids, one bio and one adopted, with a huge age gap in between. How could I not wonder?

She asked me whether I'm still breastfeeding Kali and when I plan to wean. I leaned over and said, "I'll wean whenever I'm ready to go back to the fertility clinic and do this all over again." It took a minute to sink in, and then she looked at me with complete understanding. She took my hand and confessed, "I had to do that too. Secondary infertility. It didn't work." She hugged Kali tight, and looking close to tears, said, "so this is extra special for you, isn't it?"

She gets me. I figured she would.

So... this reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend recently. He introduced me to a new verb: "to bagel". To bagel someone is to work a reference to Jewish practice into the conversation, in the hopes that the person you are "bagelling" will meet your revelation of religious affiliation with his/her own. Hence, "bagelling" is a tool used to either identify or draw out fellow Jews.

I think this behaviour exists among us infertiles, but we don't really have a name for it. Do we? What do we call it when we drop a superfluous reference to fertility issues into the conversation so that someone else will feel comfortable talking about their struggle? What should we call it?

I'm open to suggestions. Anybody have one?


Hollyn said...

I usually tell people that I'm a "fert", but I have friends that aren't. It's started several conversations. I do have to say that EB and Peach definately put it in perspective.

I love Kali. She's a special girl with a rockin' momma!

ms. c said...

AHAH! I never knew there was a term for it! Bagelling, I can't stop laughing thinking about it!

THough I have no suggestions what to call IF related bagelling...

Dagny said...

I don't really know. I'll think about it.


sariel & shlomit said...

Love the bagelling reference...and i'm glad you risked it with the woman at shul! i do this a fair bit and have made some amazing connections as a result...i'm thinking something about a pomegranate but let me work on it!

big hugs to kali....still waiting for my pic ;-)

Erin said...

Can't think of anything except sad stuff... I am glad you shared w/ her! kali is so special, just like her mama!! Lots of love!

Elizabeth said...

omg this post made me cry.

it's so true how I try to indirectly suss out whether someone is experiencing IF.