I used to hear this sentence a lot back when I was frustrated because we weren't getting anywhere trying to conceive, and again when I was frustrated because we were on a break and waiting for insurance that would cover infertility testing and treatment. I've been hearing it lately in response to IVF #1 getting pushed back again and again and again. And for a while, I really wasn't sure how I felt about it.
I mean, it is true, on the face of it. I just turned 30 in November, so there's still a good 5+ years before I'd be even starting to worry about egg quality since my hormone levels have been fine. As long as I have the same general insurance plan, a cycle (that doesn't involve embryo freezing or thawing) only costs us out of pocket at most $1500, and we have three of those before benefits would run out. There's certainly time to do those three cycles and to save up the money for them before getting to that 5+ year mark. There's even time to work on saving up for adoption if IVF doesn't work before getting old enough to worry about whether agencies or birth parents would consider us.
But. But but but but but. Knowing that doesn't address the emotional impact of infertility. Especially when we weren't trying and when I was waiting for insurance coverage, I would think (and occasionally say), "Sure, I've got 'plenty of time' now, but that doesn't mean that I can afford to just wait around for a few years and then get started, because then I don't necessarily have "plenty of time' anymore." Besides, why would I want to lose those years with my potential child(ren)?
I do appreciate the concern and attempt to make me feel better that seems to be the impetus behind the comment. When I've been hearing it lately, it hasn't been a variation on, "oh, you should just relax, you'll be fine," it's been coming from people that I know care about me and want to try to lift my spirits. That's why, even when it has been hard to hear, I haven't snapped at anyone or even looked for a good sharp response. And it's why I'm not ranting in frustration here, only sharing what I was finally able to make coalesce in my mind.
It's just not really a comfort at this point to think that I could go through this for another five, ten years, possibly even more. To me it feels like telling someone that hates their dead-end job and hasn't had any luck getting a new one, "Oh, you've still got plenty of time to find a new job before you'd retire." Or telling someone who has been unlucky in love for a long time, "Oh, you still have plenty of time to find someone, you have the rest of your life." While both statements are true, they don't address the loneliness, frustration, and other emotions that are a result of the current situation that has no real end in sight.