Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Infertility 101-Ch.4 : It Takes Two To Tango, But One To Make A Baby?
As women, we are not solely responsible for making babies. I seem to recall in the Degrassi High episode where Spike gets pregnant, that there was a boy involved as well. In that regard, grade seven sex education did not fail me. I'm still not great at putting condoms on bananas, fortunately that rarely comes up in my day to day.
As previously stated I loathe the phrase "Just Relax". I think it's a bunch of hogwash and malarky ( you know I'm serious when I start throwing around 'malarky'). Plus, I have only heard it directed to women. No one has ever said it to my husband, despite the fact his swimmers were part of the equation. I am aware that in our situation my infertility issues were the deciding factor, but most people dispersing this advice didn't know that. For all they knew his swimmers were the Brent Leroy's of the sperm world. Sure they might be loveable, but they might also be slow, lacking form, and just want to sit around reading comic books all day? Who knows what those little guys were up to? Perhaps the worst part of hearing 'just relax', or 'when the time is right', was that this all came from women. No man has ever suggested my high strung nature was the cause of our infertility. At least no man who's lived to tell about it.
So why is it that I've had such an unpleasant experience with other women through my infertility? I would like to think I'm the only one who has experienced this, but I know I am not alone. I'm not sure what drives these beliefs or comments? I don't think any one feels better after hearing them, so perhaps it makes those saying them feel better? I would like to ask everyone to please stop saying them. They are hurtful. I know that may sound harsh, but it's a harsh situation. I have already struggled through huge amounts of guilt at not being able to have children or successfully carry a pregnancy to term. The last thing I need to know is others feel this is my fault as well. It's rather severe to be told to relax, not to mention asking the bloody impossible out of people. Infertility is a very stressful situation so suggesting that we can relax or further 'not think about it' is unrealistic.
Those of us unable to have children aren't morons.There are doctors and specialists in this field, which suggests to me that there is an actual science to it. We are well aware of where the penis goes. By all accounts we understand the basic reproductive cues. In fact we probably understand more than most. This is a physical problem, not a mental one. If it was due to my state of mind, or us not being ready to parent, numerous children would not be born into this world. In fact, if a sound mind and stability were prerequisites for pregnancy, I would not be here today. A world without me in it? Then where would you all be? You'd be a little less mildly amused I assume.
I would love to have been able to express myself better in the early years. Unfortunately when feeling deflated my best defence line is "I know you are but what am I?" Not particularly witty. At this point in my life though I feel like I have nothing left to lose in terms of brutal honesty. We have been through many losses. Not to mention a bankrupt adoption agency, and further adoption obstacles. Frankly, I have zero fears about sounding rude or crass. As individuals and as a couple, we may not have been through the worst the world has to offer, but we have been through a helluva a lot. It hasn't made me hard, but it has made me more passionate about sharing our experience. Sharing the very real pain we have endured, and the pain one in ten couples goes through.
Infertility is not a women's problem. It is not a man's problem either. It is a hardship couples face together. If you have never experienced it, it's ok to not know what to say. It's ok to say, I don't know what to say. What's not ok is to pretend you have the answer.There may not be one. The time may never be right. Not all couples successfully have biological children, or are able to adopt. Some never become parents. We don't have crystal balls, and we don't know who it will work out for. We all have to accept that things happen in this world there is no answer for. If you can't understand, then you can't understand. No one is asking you to. We don't need to relate, in order to support someone. In fact much like the tango, it's just nice having someone there beside us.
painting by Fabian Perez