Ivy at Our Forever Family posted an update yesterday about her wonderful family. She also mentioned the uterus transplantation surgery that is being researched right now and how the infertile woman in the scenario is labeled as "defective." I think Ivy's "rant" about the word choice is right on target- especially when she mentions that it's another example of how people outside of the Infertility Ring of Fire don't get it, and often choose to ignore the human aspect of it.
I have a guilty little secret. I go to babycenter at least once a day and read the message boards for "my birth club." I have to confess that I feel kind of like a cheater when I go there, or maybe like I have a big dorky nametag that identifies me as not a true member. I think I go to catch a glimpse of what the Fertile Brain is like; to see what blissful pregnancy is like. And that's not to say that I am not happy at the moment. Hell, I'm more overjoyed than I know what to do with, but it doesn't make me part of the club. And I'm ok with that.
Now I'm sure that pregnancy outside of infertility is not always a picnic, but to me and my brain, it is. I envision it as going through nine months of life through a soft focus lens, just a tiny bit in slow motion. Like the obligatory "happy memory" scene in every chick flick. The things that concern these women blow my mind- some are "going to be very pissed off" if their baby is born in June as opposed to May because June's birthstone is far uglier." They talk about having too many appointments, how they've seen their doctor so many times it's just ridiculous. They start threads asking how many people got pregnant while on birth control, or on the first try, and how many are having unplanned pregnancies? One in particular caught my attention the other day. Someone was asking for advice on how to deal with the strained relationship she has with her best friend, who has had a considerably hard time conceiving. She felt that they were drifting apart and was afraid to share any pregnancy/baby news with her for fear of making her angry/jealous/hurt. The responses were mostly pretty good advice, I thought (they were mostly prefaced with, "I've been in your friend's situation..."). Good little infertiles jumped in to share personal experiences. But what caught me off guard was to hear how many people responded with something like, "I'm in the same situation, I don't know how to talk to my best friend/SIL/girl at the office who can't conceive/just had a miscarriage, etc..." One response recalled that while she was pregnant with her first child, she had several infertile friends. She said that she lost a lot of friends during that time, but that you really find out who your true friends are- the ones that stick around.
That last comment really got me thinking. I think I've settled on "upsetting." It sounds like she's angry with her infertile friends for not "sticking around" during her perfect pregnancy. She can't think about what it must be like on the other side of the fence...or won't think about it, I'm not really sure. Is that the SuperFertile! brain? Do they think of us only as bitter, selfish bitches who can't be bothered to recognize the joy in anyone else's life? Are we just defective to them?
I think we represent something far bigger than they choose to process. Infertility isn't something that anyone wants to think about having to deal with, so it's easier to ignore it. That philosophy has never worked out well for me. Pretending that all the problems in the world don't exist isn't a valid way to eradicate them. Bad things and heartache don't dissolve into thin air because you can put heavy blinders on. I'm not hinting that we should all live in fear of the worst, constantly looking for the opposite of joy and happiness. But when it's presented to you, you can't just turn around and decide that you've escaped it. So, SuperFertile! Lady, I'm sorry that your infertile friends had a hard time with your pregnancy. I'm sorry dealing with them might have made both of you uncomfortable. I'm sorry that you chose to let friendships fall apart because it was the easier path to take.
I'm mostly sorry that infertility has to be such a hard thing to actively talk about. I'm sorry that people would rather see it as purely clinical. I'm sorry that it can be easily ignored by people who don't consider themselves to be directly affected by it. I'm sorry that it has to be so damn hard. Communication and better understanding has to be a priortity, although I'm not exactly sure how to get that ball rolling...