Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A View From the Infertile Window

A few days ago I had a feeling of "I'm really not entirely sure how I truly feel about that" lurking around. We found out that my husband's cousin is pregnant. Not much out of the ordinary there (that we know about)- they wanted to have a baby and -poof- got pregnant. Good for them. But the weird part is that they have a website set up with several couples from their church. These people all got together and decided that they wanted to have babies this year and set up a joint website to follow everyone's progress. They use it as an open diary for each other and the world in general to view. Now, I can see to the non-infertile how this sounds like a fun, innocent idea. To me, it sounds like pure Internet Hell. Can you imagine? What if one of the couples has trouble conceiving? Or miscarries? Or they get to look at how nicely everyone else in their little circle is coming along with their pregnancies while sitting at home in a pool of tears wondering what is wrong with them and why can't it work for them like it does for everyone else. And then they can go to church and see all the couples in their little baby club, and try to pretend that everything is perfectly fine. It's not unlike what happens every single time infertility strikes, but I can't imagine that kind of gestational innocence. I don't remember it. I wish that I weren't so cynical about their. I wish that I thought is was cute. For their sake, I hope that it all works out for them. I hope all of their group members end up with a baby at the same time. How ridiculously adorable. How perfectly nauseating. I hope they never have to realize how close they are to the edge.

We watched Apocalypto a few nights ago. Well, "watched" is kind of a loose interpretation. I snoozed through most of the middle, which had nothing to do with the entertainment value and everything to do with the fact that it as after midnight. Mr. Mandolyn and I were both radio-tv-film majors and sometimes rent movies because we feel like we're supposed to. I realize the rationale is mostly ridiculous, but we do the rent movies through the mail thing so it doesn't cost extra to pretend that we got more out of those film criticism classes than we actually did.

At any rate, one of the story arcs didn't sit well with me. One of the characters is made fun of in his tribe because of his inability to produce a child. And not merely called names or made to feel like an outsider, but cruel, physical jokes. And everyone joins in- his peers, his mother-in-law, his elders, the children in the tribe. It took my breath away. I guess we've all kind of felt like that on the inside. Infertility makes you feel like you're the butt of a horrific joke. But to see it played out on screen so openly...and in ancient times...made it rumble around in my stomach.

It's not a new realization, but one that seems to be a recurring theme. Things are just different from the perspective of an infertile. Not worse. Just different, and it's a little shocking now and then to discover the view from another window.

10 comments:

Bobby and Ivy said...

Isn't it amazing how we still carry those feelings of "if I can't produce a child, I'm a joke. I'm worthless." I have always thought that kind of thinking followed me everywhere...even though it is no longer true in today's world.

As for that website your cousin set up...I just don't know. I think we as infertiles have become very cynical...however I do also think infertility gives a view of reality, of the real world that most don't have. Most fertiles don't think of the "what ifs." But I do have to say...What if? You are so right. What if something were to go wrong? How devastating that could be...

Bobby and Ivy said...

Just read your comment about our cycles starting on their own...

I think our mom's really need to get together again! They think sooo much alike. According to my mom, everything should be in perfect working order now!

yeah. right.

:)

Somewhat Ordinary said...

That website sounds like a very, very bad idea! You know what though they will probably all reporduce nicely and continue to live in their niavity!

I have heard of a few bloggers that saw that movie and I am now even more convinced by that storyline that I will not see it (my first reason for not seeing it was because of Mel).

decemberbaby said...

Ugh, that website idea sounds awful. Probably only an infertile would realize it, though. Everyone else knows that if you have unprotected sex for a couple of months you'll get pregnant. Right? Right?

Ann said...

Here's an even worse idea than the Web site: A while ago, a local radio station sponsored a competition in which three couples tried to be the one to get pregnant first. They would, of course, win lots of fabulous prizes. Can you imagine the pressure? I think that those couples at your cousin's church still probably view this scientifically, assuming that they will all conceive within a few months of each other. Sadly, I never had that naivete.

Nichole said...

I think only those of us that are infertile would think that the "internet diary" would be a HORRIBLE idea!!
It is amazing how our perspectives change isn't it?
Thanks for the comments!

Dianne/Flutter said...

Oh goodness. The blog terrifies me. You know one of those couples will probably have an issue. Could you imagine? Yes, you obviously can. That is mind boggling to me - how such an innocent act will probably be so painful. Hopefully not, but what is the probability.

I didn't see that movie, and now I have less of a desire. It must have been painful to watch.

Jenn said...

I think that's one of the things that surprised me most after having the boys was how much I still see things through infertility glasses.

M said...

I posted scrapbook pictures for you. If you like the canvas and want directions I'll be happy to share!

KarenO said...

You know, I don't think we Infertiles are really cynical about babies and getting pregnant, we're just very much realistic. We're stronger even though we thought we were strong enough to start with. Everything looks different from a different angle, but experiencing sorrow makes you look at things from a wiser point of view.