IF and the City

I used to feel sad when I watched the episodes with Charlotte failing over and over again while trying to get pregnant. Little did I know that my own attempts would lead me on the same sad journey. We've now passed 4 years in the trenches. 6 failed IVF/ICSI cycles = nothing. Time for something new - donor eggs. Success at last. Now for round 2.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Am I a desperado?

Just because I’m going thru fertility problems, does that automatically make me ‘desperate’ to have a baby?

I hate this inference and all the other many misconceptions and emotional assumptions that are dumped on anyone going thru infertility.

I’ve never in my life been desperate to have a baby, I just want to have a family. The fact that we have had to face and deal with many challenges doesn’t make me a frothing at the mouth lunatic!

The inferences about couples faced with infertility makes me want to puke.

I’m not explaining myself well, so let me try to do better.

When people talk in general or you read stories written about infertile couples, there are a whole stash of tired and trite descriptions. Couples go thru ‘exhaustive and harrowing’ fertility treatment because they are ‘desperate’ to have a baby. We’ll do ‘anything’ to have a baby – in other words we’re freaks.

Some of the most desperate ‘baby hungry’ women I’ve met in my life have had no issues with fertility whatsoever and have gotten pregnant the first month they tried. They’ve become the Pregna-zilla from hell and then the most over-protective know-all mother.

Just because it’s taking me [yawn] more than 31/2 years so far to become a mother – am I now desperate?

I would argue the point.

I am now maybe more determined to have a baby than before. I haven’t been able to take it for granted and have had to do much more research on the subject and I will have to go thru a more complicated means to get there. I’ve been thru some emotional and physical pain along the way, and I am willing to keep going with this because I have the same normal drive as anyone to experience pregnancy and motherhood, because I’m in a loving relationship - and not because I am desperate!

Can we not go thru infertility, deal with the issues and treatments and not be considered desperate? Yes, we feel the social marginalisation around happy families, we feel emotional pain because we’ve been thru miscarriage and worse. But that doesn't mean we're less level-headed, we're not all card-carrying fruit-loops!

My father has high blood pressure – does taking the hyper-tensive tablets everyday make him more desperate to live than anyone else? Is he not just a man dealing with a medical issue and taking the required medication?

So why does seeking fertility treatment make anyone desperate?

Isn’t the theory that facing challenges gives you character and strength?

I don’t know if this is just a stupid gripe and a rhetorical question, but yet again I have to say I'm not fitting this demographic - this t.shirt is the wrong size!

Is it possible that I could be dealing with infertility, but not be desperate to have a baby?


At February 01, 2006 1:08 am , Blogger ankaisa said...

I've always hated how IF is always portrayed in the media. We are freaks doing all kinds of unnatural things just to get a baby. But I doubt very much if you can find even one IF woman to subscribe to that picture.

We are not desperate. We just want something that comes naturally to so many people.

At February 01, 2006 7:41 am , Blogger Chelsi said...

Amen & well said!! I agree completely. I think people have a warped perception of IF because it is so unthinkable for those who haven't experienced it!!! The fertile world just doesn't "get" it, especially since they are the vast majority.

At February 01, 2006 8:53 am , Blogger Lut C. said...

I guess it depends on what is really meant with the term desperate. I looked the term up in the online m-w dictionary and onwiktionary.

Am I desperate in the sense that I have no or little hope that ART will work? Yes.

Am I taking extreme measures in an attempt to escape defeat? No. Pursuing ART is a logical and reasonable way of dealing with IF. It's a disease, I'm seeking treatment.
Like with many things, I could take it too far, thus behaving desperately in this sense of the word.

But I understand what you mean.

At February 01, 2006 1:34 pm , Anonymous Lori said...

Well said!! Honestly, it was the crazy, frothing at the mouth image IFers have that made me say "if it doesn't happen the old fashioned way, I refuse to turn to the doctors" when we first started trying to get pregnant. Obviously, I've become much more educated and self-aware since that flip comment but the portrayals definitely have an impact.
Maybe we're just desperate to be understood??

At February 02, 2006 3:49 am , Blogger EJW said...

I've noticed that our IF is making me think of pregnancy not as a means to an end, but an end unto itself. It's like I'm so focused on step 1 of 14 that I can't even think about how to deal with steps 13 or 14. I never think "I want a baby," only "I want to be pregnant."

I'm very open that we're trying and getting some medical help and people immediately jump to "you're going to do IVF? You'll have six babies!" I have to remind them that the process is more step-wise and sensible than that. At least until the Clomid kicks in and I start biting their heads off.

At February 02, 2006 10:45 am , Anonymous manuela said...

Gah... it's just utter bullshit.

We're seeking medical treatment... that's it. If we DIDN'T try to deal with our infertility we'd probably be labelled baby-haters.

At February 05, 2006 3:58 pm , Blogger Beth said...

Fabulous post. I agree wholeheartedly with EW's comment - I can't even see the forest for the trees, but desperate for a baby doesn't fit. Desperate calls to mind a woman who would go kidnap a child to have her own or at the very least a grown woman who has a baby doll that she carries around with her pretending its real. Last I checked, I chucked the baby dolls around age 4 and the Lindbergh baby would have had nothing to fear from me.

At February 06, 2006 4:10 am , Blogger Thalia said...

Everything needs a sensationalist tag - it attracts the viewers, or the listeners, or the readers, or whoever. So inevitably we are desparate, as are the dieters, as are the survivalists etc etc. Only we're just that little extra bit insane...


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