Friday, July 31, 2009

A Note To Those Who May Be Struggling With Infertility and/or Who Are Trying To Conceive

I can't emphasize it enough. I had sound, medical rational for thinking I would have trouble conceiving. I know what it feels like to fear infertility.

I have stayed up nights, entertaining thoughts of what my life would look like if I was never able to have children. Would I adopt? Or would I go the Dual-Income-No-Kids, embrace-my-career-and-disposable-income route? Where maybe I would take up an expensive shoe habit? Perpetually live with chic white furniture? Play a martini-addled Auntie Mame to my sisters' and friends' kids?

I have cried at pictures of everyone else's kids. Not because I felt any ill will towards them, not for one second. But out of a kind jealousy, if there is such a thing. Will my life always look so different from theirs? Will I never know what it's like to take a photo of my own child?

I would never have described myself as baby-crazy. I just happened to spend the first 25 years of my life assuming I would have kids. So as I crept towards 30, and then towards 35, and the possibility of kids seemed less and less likely, I just didn't understand how I could have been so wrong. I started to regret my life choices and feel a sense of betrayal in my body, my conceptions.

So.

So I want to make two points, if I may. If you know what I'm talking about and you're reading this, me, my blog anyway.

One: I do not take "having a baby" for granted. I know what it's like to promise the Fates that I would gladly accept a nightmarish pregnancy or week-long labor or breastfeeding malfunctions if I can just have a baby.

And getting pregnant and having a baby has not made me forget those thoughts. I tried not to complain about being pregnant. (Neither in real life nor on this blog.) I will never complain about having a c-section instead of a "traditional" birth. I will try desperately to never be mindless about how lucky I am and how precious this experience should be.

Yes, I know that millions of people have been having babies for thousands of years, but I also know how hard it is to be on the other side. To have to wonder, if it's so goddamned easy to have a kid, why I don't seem able to.

NOTE: If I ever DO complain mindlessly, if I ever AM insensitive to those struggling with fertility, please call me on it. Please.

Two: This is not a "baby blog," not any more than this is a "marriage blog" or a "life in the suburbs blog." Of course I know that Having A Child Changes EverythingTM. My blog is already one of those things, as evidenced by nine million posts about pregnancy and the subsequent baby photos. But this is still my space, where I write about my life and my perceptions and my messes. I'm no longer single and living in San Francisco, but I'm still the tripping-spilling-martini-drinking-crazypants I always was. If my married-suburban-baby circumstances make me less interesting to you, I understand. Just know that I'm not trading in my "life blogging" card for a "mommyblogging" one. (At least, that is not my expressed purpose.)

Lastly, and just because I loved it when I read it (though it made me weep), here is a fantastic site that details the top things NOT TO SAY to someone dealing with infertility. I think it's a fantastic thing for anyone and everyone to read...because you probably DO know someone who's struggling, even if they haven't made that public yet.

Just wanted to put that out there.

13 comments:

  1. I've spent the first 25 years of my life thinking I probably WON'T have children, and I still wake up sometimes, terrified that I won't even have that option. I think it's only natural as a woman.

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  2. I have to say I think it's really awesome that you still remember those of us out there with malfunctioning uteri. I've watched so many bloggers who have had trouble conceiving that finally got pregnant who completely forget what it's like not to be able to have children as soon as they start growing a peanut. It's hard to watch everyone you know with children when you know that there's absolutely no possible way that you can have your own. And it's not even like I'm baby crazy. I just know I would have made a good mom.

    Thank you.

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  3. Kristy, I have been reading you for 5 years. Can you believe it?! And I cry reading about all of the blessings that have come your way, because I read through all your hardships too. I just found out I am pregnant, and like you, I had some reasons to wonder if it would ever happen for me. I am so happy for you. You deserve it all.

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  4. Thanks for this, my best friend is a little knocked up (big oops) and her sis-in-law is struggling big time with infertility. Passed it along. Shit, is that gossiping? I fail.

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  5. I Like Rocks- I've seen that same ironic situation before.
    Kristy- Love Auntie Mame- should have known you would, too.

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  6. Going through the same thing right now, 3 years away from 35 and ALWAYS in the back of my mind is the "did I make the right choices? If I meet a nice man will I even be ABLE to have a child? Gah!" conversation with myself that always seems to be there...so thanks for this.

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  7. Hi. I always enjoy reading your writing. I am really happy that you have [broached] this subject. Since meeting my husband I have worried about not being able to conceive. There is really no reason for this, but I was so happy when I met him and I can't really wait to start a family when the time is right, but there, at the back of my mind is that nagging thought, 'what if I can't?'. Anyways, this comment really isn't about me...
    I am really happy that you wrote about this because I know a few people at work who have struggled with infertility for a long time, they have tried everything and when they talk about it, I am really not sure what to say. The link that you provided was really helpful. It brought to light some things that I really didn't think of and clarified the things I had thought of, but didn't really understand.
    Thanks for being you and writing about anything and EVERYTHING!
    Congratulations on Eve. She is beautiful : )
    CAT

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  8. Thank you, Kristy! Your sensitivity (and first-hand experience in the matter) mean A LOT. I really hate the whole 'pigeon-holing' categorization that goes on regarding What Your Blog Is (as though it can only be one thing, forever). If we never changed, or only talked about one thing, we'd never grow. and THAT is far less interesting.

    I'm so glad for you, and even though you happen to have what I don't, I'll still be a reader. Keep on keepin' on! (& thanks for the link - I think I'll use it in an upcoming post.)

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  9. You're not a mommyblogger now, and you weren't an infertility blogger at the time, either. You're just a Kristy-blogger. Which is why I read you. (I read lots of mommybloggers and infertility bloggers, too, incidentally.) Speaking as someone who struggled with infertility for over ten years, adopted, and then had a TOTAL surprise baby (and no, folks, that doesn't happen "all the time," it happens to about 5% of people who adopt), you haven't been insensitive. You've been lovely. Some people who are raw with pain won't be able to join your joy, but that has to be okay. They still wish you well. As do I (Eve has to be the cutest baby at this age I've just about ever seen! I hope you are getting some sleep and not stressing about ANYTHING.)

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  10. I <3 you!!

    I spent the first 18 years of my life NEVER wanting children. I spent most of the year I was 19- pregnant. Fast forward 8 years and I have 3 years of infertility, and 1 Angel Baby under my belt.

    And I'm not even thirty yet.

    Thank you for bringing attention to the "Infertility Rules". I've enjoyed reading you before, during, and now after your pregnancy, I've enjoyed based on your writing style- not what you write about... though I must say, I REALLY enjoyed the story of the ebola-pantyhose.

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  11. What a beautifully written post. I read your blog, for you writing and perspective, no matter what the subject matter. Keep it up with whatever feels right to you. Good luck with your Eve. I was the one that guessed Maeve, so I was partly right for the name!

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  12. Thank you so much for this. I'm part of that weird little group of women who aren't infertile (at least I don't think so) or childless by choice, but more childless by circumstance.

    I waited 'til I got married, then he wanted to wait 'til we got financially settled, then he wanted to wait 'til we got a house, then the marriage started to tank, and now holy cow I'm going to be 37 next month?

    Mother's Day and Christmas hit me like a ton of bricks every year, but I loved reading every post of your pregnancy and I smile every time I see a pic of Eve. Thank you for being a Kristy-blogger. :)

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  13. I don't care what category your blog falls under or what you blog about, I will read it and love it and wish that we could be friends. I am so happy for you and wish you and your family all the best.

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