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If you have ever been infertile, Mother’s Day Can Freakin’ Suck.

May 12, 2019 | By: | Filed under: adoption, child free living, Faith and Infertility, I'm Just Another Angry Infertile Woman, In the News, Infertility Awareness, infertility in the media, Infertility on Television, Miscarriage, Peace to Parenthood, Personal Musings, Recurrent Pregnancy Loss, Stillbirth, The Infertility Survival Handbook, The Journey to Parenthood, Thinking Out Loud

 

If you have ever been infertile, Mother’s Day Can Freakin’ Suck.   This is a picture of my mom.  She had Stage IV endometriosis (like me), and as a result, only had me.  She wanted more babies but she couldn’t have them and she and my father were TTC before IVF or infertility treatment was an option.  She died a little over a year ago and for some reason this Mother’s Day has ripped-off what my grief counselor calls the “grief-band-aid” on so many different issues.  I miss my mom today in a gut-wrenching, heart-breaking way that maybe I haven’t since she died.  Maybe that is because she suffered from infertility too and we had a special bond on Mother’s Day, understanding each other’s pain even though we both became mothers.  But today, there is a pain and anger in me that I haven’t felt in years.  If I see one more picture of a pregnant belly in my news feed I will scream.  Or read one more comment about the diaper’s women wear after giving birth.  Please stop reminding me of what I couldn’t do!  My grief counselor tells me that losing both my parents (as an only child) within 5 months is called “complicated grief” but she also said that loss of anyone brings up every other loss I have ever experienced, namely all my many, many miscarriages.  That would make it very complicated grief, I guess.  I might have reached a point where I was okay not trying to carry a baby in my belly — losing a baby at 5 months when I was in such fear and denial that I couldn’t even acknowledge I was pregnant — helped me move past the ever-present yearning to feel a baby kick inside me.  But that doesn’t mean that I don’t still hurt as a woman that I couldn’t carry a baby.  I have two beautiful children and should be able to celebrate today.  But I can’t.  I don’t have the one person who understood better than any other how conflicting Mother’s Day can be, in which to share the day, happiness and sadness tied together in a giant ball of conflicting emotions.  My family seems to have forgotten that I needed support today — that I will always need support on Mother’s Day.  I don’t blame my kids for not getting me a card or doing something special for me.  They are too young to understand how complicated this day is for a formerly infertile mom (who just lost her mom), and God-willing they will never understand the infertility piece.  My DH asked what was bothering me and I explained my headspace and then I told him I shouldn’t have to ask for cards or flowers or CHOCOLATE.  Just because our kids are teens doesn’t mean the pain of infertility is any less.  Apparently today, it is quite more, and this is one of the hardest Mother’s Days I have experienced.  I cannot control the internet, all the pictures of newborn babies (Archie’s feet, Amy and Gene), and pregnant bellies.  I can only control my response.  Which will be to stay off my phone, tablet and away from my computer.   My infertility grief-band-aid was ripped off today and it freakin’ sucks.  It doesn’t matter how your infertility resolves.  There always is a little piece of it in your heart.  My mom not being here today makes it harder to push the feelings aside, but no matter how much counseling we get, no matter how many babies we do or don’t ever have, Mother’s Day can be brutal.  Now where the Eff is the Chocolate in this house?

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I got Baby Proofed!

September 23, 2011 | By: | Filed under: adoption, Age and Infertility, child free living, Egg Donation, infertility in the media, IVF, Personal Musings, Thinking Out Loud, Third-Party Assisted Reproduction, Thoughts on Choosing an Egg Donor

Summer reading lists.  What was on yours?  I read several great books including one which much to my surprise dealt with infertility, adoption, egg donation, embryo donation, sperm donation, single parenthood, and child-free living AND didn’t offend me!!  Not only did it manage to avoid offending me (a pretty hard thing to do when you are writing on topics so near and dear to my heart) but it dealt with these topics with such accuracy and such insight that I had to ask my colleagues what the deal was — had this author been infertile and I didn’t know about it??????

The book is “Baby Proof” by Emily Giffin (author of Something Borrowed, recently made into a movie with Kate Hudson).

Written in the first person, the author is struggling through marital problems and decisions about whether or not to have a child.  As she is trying to sort out her own issues, her sister is going through treatment for infertility.  Author Emily Giffin does an amazing job of both describing the issues a person faces when contemplating living a life without having children (and the condemnation that may come with that decision).  And she does an even better job describing what her sister is going through and issues involved with egg donation and the dreaded NOvary, fears about birth mothers, open adoption — heck she even accurately addresses the differences between embryo donation and embryo adoption and the misuse of terminology . . . .  Seriously, you cover that one accurately (as did Ms. Giffin) and I HAVE to put you on the Stork Lawyer’s recommended reading list!!

Baby Proof is a great read and one that very clearly articulates the very complex landscape of third party assisted reproduction and adoption.  I tend to be really harsh and judgmental when it comes to reading other people’s — especially fertile people’s — interpretation of my world (both the part I live on a day-to-day basis and the part I work in) and my hat’s off to Ms. Giffin!  Baby Proof is politically and legally correct down to its core and it is still a fascinating read.

Baby Proof gives us a multi-faceted view of  the myriad of complicated emotional and legal issues faced by infertile couples and singles.  If you are going through infertility don’t be afraid to read this book.  It’s not preachy, critical, judgmental, hurtful, or voyeuristic.  Baby Proof looks at the issues infertile women face every day and with the precision of a plastic surgeon and her scalpel, the author manages to peel apart the very delicate skin (issues) involved when you’re dealing with ovarian reserve issues, third-party assisted reproduction, adoption, as well as the concerns women face as their biological clock ticks away and they lack a partner to help make a baby.

It’s a fun read and manages to be educational at the same time.  I totally was caught off guard.  I thought this was going to be some light chic lit for summer vaca.  Was I ever wrong!  For the first time in a very long time, I wound up thinking and marveling at the ability of someone who doesn’t live my life to totally understand my life.

I may know that she interviewed a reproductive lawyer but I still have to believe that she knows more about this topic than what one can learn from spending an afternoon being educated by someone like me.  I can’t help but think she must have more insight into infertility than just an interview would bring.  I mean she really GETS IT.  I tend to think that you can only understand this pain if you’ve lived it.  Granted the character in the book is going through a life crisis and is incredibly intellectual and so these issues are discussed through a filter of self-analysis . . . but even that, the self-analysis part of it, leads me to wonder if there isn’t some personal connection to infertility that I am unaware of.  Maybe I will re-read the acknowledgment section?  Maybe I missed a thank you to someone who shared their heart.  But if I didn’t miss it, then this is one book that understands the infertile woman (and maybe will help people find their way through their infertility to consider an option of family building that without this book they might not have understood or considered).

It’s been a long week and I am brain dead.  I hope I made the point I wanted to . . . I don’t typically think that it’s possible to understand what we go through and I don’t typically find that people get the legal issues involved in what I do everyday.  You know I analyze every movie and magazine article looking and hoping to find an accurate portrayal of the path to parenthood when you’re not a fertile person.  Did I finally just find one??

I think so.  Maybe I won’t just re-read the acknowledgments. Maybe I will re-read this book.  This might be a first.

Thanks Emily.  You done us proud.

 



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