Let me preface this post by saying that I have extremely supportive friends – both IRL and online. I don’t mean this as a big fat whinge but I need to get it off my chest for once and for all.
Because I kept my struggle to have a child pretty quiet (well, not if you were my co-worker back at Credit Suisse in 2006!). People don’t really understand – and it has taken this blog for some of you to realize the depths and lengths we have gone to have a child. Compared to many others, we didn’t have to struggle too long. Thanks in part to my RE who believed that I should have back to back cycles (many REs make you wait a month between each failed cycle to give your body a rest – but my RE thinks focusing on the negative cycle during your downtime is psychologically detrimental – I tend to agree).
After our third IVF we had success….and for that I am eternally grateful….and I am also grateful (believe it or not) for our infertility. I really feel that I am better mother for having had to contemplate never having a child of my own. I feel so appreciative and blessed. Had I conceived with ease….I might not have realized how desperately I wanted to be a mother and I wouldn’t be able to appreciate the miracle who calls me Mama. Who knows though.
The other day a friend of mine asked how I was doing and how fertility treatments were going. When I told him that I was doing an IUI he seemed very ready to tell me “you have one beautiful child already, why don’t you just adopt” – which really took me by surprise. It isn’t the first time I’ve had friends and family tell me that I should grateful for the child that I have and stop chasing after another one. I’ve even been told (by several people!) that I can always get a dog.
The level of insensitivity that it takes to make such comments baffles me. The assumption behind these comments must be that I am being greedy for wanting my son to have a sibling – perhaps they think that I am “never happy” or selfish for not adopting when there are “so many children that need a home”. Blah blah. Not one of these people who have made these comments has ever walked in my shoes. Every single one of them has been able to easily make their reproductive choices. Every.SINGLE.one.OF.THEM.
I know I put myself out there by talking so frankly about what we are going through (especially me) but if you don’t have something supportive to say to me – just shut up. This process is hard enough and I don’t need jackass comments from clueless morons.
Incidentally we are not adopting because my husband is not “keen” on the idea. He is afraid that he might not love another child the way he loves his biological one. Who am I to argue with this? I would never convince him otherwise – because what if it is the truth? I know I could love an adopted child as much as my own – but we are a partnership.
I’m going to compile a little list, my friends – and I’d like you to read it and digest it and educate yourself on the feelings of the infertile.
Until you have walked in those shoes and down that path – you couldn’t possibly know an innocent question like “so when are you going to have kids” might send someone to the bathroom for a good old cry.
*and to my friend who made the insensitive comments – I forgive you and still value our friendship.