“All things happen for a reason.”
“I can’t believe insurance companies will cover infertility, but not braces.”
“You can have some of my eggs, if you want.”
“You can always adopt.”
“At least it’s not cancer.
When I started this blog, I decided there were a few things I would not talk about. I lied to myself, because here I am, talking about infertility. I should be posting a recipe or something, I know. But this topic is fresh on my mind because one of my daughter’s teachers is going through treatment right now. And my heart soars when hers does, and breaks when hers does. We gals who did not conceive children easily are a band of sisters. No matter how many years go by, we still remember with every fiber of our being what it was like when we were trying to have our children. And it sucked. Royally. Infertility is not for the faint of heart, especially in a society that seems to blow it off so easily or act like struggling to conceive is cosmetic, like an unfortunate nose or something. If you want a nose job, pay for it. Or deal. WE shouldn’t have to pay for THAT.
When I talk about infertility, I am not talking about the ladies who don’t immediately get pregnant, so they have to keep trying. While that is difficult, stressful, sad and exhausting (please don’t think I am diminishing; I would never consider doing that to a woman trying to have a baby), I am talking about something different. Something that is physiologically wrong, so the system is a no-go without medical assistance. And this assistance is somehow controversial. Trust me, as someone who hesitates to eat a waxed cucumber, I never wanted to take rounds of pills, have my husband give me nightly shots, or go for rounds of blood work so often that I would hide my arms at work, worried people might think I was shooting meth or something. I tried the frigging herbs, the acupuncture, the homeopathy, the praying and trusting that God would hook us up. I literally smoked my stomach and uterus with a moxa stick (per acupuncturist’s orders, not on a whim) each night for a week. One day, the New Age music ended during my acupuncture session. I was lying there, needles everywhere, freezing my butt off, listening to the acupuncturist chat it up with another patient, when I started weeping, wailing and throwing myself a good old-fashioned pity party. I proceeded to tell off the acupuncturist who should have shut her mouth and used a timer (I found another, amazing one) and I got in the car and called an ever-lovin’ fertility specialist. I wish I could say I was pregnant the next month and that was that. But it doesn’t end like that. I WAS pregnant the next month, but that is a story I really won’t tell. Instead, I will tell you, eight months later, I was pregnant again. And eight months after that, a tiny preemie was born. And three years after that, an even tinier preemie was born. And they are the loves of my life.
I guess I am writing about this because it is something I need to get off my chest. Because so many of the absolutely incredible mamas I know struggled with fertility. Because people can be so damn insensitive to the process. Because people say such unkind, careless and unsympathetic things. Because so many women work their butts off to have their kids. Because they were worth it. Because I was sick as a dog the entire time I was pregnant with my second child and didn’t care because, well, I was PREGNANT! Because, like any other medical condition, infertility is usually something that can be medicated and treated. Because I cherish my children and love them with a love so intense it makes me dizzy. Because they wouldn’t be here without medical intervention. Because all mothers who have a similar story or are just embarking on the journey do not need eggs, cliches, adoption papers, criticism, or scorn. These mammas and mammas-to-be need hugs and high fives; they need nurturing and support; they need people to understand that you cannot compare braces to babies. You just can’t.