Saturday, September 8, 2012

This got to me

SQ round-up have a second-helpings post this week that got to me. Not so much the whole article, but parts of it that make one close the door to what ever room they're in to finish followed by several minutes rolling the words around in your head. Those few paragraphs sent electric shocks through my head and resulted in me going for a 30 minute walk afterwards.
There’s a lot of magical thinking about pregnancy going around these days. In the personal sphere it’s a waste of time; in the public sphere it is terrifying and destructive.
Contrary to the beliefs of conservative politicians, women’s choices about pregnancy are not a question of will, or luck, or magic vagina barricades. Getting pregnant is neither punishment nor reward. It is not a magical blessing or a curse — and it most definitely is not a silver bullet you can use to shoot yourself out of a rut. It is a plain biological fact that may or may not result in a healthy baby, that could immeasurably enhance or irreversibly damage your life prospects.
Women are raped and get pregnant. Women in loving monogamous relationships who want to get pregnant can’t. Women with five children are forced by circumstance or religion to have more. Lesbian women who long to be parents have their hopes squashed by red tape and bigotry. Single women who get pregnant by accident and suddenly have to re-evaluate their attitudes toward the whole question of whether they will ever raise children end up miscarrying. 
Like many who have traveled this path, infertility has sent me through periods of self-loathing and a believe that I am unworthy. During the last 3 years, I've watched seemingly everyone around me in real life achieve pregnancy and bring home their children following uneventful pregnancies. All this while Grey and I tried ever route humanly possible, only to come up short each time. Our greatest achievement to date is seeing two lines on an HPT followed by betas climbing to the thousands, all before it was washed away in blood. And with each miscarriage, I believed it was because of who I was, because I was undeserving of such happiness.

What these few paragraphs made me realize is that one's ability to conceive is not a reflection of who they are as a person. Whether a cycle works or not has nothing to do with who they are.

In a way, this is comforting. Instead of my self-destructive belief that we've failed because I'm undeserving, it turns those feelings of self-worthlessness on their head and proposing another argument that we've done nothing to deserve this. It suggests that my miscarriages were not a reflection of who I am. That I am no less worthy of parenthood as someone who can easily get 'knocked-up.' In a way, it's actually a testament to the type of person one is for those who come out of this process intact and with purpose in life.


  1. You know I understand. Infertility, for some effed up reason, seems to become such an "it's my fault" or "I'm undeserving" type thing. I have no idea why. I wonder if people with other conditions and diseases feel the same way. I continue to grapple with my own self-worth when it comes to prospective motherhood.

    I love the term magical vagina barricades. Mel is such a voice of reason.

  2. I'm one of those people that always tries to keep a positive outlook on life even when the pain and suffering are eating me up inside. Not sure why I keep trying but I do. I want to yell about how its not fair that a female relative of mine, single, 20 on a drunken binge got pregnant and just recently delivered a healthy baby. But yet I'm still happy for her that she'll not have to go through what I have just to have a glimmer of hope ripped out with another miscarriage.

    Like Alicia above I too love Mel's term of "magical vagina barricade".

  3. Yeah. It's all random. It's a tough pill to swallow for anyone who grew up with a belief in God, good and evil, heaven and hell, karma, or even just a belief that if you work hard enough, you'll get what you want. Even just the simple concept of fairness. You don't always get what you want, no matter how deserving you are, no matter how good you are. For a while I thought I had to be a better person, then I'd get a baby. Now I know that none of that matters. Some people have it all. Some people get piles of shit dumped on them. There's no rhyme or reason, which is both enormously freeing and completely debilitating, all at once.

  4. Here here! And I understand that you found it comforting. In a weird way, whenever I hear horror stories about neglectful or cruel parents, it just reconfirms this for me and helps me cope with the injustice of it all. Pregnancy and having a child isn't a reward, and loss or not being able to conceive is not a punishment (even if it feels like one), it just happens. And I love your last sentence.

  5. Self-worth and fertility were so intertwined for me, too. I could have used some of your wisdom back then.

    Here's to resilience and getting through IF intact!

  6. I am in the camp of people who believe that things just happen without those events being bigger statements with hidden meaning. I don't think the universe was telling me that I wasn't ready to be a parent nor do I think when treatments worked that it was telling me that I'd make a good parent. We had a problem, we plugged away at it, we had this set of events happen by chance. I wouldn't even say my doctor did much to make it happen. He and my body merely set up the possibility. So then, it's not really even the doctor's success rates. It's chance's success rate.

    I too started reading that article with a lot of things happening around me, and as I got deeper into it, everything around me started to silence until I was left sitting on the kitchen chair just thinking about her words. You said it perfectly.

  7. I have to agree that all of this is just dumb effing luck. As much as others outside of our experiences (or the voices in our heads) might try to tell us otherwise, saying it's "God's will" or things "will work out the way they're supposed to." If it were based on what we deserved, we'd all have babies in our arms. And that includes you, my dear.

  8. I have always believed this. Pregnancy is biology. Some are lucky and some are not. The fact that you haven't staying pregnant is NOT a reflection on you. No way. Just like I did not lose M & A because of who I am. It happens and whether we deserve something or not has nothing to do with it.
    You are a good and caring person who will find your way.

  9. I firmly believe that things simply happen because they happen. It takes a lot of the self-blame/self-loathing out of the equation.

  10. It IS random. I like to take what little comfort I can from that fact when I think of my own journey and of those still on their's. It is so important not to blaim ourselves or think there is any merit in fertility. Assinine judgements are what other people are for.


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