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The Infertility Contract
a blog by Jay Pal, May 4, 2011
As you may know, Infertility Advocacy Day is May 5, 2011. The staff at RESOLVE, and many amazing volunteers and advocates will be talking to Members of Congress about the disease of infertility. They will represent the many men and women who struggle with infertility and will remind Congress that infertility is a medical disease, that it affects the daily lives of millions of Americans and that a proposed tax credit for out-of-pocket infertility treatment medical expenses will positively and significantly help thousands of families.
In honor of this momentous occasion, I wanted to take a break from the usual complaining about my uterus and its defective attachments and do something special. If I could, I’d buy you all a baby but since I can’t even afford cable these days, let alone a child, I thought I’d put together a contract for all of us to sign. It will serve as an agreement between each other as a group and as an agreement with ourselves. To me, it is a wonderful (and inexpensive) way to best mark this important day.
I, ________________________, hereby agree and promise to take the following steps during my fertility-challenged journey.
I will forgive myself, my partner and our collective reproductive organs once and for all.
I will no longer let my fertility issues make me feel worthless, like a failure or any less of a person. I have many facets to my life that I respect and recognize.
I will remember that it’s OK to sometimes indulge in ice cream, The Golden Girls and guilty pleasures when I’m having a hard time.
I will allow myself to think negative thoughts with the understanding that they don’t represent who I am as a person and they are just that, negative thoughts.
Despite how expensive fertility treatments can be, I promise not to knock over a bank, become a prostitute or wish a wealthy relative dead for my own financial gain ... even though it’s tempting.
I will maintain a sense of humor at all times.
If I really can’t bear to sit through a baby shower, I will send a lovely gift and stay at home without feeling guilty. It’s OK to accept that some days you’re fresh out of “nice”.
I refuse to engage in verbal self-abuse.
I will avoid movies such as The Switch and Back-Up Plan where women decide they are going to get pregnant and get knocked up within mere minutes. I don’t need to do that to myself.
I will stop Googling things online if I think they will scare the crap out of me.
Anytime someone says something stupid or hurtful in an attempt to be comforting, I will remember that they genuinely are trying to be helpful.
I will commit to seeing as many fertility doctors as I see fit without apology until I’m satisfied and/or until I feel my needs are being met.
I will deal with the "here and now" and not with what might happen or what happened in the past.
I will be patient with myself and never allow myself to think that I am a lost cause.
I will remember that I am not alone.
I will never forget that I am loved.
I will avoid wearing Spanx while stimming.
I will do the best I can in all my fertility conquests and accept the outcome.
I will survive, no matter what happens.