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Lovely Rita Weighs Her Options With Humor

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a blog by kathleen puls andrade, July 14, 2010

A while ago I sent out a mass email to several media outlets to garner interest in my show. Someone forwarded my email to a friend and we became infertility pen pals of sorts. We found a common bond in that we both deal with our infertility with humor…sometimes silly, oftentimes bittersweet. Here’s an excerpt from one of her emails to me.

    Rita: I always wonder why everyone in the fertility clinic waiting room is so quiet and not gabbing away about our shared experiences. People (me included) are so weird that way. And yes, humor makes everything bearable. It is a true gift.
    Kathleen: Yes, it can be a bit quiet at times. I think that there's a mix of people...some more experienced than others so perhaps no one knows what to talk about. Plus, the waiting room was the same for the Ob/Gyns...which means there were lots of kids running around at times. Argh.

    Rita: I actually wasted several years in my late 30s early 40s trying to adopt, but it’s almost impossible for a single woman. And you are NOT at all paranoid about the problems that arise from adoption — during the time I was pursuing it, I met more people who had those problems than who had uneventful, happy adoptions and was eventually disgusted with the whole process. I met a woman at an IVF legal seminar who had adopted a baby and had her for 30 days when the mother decided she wanted her back — and took her back — now that has to be the most devastating thing ever. I hear it’s relatively common too.
    Kathleen: OK, in my show, Journey to the Center of the Uterus: Adventures Infertility! , I have a recurring bit about adoption. It seemed that no matter whom I talked to about my IVF failures, they inevitably asked me about adoption. It started being kind of funny, actually, so I put it in my show with an ominous sound effect and red light in various places. Let me clarify that I’m not against adoption. I just felt like I wasn’t done with the IVF stuff so the adoption issue seemed premature.

    Rita: So, no, I just tell people who ask that it is very difficult for a single woman to adopt, and that usually shuts them up, although some try to tell you about their single "friend" who only waited two minutes for her perfect baby girl yadda, yadda, yadda … Also, I am so determined to have a baby, and it’s a little obsessive, but I don’t really tell anyone that either. I'm the kind of person who just keeps going and keeps trying — being an athlete teaches you to get up and do it again and that is how I have handled it. That's not to say the grieving process wasn't one of the most difficult things ever…but it does pass with time.
    Kathleen: So true! It does pass with time but it seems that you have to keep going through the grieving process again and again with each cycle so it’s pretty taxing. For me, a little bit of the dream died more and more with each cycle until I realized (with the help of a therapist) that I just couldn’t go through it anymore. As I say in the show…no one will tell you when to stop. You have to decide when enough is enough.

    Rita: I also had to laugh when I read you call your embryos "runts" — I love that!
    Kathleen: My doctor calls my two remaining embryos “runts of the litter.” They take the best of the best first and put them in and leave the rest. My lining never grew beyond a four so there was no point in putting the remaining embryos in me. And, they may not even work in a surrogate. We’ll see I guess. Yes, it makes me laugh too!

    Rita: Did you ever make a decision about them?
    Kathleen: Ugh. It’s so hard to think about. We keep talking about a surrogate from time to time but it’s overwhelming to think about it sometimes. Plus, I’m not getting any younger so….

    Rita: I have six in the freezer — I call them my microwave kids. At this point I think it’s just healthier not to think of embryos as children to keep me emotionally somewhat protected. You know I could lead a very happy life with dogs — I do a lot of work with a Yorkie rescue group that I love, and the dogs are so needy and so appreciative (probably more than kids will ever be) and that would be OK with me.
    Kathleen: LOL. Me too. Time will tell!

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