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I Deserved a Baby

a blog by Lisa Rosenthal, October 9, 2012

I deserved a baby.
I did.
I had done all the right things, a few (ok, quite a few) wrong things.
But mainly, I had done enough of the right things, at the right time, in the right way.
I deserved a baby.
I was young. Healthy. Strong and fit. Even married. I was ready.
I deserved a baby.

Recently I looked up the word deserve.

Here’s the definition:

   [dih-zurv] Show IPA verb, de•served,de•serv•ing.
verb (used with object)
1. to merit, be qualified for, or have a claim to (reward,assistance, punishment, etc.) because of actions, qualities,or situation: to deserve exile; to deserve charity; a theory that deserves consideration.

Not getting pregnant gave me time to think, back then when I was in fertility treatment.
My feelings and thinking evolved into seeing that somehow I had done something to deserve infertility, since I obviously hadn’t done enough to deserve fertility. This is what happens when a life crisis hits, our thinking turns upside down and inside out. And infertility certainly and obviously is a life crisis.

I had a million and four reasons why I deserved the infertility package.

Taking my fertility for granted was one of the reasons. It probably made the top ten list.

Why had I assumed that having a baby was something I deserved?
What made me deserve a baby more than anyone else?
What made me more qualified, more compassionate, more loving, and more ready?

And if I didn’t deserve to get pregnant and have my child, what happened when I looked around at the rest of the world and how it was working out there?

Reading the newspaper was dangerous. Often, speaking to friends and family members was equally dangerous. I found that a lot of pregnancies were happening that didn’t make sense. That maybe weren’t even deserved.

I generally got about that far before I got mad.

Really mad.

Really, really, really MAD.

At probably the same people you get mad at.
The 16 year old who shouldn’t get pregnant and leaves their baby in a dumpster.
At the friend who gets pregnant on their honeymoon and then complains the whole pregnancy that she and her husband had no time for just them.
At the friend of a friend who was having her third baby, but was disappointed because it was another boy.

Yeah, those people.

I did.

I got mad.

And you know what?

It didn’t really help.

I wore my anger like armor, thinking it protected me.
That if I was angry enough, I wouldn’t feel the pain of yet another period or failed cycle.
That if I was angry enough, I wouldn’t notice yet another birthday or new year’s eve or anniversary without my baby.

It never quite worked.

My anger just dimmed the view a bit. It put a bit of space between me and the situations around me that pierced my heart. It never alleviated or filled the space left by the lack of baby or being a mom. My judging someone else’s decisions or feelings never elevated my spirit or heart, it just further dampened it. Blaming others for what was happening in their lives darkened my own light. Over time, I turned my gaze inwards.

I realized that I’ve thought that I deserved a lot of things in my life. Some, because of merit, some because of failing. I deserved the things I wanted and just as often I deserved things I didn’t want because I wasn’t worthy in some way.

It’s time to rethink the idea of deserve. Really, do any of us really deserve the misfortunes or tragedies that we experience in life? Do we believe that life is inherently fair? Do we even know what we deserve? I know, in fact, that many things in life are worked for and earned, and many are not.

I did not deserve infertility.

Neither do you.


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