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Infertility Is... The Most Fun You'll Ever Have!!!
a blog by Lori Shandle-Fox, April 24, 2013
Okay, that's clearly a lie. Even if you've never been through infertility and don't know anybody who's gone through infertility, you undoubtedly still know that saying it's fun is a lie. (And incidentally, about 1 in 7 couples has fertility issues at some point or other, so if you think you've never in your entire life come across an infertile person it's similar to saying you've never come across a gay person. To both of these I say respectfully: "I know we don't know each other but 'Yes-You have'".)
So what's so unfun about infertility and why am I such a bitter woman? Luckily for you there's only room in this post to answer the first question.
- You Feel Like You're Broken
You were born a girl or a boy (If you weren't, I apologize for the sweeping generalization) So clearly you're supposed to grow up and either give birth or cause someone else to give birth (and hopefully not end up on "Maury" denying it). That's how it's supposed to work. When it doesn't, we feel like we're not only broken but we're failing as women and men. You're either thinking: "Why don't I have all the parts I'm supposed to?" or "I have all the parts...Why don't they work right?"
- You Feel Like You're Being Punished
You're a good person. So why can't you get pregnant? Your sister has kids even though everyone calls her a "B" and you'd stick up for her if only they weren't all right. Your cousin has kids even though she's an idiot. It's like hanging out with Amelia Bedelia. And here you are: You brake for animals, take spiders you find in the kitchen sink outside to safety instead of turning on the faucet full blast, and put cans in the cardboard box at work for every food drive. So why aren't you allowed to have a baby?
- You Become Socially Unacceptable
Hey, being single and going out with single friends was fun. Being married and going out with other married couples was fun. Now those couples have graduated. They have kids. You don't. The college kids don't want to hang out with the high schoolers anymore. Either they want to bring the kids out with them or worse, they want to bring photos and tell what at this point in their lives passes for amusing anecdotes. This can be upsetting to us and sometimes even nauseating. Few people like to dine while those across from them retch at the table. My father dated a woman who used to bring her 92 year old father out to dinner with them. The poor man had a routine. He would eat pancakes and promptly throw up. That's what this would be like.
- Your Whole Life Becomes Consumed by Infertility
You don't just wake up, take a shower, brush your teeth and go to work anymore. You still do all of the above. But in between each step you're scheduling doctor appointments, going to doctor appointments, getting probed by doctors and extraneous other medical personnel, having odd slippery things with lights inserted in your woo-hoo, getting crushed under a mountain of bills, taking pills, giving yourself shots, and having other people give you shots in places you've told only your boss to kiss, while all the while staring at the fricken wall/SmartPhone calendar plotting ovulation dates, menstrual dates, egg retrieval dates, embryo transfer dates, figs and dates etc etc etc etc.
- You Lie More than You Used To
There are people in your life in whom you've always confided. But maybe all of this is just too personal. Maybe if you talk about being infertile it makes it true. Maybe you don't want them to be disappointed if you don't get pregnant. Maybe you just don't think it's any of their damn business. So now you must decide to: 1)Tell all 2) Tell Bits & Pieces 3) Lie Your Buttocks Off: Tell them everything's fine with your baby-making efforts or that you're not sure you're ready for a baby just yet because of career, finances, you need more time alone as a couple, you're too young and immature..whatever whatever whatever.
So now you know the truth about how unfun infertility is. So if you do happen to come across an infertile person, remember how unfun infertility is and please be gentle. And if they start talking about being on a roller coaster ride, brace yourself. You're not about to hear a word about long lines at the State Fair.