Some Things Still Make Me Sad About Infertility

I’ve realised that I’ve truly come to a space of acceptance about never producing a child from my body, it’s been a long road, but I am at peace.  I know this because given the choice right now, I would choose adoption over pregnancy.  Yes, you read that correctly, if someone gave me the choice, I would rather adopt than bear a child who is biologically related to me.  It just feels like a choice that is meant to be and I actually don’t have any other words for it than that.

But there is something that I am still struggling with terribly, and that is other people’s determination for me to be the miracle infertility poster child, the one who fell pregnant, the one that urban legends are made of.  Not anyone near me, my family and friends are thrilled and excited, I’m talking about people in the distant periphery.  But there are many of them, and often you come into a group of people you don’t know or barely know, and before you know it, there it is again, that complete and utter refusal to accept someone else’s infertility diagnosis as the truth.  The determination for you to simply accept that it’s your fear, and not your adhesions/missing fallopian tube/premature ovarian failure/azoospermia/endometriosis that are the reason for your consistently empty uterus.  The doctors, very simply, have made a mistake.

Now I’m actually extremely open to other people’s point of view, and I’m just clear that that is what it is, their point of view.  They are entitled to it.  Actually, I could probably have a very enjoyable conversation with a senile person who was telling me the grass is purple, I wouldn’t try to change their opinion on it.  I love that everyone sees the world differently and I don’t believe that anyone is ever wrong.

But conversations on fertility, well, they border on political.  It’s close to people’s hearts, their opinions on the subject are more than just opinions, they are crucial points that the listener absolutely must be convinced of.  The listener’s opinion must change for the conversation to be successful.  It cannot end before then.

And those conversations, they border on bizarre.  If I was for instance, a breast cancer survivor, would they be telling me that it wasn’t really breast cancer?  That my mastectomy had come about as a mistake on the doctor’s behalf?  That it was my fear that caused me to imagine a diagnosis by a doctor to be correct?

For the most part, I am able to navigate the conversational landmines of life quite well, but this one still floors me, and I will not capitulate.  I will not require someone to accept into their belief system that some people will just never, ever “fall” pregnant, despite the stats to back up the fact that more than 9 out of 10 infertile women will remain infertile without medical assistance.  But I will not smile gracefully as they force feed me my inevitable future “accidental” pregnancy.  I just. can’t. do. it.  I respect your understanding of the world, respect mine.

Respect the years of research, the thousands of Rands in medical fees, the rivers of tears, the millions of moments of wondering how it could be different.  Respect the long and painful journey down an endless road, that no woman thinks they themselves will ever have to take.  Respect the hard earned peace that you eventually come to, one way or another.  And pray young woman, pray.  Get on your knees every night until they are raw, and pray that you will be spared this.



Filed under Fertililty

15 responses to “Some Things Still Make Me Sad About Infertility

  1. cindyf

    Mash, you have put into words what I have been trying to say for a long time. Thank you. I am bookmarking this one. C.

  2. Shooh.. I totally understand where you are coming from. I keep being told that maybe I will fall pregnant naturally (no fallopian tubes and vasectomy). These odds are guaranteed 100% failure. I have resorted to telling people that everytime we try for a baby, it costs us R 70 000.00, keeping in mind that if would probably take about 6 sessions per cycle (for a normal couple) cost = R420 000.00. Generally peoples eyes go bigger…and they back off. Always love that reaction…….

    • I’ve come close to telling them I had to have an emergency hysterectomy or something and there simply is no uterus. I’m pretty sure that will end the conversation!

  3. Sam

    Mash I hear you and I agree wholeheartedly. Discussing infertility can be such a minefield.

    With my recent conception and miscarriage, I have everyone telling me that it was all in my head all along. That it happened on its own now and it’ll be “easy” for it to happen again. I hate that everyone automatically assumes I’m “fixed” now. Fact is one spontaneous conception that ended in miscarriage in 9 years of unprotected sex is NOT great odds and doesn’t mean I’m any more “fixed” than I was before. I still have a medical condition called infertility.


  4. I feel exactly the same way Mash. It irritates me so much and sometime I end up biting my tongue just so I don’t end up getting to angry. I have always said that the reality of infertility is just too sad for ‘normal’ people to comprehend. It’s just too sad!

  5. darylfaure

    What a thought provoking and insightful post. I think you should publish this on fb or something, so we can get the message out there.

  6. I hear you Mash! It’s my number 1 bug bear still! I hate that people don’t want to believe that infertility even exists and that we adopted our children as a means to getting pregnant. It is both insulting to my children and to the medical fraternity who are still left scratching their heads as to why we have experienced so many miscarriages. I’m also 40 now so the chances of natural conception, when combining my age and my history are pretty much zero!

  7. Well said Mash – people who have not experienced the pain of IF just don’t understand that it is a personal journey and no ones story is the same. Please come have coffee with me xx

  8. St. Elsewhere

    ….the warmest hugs your way…

    And like camillalor, I wish we have coffee some day…no conversations…just resting our feet on a stool and watching outside the window kind of coffee.

  9. Hi Mash, yes idiotic comments I agree !!
    I also hear a lot that is was because I gave up TTC too soon because it was too hard for me !! After 14 years !
    Worse is when IN FRONT of Zoé they say things like :”oh poor girl, she does not have parents !” or “her real parents …” or to me:” but if you had your own/real child, then …” !!
    What the F*ck !!
    I hope all goes well and fast with your adoption placement !! Best of luck, dear Mash !!

  10. St. Elsewhere

    Thinking of you, Mash.

    I sighted you on FB the other day…(as in, on a comment on someone’s post)…was wondering if I could connect with you there?

  11. Kate

    Hi, I just stumbled across this post – thank you so much for writing this. I started feeling kind of guilty (?) when I realized that I really would rather adopt than have my own biological child. I mean, if you had said I would feel this way even four months ago, I would have never in a million years thought it could happen, but it did! As we’re finishing up our homestudy process, every month that goes by, I’m actually glad I’m not pregnant, it’s seriously amazing and weird at the same time. God is so good!

    I find that the people that say ‘oh you’ll get pregnant while your adopting’ do not either a) understand the gravity of the situation, should that actually happen b) really think that adoption is plan B and we are settling or c) are the ones who kept saying ‘just relax. you are trying too hard. you are stressed out’. Which, as most of you can probably relate, is the most infuriating thing to hear, over and over.

    Anyways, thanks for this post, I’m enjoying your blog and I wish you the best of luck with however your story is unfolding. : )

  12. Trisha

    Dear Mash,
    I have recently given up TTC and I’m much at peace now. But there is a lot of sadness sometimes that it’s the end of the road. I seriously can’t stand people telling me I will get pregnant one day. You have put into words much of my own thoughts.

    Best of luck and god bless! Hope good things happen to you.

  13. Niko

    Thank you for writing this…I too have been told too many times of ‘surprise’ pregnancies after infertility and how that will surely happen to me and I’m tired of it. This blog made me feel less isolated.

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