Jan 09 2013
I will admit, finding out I was pregnant with our third child was initially less than thrilling for me (though I’m now celebrating and eagerly awaiting the birth of our third daughter). With my older children starting school, I daydreamed about all the free time I would have to write and work and finally get our house organized. As I started to show, another parent at the morning bus stop half in jest remarked, “What were you thinking? You were almost free!” With comments like that, it becomes easy to set the table for one in the pity party you’re about to throw yourself. In the midst of the party, I had almost forgotten how incredibly lucky I am to be able to conceive without any issues, even though both of my sisters have suffered infertility and ectopic pregnancy. They’re too couth, even though they’re fully entitled, to scream that I stop complaining when I’m whining on the phone about weight gain, itchy skin and a baby kicking me in the ribs. Too busy selfishly mourning the loss of my imagined “me time,” I had almost forgotten that 16% of heterosexual couples experience infertility. And when you think about that number compared to the number of women having their children aborted, the frustration and pain those couples feel becomes even more heartbreaking. You can read in full here a great, and very personal, piece by Kristen Walker Hatten, vice president of New Wave Feminists, about just that.
I have a disorder called PCOS, or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. I’ll spare you the juicy details, but it basically means I don’t ovulate, and if you don’t ovulate, if there is no egg to fertilize that will become a zygote-embryo-fetus, you obviously can’t get pregnant. [...]
I’ve seen it as the world’s most terrible tragedy for about six years now, but never before has it packed the personal punch it does now. In the United States alone, there are millions of women like me, spending at least some of their waking life in an agony of anxiety and longing and hope and prayer and grief, trying everything from herbal supplements to special lubricants to expensive pills to having holes drilled in their ovaries to get pregnant. They obsessively pee on sticks to the point that it becomes a literal addiction, and many of them suffer repeated, heart-wrenching miscarriages.
Meanwhile, every day, 125,000 women a day pay a doctor to murder the miracle we would literally give our right arms for.
Andrea adds: This is partially why I posted the “missing tile” post of yesterday. It seems the human condition is to be chronically obsessed with what is missing, rather than being happy with what we have. Sigh. Thanks for this reminder, Jennifer. PS. Some of us are childless aspiring writers who never find the time to get the book started, anyway!
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