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I’m Always Wrong

One thing about infertility is that people always try to tell you what to do. Even other infertiles. It’s the whole mentality if “it worked for me, so it should work for you, too!” I guess I’m just as guilty of it as the next person.

But not only do I have to put up with suggestions for how to get pregnant, I also get told how to act.

If I’m upset about something, I get told to be more optimistic.

If I’m feeling hopeful about something, I get told to calm down and not get too excited.

I’m if focusing on numbers, I get told that it only takes one.

If I feel like talking about my situation, then I’m dragging people into my personal business.

If I want to keep things private, I get asked about it.

I think it’s gone past people being helpful and more along the lines of people must think I’m an idiot. Most people understand I’m way past the “Just relax” advice, but they still want to give me advice. Why do people insist on giving advice on topics they know nothing about? Do they really think that they know something about it? Or do they just want to fill an uncomfortable conversation void.

I guess it won’t get any better if I actually ever have a baby, so at least I’ll be used to it, I guess.

 

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My Poor Tongue

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So, this happened the other day on Pinterest. I was going to blog about it on my “positive” IVF blog, but decided that a rant would be better off here.

Before I begin, let me remind you that I am not a religious person. I’m not going to make fun of you because you are religious – it’s just not my cup of tea. I have no problem with people like Brianna – she asked a legitimate question, and was polite with a response. It’s Melanie that I have a problem with. Sweet, sanctimonious Melanie.

I don’t even know where to begin to tear her “argument” apart. This is why I have a hard time advocating for myself – because I get too passionate. But, I digress. Here is what I think are the points she is making and my reponse to each.

1. God’s Will

First of all, if your God is a dick, please don’t expect me to join in your adoration of His assitude. I don’t believe in abusive relationships. This “God’s Will” argument is one of the worst things to say to someone who is grieving. It’s insensitive and demeaning. It also pisses people off. If had been a religious person, it’s comments like this that would have made me question my faith.

This also insinuates for a person of faith that if they try to take some control of the situation that they are BAD person. So how much should someone TTC with this view? Is Clomid/IUI okay? Charting? Taking birth control? What about in areas OTHER than TTC? What about chemotherapy? Isn’t it God’s will that you DIE from cancer? This is disgusting that you should even bring this up, Melanie. How dare you attempt to discern “God’s will.” What if it was God’s will that I try IVF?

It’s not even like IVF is guaranteed. So if IVF works, isn’t it “God’s Will”?

If doctors could create life all by themselves, IVF would have a 100% success rate. Doctors can put eggs and sperm together, but they can’t force them to fertilize. They can put fertilized eggs into the mother, but they can’t force them to implant and develop into babies. If you are a person of faith, there is plenty of room to see the hand of God at work, guiding the hands of the doctor.

Nor is infertility a sign that someone is not meant to be a parent, any more than a heart attack is a sign that someone is not meant to be alive. It’s a physical disease, which affects men as often as woman, and strikes couples of all ages. It deserves the same treatment as any other illness.

You know what Melanie, I think it’s God’s will that mind your own fucking business.

2. IVF/Science has gone too far.

Seriously? This just strikes me as blatant fearful anti-science rhetoric. With every new scientific discovery there are always people who are scared – scared about what it means to their religion.

Some fundamentalists think that scientists are playing God with IVF. But as a parent, you play God every day. You control your kid’s food, you control your kid’s television habits, you control what your kid wears.

This was a response that a Christian friend gave when she read the Melanie’s comment:

God created man in his or her own image. Meaning we are creators just like him or her. There is no sin or evil in that. That is the Christian response. Nothing we create is wrong because it’s our God given ability. And if you don’t agree with that then remember – Love thy neighbor as thyself.

I really have no problem with science. I’m not scared of it. If I thought it was morally wrong, then I wouldn’t be doing it. I don’t need religion to keep me from doing bad things. I feel that if you need the threat of a God to keep you from doing bad things, then you are a sorry excuse for a human being.

If you had mentioned something about bringing more people into an overpopulated world, then I might have agreed with you. I do have concerns about overpopulation, but sadly, it’s people like you who are the breeders.

3. IVF embryos destroyed by IVF

What does she mean here? Loss from failed implantation? The destruction of unwanted embryos? She doesn’t specify, but that’s because she has no idea. She probably doesn’t know the difference between an egg and follicle, a blastocyst and a fetus.

Obviously, Melanie here thinks life begins at conception. There is a difference between cell division, pregnancy, and personhood. Pregnancy begins at implantation. Plain and simple. Most fertilized eggs, IVF or otherwise, fail to implant. So that means under your reasoning, God’s will is the biggest destroyers of embyros!

Parents Against Personhood explains

Essentially, Melanie wants to criminalize IVF procedures.

4. Just adopt!

Have you adopted? I doubt it, because your attitude suggests that infertiles should be ones to adopt unwanted children. Adoption can be more expensive, and just like IVF, there is no certainty that a your child will actually come home with you. There are lots of complications with IVF.

But, since you obviously are an expert in adoption, you’d know that there a lots of different requirements from the adoption agencies, most of which include a health requirement. My husband and I don’t meet that. IVF is our only option.

Adoption is a great choice for people who want to adopt, not because it’s their only option.

This is a pretty excellent post (and great comments) in response to the “Just Adopt” mentality.

5. IVF is selfish.

Having children is inherently selfish, whether naturally or through IVF. How come breeders aren’t considered selfish for having children naturally instead of adopting? Why are infertiles the ones who are judged and condemned by the breeder audience? Again, if you are going to suggest adoption for infertiles, then you need to suggest it for everyone. If you are going to say that infertiles are selfish, then so is everyone else who chooses to have a baby.

There is plenty more I have to say on this issue, but I’m starting to get myself worked up and I promised myself that I’d stay stress-free this weekend.

I’m really trying not to make this about Christians in general – I know plenty of them who are loving, intelligent, understand the basics of science, and who support IVF. It’s just posts like this make me angry – that woman was seriously trying to use religion make me feel ashamed that I was doing IVF. She was trying to make me feel bad. I am so glad that I don’t know her in real life, because she sounds mean and nasty.

So, do you think that I should respond to her nasty comment, or just leave it there in an ironic memorial of the OP’s comment?

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Dentist and DX’s

IVF isn’t going as well as I expected. Not terrible, just not as well as I had hoped. Eh. Whatever happens, hapens. I just wish my body was going to give me a fightin’ chance.

So I’m at the dentist today talking to my hygienist. The last time I was there, a year ago, I talked openly about my daughter’s NTD. I don’t know if I used the words abortion or termination, but I think I gave off that impression.

So today, I was back (after having cancelled/rescheduled multiple times) and we were complaining about insurance companies.

DH: Ugh, I know. When I lost my baby last year, my insurance wouldn’t cover my procedure. All the providers were out-of-network. I found someone I really liked, and got my insurance company to approve him, but it still took months for me to get my money back. My doctor was great! He was so compassionate!

Me: Who’d you see? (I knew exactly what “procedure” she had and who she saw. I just didn’t know if she tx’d for a fatal dx or a grey area, like mine.)

DH: Dr. X.

Me: That’s who I saw!

We talked for awhile about how awesome he was, how compassionate and caring he was. I told her that I testified in Austin this summer and that Cosmo ran my story on their webpage. She was amazed. She then told me that she tx’d for Down’s Syndrome. I think she was seriously shocked that people would judge her for making a decision in the best interest of her child. She said it perfectly: I’d love my child no matter what. I could deal with this. But it’s not me who has to deal with it.

We talked about how DS was a grey area, and that people don’t understand all the complications that go along with the dx. We talked about my daughter’s dx and all the complications that were involved. We talked about how she used to work at a day care center for disabled children/adults(?). We talked about how she was at work when she got the call that her son officially had DS and a patient told her “I hope you keep the baby.” Again, I don’t think she realized that the fundamentalists included HER in the anti-abortion issue. I think she learned the hard way.

I know it would have been completely against the office policy to contact me, but I really wish she would have. She said not many people knew what happened, but even so, she lost two friends over it. She deleted her Facebook because we are in Texas during a vitriolic election with Wendy Davis, the “Abortion Barbie”. Too many of her friends were making ignorant and hurtful comments.

1:3 women will have an abortion. Whether you are aware are not, you KNOW someone who had an abortion. 10% of all abortions in the US happen after 12 weeks of pregnancy. In my experience, most women who have had a late term abortion (after 12 weeks), just let people assume that she miscarried because of the stigma.

I got the feeling that the woman I was talking to wasn’t as well supported as I was. I wonder if she found good on-line resources like I did. I hope she was able to properly mourn her loss instead of merely delaying it. I had all those questions that I didn’t get to ask because I had a pick shoved in my mouth most of the time.

I just hope that it was helpful for her to connect with someone who made a similar choice.

 

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A Fresh Start…

This blog was born in depression and trauma. Just the name, Of Mice and Men, is a sad reminder for me. The tags and categories SPINA BIFIDA, NTD, ABORTION, TFMR, INFERTILITY – they mock me anytime I try to make a hopeful post.

I felt I needed a new start, so I did.

Fingers Crossed!

The address is cycleday1, because I wanted a fresh start, a new cycle. I’ll try to remember to cross post here as well, but I’m not making any promises. I’m not abandoning this blog – I’m sure I’ll use it to vent and write more about TFMR, especially with the elections coming up, but I want my focus to be more positive, especially since I’m shelling out so much money. I am not hiding my TFMR on my new blog, but that is not going to be the focus. I really feel like the focus of this blog was trauma; I want the focus of the new blog to be my IVF process and (hopefully) a pregnancy journal.

Hope to see some of you there! :)

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Antici…

Warning: I’ve had a long weekend and what follows is just ramblings from the brink of exhaustion. Don’t read too much into this or take things personally, and take everything with a grain of salt.

We go in on Friday for a post-op visit. I’m hoping that’s when I’ll get a schedule for medication and retrieval.

And honestly, I’m not getting excited about it. I guess I’m looking forward to getting answers and planning this out – I really like knowing what’s going on and I’m hoping to get some answers, but I’m not planning nurseries or picking out names.

I’m a little nervous about injections and crazy hormones. I’m also a little worried about if I do get pregnant – will I enjoy this pregnancy? Bond with the baby(ies)? Be able to handle everything?

I had a few of these worries before, but they seem more pronounced now, perhaps because I had already considered and embraced the childfree life, and to be honest, I was looking forward to being a DINK. None of those plans have to be scrapped if we become parents, but obviously our priorities will change.

I’m supposed to go to a RESOLVE led infertility support group tomorrow, so I’m hoping that they can help get a handle on what’s going on. I’m nervous to tell them the full story of what happened, so I think I’ll just say what I’m comfortable saying: that I got pregnant, but my daughter had a poor pre-natal diagnosis: open neural tube defect and hydrocephalus and just leave it at that.

Has anyone gone to any kind of support group, either for grief or infertility? I decided to skip the grief groups because they were all religiously affiliated, and I’m not down with that. I don’t need any more people to tell me about God’s plan or tell me that I’ll see my daughter again in Heaven. I find that infertiles are generally very compassionate, but I’m also worried about grief competition. Yeah. I said it. There are people out there who have to out-grief you. Like no matter what you say, they have to trivialize what you’ve experienced by pretending to relate to it. But again, I haven’t dealt with these people in the TFMR, baby loss, or infertility groups. Maybe in a few general online support forums, but those are the same people who make inconsiderate comments in an infertility thread or do drive-by BFP announcements (universally seen as tacky, but it’s hard to regulate when you have an open forum that anyone can join).

So, I’m curious about tomorrow. I have no idea when I’ll come home and if I’ll have time to update, but I’ll make sure the next post isn’t done when I’m borderline delirious.