Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sensitivity Training

A little while ago, another mom (A) joined our playgroup.  We average in our thirties; A is closer to forty, and has a two-year-old.  My pregnant friend, holding my Tater, asked if we were planning to have another baby; I said, maybe in a few years.  And, I added, we are very lucky; we can plan such a thing with reasonable certainty, and it's not always so easy.

I feel it the height of arrogance to assume everyone has healthy, easy pregnancies when and how they wish. I have, thank all the deities of chance, never had any problems- but my in-real-life friends have had miscarriages, stillbirths, and infertility.  I know it's quietly heartbreaking for all of them, and for their partners.  And it's bad enough without women around them agonizing over their theoretical third child. 

In fact, it turned out A had been told she'd never have children, and they would very much like another but it isn't happening, and so on.  Infertility!  Miscarriage!  Etc. 

As some of you already know, I am a fertile whore.  In other words, my dear spouse and I have had no difficulty conceiving and carrying children to term.  I don't attribute this to anything but chance (and possibly also genetics), but, as my spouse is fond of saying, it is what it is. 

I would love to wave my magic Fertile Lady Wand (so much more pleasant than the ultrasound wand) and give all my in-person and internet friends the babies they deeply desire.  I would love to share out my fertility with my friends*, but I can't.  I would love to wave my hands and make it all better, but I can't do that either.  I can, however, avoid being a Smug Fertile Bitch. Or, you know, at least the smug part.

*Egg donation or gestational surrogacy are both, at present, unnecessary and impractical.  Plus I have asthma and a history of depression, plus Weird Double Vision Thing; I doubt anyone would want my eggs or my uterus, even were I inclined to lend them out.


  1. Aww, this brings a little tear to my straddling-the-interesting-line-between-infertile-turned-fertile-whore eye... It is so helpful to have people do a little consciousness raising on our behalf, because when we do it for ourselves, it sounds all...something. Self righteous? More likely to make people think we should "just" adopt? But when other people acknowledge our reality it helps to validate it, so thanks! And I bet A thanks you too...

  2. This almost made me cry, too. One of my friends just had a baby, another is going on maternity leave today... and here I am, still childless. Fortunately, like you, they are trying to avoid the smugness (and it's still hard, though I don't think there's much they could do about that).

  3. Lisa C.10:22 PM

    loved the post. i feel the same way, so very very lucky to be having a healthy pregnancy that took no time to achieve. so many dearly loved family members & close friends have dealt with infertility and my heart breaks for them. i will never take this for granted.

  4. Thank you. Just ... thank you.


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