Sunday, April 24, 2011

Infertility MythBusting: The Second One's Easier

In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, RESOLVE is hosting a Bust An Infertility Myth challenge.
My "favorite" myths are "It'll happen if it was meant to be." "You can always adopt." "Just relax [or give up] and it'll happen!" and "Have lots of sex!"

Just a brief word of advice to anyone who finds these words slipping out of their mouths. "Just relax/give up" and "Have more sex" basically mean: "It's YOUR FAULT that you aren't getting pregnant."

"It'll happen if it was meant to" means: "You aren't worthy."

And please. Even adopting an older child with severe health conditions is no easy task, much less a healthy baby. Adoption costs far more than IVF treatments usually (and without the option to finance, like IVF has,) and can crumble to dust at the whim of the one of the birth parents, a social worker, the host country, or any one of a number of other factors.
photo credit 
But now that I have a child [through a lot of hard work, emotional wreckage, money, and the miracles of science,] the ones that galls me the most are "At least you have ONE." and "Well now that you've had one, it'll be easy!"

Oh really. So if you have a child, you don't deserve to want another? No one tells the mother who pops out kids like a PEZ dispenser that she's being too greedy and should have been happy at one. [Although they might question her sanity, and be grateful that they aren't the one in charge of a brood of kids!] No one even tells the parents of one child who mention that they're trying for another that they should be happy with just one. Unless they mention that they struggle with infertility. Suddenly that gives everyone else the right to judge their worthiness, apparently.

As for being easy? Really? Most cases of infertility stem from a physiological cause, in either parent. How can a woman's having hosted a child improve the man's motility or morphology? Giving birth does not cause one's polycystic ovarian syndrome or endometriosis to go away. And it's not like egg quality improves with age.

At best, having had a child increases the odds that the same infertility treatment will work again...
...after the months of hoping and trying and having your soul crushed time after time, until you finally save enough money and decide to go {back} to the infertility clinic. And you don't have to waste time on all the things that didn't work the first time.

Having a child does makes the heartbreak a little easier to take, though. It's hard to wallow in bed all day feeling sorry for yourself when you have a pint-sized tornado jumping on kissing your face and asking for Cheerios.
I love this one so much. Why wouldn't I want another? Why shouldn't I want another?

My advice? Say "I'm so sorry. I'll pray for you/think of you/wish good thoughts your way."
And then Shut. Up.

For a deeper view into the emotional and inner-turmoil side of this "myth," please read The Great Big If's entry. It's almost exactly what I would have written, but more insightful than I could have been, and far more soul-baring than I'd ever dare.

For more information on infertility or National Infertility Awareness Week, click the links.

And be sure to read the other Busted Myths.


  1. Love your post!

  2. I can't imagine having to go through what so many women do to have their children. It seems so cruel that so many people just fall pregnant accidently and don't want their child so abort them when so many families like yours are desprate for that blessing of a child.

    I do really hope that the gods (or whoever else) smile on you if/when you ttc.


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