surprise rant

Is it wrong that I am writing today’s post with no clue what to write about? I’m just excited to have a few hours to myself to think, to write, to procrastinate exercising!

The last few weeks I’ve started telling a few of my closest friends that I’ve been doing IVF. I had kept it a secret for about 4 months and as a result, had really withdrawn from nearly everyone except my wonderful husband. It was a self-imposed loneliness that I truly believed (at the time) was necessary. And, who knows? Maybe it was. So far, three people know and I only half-regret telling one of them. To be honest, I could have predicted her response, at least in part.

I was betting against all odds she wouldn’t pull out the religion card. It was a sucker bet and I knew it. God and I have been having some issues lately, but we’re working it out in our own way and really don’t need any interference.

Her response(s) went something like this:

Her: “Oh, have you prayed to St. Rita yet?”

Me: “No, I haven’t.”

Her: “Omigod! Why not?!? She’s the best! You really need to go to her and just pray – pray for everything that you want. She really answers your prayers. Please tell me you’ll pray to her.”

Me: (starting to regret telling her anything) “No, I won’t. I don’t believe in it, so I really can’t.”

Her: (patronizing tone) “I really wish you did because she makes prayers come true.”

Me: (SILENT) Because it would have been plain mean to say what I was thinking, which was: “Really? I know you’ve been praying for a long time to keep your marriage in tact – how’s that working out for you?!?” It would have been a below-the-belt comment that she didn’t deserve (regardless of its factual accuracy) so I just bit my tongue and let a moment pass before saying, “Can we please change the subject?”

And I thought my torment was over, but then she committed Cardinal Sin #6 of what-NOT-to-say-to-your-friend-experiencing-infertility:

Her: “Why don’t you just adopt?”

Me: “I’m just not there yet. If it turns out that I really can’t have my own biological children, then definitely – but I’m just not there, you know?”

Her: “Oh, I think you should adopt! There are so many children that need to be adopted and they’re just waiting for parents who’ll love them.”

Me: “I actually did look into adopting an Armenian child and the process takes at least 2 years and costs about $30,000 – not that different from adopting a kid from the U.S. – and I just don’t have that kind of money.”

Her: “Omigod! Why don’t you become a foster parent?!?”

Me: (cringe) “No, that’s not what I want to do.”

Her: “Omigod – I’ve always wanted to be a foster parent! All those poor kids from messed up homes, you know, they just really need someone to take care of them. I’ve always, always wanted to do that!”

Me: “Then YOU should do it!”

No offense, I think foster parents are amazing – something akin to human angels in many instances – but that is absolutely not my goal. I’m not trying to save the world or even one child for that matter, at least not right now. I want what everyone else seems to achieve without even thinking about it. I want a child of my own. I want that thing that’s registered in my soul as my absolute privilege as a woman: to give life, to give life to a child that is part of me and part of my husband, whom I love more than anything in the world.

Some people think that’s selfish. I don’t care. I can’t alter my truth. Even the word “want” falls flat compared to the tidal wave of deep-seated yearning I feel. There simply are not words powerful enough to describe my desire. And, unless you’ve been there, in the trenches, through the agony, the sleepless nights, the bursting into tears at every commercial (especially during the holidays!) that has a baby in it – through countless boxes of Kleenex, soaking your husband’s shirt with tears as he consoles you… you simply have no idea.

Whew! I don’t know where that came from…. I hadn’t really planned to write about this at all.

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