Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Life after infertility.

Infertility sure has screwed me up.

The biggest part of my title isn't "infertility", it's the key word "after". But how come I can't put it all behind me?

I can't watch any baby delivery shows on television. I abhor even seeing the commercials for shows like "I didn't know I was pregnant". I have a hard time listening to anyone talk about how many kids they are going to have, like a given pregnancy will just happen on queue. Hollywood is fucking baby crazy right now that even in my brain candy magazines, there are weekly sections like "don't stars have the cutest babies!". Pah-lease.

And although I can't put it behind me, I find that I am proud as hell of my infertility. Sure, the 39 monitored cycles I went through weren't a walk in the park. The 8 bajillion injections I gave myself through my IVF and FET cycles sucked. The PIO injections my hip endured daily for 13 weeks still are lumpy from the torture. But now that it is all over, I beam with pride when I discuss karl's frozen beginnings.

Every now and again I read a blog discussing someone's discussion on whether or not to tell a child about their ART leading to their conception. And I simply don't get it. I don't pass by a chance to explain our IVF to someone and I certainly won't keep it from my son. If anything, it shows just how much I wanted him and what I was willing to do to get him. And while I respect someone else's decisions to tell or not tell, I'm certainly telling.

Something I don't get ... I remember reading someone discussing their IVF child and how they found it degrading to call their baby a "test tube baby". I hadn't gone through IVF yet, so I didn't discuss something I had no experience with. But now I do have an IVF baby and I don't see why it's an offensive phrase. He ~is~ a test tube baby. Am I missing something?

24 comments:

chicklet said...

I'm soooo with you. I talk about our trip here to anyone, and D will know all about it. Cuz one, I want ppl to know this stuff isn't always easy, and two, I want D to know how bad we wanted him and how grateful we are for him. He's not technically a test tube baby, but science n drugs probably DID teach my body to finally do what it's meant to. So him being a test tube baby or not, I'd have no problem using the term if he had been.

JennaDee said...

I think you are right. Children should know how bad we want them no matter if we had to seek medical attention for it or pull over on the side of the road and hop into the back seat because we feel those O pains. Either way we will go to whatever resort to not hide how badly we wanted our children.

Dan, Claire, Jayda and Cash said...

I'm with you - my daughter will totally know what we went through to have her. Obviously she will question why we were married for 10 years before we had her. I take great pride in the 100+ cycles it took to get us here. I don't like to think of her as a "test tube baby", we call her our $20,000 baby. She'll just have to chose a cheaper community college. kidding. And, after all that, our son came the old fashioned way. Go figure.

Lisa said...

I think it is a matter of comfort level. Although I do not have any experience with infertility first hand, there are many people like you that are open about it and others that think it's something to be ashamed of. I agree with you that it just proves how badly you wanted Karl. Now, that's not to say that you wanted Allison any less just because she happened quickly and naturally. But it does go to prove the lengths you went to ensure he was a part of your family.

I find a similar issue regarding people with twins. I get asked a lot whether or not they were conceived naturally or not. I think people are curious and although some might find it an invasion of their privacy, I have no issue with the question. But then again, mine were natural so maybe I would feel differently if they were not...

Photogrl said...

Well, maybe my twins are not "test tube babies" BUT they are "petri dish kiddos"! ;)

I worry about whether I can move out of the IF mindset. Will I be just as sensitive to the subject after the twins are born as I am now?

Whenever I'm asked about whether twins run in the family, I'm vague. If I feel the question is genuine, and not just nosey I'll say that we weren't surprised...gauge the reaction and either change the subject OR admit to IVF.

I hate that any of us feel like we have to hide what we went through.

Kristin said...

I agree with you Nancy.
While I didn't go through IVF, if I had, I don't think I would hide it from the child. Or anyone else, for that matter.
I have a friend who is pregnant with her second child, an IVF baby. Her first was a natural conception. She is thoroughly ashamed of the fact that she used IVF and has told almost no one. I'm pretty sure she won't tell the kid either. while I respect that it is her decision what to tell people--I don't get it either.

Hollie said...

I'm also proud of all the hard work I had to do to get pregnant. I think it will show my son how much he is wanted and loved. I think it's something I will tell him after he has a good understanding of how babies normally are made. I'm proud of my test tube baby!

areyoukiddingme said...

Maybe they're actually Petri dish babies? :)

I wrote a journal while pregnant, explaining all of the things we did. The journal is for my daughter. I wanted a bit of a record, so she would know my medical history, how much she was wanted, and that if she has issues, she's not alone.

Robin said...

I agree with you. There is no need to lie or hide and nothing wrong with the term "test tube baby". I think it definitely shows how much we wanted them and it's certainly going to be something I tell my next child one day.

The after fertility part with the baby talk and the baby assumption everywhere I think will be a part of us forever. It is sad that we all have these thoughts :(

Elana Kahn said...

I don't find anything wrong with the term "test tube baby". Both of mine are, and I'm proud of it. Just because they were conceived in a lab doesn't mean they're any less loved or created by love. Hell, I think they're MORE loved/created by love than a baby created by a one night stand or an "oops" baby.

Elana Kahn said...

P.S. That last comment was not meant to say that "oops" babies are not loved. I'm sure they are, but I was just trying to make a point. :-D

..Soo.See.. said...

*high five* The "life after" is certainly not what we might've thought it'd be at the very beginning of TTC. It's changed me too, it stays w/ me and I still get ticked or put off by the same comments you described! I just do. As for being open about it, I, like Photogrl was vague. Mostly at the beginning b/c *I* didn't want the added stress that some ppl give when you open up. If I felt the conversation was genuine, I'd open up, no problem. Nowadays, it doesn't matter what they think or want to say. I say it and say it proud! And no doubt, the boys will know about it too. My only catch is: it's gotta come from me or HunHun - not from some smart-sarcastic-snarky remark MIL makes. But that's another story, right?

Jenera said...

the only thing i can think of is that maybe these types of parents are ashamed of the fact that they couldn't conceive without some help. You seem to be pretty adjusted with the fact that it took more work than some women but it doesn't appear that you see it as a failure of your own body. maybe some women feel going the route of IVF is a failure. It might be they don't realize it consciously and it comes across in their dread of telling their kids.

Kristin said...

I don't understand people's hesitancy to discuss IF or ART beginnings. I just don't get it.

joyous melancholy said...

I call my baby my Turkey Baster Baby, but I hate it - HATE it! - when someone else does. I have the right, I'm the one who went through it. But when someone else says it, it carries a note of inauthenticity, like he's not a "real" baby, or "natural."

My mom gave me a little onesie when he was born. It said "100% Natural" on a round label on the tummy. It was referring to the fact that it was 100% organic cotton, but I loved it because it had a double meaning to me.

My baby IS 100% natural. His conception was just a little more controlled than some.

As for telling him about my IF - I will, somehow when the time is right. It's always awkward for a parent to talk to her child about that child's conception. But my IF troubles could be hereditary, and my kids need to know up front that they could be facing troubles. I know I would have liked to know as a young adult facing cyst pains and not knowing it had anything to do with my future inability to conceive on my own.

K77 said...

Absolutely agree with you.

Chuck, Sarah and Emily said...

I prefer petri dish baby ;)

Melody said...

Even though Simone is only 12 months old, I tell her multiple times/day how much she was wanted, how I did everything I could and would again to have her. I think I love her even more because I had to work so hard to get her here. Infertility has left indelible scars on me, but I love so much harder, stronger, and tougher because of it. I have saved the vial from the IUI that worked, and it will go in her baby book.

calliope said...

I'll never get why talking about infertility is taboo. If someone remarks on W it is one of the first things I reply, "Thank you. It took me 5 years and a lot of treatments to have him." I don't flinch about it at all but I feel sad for those that feel like they can't or shouldn't talk about the battles they have gone through.

M said...

Oh I'm so with you!!

I am so darn proud of my infertility. As much as I know that concieving a child is no way a contest and the struggles we face in life shouldn't be used to compare with other's different kinds of struggles, I still have a twinge of "you don't even know" when I think about my fertile friends.

Us "IF graduates" and those still dealing with IF have had things done to us and have done things to ourselves that we never would have dreamed we would of had to do. And we did it!!! We are all so strong!!

Thank you for this post. Very empowering and encouraging for us all.

Jamie said...

The #1 hardest thing about IF is that no one talks about it. Until I found this blogosphere, I felt so isolated and alone.

When people ask about our TTC efforts, I'm more than happy to spill my beans. Suddenly, I turn into a military veteran all telling war stories and showing my scars. I fought hard for my baby and I'm damn proud of it!

Rhonda said...

I'm not sure why "test tube baby" or "petri dish baby" is so taboo to most people but "backseat of a pinto baby" or "hottub baby" seems like a great story? I would much rather celebrate the victory stories of the former than hear all the sweaty details of the later.

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