After reading the memoir I posted about a few days ago, I have been pondering the author’s anger at Fertiles. I finally reconciled in my head why I have such conflicted emotions about my fertile friends and fertiles in general. Let me caution that these are just my personal thoughts- not necessarily right. This is just one infertile gal’s opinion.
I have found that I can categorize these women in two main categories: one that find their pregnancy, babies and kids a gift and a blessing and one that consider them a personal accomplishment.
The ones that find gratitude and humble appreciation for pregnancy and kids are much easier to be around and celebrate. They don’t have to always feel happy and humble in their journey as a Mom but they do have perspective that they are fortunate and the universe/ God/ etc has given them this gift.
I find a hard time celebrating the second group. The ones that make it all about them not the gift of life. You know the ones. They act like they are the only person that matters when they are pregnant or just had a baby and glow with self accomplishment or vent about every small inconvenience with being pregnant or having a baby. Each small milestone is celebrated and publicized because THEY did it not because it is a miracle and joy and blessing. It is all about how amazing they are to create and endure a pregnancy. These are the type of people that advertise every ‘accomplishment’ ad nauseum on social media from an engagement to a good hair day via a mock humble selfie. Can you tell I feel an aversion to these types of people??
I think their reaction to the ability to procreate represents their overall character in general. It is indicative of someone who is egocentric versus altruistic. The world is what happens around them versus they are active participants making their way.
I am fortunate that almost all of my friends and family are in the ‘it is a gift given to me’ camp not the ‘look what I did’. It is really hard as someone whose body cannot do what it has been meant to do since the beginning of human life to feel like other women feel superior or more accomplished than me. By acting like procreation is something that makes them important or good or more womanly makes me feel lesser and insecure. It is most likely never their intent nor usually their fault but it is just the reality. Just my reality.
My very best friend who is pregnant with her second baby falls into this first camp even if she doesn’t love pregnancy. She is selfless and compassionate enough to recognize it as a gift. She even offered me her eggs ( which by the way could be sold on the black market because she is amazing in every way). I feel only joy for her fortune. My older sister who had three kids like it was nothing and is struggling as a single Mom still expresses gratitude everyday and offers up surrogacy often. My twin sister with her own toddler twins has embryos on ice but refuses to make any steps towards retrieving them in case I want to have them at any point. There are so many more lovely friends and family who are fertile and totally fabulous. Their joy and procreation is only celebrated by me.
Then we have the few Fertile ‘friends’ who know my struggles yet still talk about the importance of having siblings close in age, who tell me they are going to get pregnant in two months so they have a baby born near their birthday. Who act like they are the very first person to be pregnant and send me baby bump pictures weekly and complain about how hungry they are ALL the time. These are the Fertiles that rub our inability to get pregnant in our faces and make us feel bitter. Our bitterness makes us feel guilty and the cycle continues.
Having realized the difference between these two groups, I have surrounded myself with the former and distanced myself with the latter. The result is an amazing lack of bitterness and a pride in the fact that other pregnancy announcements are met with happiness. I cannot recommend highly enough this approach to all of you struggling with these complex emotions. The ‘friends’ you distance yourself from may just make room for more compassionate and empathetic friends. This battle is lonely and confusing and frustrating and agonizing. We owe it to ourselves to make our outside environment as supportive and protective as we can. Sending you all love.