I have been asked many times while I have been here why are you in Capetown. I just cannot lie. For instance after breakfast yesterday the remaining couple who did not know about my reproductive health asked what I did that day. "Well I went to my doctors appointment and then got lost." Oh they said are you sick? NO. Just having my ovaries overhauled. I tell people as if I were getting my hair done. "Oh I am just getting a trim and a blow dry." Ok so I do not say it like those examples but I do say what I am doing.
I refuse to be shameful about my ovaries Paris and Nicole. I cannot help it if I am the proud owner of two selfish misbehaving brats. I refuse to be shameful about infertility in general. Most everyone knows what is going on. I do not always give details but if someone asks I am happy to inform or to correct someone with an answer that would make us collectively groan. Some feel embarrassed about wands up the coutchies and shameful of our status as reproductive misfits. But we should not. (Although if you do I understand and sometimes it is just about privacy.....I understand why some would keep it wrapped)
I do not bore the average asker with private details but a general acknowledgment of infertility suffices. I realize not everyone wants to know sordid details but on the other hand I should not have to lie about what I am doing. Should I say that I went to the beach instead of the doctor? Or when a friend at home asks me what I have been up to should I omit a huge part of my life when an IVF cycle has me by the tail-strings? I will not dump on them all the frustrations and worries but again I should be allowed to say what I am caught up in. I should be allowed to say without shame.
My vision is that infertility becomes an acceptable form of a medical condition rather than the false images that we deal with everyday. Almost none of us are old and decrepit needing an extra purse to carry our wrinkles that are hanging below our ankles. And in that same purse we do not have millions of dollars that we made in the time that we should have been reproducing with young fresh bimbo eggs. Nor did we "selfishly " choose careers over families and lack rights to be parents now. Most of us do not scarf whole bags of peppadew lays everyday (who does this :) while sitting on a couch with bon bons destroying by diet our healthy reproduction. If we were we would all have a better chance especially if you add some crack to that menu. Nor are we a bunch of rich criminal egg stealers paying young gullible and helpless girlies to egg it up for us and donate those eggs. Come on people. Get with the reality of the modern infertile women.
We are old. We are young. We are middle aged. We are not all wealthy. We are not exploitive. We are not all fat. We are not all thin. We all did not get to start having families in our early twenties. We all did not start trying in our late thirties. We are all not career driven. We are all not passive and lazy. We are not unhealthy eaters. We are all not healthnuts.
We women had to make choices in our lives. Choices that were necessary. Choices that were hard. Some have worked very hard thinking they did not want a family. Then they changed their minds. So what exactly is so wrong about this? Some of us did not find our husbands until later. How can we help this? Some did start early and have spent many years unsuccessful. What is to be done? Some wanted children desperately but knew it was not the right man, time, or place for the child. Should she have made a different choice then? Why must we be at fault? Why do people want to find where the blame lies for a person's infertility. Why can't we just be a person dealing with a problem?
Our scenarios of how and why we are infertile are so varied.
We are diverse women.
We are powerful women.
We are strong women.
We are often sad women.
We, as the infertiles, are as different from one another as it can get. Yet, there is a cohesive glue that binds our destinies and that is to be a mother.
Maybe it is for the second time or maybe even the first or maybe even the tenth time but the desire to love and nurture a being is so strong we will go to the ends of the earth to achieve our goal.
Our struggle should be understood and the public should be informed of who we are. And what we are. The public needs to understand why we do what we do. If we do not speak out and correct the misconceptions then we go on struggling. Silently.
I love so many of my friends out there. Friends who I will never put a face to or talk to or meet but I still love the heart that I feel from so many of you. Our hearts are loving and wanting. In the face of struggle....hard struggle...we go on. I am talking about those nights of dark places where the world shuts out the beauty and hope. We go on....
If that is what being infertile is then I am proud to be infertile.