On Pages 51-52 Elinor discusses her abortion experience. She says choices are a fairytale and that she had always been pro-choice but now realized that she had no choice. Has your stance on abortion changed at all since you began suffering form infertility?
I have always been pro-choice, believing that a woman's right to choose trumped anything else. Even though I have suffered with infertility, and pregnancy loss, I still hold the same viewpoint. I think that there are too many circumstances, and each individual needs to make that decision for themselves. I would definitely feel more saddened by the news of someone having to make that decision now though. I did believe that my baby was a baby right from the start. Someone having an abortion may believe this also, making their decision all the more difficult. I now am much more aware of the struggle that someone having to make that decision would go through.
In the beginning of Chapter 4, Elinor finds it difficult to look at a newborn and its mother in the seat next to her. She says she isn't so much sad that she can't have a baby of her own but that she can't give her husband a child. Do you find your infertility more painful because of your desire to experience pregnancy and childbirth or because of your desire to see your spouse as a father?
I think that I personally find my infertility more painful because I may never get to experience pregnancy and childbirth. One of my biggest fears is that the 13 short weeks I was pregnant before may be the only time I will ever be pregnant. I know that I will be a mother someday, though, no matter how we finally get there. There are alternative ways to become a family, and if we choose to adopt, my spouse will get to be a father. If that is how our family is built he still gets to parent a child.
Lolly describes how Elinor became superstitious in her attempts to conceive. "At one point she thought they should throw out the unlucky mattress...That's when she and Ted started checking into hotel rooms on weekends, trying to make getting pregnant fun." Did you ever engage in rituals to get around superstitions? How did you alter your behavior or possession to improve your odds?
There have been many cycles where I have altered my behavior and possessions to try and improve my odds. After numerous failures, it makes you start to wonder if things like lucky charms or items will help. I have purchased a miracle angel figurine which I had to have on my nightstand each day during one cycle. I have cut out pictures of babies from magazines in an attempt to help myself "visualize" the successful outcome. I have read and tried feng shui things in the bedroom, like making sure nothing is underneath the bed while trying to conceive to create a clear path to baby-making. I have repeated mantras to myself - "I will get a BFP and I won't take no for an answer", during daily meditation. It all sounds funny now that it's written down, and hopefully people do not think I am completely out of my mind now. But when you are in a state of near desperation you will do almost anything to have success.
Elinor participates in a book club meeting following her miscarriage and finds that "no one gets her"...and thinks "why should they? She's a barren, bitter, self-pitying grouch. She hates this book club. She smiles and loosens her grip on the stem of her wineglass, afraid she might snap it in half." Do you find yourself having similar experiences? Would the infertility struggle be easier for you if you felt that people "got you" or not?
I do have similar experiences all the time. I work in a youth-serving organization, so we work with children, and also my office is comprised mainly of women. Of course, partly because of the nature of the business, topics often focus on children and families. I find it difficult to even participate in these conversations. And when the topic turns to pregnancy and child rearing I feel like Elinor did, nearly breaking the glass. I don't get their conversations and they definitely don't understand me either. I have lost numerous friends because of our struggle with infertility and because of my miscarriage. People move on, they have families, and often they focus so much on topics involving their pregnancies and children that I sometimes wonder if that is the only way they define themselves. I think it would be easier if people understood my struggle more. I think that is why I post on bulletin boards, and also why I started blogging. It is also why I have been trying, with no success so far, to begin a new support group in my area. To feel a part of a larger community who knows what I am facing each day.
Intrigued by the idea of a book tour and want to read more about Happiness Sold Separately? Hop along to more stops on the Barren Bitches Book Tour by visiting the master list at http://stirrup-queens.blogspot.com/. Want to come along for the next tour? Sign up begins today for tour #8 (The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood) and all are welcome to join along . All you need is a book and blog.