Monday, October 29, 2007

Happiness Sold Separately - Book Tour #7

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.

14 comments:

Fertilize Me said...

"But when you are in a state of near desperation you will do almost anything to have success." Boy can I relate

Rebecca said...

I give you a lot of credit working at the place you do. I happen to work in an incredibly fertile office. It's made up predominantly of women and I swear there's something in everyone else's water. It makes it difficult to use work as a escape.

Good luck with your 2ww!

Ms. Planner said...

Thanks so much for your honesty in answering the question about rituals. When I think back about all the non-medical stuff I tried to get pregnant, I sometimes have to laugh. And I hope you did, too, when you reflected on it. I used to meditate about perfectly chromosomally balanced eggs. Meditating about eggs - sheesh!

noswimmers said...

I completely understand the ritualizing, I think it gives us some sense of control over the situation.

Mommy Someday said...

"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 can totally relate to your fears. That is EXACTLY how I feel, however, my pregnancy didn't last as long as yours did. Thanks for sharing!

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

I really enjoyed reading your responses and agreed with a lot of what you said. I, too, work with kids and it is tough, especially when you see parents that are just not all there.

The Dunn Family said...

Thanks for sharing. I like to read everyone's comments and thoughts on the issues. I wish you luck in this 2ww and hope it goes quickly!

The Town Criers said...

Off topic first: post something in the L & F about starting a support group in your area. Maybe another blogger lives near you.

Back to the book tour...

This thought "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" drove home the point that we don't know what goes into making a decision emotionally. I think anti-abortion people often believe that it's an easy choice or a clear choice. But I think most of the time, it's a heartbreaking and difficult choice that affects the two people profoundly.

Samantha said...

I also completely relate to your fear about your miscarriage being the only pregnancy you'll ever experience. I wouldn't even say I got to "miscarriage stage" but it makes me feel very sad to consider that the one week chemical pregnancy is it for. I wish I had been more excited, even knowing it wouldn't turn out.

Thank you for such thoughtful answers.

Lori said...

As far as the rituals, I think most of us can relate without thinking you're silly.

Mel's idea about meeting up with others in your area who understand -- it's a good one.

Thanks for your thoughts, and good luck with your 2ww (and beyond!).

Deb said...

Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts. It helps to know that others are experiencing similar awkward moments.

deanna said...

"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 this same thing all the time. I SWEAR to myself that if we ever do have a child, I won't turn into one of those people, but I secretly worry that I will.

Pamela Jeanne said...

"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." This observation also tugged at my heart strings. I find this the hardest thing to accept about Infertility.

As for "defining themselves," I wrote about that here: http://tinyurl.com/yw498j

Good to find your blog. Will be back!

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