Happy Birthday to me…

Well,  about a month ago I turned 40. Amidst the congratulations from friends there were many comments such as “It’s only a number”.  Not so.  You can probably guess who these comments came from.  Yes, that’s right – they came from those with young children.    As someone who is infertile the number 40 is pretty meaningful to me.  We had expected to have children (plural)  by 40.  I had expected to stop trying to conceive by 40.  I had expected to be moving on.  None of these things have happened and the fear  of being childless has increased.  I wonder if I will be able to move on once menopause hits?  I imagine then that I might then be able to say, “No, nup, never…it’s not going to happen”.  Until then….I’m on the other side of 40.

A couple of posts ago I received a comment which was really a link to a blog site.  It seemed to be very anti – IVF and was quite poorly written in terms of grammer, so I don’t think the author’s arguments were expressed very well.  I can honestly say I felt a little attacked when I investigated the site.  But I have decided to leave the link in as there are some points I believe are valid, such as considering the notion of Identity.    Plus…I want to make a point. It is the assumption that I, or “We”, as  IVF participants,  have not thought about such notions that I find offensive.   Of course I have wrestled with the idea that a child conceived from a donor egg may have unique challenges ahead in terms of  identity and their search for a place in the world.  Of course I have thought about adoption.  But each person must find there own way through this.  Who am I to judge another’s struggles or reactions to a gut wrenchingly emotional  time of loss and longing?  I bring to these decisions my own background and experiences of childhood, as does everyone who goes through such a journey.  The decision to do IVF, to adopt or to use donor eggs and/or sperm is not made lightly or quickly.     My decisions have been more like processes developed over seven years!  And yes, I am still questioning and still questing.    I am outraged, not that someone else thinks that I should think about such ideas, but that they would assume that I hadn’t!

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3 Responses to “Happy Birthday to me…”

  1. jodie38 Says:

    WTF??!! What a whack job. The grammar is so bad that it makes the whole blog incomprehensible (not that I think the author has much of a point to begin with). I wonder what his/her angle is. Have some connection with failed IVF, do we? “IVF sufferers”? “They make IVF up as they go along, otherwise there would be no birth defects”???!!

    Ears and brain wide shut, is what that is.

    And yeah, made me kinda mad too.

    Happy Birthday, btw! I’ll be 40 in September, so I’m right behind ya! As my dear D says, “you either have them, or you don’t”. He’s such a sweet talker…..

  2. Kate Says:

    I didn’t want to browse too long at that site as I don’t want to satisfy them with more hits than they deserve. Any site, IF related or not that is condescending and judgmental of the difficult choices others make sparks my ire without fail.

    I don’t have young children, like you I’m struggling up the IF mountain, but I have hope for you and me.

  3. Sarah Says:

    Thanks for the comment on my blog :).

    I’ve seen that guys site before – he’s commented around on a lot of blogs. I don’t think too many people would take him seriously since his blog is so poorly written, but I also was pretty disgusted after reading just a couple posts, so clicked away.

    You know, someone I had a long conversation with a couple weeks ago about infertility said, “I just can’t understand people who, once they know they can’t have a biological child, refuse to adopt.” I carefully explained to her how emotionally and financially draining, no…devastating, it can be to go through infertility treatments, and that the process of adoption can be even longer and more difficult emotionally and financially. I think she was surprised to hear things from a different perspective, that those things had never occurred to her, and I even think at the end she realized that it’s never okay to judge someone’s decisions on how they chose to build their family. I least I hope…

    I don’t think the fertile world thinks that we put much thought into our reproductive choices (if you can call it that), since they never thought about theirs!

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