I touch the future. I… yadda yadda yadda*

by Jen on April 16, 2008

in Does this baby make me look fat?,Rant of the Week,Teenagers make it look so easy,Worlds' Goodest Teecher

I teach. I don’t write much about work here, mainly because I don’t want to get dooced. Yes, I admit that the real reason for avoiding discussions of my work is not because of some high moral imperative about not making fun of students and coworkers. Believe me, if it weren’t for that, I’d have some real gems to share.

It just so happen to work out that my due date is two days before the last day of school this year. Virtually every single person, upon asking my due date, responds, “You planned that perfectly!” Although I’ve had it said to me dozens of times, I still don’t have a response prepared. I usually just say nothing, or change the subject.

When I was pregnant with the Monkeyboy, his due date was mid-December, right before holiday break. A coworker remarked the familiar, “you planned that perfectly,” to which I replied, “Well, when we started trying two years ago, we were aiming for May.” She didn’t say anything after that. I didn’t mean to be curt; I just wanted to set the record straight.

I know that in terms of infertility and treatment, I’ve only experienced what can be considered Entry-Level Infertility Treatment (What Akeeyu calls Clomid and Fucking). We were lucky that Clomid worked for us. It’s really the gateway drug of infertility meds, after all. Many people move on to bigger, scarier, more expensive and more powerful treatment. But just because on the spectrum of infertility treatment we were at the “easy” end, that doesn’t mean it was easy. Not when judged in the overall fertility arena. (You know that arena, the one with events like “We got pregnant the first month trying” and “Our fourth child was an accident.”)

I feel compelled to educate people about fertility and infertility (I’ve certainly developed a reputation as the go-to girl among friends and at work to women who have questions about getting pregnant). But, why is that? Am I really looking to “help” people and inform them, or am I looking for getting credit for my own struggles? It’s probably a little of both.

So today, in my bag, I carried to school to loan to a friend and co-worker, Taking Charge of Your Fertility (book and software) and a few copies of my very own favorite BBT charts, because she is in her thirties, getting married this summer, and “wants to start right away.” (Don’t worry, she asked for my “help;” I’m not big on giving unsolicited advice, especially of the personal nature.) And I’ve told her I’ll teach her “everything I know.”

As a planner of things by nature, infertility has made me painfully aware that some things are out of our control. And I hate it. It’s not the actual struggle to get pregnant that I hated and still resent, it’s the uncertainty. If I would have been told, “it will take XX years and XX dollars and XX sometimes-painful tests and treatments to get pregnant,” but there was a guaranteed baby at the end of it all, then I know that every woman suffering from infertility would say, “Where do I sign up?” But, we all know women who have sacrificed physically, financially and emotionally to treat their infertility and still are left with nothing but empty hands and a head full of unanswered questions. With years of hindsight, I’m able to realize that I’m very lucky to have been able to get pregnant at all. And planning a pregnancy is such a foreign concept to me that I just freeze at the mention of the word, dumbstruck.

So, I guess my response to the comment, “You planned that perfectly!” should be, “No, neither of my kids are planned. But they are very much wanted.”

*With my apologies to the memory of Christa McAuliffe.

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