Friday, April 23, 2010

The Power of Three

I manipulated a backrub out of my guilty DH last night, I slept in until 10am, and the sun is shining today. Let's hope this day is on the up-and-up, and my appointment with the RE this afternoon shows a beautiful lining ready for IUI.

What I love about ICLW is that reading other people's posts often gives me fodder for mine, especially when I'm in a creativity slump like I've been in lately. Write Baby Repeat had a really moving post yesterday about getting lapped, and all I could think about was a friend of mine who is now expecting her third kid and what a visceral response I had when I learned the news.

For the past year, whenever I hear a pregnancy announcement from a "civilian" (non IF'er), my mind immediately goes into survival mode with a bunch of rationalizing thoughts. There is the sincere "I'm so happy for them," followed by a wistful "How lucky that they'll never have to question themselves about fertility," and then a rather selfish "I hope they won't bombard me with too many pregnancy updates and shower invitations."

Those thoughts take a mean turn, though, when I learn that it's a third or fourth pregnancy. I am immediately flooded with an outraged "How *dare* you?!" followed by an insincere "I hate you!" and then a selfish and childish "Why does the universe hate me so?" It's happened two or three times now, and I always feel totally surprised and ashamed by the depth of my negativity and my lack of grace.

I tell myself over and over again that having babies is not a zero sum game - there isn't some limited pool of them, so Jane having three...or nine children has no bearing whatsoever on the number of children I will have.

In my IF-addled mind, though, there is something subtly terrible and mocking when a couple flouts social convention and throws themselves on the other side of the average 2.2 kids statistic. I know logically that the following isn't true, but a primitive part of me sees 3+ kids as a flaunting of genetic wealth, as a kind of evolutionary and ecological selfishness.

"Our world is overpopulated, we don't know if we'll have enough water or gasoline to get us through the next few generations, but sure - go ahead and go over the replacement rate. Clearly two is not enough for you. Unless the third pregnancy was an accident, in which I already hate you for your untold amounts of luck and fertility." Something like that.

I am well aware that this isn't a nice way to think about this. That I'm taking someone else's deep personal joy and throwing my political and philosophical feelings on it, along with slathering a layer of infertility shit on top of it. I don't want to think like this, but I do.

But at least I know I will never say these thoughts out loud. That's why I have this blog. So I can exorcise these ugly thoughts and protect my happy and naive friends from them, and so that I can love their children - no matter how many of them they have - with a cleaner heart.


  1. Ha ha ha-- Yeah.... I know.

    I am starting to think of myself as a freak of nature, like an "other" sex. One that doesn't get to reproduce. Not directly comparable to "women". Sucks to have that feeling, but there you are. I am just pissed off when it's like, we were "girls" together, now you're a woman but I just grew into a freaky android!

  2. I'm so sorry you had such a crummy few days... I really hope the appointment went well and cheered you up!

  3. It's funny--I've always wanted more than 2 kids, but now I feel just like you--resentful of anyone who has more than 2 easily. I hope the appointment with the RE went well yesterday and you got to see a nice, thick lining!

  4. I've had all of those thoughts!


  5. I just found out my cousin is having her third. And while she wasn't the best mother to her first two, I hope she becomes a better mother to this one. My mom has told me she has changed, for the better and I hope she has.

    I seem to always get a pg announcement right before I'm going to start surfing the crimson wave. And as usual I dissolve in a puddle of tears.


  6. I know exactly how you feel. It seems as though I've become this other version of female, one where the lady bits are broken and I feel like less a woman somehow. When I hear about everyone else having babies, it's a knife to the heart at times. I am happy for them, but know that most of these people have never known the pain of finding out that they are incapable of having children without medical intervention. And I am jealous of them for this.


  7. This is all just because you are a young thing of 33. When you reach the ripe old age of 34, you will be all sweetness and light to everyone.

    But seriously ('cause in case you can't tell, that was a big joke on my part), these thoughts sound very familiar. And like a good and normal way of coping. At least, I hope so, for my own sake!

  8. I think how you are feeling is completely normal when dealing with IF. It really sucks to see people who have 3+ children with no issues. My SIL had 4 in about 6 years. I mean, how dare she!!! Lol.

    Anyway, I saw you on Bunny's blog and came over to say hi. And happy ICLW.

    Hope your appointment goes well and best of luck for the IUI.

  9. Hi, I'm a ICLW visitor and I just wanted to wish you all the best for IUI! I hope your lining is perfect!

  10. God bless blogs to get all this junk out of our heads, right? This ICLW has been eye-opening for sure- I'm trying really hard to attain Iron Commenter, and I've read such an amazing gamut of stories. I have to admit, even reading those blogs of women who are currently pg or have gone from IF blogger to Mommy Blogger, those same jealous thoughts still creep at the back of my mind. It's impossible not to harbor at least a small ounce of jaded resentment no matter how positive we try to be in our own lives. Anywho, I wanted to say Amen Sister! to this post. Thanks for sharing!

    Happy ICLW!
    ~Miriam (ICLW #114)
    Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed