Friday, March 6, 2009

Socially Unacceptable

As they say, some things come in "threes". I have experienced the "threes" two times in the past couple of weeks and one of them has not been pleasant. The other one has been pleasant, but has been one that makes me think of the injustice of IF.

A couple of Sundays ago my neighbor hosted a Valentine's Tea. Every year she has the women from the neighborhood over to her house for Tea- pomegranate mojitos, scones, chicken salad, sweet treats, tea, the whole shebang. Some ladies that came this year were either new neighbors or friends of our current neighbors. There were about 25 women that attended this Tea- a lot of whom I have never met and the rest are people I see only 2-3 times each year (we all live on 3-6 acres so our house isn't clearly visible to eveyone else's). We started out by introducing ourselves one by one around the room. When it was my turn I said, "Hi, I'm Kris. I live in the tan two story across the street". Someone shouted out, "Kris, how is L?". I replied, "Good. Yes, I have a son who is four named L". Another neighbor then thought it was appropriate to address me by saying, "So, um, Kris...don't ya think it's time that you ah...ya know...give L a sibling? You know, a little brother or sister?". My response in my fakey, jovial way was, "Wow! There is nothing like putting someone on the spot in front of a bunch of people, now is there?" Insert polite laughter. I continued and said, "Well, I guess the only thing I can really say to that is sometime we have to work a little harder for the second than we do the first", then, I picked up my pomegranate mojito and took a large gulp as we moved on to the next person to introduce them self. I was mortified in this room full of women whom I hardly knew. I just can't believe that people are so...shall we say, bold? I don't know what else to call it....maybe, rude? Obnoxious? Forward? Nosey?

The second of the "threes" in this theme was last weekend at our camping get-together. I was sitting on the couch next to one of our fellow campers. All of the sudden, she turned to me and said, "So, Kris, when are you going to have another?" I looked at her and said with laughter in my voice, "Wow! I get asked that a lot. I just don't think it is socially acceptable to have only one child." She replied, "I just want to you feel the misery of having two children, like I do.". My response, "I enjoy and cherish every day because I have L." The mood was light and she corrected by saying, "well, everyone asks you because L is so stinkin' cute and we want you to have more cute kids." At this point, we were laughing and poking fun about it and then in our silly conversation I said, "How about this? M and I will have sex tonight and I'll call you and let you know if it worked." By this time, everyone, including she and I, that was sitting in our immediate area was laughing and so she got up and walked over to where M was and said, "M, Kris said that she was going to call me the next time you guys have sex." My husband, ever the funny guy and playing into the conversation replied, "Good, I hope she calls you tonight!" By this time, the whole room was laughing and it turned into a huge joke.

The third of the "threes" was last night. We went to a carnival at my nieces school and saw my cousin's wife, whom we only see on average of 1 time per year. She looked at me and then at all of the kids in line for the carnival game and said "which ones are yours"? I said, "Just L, I only have L." And then not more than 10 minutes later we ran into a mom whose son goes to preschool with L. She looked at all of the kids in line for this next carnival game and said "which ones are yours?" Why does everyone always assume that you must have more than one child? Honestly! Is it really that socially unacceptable to "only" have one child?

In the past couple of weeks I have been told by three people, "Kris, you are such a good Mom." My response, "If I am such a good Mom, why I can't I have another angel?" Then, in my mind I think about all of the mothers in the world who do not deserve children. You know, the crack whores, and ones who abuse their children and do all sorts of horrible things to them. Then, I think about all of my wonderful friends whom I have met on this IF journey and how they deserve SO much to be Moms and how wonderful they would be.

As long as I live I will NEVER understand the injustices of infertility. Why is it fair that women who don't even want children find themselves pregnant while so many other women who work so hard and struggle to persevere on this horrible IF journey wind up empty-handed? Why? Why? Why? And, how do I go about explaining to people the depths of my desperate soul when it is so hard to define, to pinpoint and to share the lengths I have gone through to try to complete my family?


Jill M. said...

Gosh, if you ever get the answer to Why, PLEASE let me know!!! =)

Duck said...

I've always said that secondary infertility is a lot harder than what primary infertiles think (and I'm a primary infertile) I can choose not to be around kids/other moms but, you can't you're going to get questions just like that, and I think you did good, most people are just trying to make conversation (or that's what I tell myself!). All the best.

kayjay said...

Hey Kris - I PM'd you in IVFC. I didn't mean to worry you, I just needed to get in touch with you in a little more private manner to talk about something :). Talk to you soon!

MamaSoon said...

Woah, I am so uncomfortable for you... I am not sure I'd be as polite as you but I guess you'll never be able to have everyone be sensitive. I just don't get it.

People who only talk about kids and how many to make and why you aren't making them as people who can't see anything in themselves besides their ability to breed. It is sad for them, really. But it must be nice to just assume that all will work out and not even consider that fertility isn't a given.