Brace yourselves. This might get a little uncomfortable.
Did you know that there is yet another Duggar in the works? Each day, I am more and more convinced that these people are some alien life form that has been sent to Earth to proliferate and take over—just like the Osmonds! I think when you add up the Duggars, and now their offspring, they make up a ¼ of the population of Arkansas. Ha! I just imagine the alien overlords looking down from their Death Star-like colony through their SpaceLaserVisionMaster 3000, strategizing about infiltration points and selecting Arkansas as their “ground zero.” I’m sure that decision had something to do with Wal-Marts and armadillos—as you well know, aliens are big on bargains and consider armadillos a delicacy!
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge anyone the ability to have a family (though I do wish some people I encounter would take it a little more seriously), and in the case of the Duggars it seems like they really and truly “make it work”, which is more than I can say for some, like, I dunno [cough] Octomom? But you couple this kind of media frenzy over super-sized families with TV shows like Teen Mom and the celebrity “baby bump” craze and it’s all just a little overwhelming. I can’t be the only unintentionally childless woman who feels this way.
I mean, I actually heard a newscaster this morning, regarding the singer Michael Bublé and his pregnant wife, say, “They found out they were having a boy on the same day that Pope Francis was selected…”
WAIT FOR IT… “Which is interesting, because Michael Bublé’s wife is also from Argentina.” WTH!?!?!? Really?!?!? That’s like saying…. you know what, that whole statement is so freaking ridiculous, is not news, and makes so little sense that I can’t even think of an analogy for it. Feel free to create your own stupid-as-shit analogy in the comments section below.
There are days when I kind of (ok, TOTALLY) relate to Holly Hunter’s desperate character in Raising Arizona: “You go right back up there and get me a toddler. I need a baby, H.I. They got more’n they can handle…Don’t you come back here without a baby!”
All I am saying is that infertility, and all the struggles and emotions that come with it, is so incredibly prevalent these days, yet it’s still treated like a dirty little secret that no one really talks about. BUT…God forbid some D-List celebrity finds herself two seconds pregnant– it’s like the biggest news since the invention of the light bulb. I consider myself a pretty resilient and a “chin up” kind of gal. I regularly remind myself to put on my big girl panties and carry on, but I know there are others who share my struggle who don’t have that fortitude. I can’t imagine how depressing it must be for them to basically watch a media-laced baby shower happening on a daily basis. I mean, do we really need to celebrate that Snooki had a little guido? When did this become news?!? Because let’s be real…she probably just got falling down drunk one night and probably doesn’t even remember what happened. Whatever.
I recall sitting in my reproductive endocrinologist’s waiting room a few years ago looking at all the women in the room with me. It was a full house: black, white, Asian, Hispanic, Indian, Middle-Eastern; ages ranging from 20’s-40’s; skinny and fat; various cultures and religions; straight and lesbian. It was like the melting pot of infertile women. Oddly, I found comfort in seeing so many different women valiantly seeking to reach a common goal–to become mamas. I also found it isolating because there was always an air of sadness and anxiety that seemed to envelop the room, plus it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. There were days when I wanted to throw open the clinic door and shout, “Hey ladies!!! How’s your uterus this morning?!?! My cervix feels like a million bucks!! I’m so hopped up on FSH, I’m like a hen in a henhouse!” Alas, I just sat quietly with the others waiting for my name to be called. Adding to the anxiety in the waiting room, the clinic was overflowing with pin boards covered with photo Christmas cards and birth notices of adorable little faces–sometimes the faces were even in cute little pairs, and on occasion, for those overachieving wombs, in threesomes. These cards were sent by the oodles of families owing a little of their joy and success to the doctors and nurses, and advancements in medical technology. For many hopeful patients, I know it seemed like the ultimate finish line: “If I can just be lucky enough to have my little one’s picture added to this board, all will be right in the universe.”
Well, after a lot of time and effort and some really crazy hormones and fertility drugs (my husband still refers to that period as “the crazy days”), we kind of struck out. Sometimes the best-laid plans don’t turn out the way you hope and you finally have to decide to let go. Letting go, by the way, was a really hard pill for this Type-A personality to swallow—in fact, sometimes it still feels like I’m trying to swallow a horse-sized, uncoated aspirin without any water! Gag-Gag. My husband and I have regrouped and rethought our plans and begun to rewrite our family story in the last few years. Hopefully, this new chapter, “Adoption,” will lead us to our happy ending. In the meantime, we’ve watched our friends’ and family’s families grow and have enjoyed being a part of their joy and celebrating their milestones with them — like normal people do, not splashed all over the front pages of tabloid magazines like a circus sideshow. In return, our friends and family share in our struggles and our story, and express empathy and love and help keep us going–like normal people do, not ignored like in the media world as if broken or non-existent.
Moving forward, I ask that you don’t feed in to the media craziness surrounding every pseudo-celebrity who did it with her rap-star boyfriend and ended up knocked up. Instead, maybe spend a moment thinking about the roughly 1-in-8 women who would give their eye teeth to be mothers, struggling to find a little peace with their situations and quietly and courageously trying to make their miracle happen. Those are the women who deserve a little notice and applause and good ju-ju for all they endure while still finding the strength to carry on (sometimes with a little help from two mental health practitioners I like to call “Ben and Jerry”).
So that’s my vent session for today, friends. I promise my next entry will return to my regular style of ridiculous ramblings…
Unless Lindsay Lohan ends up pregnant, and then all bets are off!!