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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Food for thought....

Why Can't You Be Happy With One, by Freda Curchack Marver

Courtesy of RESOLVE

How many of us with secondary infertility have been asked, "Your child is so lovely and your fertility treatments are taking a toll on you. Why don't you just stop and be grateful for the child you have?" To the well meaning people who ask, it seems like a fair question, so why do we find it so infuriating?

First, theses people ARE overstepping their boundary suggesting thatwe stop treatments when it is not their suggestion to make. Perhaps they feel that it would be less painful for us to give up than to continue our pursuit. On what basis can they possibly know? It shows a lack of understanding of the depth and complexity of the pain of secondary infertility and a lack of respect for our choices. We get to decide just how long to pursue treatments, and if repeated efforts are not successful, we are also the ones who choose when to stop. We may base this on our emotional energy, financial resources,and the effcts the treatments are having on us and, importantly, on our child. Only we know how strongly compelled we feel to continue and how sorrowful and frieghtening it feels to relinquish a dream.

Second, the number of children a couple chooses to have is a very personal decesion. It is inappropraite for others to give unsolicitaed advice. My husband and I considered several factors-memories of our growing up years, the number of siblings we had, our thoughts on what would work best given our interpersonal dynamics,financial contrainsts, number of rooms in our house, flexibility ofour work schedules, and when our friends were having children. This was to be OUR choice. We resent that infertility took it all away. But our anger is compounded when others suggest that we have all we need, rather than encourage us to fight for what we want. There is nothing wrong with wanting more than one child. There is nothing wrong with wanting my child to grow up with a sibling.

Third, these people imply that we don't realize how lucky we are for what we have. This is tremendously demeaning. If anything, we maybe more grateful than most. After having infertility problems, weare accutely aware of the wonder and miracle of life. Another ironic twist is that it is precesily because we are so grateful for ourchild that we are compelled to have more. If we were not happy with parenting, would we really be trying so hard to become parents to another child?

Last, their question implies that children are interchangable, acommodity. You already have one-why do you need more? Each child is unique, and the prescence of one does not supercede the desire foranother. For those of us who have tried for many years to have a baby, we feel profound greif for the child we may never know. Despite the child we have-not to mention the spouse, other family,and friends we have-the loss we feel runs deep. next time someone asks, "Why can't you be happy with one?" it helps to realize that even thought the questionis difficult to hear,the person is probably asking out of general interest and concern. An appropriate response may be : "It is precisely because raising our child has been so wonderful that we want to continue on this difficult path towards our dream."


  • At 5:14 PM, Blogger LeggyP said…

    Very good article.

    I'm sorry about the postponement to your IUI- its agonizing to have it all put on hold when you've just spent all this energy gearing up for it.


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