Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Walk a Mile in my Shoes January 9, 2012

I never thought I’d be sitting here defending the Duggars, but here I am.

I realize this is old news, but I keep thinking about the photo that circulated of their miscarried baby. When I first heard about it, I rolled my eyes. That’s my standard response to any news I hear about them. But then I though about it more, and you know what? I get it.

People who’ve never dealt with infertility, loss of a child, or even loss of a dream of motherhood, don’t understand that you never know how you’re going to react to a situation until you’re standing there.

You think you’d never use extreme fertility treatments…until someone tells you it’s the only option left to you. You think you’re a level headed person, who would never become obsessed with motherhood…until you’ve tried month after month after month and no one can tell you why you can’t get pregnant. And you think you’d never take a photo of a miscarried or stillborn baby…until it happens to your child.

There are people who think I’m crazy for the way I became obsessed about having a baby. There are people who say, “why don’t you just adopt?” to anyone who can’t have children of their own. And there are people who are appalled and condemn a woman who treats a miscarried child as if that child had lived.

To those people I say, “Walk a mile in those shoes.” Because you don’t know how you’ll react until it happens to you.

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26 Responses to “Walk a Mile in my Shoes”

  1. loribeth Says:

    So true, Lisa (& that goes for the Santorums, too). Their religious/political beliefs in no way resemble my own, but my heart goes out to both families for the cruel way they’ve been treated over the difficult choices they made re: the loss of their children. It’s sadly obvious that the gap between those of us who have “been there” in some way and those who have not is pretty wide. 😦

    When I found out my daughter was stillborn, a social worker called me at home to talk to me about what was going to happen. She suggested I might want to bring a camera with me to the hospital. I didn’t. I’m known as the family photographer — always taking pictures of everyone else’s kids — but the idea of taking photos of a dead baby just seemed way too morbid. I didn’t even put the camera in my bag, just in case I wanted to use it — and I have been kicking myself every day for the last 13+ years because of it. The nurses did take a couple of Polaroids for us — they are awful, and at the same time, they are among my most precious possessions, because they are all we have, one of the few things that show that our baby was real & did exist.

    As a wise man once said, “Judge not, lest ye be judged.”

  2. Confused and Questioning Says:

    No, you are very correct, you don’t know how you’ll react until it happens to you. But the world is a big place, and you can learn a lot from the different dialogues that take place, even if these people have not experienced a situation as you have. In many cases, people may not have experience of one exact situation, but the may have a similar experience. And with that “expertise” so to speak, or perhaps just an understanding of a situation, they will have something important to add to the wider conversation. This is the case, I believe, with motherhood. I should come out and state right now that I do have kids (4). I have been reading many of these blog sites because I feel this is, in many cases (perhaps, especially infertility due to late pregnancy), a new phenomenon, and one, which for those women/couples facing it can be devastating. Secondly, because I have friends and relatives in this very boat and I think one way I can “help” is to learn what to say/what not say, or perhaps just to understand it better from those living it. That all said, this works both ways, and one of the ways in which this has been really brought home to me has been the issue of adoption. I always wanted kids, and by luck, I was able to have them. I was not aware of the level to which luck was a part of it, until after I had them (and became more aware of the fertility/age etc issue). However, I also always believed strongly in adoption. Perhaps it is because I grew up overseas, living in and travelling to areas of great poverty, with some children in need of help, perhaps because this is now an area I work in (btw, I am not a Christian missionary, nor do I believe children Should always be adopted out of their home/country circumstances…I work in aid/development), but I cannot fathom why anyone who wants desperately to be a mother, will not adopt. No, it is not “biologically” your child, but (and I hate to bring it up here) children Are wonderful and they Do change your life. And a child is very much shaped by those that love them. Steve Jobs was adopted, Obama was brought up with a stepfather/biological dad that were largely not present, and in a multi-racial single parent environment (which has given him incredible insight, but from reading his books was no picnic) and then, you have someone like the serial killer Dahmer who was brought up in a “regular family”. My point? You can’t see the future, and an adopted child (of whatever age/nationality – must they all be white newborns?) if you love them IS your child in every way that counts. I know that one blogger said that having adopted kids was a “calling” like being a nun (really, how would she know given she has no adopted kids, nor is a nun?), which I found so off the mark and so offensive it is clear she is not a mother. Interestingly she wrote a piece about this in the NYTimes and there were over 500 comments; those that Were parents overwhelmingly said “adopt” and those that didn’t listed a litany of reason why they couldn’t, wouldn’t etc etc. The point is that those who were parents and know how wonderful kids are, how they enrich your life (and they most certainly do) and how much love there is push for adoption. So. You can argue against adoption, for whatever your reasons are, forever. It’s your decision. But you might want to reflect a bit on the bigger picture and perhaps what you don’t know, and why those with kids say adoption is a choice that should be considered if loving a child, having them love you back, and being a Parent is the desire (rather than having a genetic line; indeed adopted kids will carry on your name and values..isn’t that what counts?). Motherhood is not about baby showers (I have 4 kids, and only one shower, just a small one with my sisters that was a total surprise), or cards or nursery colours, it’s about all the days in between…and their whole lives. You are writing this blog now, and having free time, but are you so sure that will be your view in 10, 15 years? Are you so willing to bet on it with such assurance? And, if so, why?? if you want to be a mother and, from your posts, would have been one had you been able.

    • mina Says:

      I don’t feel like anwering your “why”, really. Two answers to a statement like yours:
      1. Many people who can’t have children do actually adopt.
      2. If you “believe so strongly in adoption” yourself – why didn’t you adopt? If it’s all about helping children in need – why did you “make” your own biological children, choosing the “helping needy children” as your profession? Maybe if you reflect upon this question, you will come to understand why some of us do NOT adopt.
      3. Well if it’s necessary: Conceiving a child was easy for you, i guess, as for most people. For some of us it’s difficult if not impossible. Now adopting a child is not as easy as conceiving (you remember how that happened, don’t you? A short time of pleasure is all it takes). Adopting is a long, complicated and financially expensive process. For some people it is made impossible, for example for me, since i’m single. I won’t get a child to adopt in my country, i don’t know about yours. Since you spend a lot of time online, why don’t you go and try to find out just exactly how adopting a child works and what the conditions are.
      AND obviously you have all the time you need to read and rant on blogs, too. even being a mother, so ….

      • Confused and Questioning Says:

        Wow, I thought these were areas for all women. I had no idea my post would cause such a vitriolic remark, bith here and below. Very sad. No, I am not “tired and worn” out from having kids. They are, literally, wonderful. And I love them beyond words. Whch is why I cannot fathom why adoption is dismissed as not an option. I didn’t realise my post would be taken as a “rant” (which is to “To speak or write in an angry or violent manner; rave”) and quite frankly it was not.

        No, I dont have adopted kids. Yes, I have looked into it and am still doing so, so yes I do know what is required. Yes, I would adopt because I love children. And, yes, I know (from friends that have done so) and from looking into it how expensive it is and how difficult (but not impossible) it is to do so as a single woman (the woman I have spoken to about it, is, in fact single). I am not suggesting that a single woman should do so, I know how expensive life is once children are in the picture, but my response was to the original post and the author who from all her posts is happily married with a, what would appear, double income.

        “Now adopting a child is not as easy as conceiving (you remember how that happened, don’t you? A short time of pleasure is all it takes).” – hmm, I suppose for some, for others (even who are fertile) it can be somewhat longer. In my case with 6 very hard difficult pregnancies, 3 miscarriages and over 2 years of recovery.

        I won’t post on here again. It is clearly not an open dialouge. And, by the way, I don’t “all the time to read and rant” (?) on blogs. I have 4 kids, and I work (when they are at school), but I have come on these blogs as I have a close relative and friend who are struggling with these issues. I don’t have “al the time” to read anything, I read These blogs because I love my relative and friend going through this and want to understand more. I posted my opnion becasue I thought it was about dialouge. My mistake. I wish you well.

      • Confused and Questioning Says:

        I said I would not post again, But, by the way, I just want to say that your comment here is both odd and disturbing

        “why didn’t you adopt? If it’s all about helping children in need – why did you “make” your own biological children, choosing the “helping needy children” as your profession? Maybe if you reflect upon this question, you will come to understand why some of us do NOT adopt.”

        ? I live in the UK, but have lived all over the world as a child and an adult, I am a Dr (academic) and work in int dev and aid (with some work with children). (so there is my background). There are 7 billion people in the world, 191 countries, millions of children both in your home country (assuming that is in the West) and abroad that require help. There are “needy children” everywhere (the UK where I live has some of the highest levels of child poverty in the West), although it is equally those that want to adopt them that are also “needy”. To “need” a child to love and to raise is not a bad thing, it is what You want it would appear. Those I know that have adopted have done so from and within the UK. Perhaps you should educate yourself on this topic rather than make assumtions. I am left speechless by your remark, so you will only “make your own biological children” but have no more love to give? I adore my children, they are my heart itself. And Because I love them so much. Because I think children in general are great and Because I know how many children there are that Do require a home or fostering, yes, I DO believe in adoption. And it IS something I would do and am in the process looking into.

        I won’t post here again.

    • lmanterfield Says:

      Confused and Questioning,

      As the author of the original post, I have to chip in my two cents.

      I appreciate you wanting to learn more about infertility to be able to help your friends. As I’m sure you’re now fully aware, adoption is a dangerous minefield when dealing with people who’ve been through infertility. From the outside, it does seem like the obvious next step to building a family and for many people, it is. But it isn’t for everyone and there are many, many factors at play, and they’re different for everyone. Several people have posted reasons and they’re all valid. Any one who has dealt with infertility has considered adoption, just as they’ve considered all the other options available. Just as some people don’t pursue intensive medical intervention, others aren’t open to alternative therapies, and likewise adoption isn’t right for everyone.

      I’m happy to respond as to why a happily married couple with two incomes (that’s me) chose not to adopt. Frankly, we didn’t have the strength. We had spent our entire married lives trying to have children together and the stress of doctors’ visits, sex on demand, and the unbelievable sense of loss and frustration was putting our wonderful relationship at risk. We looked into adoption and spoke to many couples who’d gone that route. In the end we realized that while adoption would get us a child, it wouldn’t be the magic fix to the loss and grief we still had to work through. We need to step away from the constant pursuit of a baby and take some time for our marriage. We did that and made the difficult decision to not get back on the Crazy Train that is adoption.

      I don’t love children any less than I did, but without children of my own I have time and energy to make an impact on the lives of other people’s children, which I do through volunteer work.

      Please, if your friends have to endure years of infertility, please don’t ask them why they don’t just adopt. It’s just not as simple as that.

    • IrisD Says:

      Hi Confused and Questioning. You are probably not checking in here any longer, but in case, I thought I’d also chime in. My husband and I are both also academics (though unfortunately I currently do not have a full time position). I’m 43, he’s 57. I was raised Catholic, but I can’t say where I stand religiously these days (I am not an atheist, but do not feel a strong devotion to any one faith, though I am eager to learn and to live a spiritual life), my husband is a practicing Muslim and our children would be raised as such. We haven’t put ourselves through the required homestudy or met up with a domestic adoption agency, but my sense is that these days his faith and age, might work against us. I suppose you don’t know unless you try. Internationally again, because he is over 50, we cannot adopt in many countries. We have considered Afghanistan and Iraq, as I know of someone who works in an orphanage in Afghanistan and we know of someone who might help us with adoption in Iraq, but the process for international adoption in both countries is unclear, and might be impossible. Kazakhstan might be an option, but I’d need to check their age requirements. We’ve considered adoption in my husband’s home country, but there are very few children who are put up for adoption in Muslim countries, so we are not sure that it will be possible. Beyond logistics issues I do have financial concerns. I completed my doctorate with student loans and currently have worries about paying these off, as I am unable to find a job in my field in the same city where my husband works. I’m open to doing anything else, but unwilling to live apart from my spouse on a permanent or semi-permanent basis. I know older children are more readily available for adoption, and I’m open to this, but obviously have concerns about the myriad of emotional scars that they might have, about the effort it will take to help them overcome these, and about the emotional costs and additional stresses that this might bring to our happy marriage. And finally, there is the nagging fear that I will not be able to love the child the way I should. I feel terrible writing this, and those who know me would probably slap me silly because I am a very warm person, but it is a lingering fear. I know that ultimately motherhood is more than about conceiving a child with the one you love from an act of love, carrying a child in your womb, feeling it kick, seeing this new life emerge into the world, hearing the first cry, giving him/her nourishment from your breast, and watching every moment since then, the first smile, steps, words… We mourn the child we did not have, and it takes time to accept that this will not be our experience. Having a child to love, I hope, should fill that void, and focus energy away from the loss and towards the experience of enriching another child’s life (I got that this is the meaning of your posts) but the choices are limited for some of us and it takes time to work out all the uncertainty. It is a different mental process than what one would go through when they decide to conceive a child naturally with their beloved.

  3. Illanare Says:

    Fully agree with you and Loribeth.

  4. Colleen Says:

    I didn’t know about the Santorum’s loss and I didn’t know about the picture the Duggars took. Neither should be criticized. Because really what you wrote is so true “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” In so many ways, if you were in their position is what they did wrong? Absolutely not!

  5. ricecakesandredemption Says:

    Beautifully said

  6. Mali Says:

    Nicely said Lisa. Walk a Mile in my Shoes is perfect. It is obvious that not everyone commenting has in fact walked a mile in your, or the Duggars shoes.

    • Confused and Questioning Says:

      I assume that is in reply to me. No, I have not walked in their shoes, but I had 6 very very difficult pregnancies and three miscarriages (my 4 children include twins), so I do have some understanding. Not of stillbirth no. My heart goes out to women/couples that have had to go through something so devastating. But my point was that many people have had different experiences. Being a mother/parent is ultimately about loving a child and loving them back – conceiving your own child is not the only path to motherhood. And, I wonder how something like adoption can be so discounted, when anyone discounting it is doing so on an unknown idea, not based on experience….as was the point of the post.

      Not being able to have children Is terrible, and I cannot come close to understand what it is to have to live it (although I can and do recognise the heartache that it must cause), but if being a parent is possible through adoption why not go that way? Does it have to be via surrogate? Does it have to be a newborn? I’m not a supermodel, but that doesn’t mean I don’t try and look attractive. I’m not a world class chef but I still try to cook well. My point? It Is awful/beyond words/inexpressible that you can’t have your own children, but surely you have to just take the hand and look to another option. As someone with kids, I can imagine how glib that sounds, and I apologise, it is not my intent, or to be condescending (my last desire!) but as someone that works with children’s rights/poverty/trafficking..there are a LOT of children in the world that need some love, that would love to have a family, and I cannot see why they don’t count? Having kids is expensive, being pregnant can end in death, and it does for millions of women (in much of the world, being pregant is known as “having one foot in the grave”). There is no perfect scenerio. Life is expensive and random for almost everyone. Adoption may take years, it may be expensive, it may end in dead ends..s..ounds a lot like what it is to get pregnant/try and get pregnant/have kids…it’s still worth it if the end result is to be a parent.

      • Lois Says:

        ‘Confused and Questioning’ – I take it you have not adopted any children yourself?

      • mina Says:

        see above.
        And yeah, since being a mother is so great for you: Why are you “Confused and Questioning” and ranting away here? The only thing i read from your posts is that you say having children is a huge challenge and not easy, either. Well thanks, i already knew that. But, like you, i decided I wanted one anyway. So do you feel that we have to be tired, worn out, “confused and questioning” too, and therefore have to get a child no matter what – just you don’t feel so alone and confused anymore with the life choices YOU made?
        Life is no perfect scenario, as you said yourself. “You can argue against adoption, for whatever your reasons are, forever. It’s your decision.” Exactly. It’s our decision, as it was yours to have many children. It’s pretty obvious that you aren’t prepared to listen to any argument about adoption – so why ask us?
        Aha ok so we should all “reflect a bit on the bigger picture”.
        ok then. go ahead and adopt one of the children you care for, keeping your professional distance.

      • Amel Says:

        “Confused and Questioning”:

        For me personally, BECAUSE adoption is a choice and it’s a lifetime commitment, we shouldn’t just take it lightly and shove it to everybody who “seems ready and should do it just because they’ve gone on and on about wanting to have kids”. I mean, it’s all about the kids and their lives, so what I thought about was are we READY to be FULLY committed to loving those kids just as our own? I know we probably wouldn’t have known anyway…but like marriages (that’s the closest thing I can think of when it comes to a lifetime commitment), when you find someone you love, it’s still a HUGE decision whether to marry the person or not. And it’s a choice. That’s my point.

        Secondly, sometimes in some cases one partner wants to adopt and the other one doesn’t. It doesn’t mean that the one who doesn’t want to adopt is a bad person. It’s just his/her choice and decision. And for me personally, I’d want a healthy and solid relationship with my hubby compared to “forcing” him to do what I want in terms of having a baby. I’m glad that we’ve always been in the same wavelength when it comes to infertility journey, but some other couples may have differing choices in this matter.

        Other than that, when it comes to adoption, I also consider the feelings of those near me (for example my closest relatives and hubby’s closest relatives) ‘coz I’ve read online some people who’ve had horrible experiences as adopted children ‘coz the relatives of the parents can’t accept them and/or treat them differently. That’s also one thing to be considered about when it comes to adoption ‘coz it’s all about the kid, isn’t it? Plus also have to think about the place where you’re going to live with hubby – will society accept it if we (for example) adopt a kid from a different race? I’m not saying we should care about what other people think, but can’t deny the fact that the kid WILL be influenced by society and people around him/her and I’d really hate to think that even though we love the child, still society can’t accept that – or my relatives or hubby’s relatives can’t accept that. It’s rejection enough for the kid to know later on that he/she “was let go” by the biological parents (I mean if the adopted kids were let go by the parents that way). Why would I want the kid to experienced other types of rejection if I have known beforehand that there’s a good chance it may happen? OK OK, I know we can’t possibly think of all the possible angles, but I just wanna share some thoughts when we thought about adoption at one point, that it wasn’t just a simple decision even when we decide “no” to adoption.

        Let me also copy some parts I read online:

        “Adoption is a “cure” for childlessness, and for some that’s an easy and logical next step. But for others it is not. They yearn to see their genes in the next generation; they crave being pregnant and breastfeeding; they want some degree of control over their child’s intrauterine environment and genetic makeup. For them, parenthood is more than simply parenting. They want to procreate. Is it really that hard to understand that they simply want what comes so easy for most of us?

        As someone who chose adoption even though we were not infertile, I can more than attest to the fact that adoption is a great—no, really a phenomenal—way to create a family, but it is not for everyone. I don’t want it to be. That’s not fair to the infertile, and it is certainly not fair to the prospective adopted child.

        Taken from: http://www.creatingafamily.org/blog/adoption-domestic-adoption-international-adoption-embryo-adoption-foster-care-adoption/why-not-just-adopt/

        A friend of mine also once told me this:

        “I think adoption should stem from “I want to give love to a lost child” rather than “I want to pretend this is my child.” I’ve known two women who adopted thinking they couldn’t have kids and then they both fell pregnant. The sad sad part is that both women then ignored their older adopted child and focussed all their love on their “real” child.

        Adoption isn’t the answer to infertility, in my opinion. It’s another option to wanting to be a mom, but not the same thing. Hope that made sense!”

  7. Pearl Says:

    Nobody deserves scorn when it comes to miscarriage. Critiques and lifestyle suggestions can also be very hurtful, and I feel ashamed for knowing that, had it not happened to me, I might have been one of those judgmental people who makes comments without thinking that they might make someone feel even more misunderstood and lonely than ever.

  8. Kathleen Says:

    I have always wanted to ask the adoption question here. It is so obviously absent. Maybe this is the time to do it (and maybe it’s not). I am childless by choice, so I never went through the heartbreaking struggle of not being able to have children; to me, adoption seems like the next obvious answer. (yes, I am that person) If I may, I would be interested to know, is it because adoption is a ridiculously expensive, irritating and demeaning, crap-shoot of an impossible endeavor? (Because I am pretty sure it is). One word answers are fine. Yes / No.

    Thanks.

    • Rerah Says:

      Kathleen,

      Thank you for your honest question. Some IF women do adopt–but it is not a “one size fits all” solution. Dealing day in and day out, year in and year out with hormones, doctors’ appts, hope, and despair can take its toll. Some of us empty bank accounts, run up huge debts, wreck our relationships, and our health just to become pregnant. The aftermath can leave us exhausted, broke, and unable to deal with yet another risk. Of course we know adoption exists, but it’s not right for everyone. We just need our choices and privacy respected.

    • Erika Says:

      For us, adoption isn’t off the table yet, but we also aren’t pursuing it currently. We need to rebuild our savings due to using a good portion of it trying IVF last year. I also don’t think it’s wise for me right now to go through the process because I’m still trying to heal my heart from the heartbreak, and I’m not sure I can take more right now. Also, because of my husband’s job, the adoption agencies where we live currently, don’t consider us good candidates to adopt. So even though I want kids more than anything in this world, adoption may not be for us. It’s something we are going to have to explore more at a later date.

      It amazes me the number of people who assume that since we can’t have biological children of our own, assume that we will adopt. The last time someone mentioned it to me, I asked them if they knew how expensive it was. They had no clue. We are very proud of the fact that we have no debt, and would like to keep it that way. I like being fiscally responsible, and adopting right now, would mean taking out loans, credit cards, and who knows what else.

    • Lois Says:

      Kathleen, that’s a good question. I don’t think people mind answering honestly.
      I happen to think adoption is wonderful. Anyone who is thinking of it, I would encourage them in it.
      However, now being on the side of childless not-by choice, I have a new perspective. Here are some of my thoughts.
      -It is super expensive, national or international. It’s simply not an option for many people.
      -If you adopt through the state system (where it doesn’t cost so much) you most likely find older kids who need extra special help. If you’ve never been a parent before, suddenly parenting a extra-needy teenager can be daunting and difficult.
      -There are age limits through many agencies.
      -The entire process takes forever most of the time and many times it doesn’t even work out.
      -It’s an emotional roller coaster.
      -Adoption is a huge choice and both spouses need to be totally on board for it to be a healthy process.
      -If you’re single, adoption is doubly difficult. I know some single people do it (I have a close friend who adopted 3 siblings) but that is not for everyone. You would need a good support system and decent income.
      I was open to adoption but my husband did not want to (due to many of the reasons above). That right there is enough to stop me. The health of my marriage is more important to me than my desire to be a mom. It was difficult to let go of that last glimmer of a chance to be a mom, but I understand the reasons.

      • jeopardygirl Says:

        Thank you for writing this so succinctly. I spent what seemed like an hour here the other day, trying to write out this same set of reasons, plus a couple more:

        Many agencies will not put people with certain medical conditions on their adoption rolls. An example is Hepatitis C, which, while not curable, is treatable, and doesn’t have to stand in the way of parenting, and yet has a HUGE stigma about it. I have family who faced this, and finally adopted from China.

        The #1 reason my Esso (S.O.) and I decided against adoption was my unshakable impression that we would be buying a child. I don’t know why. It sounds awful, I know, and yet, I can’t get past the idea that thousands of dollars spent equals a major PURCHASE, and purchasing a child is a repellent idea to me. At first, Esso was upset. It seemed to be our last option, and he didn’t want to close the door—and then we talked to my aforementioned family member about her experiences, and he came to agree with me.

        Since our decision, we have become closer and more communicative with each other, which has made our relationship that much stronger—and isn’t that the point of a family?

    • Kate B Says:

      Kathleen – yes & no. For us, it was both the expense, but also that my husband had been through a failed domestic adoption with his first wife. The birth mother changed her mind when the baby was born. He did not want to go through that again. On the expense side – we could have done it if we begged and/or borrowed. Begging of friends and strangers works for some, but not me. We decided against borrowing because we felt that what it would take to pay the money back would result in our having no family life. We felt there was no point in having a family when you have no family life.

  9. stinkb0mb Says:

    you know normally i would have bucketloads to write in reply but right now, as i get ready to start my own ttc journey AGAIN for another 12 months in a last ditch attempt to become a mum – i just can’t be bothered dealing with people who really have no clue.

    adoption is not the solution for infertility. MANY people, usually those who just have to look at their partners in order to get knocked up, would have you think it is. can’t get pregnant? well JUST ADOPT!!

    local adoption in AUSTRALIA is very rare. international adoption from AUSTRALIA is expensive, time consuming and riddled with red tape to the point that many either give up or just don’t bother from the word get go. there are also age restrictions involved, which is one of the MANY reasons why we haven’t bothered to look into it seriously.

    what irks me more than ANYTHING else when it comes to the “oh just adopt” line is that it is usually trotted out by people who never had any problem having their own children and they do indeed have their own children. MAYBE, just maybe, those of us who suffer from infertility would take more kindly to the “oh why don’t you just adopt” line if more fertile people chose to instead of popping out their own biological children.

  10. Elena Says:

    I think the problem is that people who haven’t walked in our shoes, don’t understand, that dealing with infertility also means dealing with the never ending possibilities. There’s always one more try, one more method, one more month, one more step to take, even if they get crazier and crazier. We will always hear recommendations to do this and that. When we’re already heartbroken, confused, maybe ill from treatements, or broke in the financial sense, when our marriages/relationships have gone to the dogs.
    Very fast we get to the point were we have to admit to ourselves that life isn’t going the way as we planned it. No, it just isn’t fair. No. We “cannot get what we really want” as the old song goes. No we “cannot”, mr. Obama. And we have to realize that and deal with it. And dealing with the fact that you have already tried, and made a huge effort, and put all your “really wanting” into it, and the result is still zero – to deal with this experience, is THE OPPOSITE of “trying harder”.
    And as someone else wrote: The anwers are highly individual. They are about biographies. and it’s ultimately up to every individual to deal with their own biography. And “the big picture” is very little to do with it in the end.
    That’s why the “Why don’t you adopt” – question is a tricky one.
    As for “confused and question”: No i am not saying i’m sorry for what i wrote in answer to you. You stated clearly that you were not prepared to listen to any argument about adoption (see your second post). But still you ask us why we don’t adopt. That means you’re NOT asking: You’re ordering us to do what you suggest. You made it quite clear that you, a mother of several children, expect us, the childless-not-by-choice, to do something you have been shunning yourself (adopt a child instead of having a biological one, and all because of “the big picture”). Sorry, but that’s just offensive .

  11. Elena Says:

    There’s another thing. My cousin adopted after years and years of fertility treatment. She lives in another country so i am not very close with her and don’t know many details. But i noticed that her marriage has been going through a very difficult time, after they “got” the child. It seems to be better now but the boy is now already 11.
    I imagine there are times when every marriage with children goes through a crisis (in fact, statistically, it’s more likely than marriage without children).
    Because husband and wife get estranged from each other maybe living in separate worlds, maybe because they disagree on education, maybe because both have their own personal crisis wonderin what will come next in their lives.
    Now add to this that there’s already a strain in the relationship because they’ve not been able to conceive the “normal” way, wondering who’s “fault” it was. It’s not nice to think that but these kind of thoughts will creep into our minds.
    NOW add to that the other kind of thought creeping in: “it was you who always wanted that child…. i got you one why aren’t you happy now… you wanted it, now you educate it…. i always said we should get a dog….” etc.
    These thoughts might even occur when the child was conceived naturally.
    How much worse must it be if the child was finally adopted? If maybe it was the woman wishing more for the child, the husband being the infertile one… being reminded day by day of his incompetence by the presence of the adopted child?
    If the child was conceived naturally, at least both of them share the responsibility of having chosen this. Together.
    I can see why some people just decide not to put there marriage into this kind of danger.


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