The pregnant pause: National Infertility Awareness Week 2012.

In nine weeks or less, we’re going to have a kid, and she’s going to have parents, and they’re going to be us. And she’s going to live in our house and eat our food and we’re going to take her places and introduce her to people as “our daughter” and marvel at the stuff she does which is going to be a lot like stuff other kids do except it’s going to be totally remarkable because she’s not going to be other kids. She’s going to be our kid.

I can’t even think of anything so simultaneously terrifying/wonderful/remarkable.

Terrifying because, if we’re being honest, we don’t know nuthin’ about birthin’ no babies let alone raising them to adulthood unscathed. Sure, we took all the crash courses our docs advised, but we’ve never been anybody’s parents before and we might suck at it. We’re not going to be derelict in our duties, of course. Probably, Social Services will let us keep her as long as we want. But there’s no guarantee that, owing to some parental oversight, she won’t grow up to be boy-crazy or a shitty student or smoke pot or vote Republican. No offense.

Wonderful because of that whole she’s-going-to-be-ours thing. And doesn’t a brand new human represent tremendous opportunity, too? She might turn out to be a righteous human being. A damn legend.

Remarkable because nature said we weren’t even supposed to have this kid – or any kid for that matter. And if we lived in virtually any other time in human history or, say, one of the 35 states that doesn’t mandate insurance coverage for fertility treatments, we probably wouldn’t. As it is, though, we’re about to give birth to a kid who was conceived outside my body and cryopreserved. Probably (definitely) there are people who’d suggest that, in our selfish desire to grow this family, my spouse and I undermined the sanctity of human life or ran afoul of “G-d’s will.” But I’ll never believe that. Because what happened here is nothing short of absolutely awesome. We’re poised for the same experience, and plagued by the same fears/excitement/enthusiasm/awe, as the fabulously fertile prospective parents we’re…well, not.

Because even as some of the sting of progesterone injections and so many failed cycles gives way to New Baby Bliss, we’re forever and ever affected by an experience that forced us to muster courage and honesty and creativity and determination we didn’t know we had. These seven-and-a-half-months of knockeduppedness have taught me that the experience of infertility doesn’t (and frankly shouldn’t) be replaced or repressed, but acknowledged.

It’s a part of me. It isn’t all there is. But it’s something. And it’s important. Like growing up working class. Or going to Catholic school. Or getting married. Or staying married. Or passing the bar exam.

Believing resolution is possible. Resolving infertility in the manner that made sense for us. Confident that everything we learned about ourselves in the process will, we hope, help us to approach this whole parenting thing with the same courage and honesty and creativity and determination we learned when we learned we might never get to be parents in the first place.

In nine weeks or less, we’re going to have a kid, and she’s going to have parents, and they’re going to be us. And she’s going to live in our house and eat our food and we’re going to take her places and introduce her to people as “our daughter” and marvel at the stuff she does which is going to be a lot like stuff other kids do except it’s going to be totally remarkable because she’s not going to be other kids. She’s going to be our kid.

And for that I’m grateful.

The author is one half of one in eight couples of child-bearing age affected by infertility. She is 31 weeks pregnant with a baby girl conceived through in vitro fertilization (IVF) with frozen blastocyst transfer. She lives with her husband and cat in Massachusetts: one of only 15 states where the legislature mandates insurance coverage for fertility treatments.  

April 22-28, 2012 marks National Infertility Awareness Week. To learn more, visit RESOLVE at www.resolve.org/

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About Projected Progenitor

Projected (adj.) (prə-ˈjekt-ed): From the 15th Century Anglo-French 'projector,' from Latin 'projectus.' Devised in the mind, predicted. Progenitor (n.) (prō-ˈje-nə-tər): Middle English, from the 14th Century Anglo-French 'progenitour,' from Latin 'progenitor,' meaning 'to beget.' An ancestor in the direct line, foreparent.
This entry was posted in Humor, Infertility, Pregnancy. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The pregnant pause: National Infertility Awareness Week 2012.

  1. Lovely, life-affirming words!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am sitting here bawling my eyes out. Aunt Bon

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