I am taking the NIAW challenge to write a blog during this week to bust an infertility myth, here is the rationale behind it: get people to talk about infertility during National Infertility Awareness Week®, April 24-April 30, 2011. “Bust a Infertility Myth Blog Challenge” is brought to you by RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, the largest nationwide non-profit improving the lives of people diagnosed with infertility.
My myth I chose to bust in my blog this week is one I was thinking about long before I knew about the blog challenge: A higher-power is telling you that you should not be a parent.
First, let's talk about how absolutely freaking mean this statement is to a person of any level of spirituality in any part of their journey. I mean seriously people???? I have to admit that I have heard this myself in my journey and it devastated me. Why don't you just tell them their mother/father/puppy/favorite childhood friend just got hit by a semi-truck which was then blown away by a tornado?? Wouldn't that be more humane than saying something hits you in the stomach like a punch and stop you in your tracks? People have the best of intentions when trying to be supportive, but as I have stated previously, saying nothing means more than a statement that cuts to the deepest parts of people. When I heard this, it felt like I was being stabbed from the inside repeatedly.
Second, why in the world would someone decide this is a socially acceptable thing to say to someone??? When did it become normal behavior for someone to take one of the most personal and painful subjects and say something so unbelievably out of line without knowing ANY information?? I must have missed that day in school when they passed out the jerk pills for people to take and I am personally glad I missed it. I would never in my life say something to someone like that. Good grief people, are you parents aware of what kind of person they raised?? The old saying of "Think before you speak" seems to have lost some of its shine. I am the first person to admit that I can put my foot in my mouth because I am often guilty of the "open mouth, insert foot" reality. However, one thing I have noticed about myself as we go through this journey is how much more concerned I am about other people's feelings. Usually I am just a say you want need to say person, but of all the changes that this has brought to me - I think I will keep this one...be considerate.
Third, who are you to judge my higher-power and their plan for me? Last time I checked you were not the one in charge of what gets to be parents and who doesn't. I have struggled with my own spirituality for a majority of my life - it's no one's fault but my own. I have read the Bible, attended church, talked with religious leaders, participated in church events, etc. But does this make me a religious person? My answer is no...I am spiritual person. I have come to believe that all of these struggles I am facing, all of the pain Aaron and I go through day after day is going to be worth it in the end because I believe there is a purpose to it all. My higher-power has a plan and it includes having to struggle through many difficult times in my life to come to great things.
"Problems are the price you pay for progress." II Corinthians
"There are some defeats more triumphant than victories." Michel de Montaigne
Give me a break people, infertility isn't a punishment for a lack of spirituality or religious belief. It is a medical condition that does not discriminate in its location - it's happening all around the world by couples of all socioeconomic status. It is not about who deserves a baby and who doesn't. It's not about who believes in a god and who doesn't. It's not about being "worthy" or "not worthy." Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system. It does not discriminate and affects all races, religions, men and women equally and people all over the world. According to the RESOLVE website, "Whether or not you resolve your infertility journey by choosing to become a parent is a function of your determination and not a higher-power. Parenthood is attainable, if that is truly your goal. You may or may not be fortunate enough to have a biological connection to your child, but if you want the experience of being a parent, you can achieve that dream."
I did this post as part of the RESOLVE National Infertility Awareness Week and please feel free to go here for more information on NIAW and it's background.
MYTH = BUSTED