In short, every TV series needs a "Very Special" episode; one that is not only funny, but that touches on a 'very special' subject in a way that only The Fonz from HAPPY DAYS could touch. This entry is my 'Very Special Episode'.
I mention this because I want to make clear that what I’m about to write about today is true for me and I know it won’t be for everyone. This is MORE than ok. If you disagree with me or anything I say in this entry, I totally respect that as ultimately, when it comes to coping with infertility, I’m all about whatever gets you through the day. Some people turn to therapy, others turn to Ben & Jerry’s. Some believe in God, others believe in snake handling. The point is that if you’ve found something that brings you comfort and it doesn’t hurt others, I support you one hundred percent.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about how so many people believe that everything happens for a reason. How many times have we all heard that? ‘Everything happens for a reason.’ The more people say it, especially in response to some devastating tragedies; I can’t help but wonder who’s deciding these reasons and are they right?
I know so many people who have had miscarriages and one person or another have said to them, “It wasn’t meant to be” or “I’m sure there was a good reason this happened”. What’s even worse is some even go a step further and try to surmise the actual reason.
“Maybe you were meant to do something else right now.”
“Maybe this baby would have been a pain in the ass.”
“Maybe it just wasn’t the right time.”
I’m stunned at how people think this is at all helpful. I’m even more stunned that people who have never suffered from infertility or miscarriages could be so bold as to attempt to explain this kind of loss to someone. I know they are trying to be comforting and that they are coming from a good place but I just don’t get it. It would be like me telling someone who lost their legs in an accident, “I’m sure there’s a reason. You may have tried to tap dance at a party and been terrible at it. Losing your legs saved you the embarrassment.” Then I’d smile and skip away.
Even though I’ve never had a miscarriage, I’ve gotten my share of similar comments. The one I’ve heard the most is, “If you haven’t gotten pregnant yet, there must be a reason.” I think some people find this a quick and easy way to either dismiss you or the problem. I feel like they are saying, “There must be a reason, so don’t worry about it and let’s talk about something else that doesn’t make me uncomfortable, shall we?” Again, I know they mean well and I always nod my head and move on with the conversation but for me, trying to figure out this imaginary reason I’m having fertility issues always makes me more upset. Any time I’ve sat down and tried to figure out the possible reason we’ve lost thousands of dollars, why I’ve been somewhat physically tortured for almost two years and why we remain childless despite our very best efforts, I tend to get overly self-critical. I come up with everything and anything I could have possibly done wrong.
Am I bad a tipper at restaurants?
I failed Chemistry in 8th grade. That must be it.
Is it because I think my friend’s baby is ugly?
Would I make a bad mother?
I must be because I was nasty to that guy on my subway.
Perhaps it’s because it rained on my wedding day…
Maybe it’s that I don’t want it enough.
When I get like this, I think of the countless stories we all know of people who shouldn’t have had children; parents who abuse their children, or even kill their babies. Does that mean there was a reason those people should be a parent and I shouldn’t? No. What possible reason could there be for any of that? The only way to make sense of it is to accept that it makes no sense.
What also doesn’t make sense is the stories I’ve heard of fertility efforts gone incredibly wrong. In the past two years, I’ve heard three separate accounts where there was a woman who got pregnant through IVF or IUI after years of trying, spent all that money and went through all the heartache that it entails. One doctor or another thought there was some sort of issue and terminated the pregnancy. In each of these cases, it turned out that the doctors misdiagnosed the situation and the pregnancy was in fact viable but now, due to this unfortunate mistake, it was too late. The pregnancy was over and the woman was left devastated. Under circumstances like that, I can’t imagine telling any of those women, “There’s a reason that happened.” To try to apply any kind of logic is… well… illogical.
For me personally, I find it more comforting to accept that this is not the universes personal attack against me or anyone else. There is no reason to any of this other than life can be difficult and bad things sometimes happen to good people. I’m not saying there is no order to the universe. I barely can figure out how to use my cell phone so I certainly can’t comment with certainty on fate or destiny. However, even if there is some master plan, that doesn’t mean that absolutely everything that happens in this world was meant to happen.
Whenever I freak out or get upset or think “Why did she get pregnant and not me?”, I remind myself that I’ll never know. No one knows for that matter. Not Oprah, not the Dalai Lama, not the best psychic in the world and not even my mother (who genuinely seems to have all the answers). It’s just the way it is. I can’t control what’s happened or what is happening now. I can only control how I choose to deal with it. My method is therapy, watching movies (as well as RuPaul’s Drag Race), talking with friends, spending time with my husband and buying myself something nice on occasion. I’ve just got to keep moving and stop trying to figure things out… well… except for my cell phone. I’ve GOT to figure that one out eventually.