I’m leaving tomorrow to go home–to St. Louis–for Thanksgiving.
I was home in May. That was before we found out our infertility diagnosis, but after we’d been TTC for 9 months. When we first started trying, DH was back in school and I was our sole breadwinner. (Let’s just say that as a freelancer, I don’t win very much bread!) DH’s mom had been pretty clear a few months before that she didn’t think we had any business procreating until he was out of school because “parenting is more than a 40-hour a week job” and we wouldn’t have much money. (Yes, that really upset me. IF has, surprisingly, really mended that relationship somehow.) So, anyway, I called my mom before we started trying to find out if my parents would also be ticked if we got pregnant. She laughed and told me they’d be delighted. I also expressly told her not to tell a soul, not even my dad. Of course, I thought we’d be pregnant within the next month or two and I wanted it to be a surprise when I told everyone.
So, in May, I was surprised to find out that most of my family (I mean, from siblings to aunts and grandparents) knew we were trying. When I confronted my mom about it, she said she had to tell people because it was taking so long and we needed their prayers.
DH and I were furious. And when we found out we were infertile, we were even more upset. I think partly because it’s possible we’ll end up adopting, and I don’ t really like the idea that my family will see our adopted children and whisper to each other, “You know, they didn’t plan on adopting,” or “they tried to have their own kids, but it didn’t work.” I know those things are true, but it doesn’t mean I want everyone (especially any future adopted children) to know that our family represents some kind of plan B in action.
But, there’s a short-term upside to this. I am heading home tomorrow with the expectation that no one will pester me with the dreaded “when are you going to have kids?” And, as an added bonus, there aren’t any babies in my family yet. Until this summer, DH and I were the only ones married out of all the cousins. One of my cousins married this summer, but I think (hope?) they’ll wait a little while before they try for kiddos.
I know I’m super lucky in this and that many of you may be dreading those holiday gatherings. I wish you all the best and will be thinking of you over the next week and through December that you would be able to take joy in your family time (or lack thereof!) regardless of your situation.
November 14, 2012 at 4:18 pm
GO CARDS! Oh wait…baseball season ended already.
I’m originally from St. Louis myself. 🙂
It’s hard enough dealing with these issues, some just don’t respect the need for privacy.
You can’t control what others think or say,
you only control how you will react.
Focus on what is within your control,
and let the rest wash off your back!
November 14, 2012 at 8:07 pm
I think it’s perfectly appropriate to say GO CARDS! any time of year!
Thanks for your kind words, and I always enjoy your poetry.
November 15, 2012 at 7:49 pm
I hope you have a great time with your family. I lived in St. Louis for two years during grad school, and loved it there!
November 19, 2012 at 1:41 pm
I love St. Louis and would live here in a heartbeat if I could. It’s nice to be able to visit. And I am hoping to get a little taste of winter and get to enjoy my warm sweaters and cute coats. They are so neglected in Texas. Hope you have a good week!
November 19, 2012 at 11:26 am
Have a good trip! And I completely agree with you about the upside of telling people being that they stop asking. I love this benefit, and even though it’s a bit awkward that people know about our issues, the fact that they don’t ask kind of makes up for it. I’m sorry that your mom spread the word, though. (And you are so lucky that there are no babies in the family yet. There are none on my side, so I definitely prefer spending the holidays with my family, ha ha.)