Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm…

Do you have any kids?

Graduate school is hard. I’m putting in way more hours as a student than I was working a full time job. But it’s also totally worth it because I’m doing something that I love. I love reading, talking about, and writing about literature, and that’s what I do all the time now. Graduate school also has a unforeseen perk: no one asks you if you have kids or if you are trying to have kids. Whenever I met someone new at my job, they would ask me if I have kids. When I would say no, they would ask if I want kids. I’m not really sure why this seems to be the culturally accepted thing to do when you meet someone new, but it is. At least in the area where we live. In graduate school, however, everyone assumes that you don’t have time for kids and even if you do want them, you will wait until after you are done. I’ve never seen a noticeably pregnant woman on campus, and not one of my friends at school has a child, so I don’t have to hear complaints or stories about them. As an infertile, it’s wonderful to not have the constant reminder.

Hubby isn’t so lucky and still has to deal with nosey people at work, as well as a boss whose wife had a baby a month ago. The other day when someone asked him if he has kids and he said no, they told him that he needs to get moving because the clock is ticking. Thankfully, his boss intervened at that moment because he knows our story and how upsetting the situation was for hubby. Plus, he probably didn’t want Kevin to guilt the man by telling him that all of our babies died. It’s the truth and the man probably deserved it, but it’s not really good costumer service.

It’s a problem every infertile has to deal with at some point or another: everyone has an opinion about whether or not you should have kids, and many will voice that opinion without knowing your story. It weird when you think about it. I spent a semester studying abroad in Germany, and I was amazed at how private the Germans are. Questions that are considered small talk in the U.S., like asking someone what they do for a living, were considered personal and rude. Maybe we should take notes.

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Why I don’t use the word “Infertile”

On many of the blogs I’ve read, women refer to themselves as infertiles. Some of you may have noticed that I really hesitate to use this word. Medically, a woman is considered infertile if she tries unsuccessfully to get pregnant for a year. Hubby and I have been trying to get pregnant for a year, but we have technically been successful, even if the pregnancy itself was not successful. I’m sure part of it is denial, but that is not all of it. I do not want to insult infertiles by categorizing myself with them when I have not gone through as much as them in terms of fertility. Most of the infertiles I have met have TTC for well over a year and used many different drugs and procedures to get pregnant–without any success. We aren’t quite there yet (I pray that we will never be there; I never want to seriously talk about how far we are willing to go with fertility treatment). So I choose to replace to word “infertile” with the slightly awkward phrase “struggling with fertility.” Does it matter in the grand scheme of things? Probably not, but it matters to me.

Do you consider yourself an infertile? What do you think the “requirements” should be to be considered an infertile?

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