Amadeus and The Ultimate Test


That's a clue for my answer to some complex questions that came this weekend from Silent Sorority readers. The ideas and emotions contained in their questions were remarkably familiar -- so much so they could have come straight out of my own head a few years ago. I guess, by now, I shouldn't be startled by the depth of the shared infertility experience. I'm sure they'll evoke some deja vu for you, too. The questions pose the ultimate test for infertiles who don't succeed with treatment -- overcoming anger and finding peace.

First came this email:

"I've been having a rough go of it lately and have been pretty messed up.It's kind of the kick off of the fun family/kid centric holiday season and I know it's always really hard for me. Something you wrote about in your book and talk about at times is an issue that I'm dealing with. How did you move beyond the resentment of people who do have children? I absolutely hate feeling this way. I'm even starting to resent my dr. and therapist, not good. I just see everyone with kids as having something I can't, won't. On some level, I understand it is the way it is supposed to be. On the other hand, I just want to isolate myself from all those with kids. So frustrating,and impossible too! Does it just fade away?"

Envy and Equanimity

Some remarkable milestones to report:

1) I was pea green with envy yesterday, but not for the usual reason (that's right folks, pregnancy was not involved!) ....

2) A new work acquaintance asked me if I had children and my first instinct was not to throw something at him.
I think both episodes show signs of progress, yes? Okay, the details.

I've been working a few days a week at a really interesting startup where the only downside is that it requires 60-90 minutes of drive time each way. Since I abhor long, slow commutes I try to distract myself with NPR stories. Yesterday's feature had me wrestling with the ugly green monster.

Why? The guest was a new author talking about her book chronicling her experience, at 37, to freeze her eggs. Ah, you say, you envy her the access to a new, promising reproductive technology? No actually, I envied her the slot she scored on NPR's Talk of the Nation discussing her new book.

I laughed at the realization that I'd graduated from pregnancy envy to book envy. In each case I have had to work harder to get fewer results. You've got to admit the parallels are ironic. First, I couldn't get pregnant while doing everything required and then some while everyone around me was getting knocked up right and left. And, now, at a time when I finally delivered my book about the hidden tolls of living in an era of designer babies and clinics marketing fertility for all, I'm reminded again that mainstream media has a fascination with making babies, but they're less interested in what happens when all the whiz bang technology doesn't deliver on its promise.

Ah well, I'm getting very comfortable being the Rodney Dangerfield of reproductive technology outcomes (and books about them).

Now, for item numero dos. For years I avoided any and all social and work situations that might land me in the middle of small talk with new people. I was expert at the handshake and run. It was my way of self protection and a sure fire means of avoiding the evitable question about ...