I'm a Military Blogger


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thank you for not believing in me.

This is a letter to a person. A person who won't be named-they know who they are. This letter is public because it is important and it is important because it defines who I am:
Today, I talked to you. I told you how my husband and I were trying to have a baby, how we have been trying for some time, how I have been diagnosed with a condition that renders me infertile, and how we were going to work with DOCTORS to acheive our family. You told me I was wrong.

You told me that my doctors were trying to scam me, that I didn't need fertility treatments. With time and (perhaps) several thousand dollars spent on adoption, we would get pregnant. You told me fertility drugs would harm me, harm my yet-to-be-conceived child. You told me I shouldn't be in a rush, I needed to focus on my career first. Then you told me you didn't think my marriage was that strong, and I was probably being selfish and my husband may not even want children anyways. You called me self-centered and negative. "Who ARE you Laura? I don't even think I know anymore."

Now I'm going to tell you that you are wrong. You have never been more wrong.

I know you are skeptical of medical treatments. That's just you and there's nothing I can do to change that. I, however, am not skeptical. I believe, whole-heartedly, in the power of medical science. I KNOW that medical science saves lives, corrects ailments. I also KNOW that holistic healing helps people. It is my choice, as an educated, fact-driven, intelligent woman to resolve my medical issue the way I see fit, and the way I see fit is with the help of BOTH holistic healing and medical science. And I will not stand for ANYONE trying to shame me for making that choice.

Perhaps I don't "need" fertility treatments. Does anyone ever "need" fertility treatments? Having a baby has never been the difference between life and death and I imagine I could go the rest of my life without ever "needing" fertility treatments. Maybe I'll get pregnant on my own, maybe I won't. Either way I won't die. But I won't be living either.

I may never get to experience the pain of childbirth, the bond of breastfeeding, the annoyance of a crying infant, the hilarity of a chattering toddler. The elementary school sing-a-longs, the fingerpainting, the scolding. The moody teenager, the dating, the break-ups, the prom. I look back on my childhood and my life very positively. I may not always have been the best child, but I KNOW my parents raised me well and I KNOW that who I am today, tomorrow, next year will always be worthy of being passed on. Perhaps I don't "need" a child. But things will be a little brighter, a little better, and my life all the more sweet knowing that I brought forth, cared for, and raised another wonderful human being. The world could use a few more of those.

This is not a matter of "if" I have a child, it is a matter of when. It's taken a while for me to realize, but there WILL be beautiful children in my future. The fact that I am fighting SO DAMN HARD for them to even exist should be a testament to the fact that those children will be loved SO DAMN MUCH. And the world could use a little more love. I do not need your blessing, your approval, or your permission to persue children. Perhaps to some I am young, but to me I am ready. Perhaps not for the individual challenges of parenthood, but I am ready for the journey. I will not let you guilt me into quitting.

Notwithstanding the fact that any evidence that fertility medication causes birth defects is circumstantial, at best (possibly even due to the age of the patient), WHO CARES if I have a child with a condition. Do you think I am incapable of caring for special needs children? Is that not what parenthood is about? Being prepared for the worst? I could just as easily conceive naturally and have a child with downs. I could adopt a child who turns out autistic. I could birth a healthy child who has a life-altering accident 15 years later. I will not let you scare me into abandoning my cause.

My marriage, like most, has ups and down. But this is not open season on my relationship. Anything I may have told you in the past is not "fair game". You do not have a right to pass judgements on my husband using sketchy and vague information I may have told you in the past while upset. I assure you I am not just some baby-crazy wife on a mission to get knocked up at the objection of my husband. You may not think that highly of him, but I know for a fact that the man I married is not a pushover pussy bitch and he would not come to every doctors appointment and blood test, ultrasound and counseling session if he was just humoring me.

You may think I'm self-centered. Surely it must look that way from the outside: A young, stay-at-home-wife who will stop at nothing to get the infant she wants. But I ask you, WHAT is self-centered about fighting for the existence of ANOTHER human being? What is self-centered about being ready to financially support, raise, nurture, and love ANOTHER human being? Perhaps I may come across as baby-crazy, possibly even all-consumed with my infertility and the treatments and doctors, completely insane and depressed at times and it's because I am. I do struggle with this.

There is already a certain level of fear involved in finding out you're infertile. The questions I ask myself are not unique either, all infertile women have asked these same questions. What if I can never have a child? What if I have a child and find out its hard? Am I ready for a child? What if my child doesn't like me? What if I lose pregnancies? Am I going to be a good mother? And then I look at all the other millions of people in the world, people who didn't even ask to be parents but had the role forced upon them. Surely a wide majority of them adore their kids, accept them as a blessing, and make do in times of struggle. Here I've been given the opportunity to actually PLAN my family on my terms and I'm going to let another person bring me down?

Obviously I value our relationship and your opinion, otherwise your words would have meant nothing to me. But let the hours of tears afterwards stand as a testimony to the fact that obviously you're important. But I'll let you in on a secret: I may value your opinion, but I will NEVER let you shame, guilt, or scare me out of parenthood. Not now, not ever.

I AM deserving of a child. And I deserve the right to choose how/when they are conceived, how they are born, how they are raised. I've just come to realize now that, if I'm going to take on parenthood, I should probably get used to other people's unwarranted and strong opinions on what I'm doing wrong. So from now on, your opinion comes with a tablespoon of salt.

Thank you for not believing in me. Because without that, I would not believe so strongly in myself.

THAT is who I am.