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Plural

Posted Apr 23 2009 5:25pm
Tony and I talk about the baby a lot. But when we are really discussing our future, our plans, our hopes, our dreams, we never talk about the baby or our son or our daughter. We always talk about the "kids" or the "children." We talk about zip codes that have good school districts for the children. Or what it would be like to live overseas for a few years with the kids. Or whether we think our children should be given allowances. It's never just one. Never.

When I was in the throws of infertility, I had the world mapped out with a deep and definite line drawn in the sand: those with children and those without. The haves and the have nots, as it were. It wasn't a unique representation of infertility, but that didn't stop me from adopting it as my own. Of course things are never that simplistic. The fact of the matter is that the fertility-infertility dichotomy cannot be boiled down into two poorly organized teams.

The characterization doesn't even work on it's face. There are tons of reasons why women don't have children -- are "have nots." And certainly not everyone who is childless feels the same about it. Some are childless by choice, some because the time isn't right, some because their partners aren't ready, and, of course, some because baby making isn't always as simple as it seems in high school biology class. The women who make of the "haves" are just as varied. From those who struggled with infertility, to those who planned/tried to have their babies, to those who had a happy accident, and those who had accidents that they never quite accepted. And that only begins to describe the women that make up the "haves" and the "have nots."

It really isn't as simple as fertile/infertile. I know that to the outside world, this baby will mean that we "beat" our infertility. But it doesn't feel like that to us. The infertility -- it stays with you. It affects what we think about birth control after baby and when we want to start trying again. And how long we are going to try before we make that first call to the RE. It affects how confidently I say that I want four children. The infertility didn't end when I got pregnant; and
it won't end when I hold this baby in my arms. So, when does it end? When will it no longer influence my thoughts, feelings, and actions. I'm not sure, but undoubtedly it will be sometime after we get our plural.

-- Mya
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