Samstag, 17. November 2007

In English

My last post contained some links to blogs in English. So I'll try to translate it here. It's only fair.



Children.

I have a son, who is already living on his own. He was born when I was 18 yo- much too young, as I know now. Perhaps not too young for everyone, but certainly for me.
I am not able to remember much of the pregnancy. Sure, there are some prenatal milestones I remember on my way to delivery, but most of it went away in a blurr. You might as well assume that I did not make plans for the day when I would have to leave the hospital with my baby. I was pregnant, full stop.
When the nurses told me I was allowed to take this little bundle home, I began to believe that it was really true- I had a baby now. I was a mother now.
We grew up together, my son and I, and motherhood was mostly a logistic challenge for me for the next years. I had to finish school, look for a job that would earn enough money for us both, and all the time needed MY mother to make sure that there was day care for my son.
When my son was two years old, I married. (Not the father of my son, but another man.)
When my boy was 16 yo, I left my husband, and mostly lived as a single from that day on.

I never came to terms with the question of having another child. I would have loved to have a daughter, but at the same time the mere thought of it would have scared the shit out of me.

During my not-so-good marriage, the little self respect that was left of my independent days would have been smothered to bits, if I would have had to stop working due to a child, and I always thought it was unfair to let another child grow up with my mother. I was fucking afraid of having another child. So I let terminate my possibility to get pregnant with surgical means some years after my divorce.

Now I am forty-something, not able to become pregnant any more, and the pendulum of ambivalence strikes back... not really. I have two lovely nieces, being my part-time daughters, and that is fine for me, for I am no icon of healthy living or common sense.

What has changed is my understanding of those, who try desperately to become a family, by IVF or other means of assisted reproduction.
I never was quite able to understand, why anyone would undergo hurtful, expensive and frustrating treatments to have a child.
And then there was the day that I googled "Brenda Leigh Johnson" (The Closer herself) and stumbled onto the blog of Laurie. By her linklist, I learned of Allison, and in the miraculous ways of the internet came to Julie and Helen. Helen and Julie are mothers to IVF children, and through their blogs I learned what this is all about. They are not bitter, they are not dogged, they are infertile. They have a deep wish, a heart's desire. And who am I to ignore a heart's desire?

I am grateful that some weeks of reading their archives were able to turn my understanding of infertility upside down.

The US of A have a National Week of Infertility Awareness. It's a devastating thought that there has to be such a week. It's a devastating thought that the couples who are hit by infertility have so much difficulties to talk about their issues, even with family and friends, without having to fear judgement.
"Not able to become pregnant", sotto voce discussions behind the back of the one who left the room shortly before, and everyone feels competent to judge, to nod wisely, to have an opinion.
And there is always the one opting for adoption. And the ones referring to Mother Nature. And all about accepting Mother Nature's Wise Ways. Just to pop down an Aspirin against the (not natural?) headache. And downing a cup of coffee, to stop all the natural tiredness.
I have been part of this kind of discussions, and I did not refrain from taking part in these.

I know personally at least three couples who are infertile, and who stopped trying to get pregnant after years of exhausting and frustrating attempts. All three of them would have been much better mothers and fathers to their children than I ever was to my kid.
To which extent there has been mourning and pain when they put a halt to their attempts no week of awareness will tell us.
But out of Helen's and Julie's blogs I learned that I will never again ask "Why don't you adopt?". If a couple feels that adoption just isn't right, it isn't right. For them.
I will never again judge behind their backs, never think idiot stuff as "Mother Nature's Ways" again.
Mourning about those children that can not come to life, about losing an option to a life with kids, the grief and despair of learning that one's body refuses to fulfill a heart's desire is an issue we all should respect and share.
And as long as there is such an depressing amount of silence, we should at least accept without any judgement (and without nagging publicly the costs of) the feeble three attempts of IVF provided by our health insurances here in Germany.

Kommentare:

Helen hat gesagt…

Lily,

It was your post I saw. I want to apologize-Babelfish did not do your post justice at all. Your English translation was excellent, and cleared the air. I am very sorry that I misinterpreted your post, as your English translation was a fantastic piece, and exactly what I was trying to say in my post, too. I hope you didn't feel attacked by my post, as I promise that wasn't my intention. You are very brave for posting a correction.

I also hope I haven't run you off. I remember your comment from the other day, you said I am just so courageous. It made my day.

Mea Culpa,
Helen

Lily hat gesagt…

Good morning Helen,

as I said, it was nothing but fair to post in English- regarding the topic, and the fact that German is a much too tricky language to be translated by machines. So there's no need to mea culpa!
And no, you didn't run me off at all. I'm much too curious to see your beautiful photos- plus, I really enjoy your writing.
Have a nice day,

Lily