In Sunday’s Washington Post, there’s an article about how infertile couples are upset about baby posts on Facebook.
Katherine Klegin, 27, of Springfield, who had been trying to conceive for 15 months with egg-stimulating drugs, has a love-hate relationship with Facebook. Two months ago, the government contractor was at home using her laptop when she discovered a friend’s pregnancy on Facebook.
“I burst into tears,” she recalled. “It made me so angry. She had just gotten married and there’s this presumption that it was an accident. I can’t comprehend having an accident.”
Klegin didn’t want to disconnect from her online life, so she switched mostly to Twitter, which has fewer photos and instead features snappy 140-character musings. “I found a huge community of infertile women on Twitter, and people announce pregnancies all the time there, but it’s different,” she said. “You don’t see it.”
I encourage you to read the full version, it’s a good piece.
I get this, believe me I do. I’ve been there. I’ve struggled through having to attend inter-office baby showers while we were in the thick of IVF treatments, having to sit through hours of baby clothes and baby bags and what-are-you-going-to-name-her impossible drivel. I’ve listened to countless hours of ranting from my wife, returning from book club meetings where the whole conversation is dominated by lactating baby-talk. I even coined a new phrase around our house when we saw/read about new baby announcements. “F%$#ing normal breeders,” I’d call them (FNB for short). Feel free to use it, it has a cathartic effect.
And even though I’m inexplicably an FNB myself, believe me – I’ve been in this horrible, no-good, very bad place.
It feels unfair.
It completely sucks.
And my message to these folks is:
Get over it.
I say get over it in the most encouraging possible way, of course. Get over it in the big, arms-wrapped-around-you-hug kind of way. Get over it because what’s your alternative?
You have a problem with the folks you choose to follow on an online social networking piece of software? Here’s a question – are you going to stop leaving the house – in the physical world? Because people ain’t going to stop having babies on account that you get your feelings hurt. Every time you go to Starbucks or the Mall or the Post Office, I guaran-effing-tee you, there’s going to be a stroller. And it’s going to piss you off, and I’m sorry for that.
When we were going through the same hell the folks were going through in that article, when we finally decided that we were done trying, finished with IVF, I had to decide that it was okay for other people to have the things that I want and will never have. I had to, because what was my alternative? To just hate everybody? Should I hate my parents because they were fertile? Where does it stop? I had a life to live, damnit – baby or no baby.
I once threatened to make a t-shirt with a giant middle finger extended from a hand on it and over it would read in all caps “I CAN’T MAKE BABIES”. Why? Because it’s funny, it tells people all around me to just shut up about their kids, and it makes a serious fashion statement.
Live your life. Don’t let infertility define who you are.
The woman quoted above moved to Twitter because she couldn’t see pictures of babies and it helped. That friends, is putting chewing gum in the crack of the dam.
Yes, people need to be more sensitive. How many things in life could we apply that principle to though?
Look – keep fighting for your kids if that’s your choice. But do the really courageous thing and live in the world where it seems like everyone else around you is an FNB even if it totally sucks. Why? Because you don’t have much of an alternative. Because you’ll be a happier person. Because that’s your reality. And if you can’t live there, well then – go to Twitter I guess, I hear there are fewer pictures there.