January 19, 2011 by Lois Lane
Lois Lane here, reporting in for a news brief. I’ve received an electronic message in my in-box (firstname.lastname@example.org) from a blogger who needs to vent.
All vents/grievances/complaints are anonymous. My source will never be revealed-so don’t ask. Read at your own risk-some of these vents may cause you to shift in your seat. So take care in commenting, and remember sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can hurt like hell.
Required Reading before leaving a comment: Record Rules. Capiche?
I headed over to Mel’s Creme de la Creme list this morning, feeling guilty for not reading much of it yet. I picked one that sounded good, about positive and negative experiences being open about IF, and headed over…
…and am promptly insulted. For what’s first on the list of negative experiences? Why, the author’s sister-in-law, commiserating with the author. SIL, it seems, went through two years of IUIs, clomid, and injectables in order to conceive. She found the process really hard but encouraged the author to keep hoping. Sounds pretty reasonable to me, but apparently, SIL doesn’t have the right to think any of that was hard or at all comparable to the author’s experience, because SIL is gay. So “kindergarten science” (what kind of kindergarten did you go to?) should have told her she would need medical intervention, that she couldn’t have a baby “naturally.”
Where do I even begin?
1. No, no, no. Nothing about being gay means knowing you’ll need IUIs and fertility drugs. Even in the absence of the magic penis (which I assume is what would have made your conceiving at home “natural”), plenty of lesbians get knocked up at home, with all the intimacy — and yes, orgasms — lacking when you’re propped in stirrups, staring at a fluorescent light. I bet you a dollar your SIL and her partner grieved the loss of that image — I did, even though not having to handle the sperm myself was a perk of IUIs.
2. If your SIL is like most of us, knowing that she couldn’t combine her genes with her partner’s and make a kid out of that doesn’t mean she doesn’t get to feel sad about that, just like you’d get to feel sad if you found out you and “hubs” couldn’t do the same. Would azoospermia or ovarian failure mean you would just jump right to donor gametes without a care in the world? Why not? Doesn’t the same kindergarten science apply?
3. A petty one: you play the “we’ve done IVF and they didn’t” card. How about the “they were — medically — TTC longer than you’ve been off birth control” card? Careful with the pain olympics. There is no way to win.
4. Did it ever occur to you that some parts of this were probably harder for them than for you? That picking a donor isn’t fun? That sperm is not cheap — making the feeling of throwing it away month after month pretty awful — and that even insurance companies that cover IF treatment tend to write their policies so that only folks with both sets of parts at home get any coverage? That people in real life and very likely at their clinic said stupid and/or hurtful things about their even thinking of children? That a litany of reminders from the news, popular culture, political and religious leaders, etc., (to say nothing of family members, coworkers, and erstwhile friends) on the topic of why their desire for a child was evil and unnatural might have added to the stress just a tad? That knowing that a cycle off is OFF, with zero possibility of a surprise pregnancy, has its disadvantages? That having another uterus in the relationship — while usually painted as a lucky back-up plan — is actually pretty fraught when you’re wondering again whether this will ever work?
We’ve all had people try to be sympathetic and had it miss the mark. But making your excuse for not wanting your SIL’s sympathy hinge on her gayness is self-centered and, frankly, raises questions in this lesbian reader’s mind of how welcome she’d be to comment on your blog — which is just as well, as I can’t think of anything nice to say.
Here from Creme de la Creme