Some people go to extremes to fall pregnant. A friend of mine underwent seventeen rounds of IVF. Another friend visited her family’s religious guru for a blessing. My lesbian neighbours in Singapore drove over the border in the middle of the night to a dodgy clinic in Malaysia (Singapore prohibits same-sex couples from undergoing IVF). Hell, I even put myself through supposedly ‘non-invasive’ fertility treatment in a dinky Indian medical clinic on more than one occasion. Another person I know found a sperm donor from America. But only one out of the above scenarios resulted in a successful pregnancy; the latter.
For those of us who fail to conceive, we should see the bright side. Having been through the stress of infertility we should celebrate rather than commiserate, because let’s face it, pregnancy is not all it’s cracked up to be. Let’s remind ourselves about the unromantic, unglamorous side to pregnancy and childbirth. Who wants to vomit out the bus window on the way to work from morning sickness, or carry a watermelon around in your belly for months, let alone push that watermelon out a hole the size of a lime, or suffer raw nipples from breastfeeding? More importantly, I am SO relieved that I was never in a position to be tempted to pose for an embarrassing naked pregnancy photo. These are all life experiences I am genuinely happy to have missed out on.
I am relieved I never waddled around like an awkward, oversized penguin. I am thankful I didn’t have to give up wine for nine months. Come to think of it, I may have stumbled around like an awkward penguin from a few too many vinos on occasion. I did manage to bypass morning sickness though. Hang on a minute, the odd hangover may be equivalent. Anyway, you get my point. The press-cooker of infertility is already heated with hormone injections, flaring emotions, and invasive medical procedures. Why increase the stress by further beating ourselves up.