If you listened to my podcast about 9 months ago, then you might still be under the impression that Alix and I are using IVF to get pregnant.
I haven’t shared a ton more details publicly yet, because I started getting really overwhelmed with negativity by SO MANY people. And, weirdly, it wasn’t just random people on the internet (although there certainly were some DMs flying in), it was more from the people closest to us.
I want to start off by saying that everyone is over the moon excited for us. People can’t wait for us to be parents, and have no qualms with two chicks making a baby.
At first, I thought that maybe this negativity was just the norm when people were starting to try. But then I asked some of my other friends who are newly pregnant, or trying, or have already had kids.
None of them could relate to what I was saying. They were actually super surprised.
It then dawned on me that it’s because we’re going down the fertility clinic route to conceive. THAT’S the piece that’s making people say a bunch of weird shit.
Let me give you a few examples:
“I know someone who had to go through multiple rounds of IVF. It took her years to get pregnant, and then when she finally did, she had a miscarriage.”
“It took me 7 rounds of IVF to get pregnant, so don’t think it will happen the first time you try.”
Why Do People Say This Stuff?
The first few times it happened, I just sort of took it, because I was honestly so stunned and taken off guard that I didn’t have the words to ask them to stop.
Once I got a little more used it, I would hold up my hand (like it could somehow serve as a barrier, shoving the words back into their mouth before they reached my ears), and I’d nicely ask them to stop.
The most common response would be things like this:
“I’m just trying to protect you from getting hurt.”
“I just don’t want you to get your hopes up.”
“I just want to make sure you’re prepared for how hard this is going to be, and you’re not going into it blindly.”
So the common denominator is that people think they’re protecting me/us. It, strangely, is coming from a place of love. Or at the very least, protection.
Look, I know it hasn’t been expressed in the best way, nor did I appreciate that kind of response to such happy news. But, I will say that understanding their intention did help me to find more compassion for them, and feel less anger and hurt.
People want the best for us. They want to shield us from the hurt, and pain, and hardship that is so often a part of many people’s fertility journeys.
I GET THAT. I really do.
I don’t want that to be our story, before we even start.
Once I was able to piece together the negativity with the fertility process, I was able to understand it a little deeper.
The thing is that most straight couples who use a fertility clinic to conceive are most likely doing so, because they have some sort of fertility issue. Otherwise, they’d just do the damn thing in the comfort of their own bed, and call it a day.
But, same sex couples don’t have that option (obviously two women cannot biologically make a baby). So we have the choice of: adoption, surrogacy, or fertility clinic (IVF, IUI).
We aren’t using a fertility clinic because I’m having trouble getting pregnant. We’re using a fertility clinic, because this is the most affordable and practical option for us if we want to be parents (which we do).
I’m super happy to report that all of my hormones are balanced, I have a shitload of eggs (yes, shitload is the actual medical term for it), and my ovulation is strong.
I don’t have ANY fertility issues (at least that they’ve seen yet).
What a gift.
I think the fact that most of our friends and family around us are in hetero relationships (or the fact that the majority of society is straight), just makes people associate fertility clinics with pain and hardship.
I’m not discounting that pain and hardship AT ALL. My heart breaks every time I hear these stories. And I feel deeply sorry for everyone who’s struggled with fertility in their life.
I guess this is just a reminder to be a little softer with people when they start this process, because it’s a vulnerable place to be. And, also a reminder that fertility clinics don’t have to equal pain and hardship ONLY.
They’re a place for new life, and HOPE, after all.
The Power of Hope
People get uncomfortable with the way I talk about being pregnant. I talk about it with such certainty that people on my Instagram often think they missed a pregnancy announcement, and that I already am.
I speak this way intentionally. I talk about it with certainty, because I’m trying to call them in!
Yes, this is definitely a woo woo way of going about it. But also, who cares if it’s not harming anyone? Who cares if the spirit of my babies can actually hear me or not, if it makes me feel good? Genuinely. Why does it matter so much to other people.
A lot of the time, people say they care, because they “don’t want me to get my hopes up.” Or, they “don’t want me to be disappointed if it doesn’t work right away.” There’s that protection again, masquerading as love, but really just extinguishing hope for the sake of what? Safety?
Here’s the thing, I know that fertility can be a long, complicated process. And, I know it can come with a whole lot of heartbreak.
I’ve also decided early on, before we even start trying, that my ability to conceive will not define me. My ability to conceive is not a reflection of my worth or my womanhood.
People want to protect me from what? From feeling shame about not being able to do what my body is designed to do (that’s my guess at least).
And it sure as shit is easier said than done now, but I’m not allowing shame into this experience. I’m not shaming my body for her abilities, or inabilities.
I KNOW it will be hard if it doesn’t take in the timeframe we’re hoping for. I know it will be disappointing, and even scary.
But I also know that Alix and I can get through anything together. We’ll figure it out. We’ll lean into one another. And we’ll lean into love.
I’ve already shamed my body enough for this lifetime, and I’m not going to do that anymore. Because what my body can or cannot do doesn’t define ME.
I love my body, and I’m so much more than her.
This is why we choose hope.
Hope is the buoy that keeps you from drowning in shame.
And I want to stay afloat.