A Place of Little Hope

There is a disproportionate amount of representation for women who do not want to be mothers. It might just be because they’ve never had a platform to speak on until now. 

But there’s another group that still doesn’t have a platform. That suffers silently. Facing judgement, brush-offs, and neglect. Women who want to have children but who’s bodies won’t perform the functions necessary to support life. 

Women dealing with infertility suffer silently. Why? Because it is an extremely personal experience. No two experiences are the same (despite what others may say). It was their body, it was their baby, it was their loss. They are the only ones who felt what they felt. They knew the hope, the elation, the terror, the pain. 

Women mourned every time their periods came because it meant they weren’t pregnant. Buying expensive tests month after month. Changing their diet, their exercise routine, the sleeping patterns, even their intimacy with their partners; all for the hopes of a baby.

Every woman is different. And every experience is different. 

Most women in this category suffer from infertility – the inability to conceive or become pregnant. I suffered from recurrent miscarriages. 9 of them to be exact. My longest pregnancy was eight weeks.

Although, physically I felt very similarly between all the pregnancies; emotionally, I was in a totally different place for each and every one of them. Some hurt worse than others. Why? Because I loved them differently? No. Because I was different. 

Despite suffering for 3 years with miscarriages, I was still asked when I was going to get pregnant. Did I have any kids? Did I want them? Why weren’t my husband and I focusing on a family yet. Questions people didn’t have the right to know, but felt they had the right to ask. These questions need to be struck from society. Strangers do not have the right to ask intimate details about your decisions concerning your family. Who knows what grieving woman they are hurting. Please stop assuming and judging. Please stop asking. 

It wasn’t until my third year of yet more miscarriages that I finally started saying to these presumptuous strangers: “actually I’m dealing with pregnancy losses right now.” And I watched their eyes go wide, their mouths turn down, and their cheeks grow red. All of which was an indication that this was not the answer they wanted to hear. They felt uncomfortable knowing this detail about me. They didn’t know how to respond. Yet, they had asked. I felt no pity for them being in the uncomfortable position now. I was drowning in my feelings, I didn’t have the strength to protect theirs anymore. 

Women going through infertility have to deal with the unfair thought that something is wrong with them. An ability they were supposed to perform is defective. By something they did? By charma? By a higher purpose? By nothing at all? Not only are our thoughts a punishment to ourselves that we can’t always logic our way out of at the moment, but we have to deal with other platforms rising above our own and portrayed on social media through fearless advocates; who a lot of times don’t extend to us. 

I have strong feelings about abortion. I think any woman going through infertility feels the same. On the one hand, I support women’s equality and rights. On the other hand, I have to read statistics and listened to stories of literally millions of babies a year being discarded when I would give anything for just one of them. 

And yes. I’ve posted on my social media page that if anyone didn’t want their baby, I would take it. 

Can you imagine the desperation going through a woman’s heart for her to post on her public page, to strangers, and say “give me your baby if you don’t want it, or can’t keep it. I do, and I can. I won’t judge you. I will bless you and praise you and thank you for performing a work that my body can’t.” 

And again. Women’s rights, right? Well, at least for some of us. 

Women have the right to terminate their pregnancy for virtually no cost. It costs thousands of dollars (sometimes entire life savings and then some) for women to go through experimental drug therapy and corrective procedures for the possibility of becoming pregnant and then 9 agonizing months to see if that pregnancy will be viable. Average costs range between $40- $120,000. 

Women have the right to doctors, therapists, social workers, and medication to terminate their pregnancy for virtually no cost. I was working a full-time job with a Bachelor’s degree. Although my insurance covered an OBGYN, it did not cover a high risk pregnancy center that specializes in the specific disease contributing to my miscarriages. So I was stuck with my well-meaning, but limited, family practitioner who told me next time I was pregnant, here’s something we could try. Hoping this new and expensive shot I injected into my belly daily would do the trick. But it didn’t. 

Women who give up their children for adoption have the right to compensation, therapy, and advocates. Women trying to adopt have to pay a minimum of $30,000 to even get on the waiting list to be considered as an adoptive option. You could be waiting for years. $30,000 is what I made in one years time, working full-time with a Bachelor’s degree. Even then, I would still have to buy all the necessities, and comfy items for the baby; with a $30-50,000 deficit in my bank account. And if it’s international adoption, the costs are between $100-120,000. 

Women who are surrogates for wanting mothers have the right to be compensated for housing, food, gas/travel, medical, and time off work amounting between $70-100,000. There is still the fear always present that the surrogate won’t be responsible for the child they agreed to house for nine months or will be reluctant in giving up the little fetus they share DNA with. 

There is no protection and extraordinary expense for women seeking to become mothers. 

No government funded programs. 

Tax breaks after the fact, yes. But exorbitant costs up front. 

No therapy stipend to help grieving mothers through all the anxiety and difficult emotional processes of seeking a child who is not your own. 

No subsidized medical programs to help off-set the costs of experimental treatments or specialized doctors.

We do not have equal rights as women experiencing infertility. 

Infertile women are placed on a scale of value. The determining weight is their bank account. 

This nation tells us that women who can’t pay, are women who don’t deserve to be mothers.

We infertile women are on the tip of a double edged sword. Not able to escape the grief, and not able to pursue realistic solutions. Losing a baby sticks with you. Days, weeks, months, years. I still have moments wrapped in a grief so strong the force of it takes my breath away.  

We go through enough. We shouldn’t be expected to go through more. To go through more than any other woman where children are concerned. No woman should be deprived of the opportunity to have a family, should they wish it. 

Give infertile women a platform, give them support and love. Create positive environments where it’s safe for them to ask for help instead of receiving judgement. And for the sake of all that is right, let’s create a supportive environment where women who want to be mothers, don’t have to bear the stagnating heartache of being poor and infertile – because, in this country, it has become a place of little hope.   

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