There have been so many things on my mind with regards to infertility lately with all that’s happening within the community. There’s been conflict and divide among those who have gone on to have children and those who are still in the trenches or have moved on from trying to conceive a child. So many times messages get lost and people are misunderstood. They use the wrong words and even though the intention is good the message comes out all wrong. Personally I’ve done a lot of reflecting and tried to think of ways to connect to everyone. It has been tough for me doing that with the internal struggle that I’ve been working through which unfortunately got more difficult last night but I will save that for another piece that I am going to wait to post.
One concept that has been brought up by those like myself who have either moved on from trying to have kids and those in the trenches is that those who have gone onto have children are privileged. The feeling is that they are lucky and have something that others lack. Before going further, lets examine the meaning of the word privilege:
1. a right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages of most
2. a special right, immunity, or exemption granted to persons in authority or office to free them from certain obligations or liabilities
I used these two definitions because I think they highlight two different ways those who are privileged can use their privilege. One way is a person can use their privilege to do something good to help others. The second way is a person can live with their privilege and not look back as to what it was like when they didn’t have that privilege.
In the infertility community that idea also applies. There are those who are privileged who go onto have children who stick around in the community to help others work through infertility. Then there are those who don’t ever wish to go back to that deep dark place
. I don’t fault these people for not wanting to go back to that deep dark place. They aren’t bad people and it has nothing to do with them not caring for others. But those who are privileged who use their privilege to help others like my friend Jay
and I woman named Cristy
I recently connected with through Jay.
These people who use their privilege to help others are truly special people in the infertility community. They could have easily walked away after they got their happy ending but instead of stuck around to make a difference in others lives. In Jay’s case she not only has dedicated part of her life outside of work to helping others but has also dedicated her career
to doing so. They are the type of people that people like myself and others who are either still in the trenches or have moved on from trying to have kids need to work with. They have the power just as we do to close that divide between us. There will be times when they may not get us but we need to recognize that they will always try.
At the same time, I don’t think people who have similar situations as I do should look down upon or attack those who have privilege who walk away from the infertility community. We should respect their decisions and wish them well. It takes a special strong person to stick around this rough place and that isn’t a knock on those who don’t.