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Infertility

Daily Deviation
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Infertility

"When are you two going to start working on more kids?"

It was such a simple question.  The thought behind it was innocent in design. A simple inquiry on why a thirty-one-year-old woman had only one child was one of the most dreadful conversations that I have ever had the pleasure of being part of.  

While my daughter was the light in the darkness cast by my own body's failure, my happy little family was not the societal norm.  According to my family's version of the American Dream, a man and a woman were supposed to have two children, a dog, and a white picket fence. This was a sign of success for a stay at home woman.

We were never normal. My husband and I did not marry in the conventional church.  Those aren't our beliefs.  To replace us on this orbiting rock that we call earth, we have a little girl. She is too smart for her age, wanting to watch video games that are ahead of her time and writing a story of her own.

"We don't want any more," my husband said. He handled circumstances such as this with tact and grace. In that, he was calmer than me. I admired that like a fan admired their favorite celebrities' traits.

The woman behind the conveyor belt looked at my husband. Her dark hair curled in, brushing her cheek with its luscious locks. She reached over and grabbed the plastic bag of frozen peppers. "Don't you want another one?" she continued.

There were many people like this woman, I thought, incredulously. For two years, I had to make excuses and grow thicker skin.  Still, their foray into my reproductive life ate at my soul like a bloated leech. Each inquest pierced my heart as if it were a conscientious shot from a rifle.

"No."

My daughter bent down, looking at the toys in the row of tempting treats next to us. She lifted one of the toy cameras from the shelf. Dancing princesses twirled across the pinkish surface.

I was thankful for the distraction. If I focused on my daughter, I could ignore the conversation. By pretending that I could not hear them, I found that I could pretend that I was fine. There were no golf ball-sized wounds on my ovaries.  My hormone levels were correct.  Of course, that was all pretend.

However, I could wish for a miracle. The doctors told me that the syndrome would go away when I reached menopause. All my problems would be solved as I would be too old to reproduce. It was like putting a bandage over a freshly amputated stump.

"She could have a sister or brother to play with," the incessant person pestered. Her dark gaze leaped over to me and slid down my body judgmentally. Could she sense the illness deep inside of me? Obviously not, by her ceaseless questioning.

A long beep emerged from the scanner. Sugar-free yogurt passed through the blinding red light, inciting more shrill noises from the machine. The yogurt was for me. I was not allowed to have much sugar. Because my body can't process sugar that well, I stayed away from it. Plus, I found the sores inside of me hurt less without it.

"Our daughter is enough," my husband stated, firmer. The frustration coated his tone as if it were poison dripping from a blade. Like me, he wished that she would simply go back to processing our groceries.

I didn't need a woman, who I knew to have 9 children, judge me based on my body's fiasco. To her credit, she didn't know about my condition. How was she to know that if I were to become pregnant, the pregnancy could risk my life? Numerous reasons flashed through my mind. My body seemed to wallow in its horrid malfunctions.

"Mommy!" my daughter called to me, diverting my mind once more. Her thin light hair covered her bright stare.  Lifting up the toy, one of her small fingers hovered over a raised button. "Smile!"

"She could play with them at the playground."

Now, I was becoming angry. Crimson flashed before my gaze as I brought my attention back to the other woman. The reddening emotion pulsed in my mind and made my body heated as if I was standing outside on a hot July day.

Like a dam breaking, the ire at this cashier's patience washed over me. "We can't have anymore," I said, slightly more bitter than I would have liked. Reaching up, I ran the tips of my fingers through my hair. It was a habit that I had developed when I was younger. Strands fell effortless through my grip.

My sour mood was not entirely this woman's fault.  I was exhausted. Waking up in a sheet of sweat every four hours (and staying up until I could not anymore), exhaustion had set in many months ago. My husband worried because of that, yet there was nothing I could do to help it.

She frowned as she took in the information. To me, I knew that she would not be able to wrap her closed-off mind around it. Because she obsessed with us having more children, the fact that I couldn't have anymore and the searing agony that caused could not sink into her.

"I'm infertile."
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© 2012 - 2019 NewYorkNovelist
This was one of the most difficult pieces that I ever wrote. It is actually based on a conversation that my husband and a cashier had at Walmart. His mother used to work there, and his brother still does. So, they know us.

I keep infertility close to my chest. Because of my difficulty having children, I view my daughter as a miracle.

This writing was penned by Lydia Larue. Please do not use it or claim it as your own.

---
Thanks so much for the Daily Deviant on this piece. I'm flattered and speechless. :)

I just want to say that I respect everyone's views, and I can understand some question why do I want more.

I am reading everyone's stories about their struggle, and I want you to know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers.

To anyone who is questioning if this happened, yes. This woman has always pestered us. I hold no anger towards her with the exception of being constantly asked this question by her. This was the fourth conversation with this woman.
---
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Comments (115)
ArtfulBalance's avatar
ArtfulBalance|Hobbyist Writer
Thank you so much for writing this. Because of people who speak up like you, hopefully we'll see respecting others' "reproductive lives," as you put it, become the norm. 
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TheAwesomeMeerkat's avatar
This was such a beautiful piece. I could feel the tension coming off the computer screen :) And it really wasn't that woman's business to ask why you didn't have more than one kid…bet she felt really bad after realizing how insensitive she was.
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crazi-4-muffinz's avatar
I'm 20 & I have PCOS, so this really touched my heart. I'm scared to death that someday I'm going to be having those conversations. :( I just hope I'm at least blessed enough to have one healthy child. Congratulations on your miracle girl. :tighthug:
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Bethebelle13's avatar
Bethebelle13|Hobbyist General Artist
:hug: You are so strong to write about this. I am amazed by you. I am humbled. Thank you so very much for sharing. :hug:
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ReygarFaust's avatar
ReygarFaust|Professional Photographer
Beautiful work! I love you!
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seashellz2010's avatar
Wow, that woman have no respect. I admit I have asked some women if they are planning to have more and when they tell me No, then I will leave it be and will not keep persisting about it. Every women have their own reason for not having more children. Not all women want more than 1 child (not because of health)
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AnnaGiladi's avatar
AnnaGiladi|Hobbyist General Artist
Don't you just love people like this cashier. I don't know about infertility but I do know about people who need to shut their ignorant, hurtful, aggravating pie holes about MY body and mind, MY health, MY dealing with it, scrap that - ANY part of my life - especially when they are uninformed about what's going on and too full of shit to ask before having an "opinion". I have so much disdain for those types of people who will just lecture everyone and anyone about how to raise their kids or keep their cats, because THEY know best. And because they are so educated on such important matters, they made it all the way to - cashier at walmart! Oops, not Pediatrics Nobel Prize winner? Aw. So shut the fffffffff......

I'm sorry you're in that position, both having to deal with such primates and your body. For what it's worth, being an only child didn't destroy my life or that of any only child I know. I'm sure you're doing a wonderful job with your one little girl, and nothing else matters. I live in Israel where ultra-orthodox moms tend to have 10 or more children, and those kids get no "education" aside from the Torah, they are raised to be hateful idiots and the whole household is an employment- and service refusing burden on society.
I'm willing to bet that if you were to adopt or somehow get another child, that cashier would shut up but the woman in line behind you would complain about the racket produced by interacting kids. Someone will always find beef with you. Try to picture them naked in the middle of a swimming pool as the only island for a handful of feral cats to climb on.
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edge-of-psychosis's avatar
This is wonderful. I feel disgusted with the woman you wrote about. I can see asking about the possibility of more kids, even though that's really none of her business either, but to keep pushing after it's clear you don't want to talk about it..........grr.
Anyway, excellent writing. The writing seems to disappear, leaving you with just the feeling of the moment being recalled.
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Contraltissimo's avatar
I'm so glad you are blessed to have a daughter. :)
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news-print-hat's avatar
wow...thats.. so emotional....
and why the 4th conversation with her? cant she get it through her head?
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shadowcat9279's avatar
shadowcat9279|Hobbyist General Artist
I understand fully where your coming from with this. My own prayers are with you while you go through this difficult time.

I myself can not have children and I get asked questions constantly.
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LadyofGaerdon's avatar
LadyofGaerdon|Professional Writer
Congratulations on your DD, and for the strength it must have taken to write this.

My husband and I have been married for seven years, and I was 18 when we got married. Even though I'm disabled, people still find it odd that we got married when I was so young, and have been together so long, without us having any children. People like the woman you described probably think they're just being friendly, but have no idea how offensive and downright hurtful they can be. In my case, having children would be disastrous to my health and so is not an option for me. I've made peace with this, and honestly I'm happy raising my two feline daughters and contemplating perhaps adopting one day. It's really no one's business but mine and my husband's.

In your case, I'm very glad you have your daughter to cherish. I was a cherished only daughter and if I may say so my parents are rather proud of how I turned out. I'm positive your daughter will grow up strengthened by the love I'm sure she will always be showered with. I truly hope your health improves. :heart:
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FS-XXVII's avatar
FS-XXVII| Interface Designer
Society tends to force babies out of anyone with a uterus, a horrible establishment of gender roles. Not to mention such a condition is extremely unpleasant and disappointing to most.
I myself have a similar problem, but in a way, I have to look at the opposite. (It was a gift to me being told I couldn't birth a child.) Your story points through the pain of being infertile, wanting to have that possibility. This gave me something I couldn't have really figured on my own, because of how I identify. The wording is very human, straightforward and honest. I'm sure you've had countless wordy comments, but this story has definitely earned at least a few more...

What this does illustrate well is both the outside and inside of the situation, as well.
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Aeries-Raine's avatar
Aeries-Raine|Hobbyist General Artist
Reading your piece really made me rethink my own anger and frustration at being a 28 year old, childless wife to a 39 year old man. I am not infertile (that I know of) and the truth is we just haven't... tried. But with so many people around us having children, and family wondering and asking why we adopted puppies instead of having babies, it has been difficult to ignore that gut feeling that maybe I will never be a mother.

I'm so glad I read this. A few weeks ago I began thinking that maybe I would start telling people I just can't have children because I thought it would make them uncomfortable enough to stop asking. But lying about it doesn't change anything and now getting the perspective of someone who actually can't has changed my perspective on my own situation.

So thank you so much for sharing such a personal experience and deeply personal issue with the world. It is provoking but also just a beautifully written piece of art. And congrats on the well-deserved DD. :hug:
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SailorMariah's avatar
Great story! Kudos for not punching that idiotic woman in the face. Some stupid f*ckers never know when to shut up.
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xSparkdNationx's avatar
Beautiful piece of writing.
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Mr-Anaximander's avatar
I can relate, and I know I'm not alone on this one. I don't THINK I'm infertile, but I HAVE tried to be celibate (willingly, and for life, mind you; not this "till marriage" "nonsense" ;P ). Lawd knows how much I've been pestered by folks who want(ed) to see me with a girlfriend and look forward to a life where I could provide children for them to gossip and make small talk about. (rudeness aimed at the pester-ers, not you, author :XD: you've my sincerest sympathy :aww: ) ...Er, I meant, so that I could enjoy sexuality a wife and the joy of any ensuing kids. :roll:

I chose celibacy, but you couldn't choose infertility, and recent events in my life have caused me to doubt I'll enjoy a life of singleness, like my desire has been stripped away from me. So I know it's incredibly difficult to WANT something, something so GOOD and BEAUTIFUL, only to have it taken away by destiny and to be ridiculed for something beyond your control. From the deepest reaches of my heart, I'm terribly sorry. :-(

In that regard, I almost wish we had switched biological places. If I knew that attempting kids was a lost cause, I'd be all like, ":dummy: CERIBACYYYYYYY!!!" (*run off to do something amazing with my additional time*), and you could, hopefully, have your kids. For that, too, I'm terribly sorry.

I don't hug often. Even online. But this piece genuinely touched me (somewhere.... :paranoid: ). You absolutely deserve one, and so much more. :huggle: As an unknown friend who struggles between destiny and desire too, I hope and pray you are ridiculed no more. :-)
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classy-dame's avatar
classy-dame| Digital Artist
I could have written this myself. Right down to the fact that the 'only' is a daughter. (though I don't know the cause at this point).

People can be really insensitive, especially when it comes to kids. They never think that the parents of the 'only' might not be able to have more - or the people they're harassing to have one at all simply can't. Maybe they mean well, but it's insulting, and whether they intend it or not it's sort of a dig at you. That you're not good enough just the way your family is. It's bullshit, and I feel for ya.

I'm quite sure your family IS perfect the way it is. I was an only child. I'm happy and well-adjusted as an adult. I wouldn't change it for the world. Neither will your little girl.

More people need to come forward like this, and I'm glad you did. Infertility and miscarriage are nearly taboo topics in our society and it keeps a lot of women quiet and saddened by their experience when there's no reason why it should be this way.
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Renee-Niels's avatar
Renee-Niels|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm very sorry to hear that... And damn that pest of a woman for being so... Well, damn!
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PavelZakarovRomanov's avatar
PavelZakarovRomanov|Hobbyist General Artist
it hurts me, yet it's wonderful.
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LilTykeVrea's avatar
LilTykeVrea|Student General Artist
I don't know about you, but I haven't met many normal people. Do they live far away from me, or are they just myths? One of those life mysteries maybe.

Reading this, I have to say: In my eyes, there is nothing "wrong" with you. There is nothing about you that is "bad". Your infertility is simply a part of you. We all have things we don't mind telling others and things we dread coming up. In my eyes, you are... well, you're very beautiful. I know I haven't seen a picture of you or anything (I could try looking on your profile I guess), but I don't like going off of pictures or physical appearances to decide if a person is beautiful or not. Physical appearances are simply, "Are they attractive to ME?" Now, personality and inner self are much more important. And you are a very strong and inspiring woman.

I know I'm just one person and just a kid, but I hope you take my words to heart: Infertile or not, I think your an amazing person. I don't know if I could have held my tongue as well as you did. Or for that long!

As an 18 year old girl about to graduate from high school, you're definitely a woman that I can respect and hope to become as strong as.

I hope that your body lets you get some rest and I hope that the people you meet aren't as nosy as this woman.
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chris7clason's avatar
chris7clason|Professional Writer
This is a beautiful piece. I admire your writing as a piece of literature and art. I also admire the fact that it came from teh heart.
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Mikgeta's avatar
Mikgeta|Student Writer
This was a very interesting piece to read, congadulations on the DD!
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Alt-Doof's avatar
Oh My. I'd look at the person and say "Why do we need more? We have a daughter, and that's enough.. Now go get pregnant a million more times and leave me alone." or "We don't want more... My God.. One is enough..."
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anonymous's avatar
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