has the infertility epidemic made unwanted pregnacy a thing of shame??

Sal - posted on 05/24/2012 ( 21 moms have responded )

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as some of you know i am preg with my no 4, it is not planned (but none of mine are) and i have found my self in an unusual position (or it would seen unusual) to be a married 30+ (38) year old women with an unplanned baby...while many of my peers are struggling with intertility and mapping cycles, have their hubbies on speed dial to get home asap when the fertility is at the peak, trying ivf, have months if not years of heart break trying to get preg it seems i just get a bit close passing hubby in the hall way to hubby and i'm knocked up again!!! i am psycing my self up for the congratulation and the you are so lucky's, and yes i know i am lucky to fall so easily but facing an unwanted pregnacy is a daunting prospect, there are only 3 real outcomes and only 2 of them you have a say in, i have the baby (what we have decided, we will love bub and it will be a special part of our family and i'm sure in years to come we couldn;t imagine life anyother way), even if we then choose the adoption route (which we wont) it is a HUGE impact and effect on myself my hubby and my other children, we terminate the pregnacy, which i can fully understand someone in my position considering, or i lose the baby thats it.....
it just seems to me that there is so much emphisis on infertility that i feel the understanding for someone in my position is limited...
im not looking for sympathy, just find it curious that i almost as though i should be ashamed for not being delighted (yet) by this little surprise...

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Mary - posted on 05/26/2012

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Sal, I think the feelings you are describing and experiencing are not really unique to the infertility/unplanned pregnancy situation. It's actually fairly typical of the awkwardness that arises in any situation where one person is struggling to attain or achieve something, while another does so with ease.

For example, say a co-worker is busting his ass because they want to get promoted. You are just going about your work, content with your current job, and yet when an opening becomes available, you are the one promoted. It's only natural that you may be a bit awkward and uncomfortable around that colleague that you knew was actively trying for the promotion that fell into your lap. You'd also most likely feel uncomfortable, and even a little guilty expressing any doubts or concerns you might have about your new responsibilities, since that might make you appear ungrateful, or not appropriately appreciative of your good fortune. Not to mention, that colleague may feel a bit of resentment and envy towards you for effortlessly achieving something that they were consciously working towards.

In both situations, it's not so much you that this resentment is aimed at, but rather the random "unfairness" of the universe. It's not so much that infertile friend thinks that you don't "deserve" to be pregnant, but rather it just seems to add to their frustration that they still aren't.

Stifler's - posted on 05/26/2012

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I think an unwanted pregnancy was always a thing of shame. Not that I agree with this mindset. Especially out of wedlock or having your 4th kid under 4 and being unemployed etc. Contraception fails. There will always be rude people saying you should have abstained forever if you didn't want anymore kids etc. but I see where you're coming from that it's made people who get pregnant and have no desire to be ashamed BECAUSE someone else is wanting what they have (and they don't want it) have rather than judging them for being up the duff. I am on the pill and have 2 kids under 2 and my aunty is desperately trying and so are my husbands cousin + partners. I can imagine this scenario if I were to fall pregnant on the pill of me not wanting the baby and feeling guilty that they were trying so hard but could'n't have a baby.

Also I agree with Jen is there really an infertility crisis or are people trying for a baby later than in previous decades to discover their fertility has decreased from when they were 20?

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Erin - posted on 06/06/2012

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I have the issue with my sister she thinks that I should be bubbly and happy to be having a fourth baby (was on birth control and thinking about suing) just because she has had a perfect life in perfect order and has had some medical issues and now has a baby girl. i understand that some people just aren't blessed with children or many children like they want but I don't think that gives them any right to judge us moms who have more than we bargained for and are just feeling dread. We of course love our kids but I think moms who can't understand our feelings ought not say a thing.

Jenny - posted on 05/28/2012

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It's kinda like staying in a bad marrige because all your other friends are single and desperate for a man. You feel guilty for having the marrige, and you feel guilty for ending it if you do end it, but at least if you end it you get yourself out of a life-long bad situation.

Sal - posted on 05/28/2012

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But it is very private unless you choose otherwise a pregna y and a baby are very out there

Stifler's - posted on 05/28/2012

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I think people would feel even guiltier for having an abortion when their friends are all trying to get pregnant.

Jenny - posted on 05/28/2012

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I think about this on and of, about unwanted pregnancies and how they are not accepted.

Isn't it silly that we see teenagers so stupid for getting pregnant and them not being ready for a baby, when this can happen to anyone at any age? Its not about not knowing about protection and using it. It's not about waiting for the right time and being wise. Its about the truth and reality that humans want sex without having a baby everytime and the only honest way to not get this result is to not have sex in the first place!
Why can't there be a second equally accepted option? If you fall pregnant and you don't want the baby it should be okay to get rid of it without feeling guilty. I know people will disagree with this whole heartedly, but for me, whenever I think of these sad situations where women are stuck with no choice, deep in my heart I think, why couldnt it just be as simple as, if you don't want the baby you don't have to have it?
Everything else in life is becoming acceptable, but this. This one thing that is so life-altering, a consequence that you have to deal with for the rest of your life. Why does it have to be this way? Why can't we live in a world where all living babies are ones that were wanted?
It's not about being more careful, its about having a choice, and really we still don't have one.

To answer your question "has the infertility epidemic made unwanted pregnacy a thing of shame??" Maybe a little, but it was always a thing of shame. I wish it wasn't that way, I wish there were no such thing as unwanted pregnancy. You shouldn't have to go through pregnancy if you don't want to.
That would then stop the whole having to tiptoe around anyone with infertility issues (in cases where the pregnancy is not too far along for abortion) because you wouldn't be preganant wishing you weren't.
But having just said that, even if the pregnancy is wanted, you would still feel guilty around your infertile freinds :/

Janice - posted on 05/28/2012

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When I would start complaining about pregnancy symptoms with my 1st I would sometimes get "the look" and I would just say "Excuse me but I have been waiting 3 f'ing years to complain about this pregnancy!" ;D

Stifler's - posted on 05/27/2012

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I have found that my husbands cousins wife makes these snide comments when I start getting pissed off with my kids and post something on Facebook she'll be like AT LEAST YOU HAVE KIDS! I think that I understand where shes coming from but I reserve the right to whinge. It's not personally my fault that infertility exists.

Mary - posted on 05/27/2012

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Sal, you want to know something funny? Women who have been infertile and then actually do get pregnant go through a similar thing.

I will never forget when a friend of mine who had trouble conceiving finally did get pregnant and have a baby. I was still unsuccessful in my attempts to get pregnant when her daughter was about 3 months old, and she said to me, "When you do finally get pregnant, just know that you can whine to me all you want and need to about how difficult life with an infant is!" Apparently, whenever she expressed anything even remotely negative about the hardships of caring for a baby, she was constantly (and a bit snidely) reminded of how much she had wanted and worked to get that baby. The implication being that since she actively pursued this child, she shouldn't be complaining about the sleepless nights, sore boobs, or the misery of colic.

I thought that was a bit ridiculous, but after I finally had my own child, I understood exactly what she meant. I did clearly get the impression from some that my prior infertility meant that I somehow wasn't "allowed" to complain in the same way other new mothers did, since it would almost make me seem ungrateful for getting what I wanted.

People really can be unbelievably nit-picky and petty at times, and you just have to ignore those who are that judgmental. Of course you are allowed to have whatever conflicting emotions this pregnancy has brought about in you. You do not need to feel guilty about not being 100% ecstatic about this unexpected surprise. A true friend will understand that, even through their own envy at you situation.

Sal - posted on 05/27/2012

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Laura I said I wasn't looking for sympathy but found it odd that I am ment to smile and count my blessings yet an infertile lady has to be tip toed around and it's all so sad for her 8; I were to put the same tone to her that you used on me I'd be hung out to dry... Can you image the out cry if I told a 45 year old on Ivf that she should just suck it up if she hadn't been too busy travling and building her career she could of had kids ready and not expect some dr to ay god to her old eggs, I will thankyou how ever you have given a perfect. Example of the attitude I was talking about... And yes I know how babies are made it is just avoiding them o have probs with I have 2 pill babies 1 bf baby this one is a forgotten condom I'm !38 a c over weight I have all the ticks agaist me I'm just a super womb

Tracey - posted on 05/27/2012

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I think we see infertility as a medical problem / condition now and expect answers and a cure whereas years ago it was a case of oh dear never mind keep trying.

Jodi - posted on 05/26/2012

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" Forgive me if I am not sympathetic, but really-we know what causes pregnancy these days so there are precautions you could have taken."



Seriously? You DO know that those precautions have a failure rate, right? Ugh.



That was really rude.

Laura - posted on 05/26/2012

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If you're not delighted, just don't talk about it. Forgive me if I am not sympathetic, but really-we know what causes pregnancy these days so there are precautions you could have taken. Accept this as a blessing, accept congratulations graciously and suck it up.

Tracey - posted on 05/26/2012

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If any shame is felt it is only by the woman. Most men I know take the attitude that they have super sperm that can bypass any form of contraception and impregnate at will, which somehow makes them superior alpha males.

My friend with fertility problems could resent me getting pregnant while on the pill, I could equally resent that they have new cars and take 3 foreign holidays a year.

Janice - posted on 05/25/2012

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I think unplanned pregnancy out of wedlock has always caused shame. I think the way we view unplanned pregnancy within marriage has changed a little bit. Just think terminology we tend to use- a teenager has an "unplanned pregnancy" but a married couple has a "surprise pregnancy." They are the same thing but traditionally it wasn't viewed that way.

Now that more women are waiting to have children and infertility rates have risen what used to be considered a something happy is now more likely to be perceived negatively.

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I don't know if the infertility 'crisis' has caused shame on unwanted pregnanies. Historically, all unplanned pregnancies carry an element of shame.

What I challenge is this infertilitiy crisis. If we're doing it later, the body is goign to have problems. I

Janice - posted on 05/25/2012

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It took 3 years to conceive my daughter and during that time I felt so alone. Many women in my family have often said "he just looks at me the right way ;)" When she was a baby I joked that I wanted my next baby to be an accident but I honestly assumed it would always be a bit of a try. And my hubby and I decided to space our children a minimum of 3 years apart due to financial issues.
But then while I was busy student teaching and grieving over my aunts passing I got too busy to remember the pill and Bam I was pregnant. I was still nursing too, but only before bed time. I was sooooo depressed my entire pregnancy. I was supposed to graduate and get a job so we could finally buy a home. But hubby and I knew we couldn't afford 2 in daycare and the job market is so tight that finding a job while pregnant seemed impossible. People would congratulate me and I did not feel happy in any way. Especially when we found out it was a boy people would say "how wonderful, one of each" and in my head I would think "Yeah, fuckin' great!" It was a long miserable pregnancy. I really didn't get excited until a few weeks before his birth.

I did feel ashamed for not being excited, especially because I did go through infertility in the past. I think its okay not to feel excited about your surprise. Just because others are striving for a pregnancy doesn't mean you are required to be ecstatic by your surprise pregnancy.
I love my son! But there are still days now when I look at him and think "you came too soon" and he is almost 6 months old.

Kimberly - posted on 05/25/2012

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I am in the same boat at the moment of having an unwanted and unplanned pregnancy, I fell when I was on the pill and I has already decieded that I only wanted one child. This is very hard for me and as much as I understand that people would give anything to have a baby, it isnt something I wanted. I am getting used to the idea but there are still days that I cry about it and I'm almost half way, I feel horrible for feeling this way. I do have friends that are having alot of trouble so I made the decision to tell them in private and I'm not flaunting it in there faces by having heaps of stuff all over facebook. They are all happy for me but I still know what it felt like when I wanted our first and it was everyone else around me was pregnant and I wasnt.

Amanda - posted on 05/25/2012

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My daughter was an unwanted (or unplanned) pregnancy. My son was only 8 months old when I fell pregnant, I was still breastfeeding 5 times a day, no periods and I was on the pill.

To top it off we had decided that we only wanted one and by the time I found out I was 18 weeks and 5 days pregnant. I was devastated. We went through with the pregnancy but at the time it was the worst thing that could ever have happened. I never came to terms with being pregnant with her and I think I finally accepted it a few days before I went into labor at 39 weeks and 3 days.
It makes it hard when people around you are excited about your news when it's the last thing you want to be celebrating.

My little angel turns 3 in September and she has made our family complete. I hate myself for not wanting her and it breaks my heart every time I look at her beautiful little face. As soon as she was born I couldn't imagine not having her.

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