Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Fallout (note that there is now Part 2 on here from hubby)

As some of you know, I was featured in an article a few weeks ago about Surviving the Holidays as an Infertile. It was first posted on AOL's Parentdish site and then it debuted on AOL's home page. I had no idea of the firestorm heading my way.

More than 300 people commented on the piece, most of whom, said words of support and empathy, telling their own infertility horror stories. However, there were also some who felt that I was selfish for wanting my own child and not wanting to see pics of my friends' kids on Christmas cards (which I meant in a very tongue-in-cheek manner, unfortunately it didn't translate well in print), and that I should adopt (which is mentioned in the piece, but clearly people didn't read that far into the article and made hasty accusations).

I honestly couldn't believe how many people were downright cruel in their commentaries. God love my boss's daughter who wrote a beautiful retort to their slams, and my best friend, who commented no less than six times in my defense (and that of other infertiles who feel similarly).

It just goes to show that unless you've been in our shoes, or doctor's stirrups, as the case may be, please, please, please don't judge us.

I'm also guessing that most of the Negative Nellies are also proud mamas who never had to struggle to get pregnant.

I've said time and time again that a person's choice to become a parent, no matter how that blessed event occurs, is a personal decision, and unless you're Octomom, people should refrain from judging and pushing their own views. I'm all for Freedom of Speech and being able to voice your opinions, but when you're castigating someone you don't know (and infertile couples, in general) for simply wanting a child, you've crossed a line.

Stay tough, trying mommies! I know I am!


Hey everyone - Jack Bauer here.

It has been an interesting couple of weeks with Lu being picked up by AOL
and now by Cafe Mom on her postings about not getting Christmas Cards that
only have kids on them. I admit, some of the comments have made me a
little bit frustrated because people are making some big assumptions about
my wife and me on the basis of one posting. What it has reinforced, is my
belief in the prying and judgmental nature of some people. I guess as a
guy, you don't have to constantly listen to other men droning on endlessly
about their kids like women do. Or, when I get asked if I have children
and I say, no, most men won't ask follow up questions.

To be honest with you - even before we had these challenges of infertility,
I didn't like Christmas Cards with just the kids on them. I love my
friends and I enjoy their children - but my friendship is with the parents,
not the kids. I really want to see pictures of my friends and how they
have changed over the years. Want to include your kids? Great! But, our
relationship is with the adults, not the child. Family pictures are
wonderful and there is no painful feelings at seeing those pictures. But
what irks me is the people subsuming their identity to being "blah blah's
mom". I guess that is ok for some folks, but I just don't understand it.

The thing that just floored me is the amount of judgement that these people
were passing. People assuming that this is the focal point of our life,
people criticizing us for not adopting (hello, read the article and you
will see we are), and people criticizing us for pursuing an international

I don't know folks, maybe it is just me, but I don't feel like I can judge
anyone to the extent that these people felt was within their right. Lu was
trying to provide an outlet for infertiles to realize that someone was on
their side and she gets attacked and called things like selfish, bitter and
a whiner. This is directed at the woman who volunteers to help kids and adults with special needs and could rattle off the names, ages and favorite colors of approximately 40 of her friends kids? Little secret - old Jack here could probably only remember about 3 of the kids
names :)

Going into this holiday season, I think the best thing that we could all
try to do is to be a little less judgmental of people and try to empathize
a little bit more with the challenges that each person has in life.
Happy Holidays to everyone.


  1. Good grief. Fertiles really don't get it.

  2. I will gladly come to your defense and that of mommies-in-waiting anyday. I was appalled by the cruelty and insensitivity of some of the comments! I'm proud of you for continuing to focus on the good fight and the comfort you have no doubt provided to others through a giggle or shared tear. Love you!!

  3. Ugh, I'm so sorry that people were cruel. I didn't read any of the comments and wish I would have now - so that I could stick up for those of us dealing with infertility. Unless you have been there you CANNOT understand what it feels like. They should be ashamed of themselves for judging. Adoption is not a simple fix, and not a cheap fix either. I would say that until they have grieved the children they will never have they shouldn't assume anything...
    Sorry for the rant, it just gets under my skin SO much! I'm so glad you did the article, thank you again!

  4. P.S. I posted one more comment on there today -- I just couldn't help myself!!!

  5. I'm really glad that you posted the article. I never read the comments, but it was comfort to me knowing that someone else had the same feeling about the picture cards.

  6. It astounds me that people could be so cruel about a topic like this. I would never ever say anything negatively to anyone about a topic I don't understand or know anything about. Kudos to you for being honest and expressing complex and difficult emotions in such an articulate way. Negative, ignorant people aside, I'm sure you educated a few people and that's what counts.

  7. The most important thing is that the people who love you totally get where you're coming from. So, try not to sweat the anonymous jerks who post comments. They don't matter. And, hey, at least your article was provocative, right? At least you sparked a debate and got people thinking.

  8. Not that people who post cruel comments are typically careful readers, but the article left the word "only" out of the name of month - and it does make a difference. I could deal with pictures whole families - if I would actually get those - but as soon as there are kids, there are ONLY kids on the Christmas cards. Most maddening from those I know were blessed with their children after IVF. We WILL NOT ever do that.

  9. I am finding that there's just a lack of sensitivity (and sometimes goody-two-shoes attitude) with people who have children towards those who don't or cannot have children. One of the first Christmas cards I got was from my brother-in-law and his wife, with their new baby. Ironically, she complains about Christmas being a commercial holiday and yet buys expensive custom cards to showcase her family. She described Christmas with an expletive on Facebook. Just wait until you're asked about Santa Clause, bitch! The couple next door to us is expected to have her baby the day after Christmas. I reluctantly participated in her baby shower and also offered her a big batch of children's books that I had from when my dog was a therapy dog at the library and kids read to her. She responded to my offer saying she wanted them and I never heard anything again. I'm not torturing myself any longer. It's rude, selfish, and makes me think that many people who do have children should not be passing on those genes and personality traits to a new generation. I don't get it, I never will.

  10. What a horrible thing to have to deal with, when really you are just trying to educate those who aren't in the know what it is like to be infertile. Take care.

  11. Coming from an INFERTILE mom with two children...I don't think the issue here lies in the fact that you do not have kids of your lies in the reality of your infertility. At least that is how I FEEL as a mom of two children (from previous marriage) but now infertile and trying to have children with my husband (who has does not have children of his own). My Sister In Law is pregnant with her first and I have to say watching her go through her pregnancy and gloat over Ultrasound pics and constantly talk about pregnancy and her soon to be baby amidst my chemical IVF pregnancy loss...was probably one of the most heart wrenching experiences in my life so far. The holidays surrounded by children and families IS JUST HARD and I have my OWN KIDS! It's the infertile struggle and also the lack of consideration that people have when it comes to infertility!
    Keep doing your good work! I love your writing and your blog! We want to hear what it is real and how you feel!
    You can follow my blog at
    I am a small town Oklahoma girl, that being said, exposing my IVF Journey and infertility has caused some looks awkwardness amongst other moms in the grocery checkout lane but I have certainly received more love than taboo rejection. It's amazing what a person's struggle can do to others who are afraid to get out of their comfort zone and show support of something they are uneducated about!

  12. Kudos to you for the article, and for this post!!

    I wanted to slap some of those people who posted rude comments on your feature article!

  13. wow. I am always so shocked by all the ignorant comments that are floating around out there online and IRL. You are very brave for putting yourself out there. I really beleive that the res tof the world believes some over simplified version of how IF, ART, and adoption works and the emotional, physical, and financial ramifications. It is so sad. Thank you for trying to further our cause and change this misperceptions.
    I recently wrote in to the NY Post b/c I was outraged by an article they had printed. You can see my post and letter here:

    best of luck to you.....

  14. I started reading some of the comments but after reading three on the first page criticising you for wanting to populate the earth I nearly rammed my fist through the screen and thought I would give up! Massive kudos for you for sharing your story. Those that don't understand will never understand and most likely are the type of parents who we are a) paying welfare for or b) giving away our spare change on the street. Ok massive generalisation but only fair given they generalise about us all the time!!! Keep your chin up and Merry Xmas!

  15. Here's another example of how easily people judge others (and you may have seen this before, but if not...). Check out the post about ivf versus adoption and the linked article.

  16. Oh, here you are! How did I miss the memo that your site moved?

    Anyway, yeah. What a brouhaha. I have lost faith in both people's empathy and their reading abilities. Yikes. I remember reading your original post on your blog and finding it hysterical. I do think the article misrepresented what you were trying to say, and at the same time sapped all the humor from your presentation.

    I do think my favorite comment was the ingenue who suggested hyou try douching before sex so the sperm can reach the egg. Biology genius right there.