Tuesday, October 8, 2013

As Soon As I Adopt, I WILL NOT Get Pregnant

This is none of the posts I said I was working on.  Instead of those, I decided to do this PSA!  You see, I have already heard this uncountable times, so now I am going to publicly ask that you please don't say:

As soon as you adopt, you'll get pregnant.  (Or any variation thereof.)

This is bothersome, hurtful and actually offensive in so many ways, but I totally get why people might not think of these things, which is why I'm just going to lay it out here and share them and hope I never ever ever hear it again (unlikely).  Also, I hope no other prospective adoptive parents ever hears it again (also unlikely).  Do your part.  Spread the word.  Use your librarianly shushing technique if you hear people about to say it, or if someone says it about me to you.  Please.

If you've already said this to me, or someone else, don't stress out.  I do know you didn't mean it the way I felt it.  It didn't make me angry at you.  In fact I know you likely said it out of care and a desire to provide comfort. It doesn't though - it just hurts, and I want people to understand cause I have enough hurt, ya know?

Why this statement, in all its possible iterations, sucks (in no particular order):
  • It isn't true.  Statistically, about 5% of people who go through fertility treatments without success will get pregnant eventually on their own.  This number does not go up for those who decide to adopt.  It is the same regardless.  So, sure, it happens.  Rarely.  It is, though, just as likely to happen if we stop treatments and don't decide to adopt.
  • It feeds into the "if you just relax" myth, which is horrible.  If you just relax, your fucking cancer will go away, said NO ONE EVER because it makes no sense and is rude as shit.  If you just stop treating your cancer it will get all better, also said NO ONE EVER because it makes no sense and is rude as shit.  It's not my fault that I am unable to get pregnant because I can't "relax".  Something is broken.  My best chances at getting pregnant are through treatments, not through giving up treatments.
  • It implies that adoption is second best.  Once I am working on adopting a child, this will be the way I will be planning to build my family.   I will be excited and on a different journey than the one where I am trying to get pregnant.  Please, be excited with me.  Please don't make me think that you will consider my family to be not as good because of the way it was created.  An adopted baby will be my child.  It will be Ian's child.   We will love it, as much as if it had come from my vagina.  
  • I want my body back.  Getting my body back includes getting back on medication I miss, including birth control, that helps me with multiple non-fertility related health problems.  I don't want to get pregnant while on birth control pills, migraine meds, and anti-depressants, but thanks.  
  • It minimizes all the pain, all the cost, all the trauma, all the emotion that has gone into this process and our decision making thus far.   Guess what - I know you *wish* it were that easy for me to get pregnant.  It's not. 
I understand the desire to provide comfort and the frustration that comes from the lack of knowing how to provide comfort.   It's OK to not say anything, or to not know what to say.  It's OK to say you don't know what to say.  It's also OK if you have said this, or if you do say this.  I will forgive you in an instant, I will.

Try not to, though, OK?



  1. This is so well written. I have always thought that comment was offensive, and you express exactly why.

  2. I think I get this. I really hate the "just relax" bullshit people say. It's like when people are "trying" and have anxiety from wanting to get pregnant, or are doing proactive planner things to help their chances and people say that if you just "relax" and let it happen that's when it'll happen. As if you should give up trying all together and it'll make a difference. LIES. There's zero scientific evidence to show that even if you OBSESS about getting pregnant you're hurting your chances. Just as there is zero scientific evidence that once you decided to adopt you'll get pregnant... as if the "worrying about being pregnant" was your whole issue. Worrying does not cause infertility (ok maybe intense worrying leading to severe depression which could according to one study I read, but not just general worrying). People just think they know better. But when it's you (an intelligent, highly well-read lady who has spent so much time and energy investigating options and solutions) to have someone tell you that there's a better way you haven't tried (i.e "just relax!") and imply that they know better you really gotta wonder why that person is so dang dumb.

  3. I know it's different, but I used to get just relax and you will be able to breastfeed. If I could wouldn't I?
    I've heard family friend physicians also say the only thing you need to do to get pregnant is relax... what BS!
    Of course your adopted child will be your child, your baby, your family. Adoption is not second best. I agree with you.
    Hugs Sharon & Ian.

  4. It's so ridiculous that people would think that saying this would be some form of comfort. You're amazingly understanding to somehow empathise with the crazies who think that and say that.

    You know we love yas. And, by the way, I'm not sure where you are on your thoughts about the whole adoption process, but it's pretty freaking exciting, I reckon, that there is another path to motherhood that is there for you, and that is accessible to you both. I'm a little bit excited about it for you. :)

    1. OMG I just had someone to tell me, "Jeez Jo I read your blog sometimes and think relax!!" and it made me SO IRATE, I can't believe it. I don't even know why that made me so angry. And it's not even about something remotely as important as your stuff! I can't imagine how that would feel for you.

    2. I just saw that comment on your post, and I was irate for you, too! It's just not ever a helpful thing to tell someone, regardless.

      Anyhow, I'm excited too. We are attending a few workshops in the next weeks, then we are going into this last Frozen Embryo Transfer. When that doesn't work, we'll be full speed ahead on the adoption thing...

  5. Found your post from a repost by Magpie Librarian. Everyone I know seems to know someone or be related to someone who adopted and then got pregnant! I'm like "yeah yeah". It's indeed tiresome.

  6. I utterly agree that the "just relax" message is lunacy. I don't think anyone ever tried that one on me over my personal three-year journey, and I am glad, because they would be unconscious.
    Anyhoo. Did Dr. Tran talk with you about an embryo thaw with PGD? I hope so. PGD was like a sanity gift to me after repeated BFNs. I finally knew why.

    1. We talked quite a bit about PGD, and had planned to do it, but my embryos basically didn't make it to day 5. So, Dr. Tran, at that point, explained that PGD might or might not give us answers, but it wasn't likely to actually help us get pregnant, especially since we aren't interested in doing a bunch more cycles. So, we decided against going forward with it.

  7. For me, there were 2 problems with that sentiment.

    1. It seems to assume that becoming a mom via adoption is second-best, a consolation prize. Adoption may have come second for us in chronology, but it turned out to be first for our family-building story in an ordinal sense. What you said.

    2. It kept me from being in the present moment. Saying that discounted how I felt NOW, what I was doing NOW to form my family.

    It was great to meet you last week :-)

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