I enjoy reading Carolyn Hax's column in the Washington Post every day, but I really disagree with her advice to a letter writer today and wanted to share it here because I think it's a letter we can all relate to.
My husband and I have been trying to conceive for over two years. I feel like my life is in a holding pattern. We’ll be starting IVF soon. Already tried some other high-tech procedures. I can’t plan a vacation or commit to anything long-term outside of work because “soon I might be pregnant.”
After living my life like this for two years, I am getting really tired of it. We really want a child. I’m 35, so I don’t feel like we can take a break. Any advice? This stinks. Oh — also, almost all of my friends are currently expecting their second children. And my brother and sister-in-law gave their child the name we’d always wanted to name ours. How to move past this? Or through it? Or something?
Live your life, plan your vacations (refundably), set your priorities, make commitments. This is what people do when they’re not going through IVF, right? And women do get pregnant unexpectedly all the time — or, they suddenly become the parents of an orphaned relative, or they have other unforeseeables happen, like needing surgery. Trajectories change, and people adjust their calendars accordingly.
So please chuck your holding pattern, along with the defeatist, underdog thinking, and live fully as someone who doesn’t have a child. Like absolutely everyone else, you don’t until you do.
I feel that Carolyn's response to Infertile Myrtle completely ignores the financial and logistical realities of her situation. Maybe Carolyn is unaware of the multiple daily injections and frequent doctors' visits required for IVF, not to mention the cost. I think that, knowing that you are going to be facing several weeks of shooting up hormones (with various unpleasant side effects) and going to the doctor's office for monitoring multiple times per week, would be antithetical to planning vacations and making other commitments.
I think I get the gist of what she's trying to say--don't put life on hold, because you can't know what the future will bring--but I still think her advice fails to take into account what the letter writer actually has to deal with on a daily basis when she's going through an IVF cycle.