Friday, June 29, 2012

IF Glasses

I have to tell you one weird thing about IF (infertility). It's like ever since I joined the club, I have an added layer to the lens of view towards the world. As if I owned an IF glasses. Why did I say I "joined" the club? Because some people have wondered (esp. in the beginning) why I used the term "infertile" for myself. One practical reason for that is that it helps me connect with other people who're in the same boat and they've been helping me SO MUCH in making me feel SANE

Anyway...ever since I have this kind of glasses, I've been subconsciously trying to seek parallel stories that would relate to the infertility part in myself. Another weird thing about IF is that I can't help but feel that every time I bring up this subject, some people would roll their eyes and say, "Poor dear. Here she goes again." But I can't help it. I own the IF glasses, after all. And I don't want to help it 'coz I've learnt so many things because I have these glasses anyway he he...

The other day I watched "At First Sight" and I was really into it, because I could see myself substituting the word "blind" with "infertile". OK, from this point onward, I'm gonna start telling you about the movie that may contain spoilers, so SPOILER ALERT. STOP READING if you haven't watched the movie and yet you want to go watch it later.

Here's the link to the movie anyway: At First Sight

What I didn't know about it before watching was that it was loosely based on a real person, but I love the fact that the movie did depict crucial point in the blind person's life well. Here's the link to the article concerning what the real person experienced: Almost A Sight for Sore Eyes.

OK, so now let me start talking about the movie. The movie tells the story about Virgil (Val Kilmer), a blind masseur who works in a resort/hotel and Amy (Mira Sorvino), who is having a holiday in the resort and then they end up falling in love with each other. 

Once they start thinking of a future together, though, Amy finds some articles about the latest treatment for the blind (by way of surgery) to help them regain sight. Amy tries to encourage Virgil to try out the surgery and at first Virgil is really upset and he just feels that she's not accepting him just as he is (because he's lived his life until then by accepting his condition). And he's sick and tired of being prodded and examined by different doctors during his childhood to help him "get better" - with no result.

Now I can JUST visualise a similar situation for the infertile. How many times have people tried to induce the infertile to be hopeful about the future? About "the latest treatment/procedure/herbal/doctor"? How many times have the infertile hear "It'll happen when it happens" or "You still have time" or "Miracle pregnancies do happen, you know. I know a couple who had a miracle pregnancy just after they (adopted, gave up, stopped trying anymore, tried Chinese herbals, etc.)"

But you see, I'm like Virgil. In the past I did want to have a child/children SO badly, but now I'm used to the thought that me and R2 = a complete family, just like Virgil who's used to managing life in a blind state. I know both conditions are different, but the point I'm trying to make is OUR (mine and R2's) state of mind. We've moved on from that road. Sometimes I regretted telling people that we did want children so badly at one point in time 'coz then it's hard for THEM to stop visualising us with kids.

A few months ago my MIL said in passing about this neighbour couple who did get a miracle pregnancy. And a few weeks ago my own Mom said in passing about another couple who did get the same miracle pregnancy. I think because in life, there are more pregnancies happening than non-pregnancies, it is EASIER for people to believe that "it'll happen". And I've heard some strangers say to me, "It'll happen when it happens."

What they don't understand is that after accepting life without children, we feel that our life isn't lacking anymore in that department. So whenever they infuse us with stories about miracle pregnancies, nowadays instead of feeling encouraged, I personally feel like they're telling us that our marriage is lacking something. I guess that's a dichotomy in the life of an infertile like myself (who once felt that way herself - that there was a hole in our lives due to the lack of children), but I know I'm not the only one who feels that way. And don't get me wrong. I KNOW they all mean well, esp. for those who knew that we did want kids so much at one point - just like Amy who only tries her best to help Virgil have a chance to see the world.

But like Virgil who's been prodded and examined during his childhood by various doctors, we don't want to go through all the disappointment that we went through month after month after month when we were trying to have a baby, because it took a hell of a journey to get to the point where we are now: to have peace with what we don't have and to believe that me + R2 = a complete family

For those who have kids, try to erase your kids from your lives and try to think of you and your hubby as a complete family. Can you view yourselves as a complete family without your kids?

I know it's a crazy thing to ask for and I can hear some people protesting already by saying, "But you've never had kids. You wouldn't know how it feels like." Yes, that's true, but you've experienced all the joys and lovely memories with your kids, whereas I experienced (at least when we were trying) the deaths of the dream of having a kid, of being able to hold him/her in my arms and I had to bury that dream over and over and over again. 

But anyway, the point of the exercise is to try to make you understand that we're IF survivors here and that the road to accepting that we're a complete family is not an easy one. And that you should CELEBRATE this with us instead!!! :-D :-D :-D

P.S. I can only speak from my own experience, but I know some people who've told me directly about a similar case - of how they just want people to stop infusing hope because they've surrendered to life without kids. And that's the awareness I'd like to raise here in this post.


  1. Sounds to me like your at peace and that is a good thing. As long as you and R2 are happy that is most that counts.

    1. THANKS, Michelle! Yep...that's what counts most. :-)

  2. to have peace with what we don't have and to believe that me + R2 = a complete family.
    It's good to hear you say that. You're such a positive, optimistic person. You've been on quite a journey together by the sounds of it, and do you know what I think, some people never find what you and R2 have - true love. That's definitely something to celebrate.

    1. THANKS, Nikki! :-) You're SO right about counting true love, as well. Let's celebrateeeee! :-D

  3. Amel, as you know I have children, and now that I have them I certainly wouldn't want to go back to a life without them. Having said that, though, I don't for a minute believe that a married couple needs children in order to complete their life, and had we not been able to have children I would like to think we'd still be very happy loving each other. Embrace your happiness as a soulmate couple, Amel - not every husband and wife are able to find that kind of love, children or no children.

    1. Katriina, that's what I've been trying to convince people about: that we're happy and complete as a family now. But still people think that it's necessary for them to infuse hope to us because in the past we told them we wanted to have kids. They don't know how far we've moved on from that point in time.