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It’s Totally Cool to be Baby Crazy*… If You’re Fertile

Do you know what it is totally cute to be?  Baby Crazy.  I mean, unless your uterus is an inhospitable environment to the low-quality embryos made out of your sub-par eggs.  Then it’s just sad.  And that — in the opinion of the average Internet commenter — is not actually Baby Craziness… it’s Baby Desperation.  I know, you think it’s just semantics but let me put it to you this way: Baby Crazy is Pinterest-worthy and full of squee.  Baby Desperate is kneeling in the frozen foods section and weeping bitterly by the Green Giant frozen peas because you got a call from your RE that your cycle failed.  Not that I ever did that.

I cried outside the food store, and I had purchased broccoli.

The Stir came up with a top ten list to let you know that after having two kids easily, how you know when you’re ready to pop out a third. (In case you were wondering how fertile people did this, it’s called sex.)  It looks very similar to a list an infertile woman might create called: A Day in My Life.  Items on the list include:

  • Crying over all the baby announcements and updates on your Facebook feed.
  • Daydreaming about things such as baby names or nursery colours.
  • Buying baby items for friends, and then wishing that you could keep them for yourself.

Sound familiar?

So you would think that the world should be able to relate to the emotional landscape of the average infertile person.  So why is it baby desperation — a situation that sounds akin to sweaty upper lips and body odor — if you’re infertile. (Even if you have a child!  Those experiencing secondary infertility or primary infertility a second time are also called baby desperate.)  But it’s cutesy baby crazy if you can conceive without issues?

My apologies to the author of the article if this is a situation she is grappling with, truly crying over Facebook announcements and struggling to know the right path to take.  But if that is the case, it could do a lot of good in this world to discuss it in that manner rather than clogging the Internet with jokes such as “You actually contemplate picking up a stray baby in the store and asking the mom how bad she REALLY wants her.”

Really, we can handle hearing someone’s hopes and fears stated in a heartfelt manner.

* And here is where we come to the asterisk in the title.  It’s actually never okay to call someone “baby crazy” or “baby desperate” or “baby hungry,” and unless you are using it in a tongue-in-cheek manner to turn language that other people use on its head, it makes me sad to hear someone use these terms on themselves.  There is nothing unhealthy in wanting to build your family or feeling deep sadness over a diagnosis (and the subsequent treatment) of infertility.

We would never call someone wearing glasses as “sight crazy” or someone who’d go so far as to utilize LASIK to correct their vision as “sight desperate.”  We don’t call people who wear hearing aids as “hearing crazy” or those who utilize cochlear implants as “hearing desperate.”  Both non-life threatening but certainly lifestyle-threatening conditions.  Like infertility.

And let’s not belittle mental illness while we’re at it too.

Stepping off my soap box and going back to watching Harry Potter 7, Part I… I mean, working.

22 comments

1 Mina { 11.28.12 at 8:44 am }

Too many dumb people become journalists.
And to think this person was paid for such drivel…

2 loribeth { 11.28.12 at 8:58 am }

EXCELLENT point, Mel!!

3 Chickenpig { 11.28.12 at 9:14 am }

Articles like this make me wish you were the infertile journalist of the World (our IJW) and that any time an article of this sort would pop up, the publisher would call you on the phone for your response immediately :)

When someone is desperate to have a child they are totally without hope. Those of us who are pursuing treatments and those of us who have made a decision to stop are not without hope. People who are desperate take pilgrimages to Lourdes or “adopt” a baby under questionable circumstances…and we pity those people not mock them. I do think that the state of total desperation looks a lot like insanity…and maybe it is a form of temporary insanity. What else would make a person take a baby out of a carriage and keep walking?

4 a { 11.28.12 at 9:34 am }

I guess this is why I get all my fluff from books and not magazines, newspapers, or websites. I get to control the content I’m reading, rather than coming across this kind of tiresome nonsense. I know some people find it amusing and cute, and think anyone who finds it annoying is just curmudgeonly, and I suppose writers enjoy getting to work and getting a paycheck. But I could live without these things…
Other articles I could live without:
5 tips to make your hair look like (Insert Celebrity Here) *tip # 1 should be: It never will. Get over it.
10 Exercises Guaranteed to Flatten Your Belly *unless you have genetics that determine that you will never have a flat belly (see: my sister who weighs 90-something lbs and still has a not-flat belly)
How to Keep Your Husband Interested *Um, he made a commitment too. It’s not all up to me.

So, what I’m saying is, I am NOBODY’s target audience. :)

5 Kristy { 11.28.12 at 10:23 am }

I never really thought of this! It’s so true.

6 Brid { 11.28.12 at 10:37 am }

Yes. It is so disturbing when these types of things go relatively unchecked. And we are certainly not alone. Perhaps, sadly, we now live in a world where journalism is produced by a mass of ‘freelance writers’ who care only about the anonymous word-count pay, than the issues they are writing about. Internet news has become an anti-knowledge machine. The problem with these pay-for-the-content companies is that they produce articles for no reason except to push them along to sites like LinkedIn or Yahoo, or whatever (not picking on those two sites for any other reason except that I am too tired to figure out any other examples…still early on the west coast!). It’s creating text simply for the sake of filling space… and, no real or useful knowledge comes from that.
Ps: if we’re sharing breakdowns, mine was in a bakery, and a result of seeing that the cake I had ordered for my best friend’s baby shower was hideous. After I stopped crying, I took it home and re-iced it.

7 lifeintheshwa { 11.28.12 at 10:39 am }

What is this sex thing you speak of? Been at this secondary infertility/recurring pregnancy loss stuff for 3.5 years!

8 k { 11.28.12 at 11:31 am }

What I don’t understand is how this stuff goes unchecked by an editor. These must be the same people who say that those of us with kids should just be happy with what we have and “hey you can have one of mine.” Screw them. God I’m so tired of feeling like a freaking crazy person because it HURTS that I haven’t been able to and likely never will give my twins a sibling. And no, having twins IS NOT THE SAME as having two kids separated by a couple of years. It isn’t. So don’t tell me it is. And don’t tell me I “got it all over with in one shot” either.

I apologize for ranting, I suppose I’m in the middle of my own personal meltdown over it all the past few days, compounded by a friend offering something that gave me hope then sort of dropping off the face of the planet, leaving me hanging. I wish I had the strength to fight this crap the way you do.

9 Queenie { 11.28.12 at 1:35 pm }

“Full of squee.” I like that.

10 It Is What It Is { 11.28.12 at 1:37 pm }

Katie Couric has been using the term “baby lust” when seeing a newborn or infant of one of her guests. It also makes me cringe.

Drivel.

11 Devon { 11.28.12 at 1:40 pm }

That article makes me want to vomit. I dont know what is worse the writer or the commenters. I could say so much more but I’m typing on my phone and that sucks.

12 Cristy { 11.28.12 at 2:35 pm }

Stuff like this makes me see red. Mainly because it’s a HUGE double standard. Same mentality as lumping the gender selection crew in with anyone who’s ever lived with IF/RPL.

I think what it comes down to is that people like this author KNOW they are full of it. They know this problem is actually more a reflection of them. Hence the reason they bash infertiles and RPLers. Because the reality is too horrific and is a stern reality check. Like any bully, they chose to pick on those who are down. Shame on them.

13 A Passage to Baby { 11.28.12 at 11:05 pm }

I knew I saved you for last (Iron Com) for a reason.
Bravo as usual. (Tomorrow I have to catch up on some of your others I have missed.)
ICLW#7

14 Jen { 11.29.12 at 6:51 am }

What bothers me more and more is the casual use of the word “crazy” applied to women in general for having emotions and opinions. I’m guilty of it myself and I’m consciously trying to shut down the habit. Wanting a baby very badly and being sad that the process is becoming difficult, expensive, and stressful? That is not “crazy”. That is not mental illness. That is human.

15 kateanon { 11.29.12 at 10:41 am }

I did get to a point where I felt desperate. I did flirt with the idea of running off with someone’s unattended child in the grocery store. This is not the stuff of light, fluffy articles, this is heartbreaking. It might sound good in some list, but I have unfriended dozens and hidden more on FB to avoid baby news. I have started to sob at the thought I’ll never pick baby names or nursery colors or know what it’s like to feel a baby kick, deliver a child, breastfeed, etc.

Just seems thoughtless on the part of the author.

16 jak { 11.29.12 at 2:06 pm }

can’t read the article because it will make me as mad as all the horseshart on “the bum.p”, but i LOVE your analogy to hearing implants or vision correction. right on.

17 Erin @ Will CarryOn { 11.29.12 at 2:45 pm }

Stories like this, or the recent on from major news station who reported couples as desperate for using Craigs.list for adoption make me cringe.

No need to step off your soap box, you nailed this.

18 Kat { 11.29.12 at 5:18 pm }

This is so true. And I feel like there’s a flip side too. Like for example a single women or a younger woman isn’t allowed to be cutesy baby crazy either. You’re only supported in really wanting a baby under very specific socially dictated approved circumstances.

19 Jamie { 11.30.12 at 12:24 am }

Ugh…Thank you for the appropriate response. I am curious and was not about to read the comments, did you happen to comment on this person’s site? Did you include a link to your blog for others to read your response? Maybe that is what posts like these need, the voice of women who suffer or have suffered with IF (depending on how you identify yourself)?

I am also a bit bothered by her comment about baby naming after great aunt Mildred who never had children. That is a slap in the face. I am also guessing that she is not fond of the name Mildred and making an implication that only lesser people cannot or do not have children. Could she have not picked a smarter name or a reference of endearment? Maybe dear great aunt Kate or sweet great aunt Emma?

20 Katie { 06.16.13 at 1:28 am }

Go ahead and email me. I am a 29 year old woman who does not want children. I know I am an aberration; but I truly do not want children. T me, your dreams of babies in little outfits are so strange to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Neice, but I would never have kids of my own.

21 Katie { 06.16.13 at 1:29 am }

So, some ladies anger at those who don’t care for children is unfounded.

22 Katie { 06.16.13 at 1:35 am }

So, all of you are bitching about how hard it is, and how noble you are to be procreating. Oh. My. God. Your egg got insimenated by a sperm! Omg! You are the most special person in the world! NO ONE else has ever gestated a fetus into a newborn person before!

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