Terry Gross, Infertility and Choice
I just started listening to Earwolf’s podcast, The Longest Shortest Time. When they state they are a parenting podcast for everyone, they literally mean everyone, even people who aren’t parenting. Which makes sense because we all have opinions or thoughts or ideas to contribute to conversations.
A case in point: I started with the April 20th episode featuring an interview with Terry Gross from NPR. She does not have kids by choice, and she takes the episode to explain how she came to that decision, why she stuck to that decision, and whether she’d make that same decision again. It was the most interesting thing I listened to all week.
(By the way, you can download and subscribe to the podcast, as I did, or you can listen to the episode online as well as read the transcript if you scroll down the page and click on podcast transcript.)
The thought that gave me chills (and made me wish my drive to camp pick up was a little bit longer so I could have marinated on this a bit longer):
I think the main thing we want as women is we want the choice. And the choice only has meaning if there is a choice. It’s great to be a parent when you’re not forced to be – when society isn’t demanding it, when they’re not making it an obligation. And in order to no longer be an obligation, I think some people had to choose to not have children and rewrite the rules a little bit.
Someone had to take the other option — to not have kids — to make the choice to have kids truly a choice. I was thinking about it in terms of infertility. We need people to choose all the options in order for there to truly be options. We need people willing to build their families through treatments, donor gametes, surrogacy, or adoption in order to really be making a choice vs. fulfilling an obligation. We need people to choose to resolve their infertility by being child-free after infertility. Again, without some people choosing that option, the people who don’t choose that option aren’t really making a choice. Does that make sense?
So, thank you, to everyone who has made every choice that has allowed me to also get to make a choice. We don’t need to choose the same thing, but we do need to support each other’s choices because other people’s choices directly impact whether or not we have a choice.