We Don’t Need No Education

August 30, 2013

For many people who have discovered that making a tiny human is going to be difficult, there are a TON of educational resources out there. This is hugely important as the majority of the population has no clue how reproduction really works. And even fewer understand how Assisted Reproductiove Technology (ART) really works (thanks, Octomom). At this point, organizations like Resolve can be invaluable to the newly labeled “infertile”. Books like Taking Charge of Your Fertility and Navigating the Land of IF are also enlightening. For some women just learning exactly when – or even whether – they ovulate makes all the difference. For others…they find themselves on the road to the fertility clinic and a crash course in the alphabet soup of the TTC (Trying to conceive) and ART world. It can be an isolating road trip, however, and many find their way online to connect with others via blogs, Twitter and Facebook.

There is a natural compulsion to seek out others who share your experience. The internet allows this to happen quickly and anonymously (if you so choose). Or perhaps you’re just not a “people person” or live in a remote area. In any case, whether in-person or online, I believe most men and women (well, mostly women) seek out support in some manner.

But what happens when you surround yourself with women and couples trying to get pregnant?

They do. Get pregnant, that is. Most of them anyway.

And if you are one of the minority who does not – even after years of trying – what do you do?

You now find yourself surrounded by women who are pregnant and/or parenting. Your support group is now the cause of your tears instead of the answer to them. No one member of the group is to blame, it’s just an overall feeling of salt in your wound.

But you’ve bonded with these people. They are your friends. You can’t abandon them. Alas, it’s no longer helping you to interact with them.

And so, you seek out more people who have not yet “resolved” their infertility conundrum (I’m still refusing to call it a journey despite the road trip analogy). Maybe you find some people hiding in the shadows (Thank you, Jay a.k.a. @the2weekwait, for being a Twitter pusher!). But more likely you find the n00bs.

Please don’t misunderstand. I have nothing against the newly diagnosed infertile crowd. I have helped to educate them over the years. But I don’t want to be an educator right now – I no longer have the energy for it. As one fellow blogger put it, “I don’t want to be the welcoming committee.”

I also don’t need to be educated. I’ve been seeing doctors and accumulating diagnoses (and head scratches) for years now. I’ve done my research. I know what treatments are best in my case. I am intimately acquainted with the inner workings (and failings) of my body. I know what next steps *should* be. Knowing them and being able to act on them are two entirely different things, however.

Library Stairs

Up or down, it doesn’t matter because you’ve already read all the books.

And so, when I look around and try to find the support I need… all I see are pregnant women and educators.

Where do you fit in when you no longer need to be educated but have not yet solved your infertility conundrum?

Where do you go for support when you, gulp, start to view your fellow infertiles as… fertile(ish)?

Where do you turn when you are a minority within a minority?

I wish I had an answer. I’m asking this question from an honest perspective and without pointing fingers at anyone or any organization. I hate the idea of any kind of Us vs. Them mentality.

But I can’t help but feel different. How can we come together as a minority in our…different-ness… without turning away from the larger group? And, just to come full circle with the Pink Floyd metaphor, we also don’t need another brick in the wall between Us and Them.

Talk about a conundrum.


I feel a little like one of Dr. Who’s traveling companions: “It’s bigger on the inside?!?” I’m asking a question that may not have an answer. Or a solution.

But I’m asking it anyway.


11 Responses to “We Don’t Need No Education”

  1. I’ve been looking for a Resolve support group out here, but no such luck. I feel you. I’m surrounded by babies.

  2. Arwen Rose Says:

    New follower here. Also pursuing surrogacy (one day!), due to my shittily formed body. I have no useful advice, I just wanted to say “Hi! Fellow minority here 🙂 “

    • Furrowed Fox Says:

      Hi! I hate welcoming people to this small little club of ours but its also nice to know we have company. Are you on Twitter?

      • Arwen Rose Says:

        Yeah I know the feeling. Defo not a noob, just a never had the chance to try due to being born with zero uterus. Boo. So get the minority thing. A bajillion percent.
        I am indeedy, @arwenrosemrkh

  3. I totally feel you. Like you, I am educated, I know what my issues are (mostly). I’ve been TTC for a long time, seeing a specialist for a short time (due to $$$ or lack thereof), and often time feel like an outsider. It sucks to be stuck in the middle of knowing what treatment you need, but sitting and watching newly diagnosed move on to treatments you can’t afford, educating others, only to be left behind, and not knowing where to turn.

    It sucks. And there isn’t really anywhere for us to go. And honestly, I hate it.

  4. KeAnne Says:

    Yeah. That’s a tough place to be. Also, not playing the Pain Olympics, but I think there are some diagnoses/treatment paths that sort of catapult you into another category, KWIM? It really reduces your ability to find at least a few of your people.

  5. I know how you feel. We were the last in our class to graduate from our Surrogacy class and we were two years behind many of our classmates.

    We stayed with our core group and ended up having a big celebration when we finally made it from Intended Parents to Parents.

  6. Dipitie Says:

    I’ve definitely thought about this ad nauseum, and posted about it too. I don’t know. Apparently I turn to coffee enemas.

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