Ever since I called my RE’s office to set up the series of appointments to lead up to the final transfer, it’s been on my mind a lot.
Like, a lot. As in a truly ridiculous amount.
I think a big part of it is the unknown aspect to the thing. I’m truly privileged in the infertility world with my kids and can be happy whatever way life takes me, but the not-knowing part bothers me. The other part that tends to get under my skin is that – other than showing up and taking medications as ordered – I have no real control over the outcome.
On the spectrum between the laid-back people and the iron-fisted control people, I am definitely a control freak. Some of this stems from anxiety (as in the diagnosed type). My brain has a not-so-marvelous tendency towards getting stuck and panic attacks. I like predictability, stability, and known quantities – and privilege has allowed me some insulation from the unpredictability of life in other areas. This, I suspect, is why infertility in general has messed with my sense of self so much.
Earlier this week, I ran across an article about socioeconomic privilege entitled The Radical Moral Implications of Luck in Human Life: Acknowledging the role of luck is the secular equivalent of a religious awakening. Author David Roberts states: “It’s not difficult to see why many people take offense when reminded of their luck, especially those who have received the most. Allowing for luck can dent our self-conception. It can diminish our sense of control. It opens up all kinds of uncomfortable questions about obligations to other, less fortunate people.”
Infertility is nothing if not one giant game of luck. Diagnoses, lack of diagnoses, economic status to pursue treatment or adoption, one partner or both, what doctors/labs one has access to, the quality/growth of embryos, whether or not those embryos implant, miscarriages, emotional resources – none of these are really factors individuals have control over. Heck, when pursuing treatment, I know I don’t even have control over when I have to be at the clinic during cycles.
Acknowledging how little control I really have over my life circumstances – and how much good luck has played a role – is a bit unnerving. Roberts points out in his article that “I get why people bridle at this point. They want credit for their achievements and for their better qualities. As Varney said, it can be insulting to be told that one’s success is in large part a lucky roll of the dice.”
It feels like – given the sums of money, emotion, and time that are in play during treatment – the outcome should be more predictable. That anyone who rolls the dice (or wants to roll the dice) at anything related to infertility should be rewarded commensurately.
This post is a part of Microblog Mondays. If you want to read more, head on over to Stirrup Queens. Thanks to Mel for originating and hosting.