I am protesting the latest pregnancy announced last week by the reality show stars, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.
At the risk of sounding like a sore loser, their pregnancy makes me angry. I am not proud of this statement, but the fact that they are expecting their 20th child makes me feel like a teenager whose prom date stood her up for another girl.
I don’t know much about the Duggars, but from what I’ve managed to surmise, they seem to be nice people.
Their children seem to be polite, educated individuals who will most likely grow up to be contributing members of our society. And they’re financially stable – the children aren’t starving or neglected, and they have a home big enough to accommodate such a large family.
There are those of us who might question their ability give enough attention to each individual child, or debate whether or not it’s fair that the older siblings play such a parental role in their younger siblings’ lives. But for the most part, the way they live as a family seems no more or less destructive than most other families.
So why does it make me angry that the Duggar matriarch is pregnant again? Oh wait, maybe it’s this quote taken from cbsnews.com:
“The 45-year-old mom told the ‘Today’ show she was surprised to discover she was expecting at her age. ‘I was not thinking that God would give us another one, and we are just so grateful.'”
They’ve openly stated that they leave their family planning to God. Well, why isn’t God handing out babies to me? Why do they get 20 babies and I only get one baby?
Having suffered through infertility, I had to leave my family planning up to God, as well as my reproductive endocrinologist, skilled surgeons, and many genetic labs and geneticists across the country. And even with all of those hands working on my and my husband’s situation, we have come up emptyhanded in our quest to expand our family.
Am I really mad at the Duggars? Probably not. If I didn’t suffer from endometriosis and have a genetic defect with the majority of my eggs, I just might have popped out 24 kids and had my very own reality show.
Does this mean I’m mad at God? No. Because unlike the Duggars, I don’t think God “gives” people children. If he gave people children, that would have to mean that he would also purposely not give people children, or take them away. And that’s not the God I believe in.
So who am I angry at?
I think I’m just angry at my situation. It sucks that I’ve had four miscarriages and had over 30 embryos tested, all genetically unviable. It sucks that I cannot have any more biological children. It sucks that my husband and I have had a long, exhausting journey with infertility. It sucks that my daughter will never have a sibling. And it sucks that I have no one to blame.
When I hear the Duggars are expecting their 20th child, and I’m reminded of my own inability to have more children, I feel like protesting the fertile inequality. I have the urge to make an “Occupy Uterus” sign and set up camp. (And honestly, if I thought that setting up a tent outside their compound would land me a baby, I’d probably do it.) But it won’t. And I know that on some level, we all just need to vent sometimes about how life is hard and sometimes unfair.
The real truth is that there are a lot more people in the world who have MUCH more of a right to whine about how unfair their life is.
I have a beautiful daughter, who somehow made it into our lives, despite all of our infertility issues. I have a supportive husband, who listens to me whine without complaint. I have a roof over my head, and besides the aching desire to have more children, not another complaint in the world. I am pretty lucky, all things considered.
And even if I could trade lives with Michelle Duggar, and have the mystical power of being able to produce babies with the blink of an eye, I wouldn’t. I have to have faith that I am exactly where and who I need to be at this moment.