At breakfast Saturday morning you tried to give my shy 3 year old daughter more ideas of what she should ask you to bring for Christmas. You suggested, “How about a baby brother or sister?”
Oh yeah, sure Santa. Let me go right out back to the fertility tree and pick one of those off for her. Wait, winter came early to my neck of fertility woods and blew all the leaves off, so there is absolutely nothing left. This little girl you saw on your lap was our absolute last shot, our miracle baby conceived after three attempts at IVF. In fact, I’ll never know when she was actually conceived because she was once a frozen embryo. Why don’t you read this and see for yourself the hell I endured for the better part of a year.
Since the fertility tree is empty, maybe instead you think we’ll walk over to its neighbor the money tree and pick off $20,000 or more for an adoption or donor egg. No, that’s not going to happen either. I have much better uses for that kind of money, like the two children I already have. Have you checked out the projected cost of college tuition in ten years when her older brother graduates high school? (By the way, in case you are wondering, he was an IVF baby as well.) My husband and I would also like to retire someday. I see by your white hair you are probably collecting some Social Security but chances are I won’t be able to. As a result, we have to save.
Because you see Santa, love is infinite but money is not. So we stopped at two and we’re not looking back.
Another thing Santa is even if the balance of my bank account contained a few more digits or if I could deliver babies with the ease of Amazon Prime, I am way too old for newborns. It might not look this way because I regularly get carded at Binny’s and Jewel but I am over 40 now. Lately I have experienced a couple of health scares. I am on a six month recall with more -ologists than I would care to be. I’d like to be around to see my children grow up. Unlike my favorite Oasis song from college, you and I aren’t going to live forever. Plus I like being able to sleep through the night. I’m certainly not giving that up again.
Santa, I realize from your vantage point sitting in this banquet room comprised of large round tables set for eight that unlike most of the other families who came to see you for breakfast our little family of four fills only half of the table. Those other families have 3, 4 or even 5 children. I know that is common around here, like the shopper next to me at Mariano’s today who was ordering six pounds of steak for his five kids. Big families might be great for them, but I know it’s not right for me. I want you to understand that both are totally okay. You don’t have the right to opine on the optimal family size for any of your visitors. So don’t.
Even worse is the fact you said this to my daughter. Do you think by giving her the idea I will cave once she asks me a million times? However we’re not talking about a box of Froot Loops in the cereal aisle. I don’t need one more thing to say “no” to. I already say “no” to her at least 30 times in any given day. It’s bad enough she’s not going to get the puppy she already asked you for Christmas. That alone will be a tough lesson for her. Three is way too young to learn about the birds and bees let alone the fact her mommy had no birds and bees.
I know you probably meant well Santa but you really need to rethink your idea of a good conversation starter. Granted, it wasn’t like you were cursing left and right, spewing out four-letter words in front of my daughter. While it’s not exactly profanity in the traditional sense, the last I checked the word “baby” is a four-letter word. In this context like some of those other hurtful words it hurts to hear it, sort of like the pain from all of those needles I jabbed myself with to have the two children I was very fortunate enough to have. They are my gifts that continue to give every day. I don’t need a new one. I’m good.
So Santa, during this or any holiday season, you shouldn’t ever give anyone, especially a little girl who is the daughter of an infertility patient, the idea that having a baby is just as easy as going out and getting any other present from a store. Because let me assure you, it’s not.
Thank you for hearing me out. If you liked this post you also might like my take on life after infertility, which isn’t always grand.
Don’t forget to like MBA Mom on Facebook for posts and more.
Like this and want more? Type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.