I've always wanted to compile a list of successful and happy infertile women from history, but I've never gotten around to it.
Lately I've been reading "My Life in France" by Julia Child. I'm too lazy to provide a link to Amazon, so just Goggle it if you are interested...or go to Target and buy it (Oh, Target...you got me again with your wily merchandising). Apparently the book was used for the movie Julie and Julia, which I haven't seen. There is a picture of Meryl Streep on the cover.
The book's not that great. I've put it down and picked it up several times. But the other day, on page 101 I came across this passage:
"I, too, had had tummy troubles. Ever since our trip to Italy with Pilapop, my stomach was no longer a brass-bound, iron-lined, eat-and-drink-any-amount-of-anything-anywhere-anytime machine that it had been. I had suffered bouts of feeling quite queer the entire time we'd been in France. 'It must be something in the water,' I'd say to myself. But when I continued to feel suddenly sick and gaseous, I declared: 'Aha, pregnant at last!'"
"We had tried. But for some reason our efforts didn't take. It was sad, but we didn't spend too much time thinking about it and never considered adoption. It was just one of those things. We were living very full lives."
I was stunned by the matter of fact description of her infertility. Of course at this point in my life, my memoir could never contain a mere paragraph about my infertility. Infertility would take up a whole page.
Or a whole chapter.
Or maybe the whole book.
I read the passage again.
What the?!?!?! Didn't spend too much time thinking about it?!?!?!? Just one of those things?!?!?!
The concept is so foreign to me. I think about my infertility every day. It isn't "just one of those things" but the ONLY thing in my life some days.
It makes me wonder, should I be taking the Julia Child approach to infertility? Would I be able to accomplish more in my life if I did?
Or was Julia fibbing? Not letting on about her disappointment. We all do this in our everyday lives, in casual conversation when asked about our childless predicaments. "We're still waiting." "We haven't really decided yet if we are having kids." And so on and so forth.
When I live to be eighty plus years old will infertility be merely a paragraph in my life? A footnote?
In a way I am offended by the offhand remarks minimizing the role infertility played in her life, but in a way I find it hopeful.