One of the most dismissive things people can utter to an infertile couple is, “Just stop trying and it will happen.” Another slap-dash attempt at providing a quick fix is, “You two should just take a vacation where you don’t have to think about anything, and you’ll be pregnant in no time,” which is something two people have suggested to us in the past month. And it’s not that I’m opposed to the concept of leisure: I’d be happy to live out a Mexican-infertility beach dream if they are inclined to pony-up the funds. Either way, a blended margarita and a sandy bottom are not going to give Constance and me a baby.
This advice is about as helpful as recommending that we down a bottle of tequila and spend a passionate night in my childhood bedroom because it works like a charm for so many teenage couples.
Sadly, most people really don’t believe infertility is a disease, and we repeatedly witness it in their words and actions. Would someone tell a breast cancer patient to spend a week at an exotic spa and her breasts will be just like new again? Would you tell a stroke victim that his palsied face would regain full movement if he stopped thinking about it so much?
I came across a press release today from My Fertility Success that purported the following:
“Experience has shown that a woman diagnosed with “infertility,” focuses on infertility. The problem with focusing on infertility is that the Universal Law of Attraction teaches that what we focus on becomes evident in our reality, every time. Therefore, focusing on infertility activates infertility in the system. This is science, not fluff. This is what everyone is talking about, including Oprah.”
Stemming from the current media maelstrom over The Secret – the latest self-fulfilling-prophecy “lifestyle” that is being either misconstrued or purposefully deployed to make us all feel as though we’re failing ourselves – this particular release has me furious, despite the nutty aroma of my venti coffee, which usually sedates me until the afternoon.
While I believe that a person’s attitude, generosity and spirit are of great consequence, and can go a long way toward improving their life and the lives of their loved ones, to say that focusing on infertility is what makes a woman infertile dismisses the science behind it as though it were a pesky gnat.
Constance and I thought that once she tossed out the birth-control pills, we’d get pregnant the first time she ovulated. And while we didn’t install a flashing, neon-lighted runway to welcome fertility into our lives with a grand gesture, our confidence was borderline Abercrombie & Fitch obnoxious.
I don’t know a lot about “The Secret,” but I do know a thing or two about self-fulfilling prophecies, and trust me: I’d look like Brad Pitt’s twin brother by now if such my thoughts became reality. We’d all have everything we want, in fact, but life doesn’t work that way. Much can be controlled by our minds, but the ability to conceive is no different than HIV or heart disease, and no vacation or happy thought will make it go away.