I felt like my first post hadn't pissed everyone off sufficiently, so I've decided to take things a step further. I mentioned this internet discussion to my mother (who is not just a Mother in Medicine, but also a Mother of a Mother in Medicine), and she wanted to share her story. With KC's permission, I'm posting what she wrote to me below. Get ready to flame because the people who didn't like the first post are going to HATE this one:
I got pregnant for the first time after three nervous tries when I was just 29. I went to my doctor and I remember him saying when my pregnancy test was positive, "You saved us a lot of trouble." I was to find out just how much trouble less than ten years later.
My husband wanted to have another baby right away, but I was never satisfied with my career as a teacher so I decided to instead go back to medical school first. I assumed the myth that if you can have the first child, you have all the time in the world to have the second. This was wrong, wrong, wrong. Not only does fertility decline 50% from age 35 to 40, but I didn’t count on other unforeseen things like my first husband leaving me when I was 33. At this point I was in a sheer panic to find someone else fast and have a second child.
The infertility spiral began slowly. I was remarried at 38 and immediately even before formally getting married, tried to get pregnant again. At first I was really excited about trying and finally having a new baby, now that I had a new husband and had a stable job as an attending physician. This time when I didn’t get pregnant on the first try, I went back to the same doctor and he started doing tests. I had to have an x-ray of my tubes which initially showed that my tubes were blocked. I had to then have a surgical procedure which showed that they actually were not blocked. I had several other tests and each month would go by and I wasn’t pregnant. Finally after what seemed like forever, I started getting injected with a massively potent drug called perganol which not only did not work, but left me with a disabling tinnitus that cut my infertility treatments short. The tinnitus was so bad that I couldn't sleep and nearly lost my job as a result. As if that was not enough, the perganol caused me to get uterine cancer about 15 years later.
I became miserable and bitter and the worst part about it was that it all didn’t have to happen if I didn’t just wait too long for no reason at all. I wasn't infertile when I was 29. What was I doing that was so important that I had no time to have a second baby? What about my work was so important that I had to do that instead of having a second baby? There is no job on earth that is worth giving up having a baby. I was horribly envious watching all the women on the street pregnant and with baby carriages wheeling young babies. It got so that I couldn’t watch people on TV who were pregnant, even if they were dead and in reruns like Lucille Ball. I could not go to any family functions or have anything to do with anyone who had more than one child, which was practically everyone.
I hated knowing that there was no way my daughter would even think of having a baby herself until she was done with medical school. I just worried that she would have to go through all the misery and dangerous treatment that I went through. If there was one good thing that came out of my infertility, it was hoping that she would learn from my mistakes.
In answer to your questions, she was serious about the Lucille Ball thing. She has been really bitter about this for the last 20 years and this is really how she talks. Perhaps you can now understand how much I want to avoid turning out that bitter and angry.