Saturday, August 25, 2007

Sorry,Oprah, it takes a little more than Just Letting Go....

As many of you know, Oprah had Jenna and Mike on her show to talk about infertility on her show about women in their 30's in America. Now I loves me some Oprah, I am a HUGE fan, but it was so apparent that she is one of those people who just "don't get it". Otherwise, she might have employed a bit more compassion and sensitivity before throwing out the "just let it go " adage. After all, how long did it take her to deal with her emotional eating/rape issues. Years?

What if someone had said to her in the midst of her struggle, "hey, sweetie, put down the macaroni and cheese, you gotta let it go."

It's ironic, isn't it, because Oprah is one of those people who are always telling us to dream BIG! Don't let anything stand in your way! Don't take no for an answer! Michael Jordan says no one remembers all the baskets he missed. Just the ones he made. What about Angela Bassett and her husband - they had twins via surrogate mother. Why didn't she ask Angela about her infertility issues, why she was so determined to have her own biological children? Why didn't they adopt? Money obviously wasn't an issue for them.

Now if I may put on my Oprah wisdom hat for a bit and speculate that she was traumatized by her circumstances of her early teen pregnancy and subsequent death of her infant. What she went through changed her forever. She has wisely decided that motherhood is not for her, and she can enjoy nurturing young lives in other ways like her Leadership Academy. Kudos!

Motherhood is not desired by every woman, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. And in our Western society, we have a choice about what we want to do with our lives. Medical science as well as Eastern medicine has given us other avenues. Infertility is a medical condition, not a choice! It's not like plastic surgery. I want bigger boobs, I want Meg Ryan's nose!

So if someone wants to sell their house or their car or whatever to try ART, then it's their right. If they want to do it multiple times, it's their choice! They suffer the consequences, they know the risks. It may not be your cup of tea, you may think it's wrong, but only they can decide whether they've had enough. I've read blogs out there, when the person can has gone through IVF 9 - 10 times?! And guess what, it worked, and they've got a baby, if not two!

Would I do that? Probably not. Was surrogacy an option for us? Nope. But it wasn't lack of money that made me stop. I could have found more money and cycled way more. I chose not to. It wasn't the right or realistic decision for either of us.


Teendoc said...

I agree that the woman/couple have to be the ones to decide when enough is enough. But haven't you seen people, women especially, who are just stuck for years in a place of wanting something that their bodies are not allowing them to have? It becomes the sole focus on their lives and because they use it to validate their self-worth, they end up feeling worthless. Is there a point where you, as this person's friend, would say to her, perhaps you should consider just letting go?

That's kind of how I took Oprah's statement.

PS: I am convinced that Angela Bassett used an egg donor.

dmarie said...

I had some of the same thoughts as I've been reading responses to the show.

I found your blog through Lost & Found. We have male factor and I also have fibroids. I'm looking forward to keeping up with your blog!

Pamela T. said...

Good analysis. I too, had a hunch that O's personal issues were preventing her from relating to Jenna. Bias exists everywhere, which is why I would have had more respect for her if she'd offered a caveat to that effect (e.g. look, my circumstances prevent me from fully appreciating the pain you've endured...) rather than impatiently dismissing Jenna. She's a powerful influencer and gave her audience and viewers license to dismiss along with her. If O's not going to be empathetic or willing to do the topic of infertility justice then do the infertile community a favor and don't invite us on the show.

Unknown said...

Telling someone to just let it go shows the person doesn't share the same intensity as the person who isn't finding it possible at the moment to move past what they are experiencing. It's called "grief." You wouldn't tell someone who lost a family or friend to let it go. Still the grief is very real.

Oprah is losing it for me these days.