Hooray! It’s Thursday! Last week’s Thoughtful Thursday was so fabulous. There were more than a score of diverse, carefully considered comments, and that was amazing. But, the stats say that there were many more people who read the post yet didn’t comment. C’mon, delurk! (There will be an official call to observe Delurking Week this weekend, but feel free to delurk more than once.)

Let’s keep the thinky fun going with a topic that was first brought to mind in my IRL support group last month, and then raised by one of the comments in last week’s TT.

One of the IRL support group members (the same person who said both “I would never do IVF. It’s not natural.” and “At least I’m not 40!”) declared her hope that injectables will bring her twins. Girl-girl twins, specifically. Because then she’d “be done” with infertility treatments forever and also because she doesn’t really want to have a son.

The other members and I quickly rushed to explain all of the risks associated with multiples, and that twins aren’t simply a convenient two-for-one. We all left the boy-hating alone. In my mind, my immediate reaction was:

Honey, you obviously haven’t been infertile long enough if you’re trying to dictate what kinds of babies you get. Beggars can’t be choosers, sweetheart.

And yes, I do call people “honey” and “sweetheart” condescendingly in my head. Not out loud, usually.

Krysta mentioned a similar person and her own reaction, almost identical to my line of thinking, in her answer to last week’s Thoughtful Thursday question, “Does it change your impression of someone to find out they’re infertile?”

Great topic! Yes, it does change my impression of people when I learn that they are one of “us”. I feel for them and I have a bond with them, so it draws me to be friends with them more than I would if I didn’t know that about them. Except for this one person I know. They tried for about a year to get pregnant and did some treatments, not sure what, but ended up getting pregnant naturally with a baby girl. So now that child is around 2 years old and they learn that they are pregnant again. When she found out that she was having a boy, she was depressed and didn’t want to leave her house for days. She wanted a girl so bad, that she was actually depressed when hearing it was a boy! She obviously isn’t one of “us” after all……

Krysta and I share the sentiment that a “real” infertile would be happy to have any baby, period. A real infertile wouldn’t dare to try to tell the stork which babies to bring.

But there are “real” infertiles with sex preferences. How else could so many REs offer “sex selection for family balancing?” Sex-based selection on the basis of disease (such as an X-linked disease that only manifests in boys) aside, some people just want a certain combination, and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis makes that possible. If you’re doing IVF, especially if you’re doing PGD anyway, sex selection is barely an extra step. Personally that’s not something that either DH or I would do — the word “cherry-picking” has been used in our house — but ultimately we wouldn’t sex-select because we each would be happy with a boy or a girl.

DH, in fact, so ardently does not have a sex preference that he will not even entertain the question. He will admit to sex preferences for specific breeds of dogs, but not for human children. An equal opportunity daddy.

Personally, I have not had any sex preferences for as long as I’ve been TTC. As a kid, though, I only wanted to have daughters. I remember the moment when that changed: at 16 years old, I was sitting in the car, waiting for my mom to come out of a store, and I saw a mother and her 4-year-old boy in a crosswalk. As they crossed, she joyfully twirled him around in circles. It was an epiphany for me that having a son could be a wonderful experience. I guess I didn’t think much of the little boys I knew up to that point, or at least I didn’t think much of their relationships with their parents.

I have had perfect boy and girl names picked out for a long time (the girl’s name for 14 years, the boy’s for 10 years). Because I love the names, I’ve hoped that I would be able to use them both by having one of each sex. But over the years, as it has taken soooo long to have even one child, ending up with one child of each sex has become less and less important. As long as I get to use either of the names and finally have a child, any child, I am satisfied. Because I am an only child, I would strongly prefer that my child have a brother or sister eventually, but at this point, having taken 7 years to get to zero, let’s work our way up to one and see what happens.

This week’s Thoughtful Thursday query:
Did you start out with a set idea of how many boys and girls you wanted to have? How has infertility changed your sex preference?

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