I'm pretty sure my therapist lied to me.
She has many good qualities. She's a lovely, highly intelligent person who feels more like a good friend, albeit one with an intimate knowledge of infertility psychology, than a therapist. Once a year, she leads a series of group sessions based on Alice Domar's research. I attended the series last spring and continued receiving individual therapy from her after it ended. I cannot begin to describe the many ways she's helped me.
However, despite her extensive scholarship and experience, I can't help but question some of her nuggets of infertility wisdom. The one that's bugging me lately is about how other women's fertility does not affect mine. Having babies, she says, is not a zero sum game in which I have to remain childless in order for some other woman to have her baby or babies. My scientific training tells me she's correct, but there are times I question it. Like when I found out last week that my husband's brother's wife is pregnant with baby #5.
This will be their fifth baby in 6 years. Their children are wonderful and of course I'm happy for them. Heck, if they keep having them at this rate, maybe they'll even loan us a kid or two. However, it also makes me sad about my lack of babies, and it's not the first time a pregnancy of hers has done that. The announcement of pregnancy #3 provoked a weekend-long crying jag that was my husband's first glimpse of how baby crazed I was. We weren't even trying at the time but I was—surprise, honey!—quite ready to start. (For the record, I only cried for one night this time! Progress.)
My husband's brother isn't the only genetic relation of ours to be amazingly fruitful. My sister is so fertile I thought surely by virtue of sharing half of her genes, I'd be at least half as fertile. Are our siblings using up our family's fertility allotment? Outside our family, am I the token infertile friend who has to fulfill some pre-ordained percentage of infertiles in my sphere? My rational mind accepts that my fertility (or lack thereof) is independent of others', but there's still a little niggling place in the back of my brain that doesn't accept it.
p.s. Thank you so much for your Liebster blog nominations. I am putting together a post about it. Family obligations over Thanksgiving kept me out of blogging for a while.