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Hi every one,

We haven't decided to move on just yet, but will be if the next cycle fails.  Any way, I didn't know where to poet this, but I needed to share my frustrations with someone.  I have been watching Eastenders for a while now, and am really angry that they have bought 'mad May' back in.  They portrayed women who can't have children as mad, deranged nutters who are deluded about other peoples children.

My 'friend' hasn't contacted me since I had a MC in Dec 07, she had just had a baby, and I heard that she feels 'uncomfortable' with my mc! She didn't even send me a text to say she was sorry. I miss spending time with her, and would have loved to see her baby, in the same way any friend would to a friend with a new baby.

Maybe I'm just having a bout of anger following recent events for us, but I hate the way some people think that women who can't have kids easily, are going to turn into nutcases who steal babies out of shopping centres! In reality, we are just normal women, who are trying to get on with their lives. Yes, we might have a sense of loss, but we are not likely to turn into 'Mad May' I'm sorry to moan, but does any one else share my frustration?

Jessie xx
 

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Jessie, you darling!

I posted on this topic all those months ago when she was last on.

I just said to my DH, "it's our favourite infertile woman back again".... "yes, we are all mad baby snatchers......especially the middle class ones"

Your friend is just a selfish cow. Personally I would rather be a mad baby snatcher than treat a friend like that. She probably feels like you will rain on her parade.

I share your frustration. Childless women are a soft target.
 

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Hi Jessie

l was very angry with eastenders to as l really like the soap, the first time it was on l ignored it out of choice, but l could not believe that they have brought May back again but this time l could not ignore as the way we was portrayed got me very angry as if we have not been though enough, so l got onto the website and emailed a complaint,still waiting to get a reply. most things l have now learnt to ignore and try and move on but this got my goat, l will let you know how l got on probably be ignored as we normally do but l got it of my chest,

l lost all my friends going though IVF it really strange but when i told them i was pg they all came round very happy for us on both occasions but as soon as we M/C we was dropped l received no messages nothing, all my friends have now had children and we have not seen any of them( seems like a epsode of eastenders ) but to be honest, they are not and was not real friends because real friends stand by you whatever, so l just seem to live day to day,.

Bell
 

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Dear Jessie,
So sorry for all you've had to go through and you are quite right to be angry at Eastenders. Trouble is that soaps always deal in stereotypes - it's just an excuse for poor writing. Real people are three-dimensional with many sides to their character, good and bad. Personally I can relate to baby snatching (!) and I can sympathise with any woman who ends up doing it - although I would argue that most of us would be able to control that urge.
I also get really cross with women who go on about being a mother and saying how it has made them more compassionate etc as if the rest of us are self-serving ****s (pardon language!) As for friends - some get it and others don't. I guess as Bell says, this sort of thing really lets you know who your true friends are.
Bernie xxx
 

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Thank you ladies for starting this thread.

It is shocking the way that involuntarily childless women are treated in the media.  I have 'luckily' never seen the offending Eastenders plot line, but I can imagine what it involved.

I can think of other examples, the worst of which has to be the film 'Problem Child'..the plot.  A rich broody married woman finds out she is infertile, she has a lot of animals to make up for this fact.  Very good example of the totally insensitive doctor though at the diagnosis  ;D ;D ;D ;D.  To cut a long story short, there is no way that she can conceive naturally, so her hubbie wants to adopt.  She agrees, they go to an orphanage where hubbie falls in love with a demonic child who causes nothing but trouble in their happy home, but he bonds with dad.  Wife fails to bond with child as he is not her own and yes ladies .......................she ends up in a RUBBISH SKIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I certainly wouldnt recommend that any of us watch this movie on one of those bad days that love to bite us on the bum!!!!!!

Not only does this film totally insult infertile women, but also the adoptive child who just needs a loving home...ohhhhh my blood boiled when I saw this movie.  Let us name and shame  these media productions who treat us in this way.  I think it would be useful to have a list of movies etc to avoid on those off days.

Natalie.
 

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Hi Jessie,

First of all - good luck with your treatment - I hope you get lucky this time.

Haven't seen Eastenders for ages, but it certainly sounds ridiculous! Maybe it is no wonder some of our friends don't know how to deal with us if this is the sort of image they have of infertility. Quite often I think they just don't know what to say or how to react, I know that the same thing can happen after a bereavement (especially an unexpected one where the person was young), a diagnosis of a bad illness, having a disabled child.... events people find too difficult to deal with. I too lost some friends when I went through miscarriage and IF treatments that failed. I did regain one of them after she had been through difficult times that made her realise how isolating it can be to find friends deserting you. She said she just had not known how to be around me and thought it would hurt me to see her with the babies, like she would be rubbing my nose in it, she apologised and we are good friends again.

Back to the soaps - at their worst they do tend to portray silly stereotypes. Last time I saw Eastenders I laughed out loud at how many crazy things happened in just one episode! But it is not so funny when it hits a nerve and I imagine that all sorts of people who are in one minority or another get mad at how they are portrayed. Well done to Bell for complaining - maybe the BBC will take heed and next time they do an IF storyline it will be more balanced and informative- at their best some soaps do manage to help change attitudes for the better.

And hello there Bell! How are you? You've been so unlucky with your friends - I do hope you find some new ones with a bit more loyalty.

Bernie - makes me mad too when parents stake out an exclusive claim to compassion, a sense of what is important in life and blah blah blah ... all those mother earth type virtues!  From what I hear there's more compassion on this board than there seems to be among parents who elbow their way up the waiting lists for the best school and then at the gates compete to be the most yummy mummy with the most gifted child.  ;D. Seriously, I think that people who have had to deal with adversity (like my friend had to) become truly caring and tolerant of people outside their immediate family. I am particularly tired of people who have gone "green" because they want to ensure that the planet will be a good place for their children and future generations. Like us childless people just want to trash the place?

Hey Natalie and Flopsy - why don't we start a list of "feel good" films and books? I recently enjoyed a book, "Random Acts of Heroic Love" by Danny Schiennman. Sad bits, but uplifting about the power of love. Does anyone want to start a thread? We had one like it some time ago and there were some great recommendations. (I believe Bernie writes , maybe she will appear on our lists one day?!)

It was good to hear from you Jessie. Let us know how you get on with your treatment. I hope your dreams come true.

Jq xxx
 

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Oh how horrible!
People do unfortunately think that infertile women are desperate mad people due to this type of storyline and media portrayal. But then whoever you are and whatever you do the media have a dig at it. I am a health professional, and you can't tell me that there is not a fair bit of bad story telling about the NHS. When do you hear about all the vast majority of patients who have great treatment and outcome - they are boring, not news worthy.

I was incensed by the metro again this week. Some twit on the letters page decided that all families should be limited to 2 babies due to child poverty in society, that unaffordable babies were the problem in society (on that one I am with him to a degree - people should not indiscriminately produce babies one after the other without a means to support them - there is some responsibility required). He then went on to say that IVF should not be doled out to single women on the NHS like MPs voted to do last month.
How does HE know what people's circumstances are? He hasn't got a clue - 1st of all it was need for a father to be replaced by supportive parenting, it also was not on the NHS necessarily, and what right does HE have to decide whether I can have a baby or not. If I did not have blocked tubes I could have a one night stand and get pregnant, but unfortunately I need a clinic. My husband has bailed out on me at 37 years old, so what option do I have? I am professional, independent, financially secure and intelligent. It really has nothing to do with him. I will still be paying taxes to pay for my child's NHS care and education.
If more men were trustworthy and manly and prepared to look after a woman and support her through thick and thin and not disappear or behave badly, there would not be single women having to bring up children. But as I have found out you can't trust men, so I am better off and will provide a more stable background for my child on my own - sorry on a bit of a downer on men right now.

Then I turned over the page and saw the story about a 22 year old mother and a much older man leaving a child to die of starvation in a bedroom with no one there. She looked out of the window and was seen but no one knew. She was left locked up in the house that was covered with dog excrement and urine until she starved to death.
So can you tell me that I as a single woman should not try to have a loved, supported baby when these other people in a couple relationship can neglect a child to death?

It drives me mad!
 

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Not following East Enders I can't really comment except it sounds like one seriously lazy story line to me.

I was amused by the point you raised JQ about going green  - one of my colleagues recently told me off about taking a cheap Easyjet flight asking if I'd bothered to consider the impact of the carbon footprint of the journey and asked me to remember his kids before I book next time.

As it happens I do have green conscience and like to think that I "do my bit" (despite the occasional low cost flight) but I was so annoyed by this bloke that I ended up having a rather undignified row about my have generations of carbon credits to use up in this life because I'm not littering the planet with progeny and the ruinous paraphernalia and piles of plastic trash that goes with it.  ::)

Hopeful Hazel, I agree that all the truly magnificent stuff that the NHS (and the people who work within it) gets done is swept away in a tide of bad PR simply because it's a quiet news day and it's an easy target.  The injustice of it really gets on my nerves.

Right, back to mowing the lawn for me.

flipper

 

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Hopeful Hazel said:
Oh how horrible!
People do unfortunately think that infertile women are desperate mad people due to this type of storyline and media portrayal. But then whoever you are and whatever you do the media have a dig at it. I am a health professional, and you can't tell me that there is not a fair bit of bad story telling about the NHS. When do you hear about all the vast majority of patients who have great treatment and outcome - they are boring, not news worthy.

I was incensed by the metro again this week. Some twit on the letters page decided that all families should be limited to 2 babies due to child poverty in society, that unaffordable babies were the problem in society (on that one I am with him to a degree - people should not indiscriminately produce babies one after the other without a means to support them - there is some responsibility required). He then went on to say that IVF should not be doled out to single women on the NHS like MPs voted to do last month.
How does HE know what people's circumstances are? He hasn't got a clue - 1st of all it was need for a father to be replaced by supportive parenting, it also was not on the NHS necessarily, and what right does HE have to decide whether I can have a baby or not. If I did not have blocked tubes I could have a one night stand and get pregnant, but unfortunately I need a clinic. My husband has bailed out on me at 37 years old, so what option do I have? I am professional, independent, financially secure and intelligent. It really has nothing to do with him. I will still be paying taxes to pay for my child's NHS care and education.
If more men were trustworthy and manly and prepared to look after a woman and support her through thick and thin and not disappear or behave badly, there would not be single women having to bring up children. But as I have found out you can't trust men, so I am better off and will provide a more stable background for my child on my own - sorry on a bit of a downer on men right now.

Then I turned over the page and saw the story about a 22 year old mother and a much older man leaving a child to die of starvation in a bedroom with no one there. She looked out of the window and was seen but no one knew. She was left locked up in the house that was covered with dog excrement and urine until she starved to death.
So can you tell me that I as a single woman should not try to have a loved, supported baby when these other people in a couple relationship can neglect a child to death?

It drives me mad!
I couldn't agree more!

I think the Soaps story that bothered me the most was the one with Martin and Sonia's adoption. They had their daughter adopted at birth and then, some years later, the adoptive parents died and the little girl went back. SHOCKING!!! Hpw dare they? There must have been adopted children all over the country just horrified that their birth parents might get them back. Very ill thought out rubbish!

Love

Emma x
 

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Thanks for the vote of confidence Jq ;) but I think it will be quite a while before my opus sees the light of day..... But I can only hope that one day I'll get it published ^pray^

One thing that always irks me is when in any kind of discussion someone comes out with "Doesn't anybody think about the children?" It's usually used by someone who is losing the arguement. It's like an emotional spanner, and it ratchets the whole thing up a gear.

It's a red rage to a bull I'm afraid and when someone spouts it out, I'm afraid I just won't let it lie.... ^bigbad^

Bernie xxx
 

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Hello friends,

Well Jessie has certianly got us going!

Hazel, no wonder you felt so annoyed at the stupid lettter in that rag! I did not realise what a difficult time you have been having. I totally support a single woman's right to assisted conception. I know that officially at least adoption is open to single people, so why on earth not IVF? Like you, I am upset by real life stories about child abuse. I sometimes shout at the radio when I hear a news story like the one you refer to. Sadly, the adults are probably victims of poor parenting too. Somehow it feels like our society has a really skewed view of parenting, what makes a good parent and how to support children to grow into good people even if they have had a diffficult start.

Somehow the recent replies have reminded me of somehing that gets me mad! That is the fact that a lot of infertile people have paid and continue to pay taxes that support the NHS, education, social services etc but get little back. (Foe e.g.DH and I had to pay for all our IF treatment and have had literally no other need for NHS health care!) But as non-parents our views and needs seem to be discounted!

I like Flipper's reation to her colleague! Maybe if there is ever a tax on "carbon footprints" childless people will qualify for a rebate? All those school runs should be doube taxed! Disposable nappies - let them use recycled rags and hand wash in Ecover!!!! Tinned babyfood? Ban it - use a pestle and morter to puree home grown veg and garden reared chickens and eggs! Children's clothes? Go to Oxfam and buy second hand, and when all the stock has run out - make your own with cut down worn out adult clothes (hand sew or ancient manual sewing machine of couse - not an electric one!) After that? Have sheep in the garden and spin and knit your own wool! As you can see, I could go on!!!!!

Bernie - keep going!

LOL 2 all
Jq xxx
 

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Hi everybody

I haven't seen Eastenders for years but I wanted to join in and add Madonna to the very long list of those who make unbelievably stupid comments, offensive on this subject. When I was waiting for my ET for my last IVF I read a copy of Rolling Stone in the waiting room.  There was a long interview with her that included the sub-heading quote "When you're a mother, the suffering of children becomes so much more unbearable."  !!!!!! :mad: :mad: ^swear^ ^swear^.  What a stupid thing to say!  Like those of us that aren't lucky enough to be parents don't care about children suffering!  Like there aren't plenty of abusive parents out there that don't care about their own children suffering, let alone anyone else's!

I find the way pregnancy and motherhood are presented as these wonderful transformative experiences that change a person completely is so hard to deal with.  It so upsetting. But I constantly try to remind myself that it's nonsense. And just the latest version of  the story society tells us to try to make us believe that women have to be mothers  to be proper women. What a shame it's usually women that do it but I suppose they have to justify their lives to themselves and others. Thank goodness for the ocassional honest woman who says "though I love my child, being a mother is mundane and boring and I really miss my job and life before children because it was really fulfilling".  I just wish there were a few more of them.  We hear so much about the difficult time women with children have at work and the ineqaulities women face because of their child rearing responsibilities.  Let's start a public debate about the discrimination those of us who CAN'T have children experience.

I couldn't agree more with Jq and Flipper's comments about going green to save the planet for "children". It's so bogus.  Parents do not have a monoploy on caring about the future. Far from it. Has anyone else noticed how children, especially babies, are used to sell stuff you don't need - a new car, a holiday, an expensive watch.  And how being pregnant is so fashionable with all the shops doing maternity ranges and expensive designer baby shops like "Mamas and Papas" opening.  The truth is pregnancy and parenting have become commodified and a great way for big companies to make even more money.

I could go on and on but I won't.  But thanks so much for starting this thread......

xxxx

PS I know it should be offensive as it does the classic "desperate infertile woman steals child" but I did laugh myself silly at the Cohen brothers film "Raising Arizona".  There something so hilarious about the fertility specialist scene.  Has anyone else seen it?


 

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Oh I am enjoying this thread.... It is good to be able to vent somewhere.

There is more "Mad childless May" to come up on Eastenders. I don't want to give the plot away but it was all over the TV listings for this week.

Look forward to reading more of the subversive comments here!

Jq - sorry about the lack of a proper reply. I'm not really an uplifting books/movies sort of person. Please post away on anything you find useful though. Thanks again.
 

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Just wanted to say I love this thread ... especially the guy complaining about you flying for heaven's sake - how many parents use the excuse of having children to drive a ridiculously inefficient 4x4 I'd like to know???


Jx
 

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hi

i agree with so many of the comments on here but i have seen things from both sides. i have a dear friend who had a m/c a few years ago i was at her home when it actually started. I found it hard to know what to say to her but tried to keep in touch.

She went through a long time of ttc, in the meanwhile i married and fell pg. I just didnt know how to tell her, she had said to me, as a trusted friend, how jealous she got of other people who were having babies and part of me just didnt want to upset her, part of me was selfish and didnt want someone to have bad feelings towards me while i was pg (it took me years to find my DH, i married much later than any of my friends) and i just felt i had waited so long myself that i was protective of what i had. There is no right or wrong here im just being honest about what happened. I was 5 months pg before i told her and to my eternal shame, i had just found out my baby had a heart prob, and i could only tell her i was expecting after i found out this news. I know it sounds completely wacko but i thought she would take it better if she knew things werent as easy for me as she thought. It was then that she told me she was 3 months pg, so i guess there was a bit of self preservation on both sides.

We are still friends, very close and meet up regularly and i think it was a case of both of us trying to both protect ourselves and each other. Maybe friends who avoid contact for a while arent just being mean/ selfish but genuinely dont know what to say/do without hurting others. i think sometimes empathy and compassion are so important.
mani
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
WOW!! I'm glad I started this thread, I didn't expect the response I got, but it seems to have touched on a subject that effects many of us.  Mani, thank you for sharing your experiences with us, I guess I hadn't thought about how my friend must be feeling as much. To be honest, I have no hard feelings towards her now, I just think it's a shame that we've lost touch, and my DH was good friends with her DP, but he hasn't contacted him either, and poor DH needs as many friends as he can get right now, it's easier for us girls to talk and get support from each other.  I am lucky to have a really supportive circle of girlfriends, probably wouldn't have any sanity left if it wasn't for them!

While we are venting, I have another thing to vent about! I can't stand people feeling sorry for me, and I know they mean well, but I can't bare the 'sympathetic' tone in peoples voice.  They other day, my friend said, 'i don't know how to tell you this, and I don't want to make an issue out of it, but Clare is pregnant'. The thing is, I was happy for Clare, she's been trying for a while, but I just felt sooooo inadequate because by not making an issue out of it, she had made an issue out of it!! The other one is, when friends who have babies say to me 'do you want to talk about it' it's not like talking about it is going to get me pregnant, and it's the one thing I really don't want to talk about! I sound like I'm so ungrateful, as I know I'm lucky to have friends who are trying to be sensitive, or want to be supportive, but I guess it's equally as hard for them to know what to say, or not to say, so I would never say anything to them, I know they are not being deliberately horrid!

I know I've strayed off the subject a bit, but while we're having a vent, I couldn't resist!

Thank you all for joining me in this thread and sharing your thoughts

love,

Jessie

xx
 

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Hello,

Mani - Thanks for your post. It really echoes my thoughts about how difficult it can be for friends to keep the connection going when one is struggling with infertlity and the other has a child. It can be that friends do care, but don't know how to be around one another. True friends will find a way through, and I am so pleased to hear that you and your frend are still close. I hope that your baby is well and that the heart problem is going to be OK/manageable. (Sorry, I don't know much about that issue, so I'm not sure what to say!)

Hey Jessie - vent away! It is really complex isn't it? We want understanding, but not pity. By the way, DH and I caught part of a trailer about Mad Mary and I immedately realised it was what you posted about but he didn't know about that and when it showed it was from Eastenders he said "Wow- I thought that was about a horror film!" As I say, good luck with the treatment.

Jq xxx
 

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I agree with you Francie - Madonna (and all those earth mother types) are sooooo annoying I just want to  ^swear^ ^swear^ ^swear^ ^swear^ . And unlike her - we can't just go and 'buy' a baby from Africa!! Makes my blood boil - she is so not living in the real world. But it's true that ultimately it is upsetting cos Madonna and women like her act like they are in some exculsive club that where motherhood is the only membership requirement and here we are like ghosts at the feast looking in on them. :( 

I too love Raising Arizona!!! I think it is sweet and funny. Just cos we are going through this hell of childlessness doesn't mean we don't have a sense of humour!! (And they take the kid back in the end, don't they).  ;D

Bernie xxx


 

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Totally agree with everything that has been said on the thread...
Just to add another vent, read a newspaper article today on Ulrika Jonsson who just recently had a 4th child very easily
quote" I dont understand women who dont want to have children, I dont mean that in a derogatory way, but my instinct is to mate" :mad: this women makes me so angry :mad: :mad:, a supposed intelligent women coming out with thoughtless comments; I wonder if someone who can produce so easily at the drop of a hat has ever heard of infertility?  Probably not.  Arghhhhhhh
End of rant for the time being!

Meerkatz x
 

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Sorry folks, but I am fuming.

I have just seen a classic episode of Goodnight Sweetheart on ITV 3.  In the episode, time traveller Gary Sparrow discovers that a policeman in 1997 looks very familiar to his friend in 1942.  When he questions his friend back in 1942 he finds out that there is no way the child could be his as his wife is infertile and that he couldnt possibly leave her to find a fertile woman!!!!!!!  However , he had a one night stand and hence the baby.  There is a tearful reunion and talk of how happy he was to discover that he had a secret child!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I was gutted.
Even though I am very happily married to my DH, who is my rock, I panic every day that he will leave me so that he can have the children that I cant give him.  How insensitive.....what a message to give people about how to treat an infertile partner.  Rant over.... I just had to add this episode to the name and shame list.

Rant over

Natalie.
 
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