Saturday, January 17, 2009

What's Up Kate?

How many of you have seen the TLC program "Jon and Kate Plus Eight"? You know, the one who had two sets of multiples, twins and sextuplets? Come on, raise your hands high. It is one of my guilty pleasures too. She is a totally organized, anal retentive, type A personality, much like myself at times. Her kids are cute, although Maddy can be a brat (but hey, she's seven). It's a funny show.

And most importantly Kate is a fellow infertile, right?

Then why the hell does she never talk about it?

I remember the first season, the show opened with their voice overs and Kate saying something about "When we couldn't get pregnant on our own, we turned to fertility treatments and had our beautiful twin girls." Okay, fair enough. You are honest about being infertile. You don't need to go into excruciating details about it. It's your life, some things can be private.

By the next season, any previous talk of infertility was gone.

The episode that made me the most frustrated was the one that showed Jon and Kate "The Early Years." It was when they were describing how they met, their wedding, etc. When it got to the part about infertility, Kate mentions she had PCOS and tried once and didn't succeed and then got pregnant on the second attempt. She then proceeds to show the positive pee stick video footage and says, "This pregnancy is the most wanted pregnancy in the whole world (I'll give her that) and it is the result of determination, dedication and blah, blah, blah." You know what Kate? If all infertile woman who were dedicated and determined got their BFP then the world would be a fair place. . . but it's not.

What bothers me the most about Kate is that she has a wonderful opportunity to share her struggles through IF with the world, and she just breezes over it. Some might argue that it's her life and she doesn't have to share her most intimate feelings and experiences. Well guess what? She does. Every single episode. She puts her kids on T.V. and takes pictures of the with their first poops, and we've watched her go for a tummy tuck. Doesn't make PCOS look so intimate now does it?

Why can't she reach out to woman who are going through the same struggles she did? Why does she try to sweep it under the rug? Did she not have the same feelings of loss, isolation, panic, despair? Why is it so easy for her to forget? Is she ashamed?

The reason I never spoke of my troubles TTC with people before was to save myself some of the hurt. There were days I didn't want to speak of IF. I didn't want people to walk on eggshells around me or look at me like some kind of freak. I wanted my privacy while I dealt with it. I've always wondered if I'd tell people that I became pregnant through IVF. Is it really anyone's business? I have no doubts now. When the time comes, I will shout it from the rooftops. If someone can overhear my struggles and find some comfort in their own, then my IF wasn't for naught.

Another blogger who was finally pregnant after IF wrote several posts regarding "crossing over" from infertility to fertility. I'm sorry, but that will never be me. DH and I will always be infertile. I pray with everything I have that we will be infertile with a child someday, but we will never be fertile. We will never be able to get pregnant on our own, without medical intervention. We will never forget the struggles we went through. I will never turn my back on the people who've offered me so much support. I will never be ashamed.

Infertility will never define me, but it will always be a part of who I am.

So shame on you Kate!

You could have done some good.


Mimi said...

That show irritates me so much but I can never turn it off!!! I tried looking up anything to do with her pregnancy with the sextuplets and I can not find anything. A bunch of stuff on youtube that people made with pictures they took off the internet. It bugs me that she doesn't talk about it. OBVIOUSLY they struggle with infertility. YOU HAVE EIGHT KIDS UNDER THE AGE OF SEVEN KATE!!! We all know!! I too am not ashamed to talk about my struggles. I am proud of what I am going through. It is difficult at times but it has made me a better person. No doubt!! Good luck to you honey.


Just Me. said...

I haven't watched that show cuz it's not showing here.

Yes, she does sound annoying. I have to say this, tho. Although we have made that "crossover", I am definitely not your average fertile pregnant woman. Till today, I cringe whenever somebody complains about their pregnancy. Especially when they complain about their weight gain! WTF is that all about?!Something so superficial that we feed our egos with yes... I admit, looking good, wanting to be slim makes us feel awesomely sexy & GOOD. But you've got a life inside you. How does that even compare???

Ok, I'm ranting!


Lost in Space said...

I do remember watching a clip of one or some interview or something where they talked about doing IUI and how they were a fertility nightmare with their result because of the high risk, etc. and that nobody should want to know what they did.

I admit that I watched the show once upon a time when we first started treatment. When IVF#1 failed, it somehow just didn't seem fun anymore and I began avoiding their show. Too much exploiting of their children who really have no say in the matter that cameras are following their every move and broadcasting their most intimate moments on TV. Pretty disgusting. I wouldn't expect anyone who would do this to their children to actually reach out to others about their struggles.

Oh, and don't get me started about all the free trips and clothes and whatnots they receive. Me, bitter today?!? LOL.

Emily said...

I browsed through her new book at Barnes and she talks about it a little more in depth, but nothing too inspiring.

She is extremely Christian - born again I think. Perhaps she has some 'shame' and guilt associated with her fertility treatments in regards to her faith? We are Catholic and we are going to burn in hell for sure.

I also find it strange that her parents are NEVER featured - ever!

You should email her your thoughts!

Erin said...

I also watch J&K+8 and often have these same thoughts. It upsets me that Kate ignores the struggle. In my mind, she's not a true infertile because, one, three or eight babies, one never truly escapes this hell. I think most infertiles, particularly those who have suffered as much as my online girlfriends have suffered, are forever scarred and it shows. Kate shows no scars. So she's a BIG LETDOWN in my book. The REAL infertility would not make for good TV, evidently... another sad reminder that the real world is happy to lock us all away in a closet because we cause too much pain.

Maybe we should write a letter. I've thought of that before but never mustered up enough energy.

Melody said...

I SO AGREE WITH YOU! Though I did not do IVF to get pregnant I was considering ANYTHING that would get me to that point. It is NOT shameful to be infertile and I totally understand your frustration. I ALWAYS tell people how long it took me to get pg and what meds I was on, and that I have PCOS and scoliosis which causes my spine to lay in places it shouldn't and hinders things. So, yes, I think she could talk about it more!

Mary said...

It is too bad that she does not use her 'fame' to discuss infertility. But, if she got preggo on the first try she might not really feel like she was infertile. ?

Jill said...

I watch the show from time to time, and it does kind of irritate that she doesn't discuss her journey a little more when she has such a platform. But, maybe she doesn't really have much of a journey? I don't think it took her very long to conceive, so maybe she just doesn't consider herself one of us...

Polly Gamwich said...

I just wanted to say hi right back to you. Thanks for commenting on my blog. =) I too have dropped in on your blog from time to time ... the truth comes out!

I just wanted to say that I **completely** agree with these thoughts and feelings about Kate - I've had them for awhile now and couldn't quite articulate them. My friends even say that when they watch Jon and Kate they think of me ... and I wonder WHY?? she doesn't ever share her journey like I do??!

Anyhow, thanks for saying hi. and CONGRATU-FREAKIN-LATIONS!!! Your betas were amazing and what a sweet ultrasound! It is so nice to see fellow infertiles successful - it gives me hope :-)


Michelle said...

Thanks for not turning your back on us infertile ones. Congratulations on your pregnancy. I wish you nothing but the best. I have followed your blog quietly for the past few months and really relate to you! I'm learning through blogging, it can be a form of therapy. Thanks for being there for us!

beth ewing said...

have you read her book? i love the show and enjoyed the book but the part that bothered me is that she said she struggled. she was pregnant within like 7 months after her marriage and got pregnant the first month on fertility drugs with her twins. maybe that is why she doesn't talk about it b/c she knows that most infertiles struggle alot more than her 2 months.