Friday, April 21, 2006

foot in mouth. a clarification.

I have a tendency to get pissed off when people misinterperet my words. I have spent many years getting this writing thing down, and I think that for the most part you have to be willfully dense to misunderstand what I say -- or at least not reading very carefully.

That said, sometimes I am really obtuse. For instance, in this post. I think most readers got that what I was saying was that you can't know you're fertile unless you are (or have been, but even that is no guarantee) pregnant. I was poking fun at the stupidity of the way the question was asked. In no way was I making fun of the concern behind it. And frankly, I was making fun of my own reaction, which was accurate in some ways but terribly short-sighted.

A lot of the blogs I read are written by infertile women. There is a lot of pain in infertility. I try very hard in my life to be sensitive to that pain, especially since I had no trouble becoming pregnant myself, and it looks pretty certain that I'll get what one woman refers to as a "take home baby."

One of the bloggers recently learned that the pregnancy she is carrying is genetically [damanged? defective?] to the point that fetal death is certain. She received over 700 comments, a true outpouring of sympathy. Sympathy is something I have in abundance, but I did not leave her a comment because every time I tried to I couldn't stop crying long enough to remember how to spell "I'm sorry." I am looking right now at the fetoscope with which I listened to my baby's heartbeat this morning and I feel so terrible knowing that other women who want this as much as I do cannot have it.

I am not trying to be apologetic that I got pregnant and am having a baby. I think that would be disingenuous � how does having what someone else wants make me a bad person? I didn't take it away from anyone. I wanted it too, and I happened to get it. I am grateful. But I do not feel guilty.

But I am sorry when I am insensitive and brash and hurt someone's feelings, and that's just what happened when I wrote what I thought was a silly post making fun of someone's language (not her infertility concerns). A fellow reader of the site A Little Pregnant followed the link in a comment I left. She saw that I was pregnant and at first assumed that I was an infertility success story. Well, I'm not. I hope (and from her email she seems like a good person, so I even assume) that this alone would not have put her off, but that stupid post did. Her feelings were hurt because I was unclear in my meaning.

Now, maybe her feelings would have been hurt no matter how clear I'd been that I was only making fun of the phrasing and of myself. In that case, there's nothing I could possibly do to fix the situation, and I would have to let it go because I can't be expected to go around making people feel OK about my sense of humor. But I hope that this is a case where some clarification will make things right.

I'm not under any crazy delusions that an apology takes away hurt feelings. Usually it doesn't. Nevertheless, I am sorry. Sorry that I wasn't clear, sorry that I was insensitive, and sorry that there are nice people out there who just want a baby and can't have one.