A friend recently posted on Facebook about her & her husband’s decision not to go to Kerala in India. It was an awful post, not because they were in any way deriding the region, but because the decision they had made (which was due to health reasons) was stated as God’s way of keeping them safe. They had prayed in their decision-making and God guided them to changing their plans.
This description is infuriating, because what actually happened was they made a decision based on the facts presented to them. To suggest that God held them in the palm of his hand, where he was letting others literally drown was appalling. Some people had commented as such on the post and were invited to ‘meet for coffee to discuss’. The post, on both Facebook and Instagram has now disappeared.
Before continuing, it’s important to share that while we are atheists, we both grow up in households of faith and have worked in faith environments. There is a huge amount of good done in the world by people working in the name of their faith, effecting positive change through belief and love.
In the world of TTC, there are a lot of people that lean heavily on their faith, describing their turmoil as being part of God’s plan. This is where the frustration begins. If (in)fertility was in a plan that could not be altered, then why would anyone engage in tests and charts? Science is our friend in fertility, helping us navigate the wide horizon of possibilities.
It seems that the common response to trauma of any kind, in the modern day, has been to express – usually on social media – ‘thoughts and prayers’ to victims and their circumstances. We are people that try to be an active part of the change we want to see in the world, so know this apathetic show of sympathy does nothing for those affected. Donate, volunteer, lobby!
In the case of TTC, our bodies are doing the talking. There is no master plan; what will be, will be. Having said that, we will engage as much as possible with medical knowledge. People have been studying procreation for years and there is more and more information and support available. We will be prodded, poked, weighed and measured in the name of science. This is not to say that we won’t be counselled and share our distress with each other and our friends, but we know that no cosmic or divine intervention will change our situation.
If there were a God and they had any involvement in conception, then it’s clear they’re a man. A quick ‘sample’ provided and that’s a man done, where a woman bleeds for days every month. That doesn’t even take in to account the discrepancy in fertility investigations; blood samples, dyes, ultrasounds, tablets vs. a date with a pot. Women’s bodies are phenomenal, particularly when it comes to fertility and there’s no way a man would have given up that glory! Long live Mother Nature and all who study her at medical school.
P.S. I know this may be a controversial post and is very Western-centric in the idea of God, but it’s my experience.