Friday, January 11, 2008

Are you *&#%@$@ kidding me

As you all know I have always been a huge fan of America's Next Top Model. I've watched every season religiously and I don't even cheat to look on the internet to see who won ahead of time since we're one or two seasons behind here in Holland. It was actually a running joke that helped Marco and I get through some of the toughest times we had when we were dealing with our Infertility problems. Every time we would have an appoinment or a procedure or anything, no matter good or bad, he would tell me "Sarah you're one step closer to becoming the Mommy of America's Next Top Model". It was a much needed comic relief in a very difficult time in our lives.

Now I've been reading some things on various message boards today and have found out that the Tyra show thinks that this show is a good idea. The premise of the show is this (taken directly from her website):

Do you know a woman who is obsessed with becoming a mom? Have you seen and heard her struggle for years, felt her unvoiced jealously and seen her desperation first hand? Have you watched silently for too long as she gets her hopes up only to be disappointed and heartbroken when she can’t conceive? Has she tried extreme methods and spent a lot of money to get pregnant with no luck? Do you want to finally tell her she needs to stop the emotional and physical stress on her body and seriously consider adoption or a surrogate alternative? If you know a woman who is obsessed with becoming a mom and getting pregnant, then SUBMIT BELOW. "

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!?!?! Why are people who persue parenthood for years suddenly "obsessed"? Why would one single person ever think that this would be acceptable to do to a couple who is suffering with infertility? Somebody would have to have some king-sized kahonies to even have the gall to say such a thing to an infertile couple. How dare they?

Naturally I couldn't just let things be. I had to speak my peace. I've written a letter to the producer of the show that went a little like this:

Dear Kimberly,

I have recently discovered the link to your "Obsessed with Becoming Pregnant" theme for an upcoming Tyra show and I thank you for taking the time to read my letter. I'm going to have to say that I think the idea for this show is the absolute worst thing you could possibly do for couples suffering with infertility… the absolute worst. Pardon me if my letter is a passionate one, this topic hits so close to home that I cannot help but be blunt.

One in six couples in the United States are infertile for valid medical reasons. Who are you or Tyra or anybody to tell any couple they should not seek medical treatment? Have you ever tried having a child? I'm guessing the answer to that is one of two things either a) yes you tried and you succeeded or b)no, so you have no idea what it means to some women to be a mother.

Just like Tyra dreamed to be a successful model/spokeswoman all of her life, it's been her life's ambition, some women and men have dreams of holding their own child in their arms all of their lives. Who is the Tyra show to tell them not to chase that dream with full force? Would she have stopped trying to model if you failed after a year or two or you found it difficult or it took it's toll on your personal life? I'm guessing not.

There is enough ignorance surrounding infertility and fertility treatments that the Tyra show does not need to spread it further. It is nobody's business, no matter how close they are to a person, to poke their nose into a couples private reproductive choices. When did the decision to have a child become that of anybody BUT the couple involved? How far a couple chooses to go in their treatments and quest for a child is not done on a whim, trust me. There are hours/days/weeks/months of tears, waiting, arguing, disappointments, talking, crying, silence, counseling and a million other emotions that go into just the thought of fertility treatments.

Unless you are infertile you could never understand the heartbreak that comes along with infertility and by allowing somebody outside that couples pain to come on national television and tell them that "I think you've done enough" is asinine. It's insulting to every infertile couple out there (again 1 out of every 6 of us are). It's ludicrous and it absolutely should not be done for any reason. Leave shows like these for Jerry Springer. No fertile person could ever stand in front of me and have a good argument as to why my husband and I should stop treatments. It is not their business and to even think for one moment that it is disgusts me.

There is already such a negative connotation associated with infertility and so many people chose to suffer in silence rather than facing the ridicule of their family, friends and society for their own personal choices. Why would you want to add to that suffering by doing a show like this? It is just a horrible idea and I hope you put it to rest. I realize this letter is full of emotion but that's exactly what infertility is. I would love to talk to you about it sometime and help you to understand exactly why I feel so passionately about this subject.

Sincerely, Infertility Sufferer Sarah

I know some of my readers also suffer with infertility. I know my family and friends have stood by watching helplessly as Marco and I dealt with infertilty, not knowing what to say or do to make our pain any better. Just because I am pregnant now doesn't mean that infertilty didn't change me or that I've forgotten what it is like. Even if you're just a reader of my blog then you 'know' somebody who is infertile. So please, if you have a minute please click this link and send a short message to the show letting them know that this is not a good idea and should not be done. It will take you 30 seconds but it will mean more to me and other IF couples out there than you will ever understand.


A girl on a mission....100 pounds to go!!! said...

You go girl!
Great letter!
Hopefully they will respond!

Anonymous said...

I wrote them. How rude, in the words of Michelle Tanner. I haven't struggled with infertility, but I know people who have. I feel their point of view is very insulting and condescending. Good for you for speaking up, I'm sure others wouldn't have thinking that they couldn't make a difference.

Teale said...

Wow, I can't think of many things more insensitive than a show like this! I'm clicking on the link!

Amy said...

(Standing and applauding!)

Very well said! Good for you!

georgiegirl said...


Whoa... I went to the Tyra site. It is extremely insensitive. It sounds more like a Jerry Springer type of show.

I sent my message... it's not nearly as passionate as yours. You wrote a wonderful letter.

Chubby Chick said...

Ya know what? To be perfectly honest... I don't like Tyra... or ANY of her shows. She thinks she's "all that and a bag of potato chips," and that just totally turns me off. And... OMG... if I hear her use the word "fierce" one more time... I am going to scream! lol

Whoot,Whoot said...

You should tell the Tyra show to "talk to the hand!!!"

Daniele said...

I like Tyra. Well I used to. I can't believe they are going to produce this type of show though.It's quite unbelievable! Well done for writing that letter. Thank you!