A story about what’s humanly possible?
Woe is me! I promised myself months ago that I will stay clear from reading about Amy Klein’s journey toward motherhood mostly because each time I read one of her entries I found myself inwardly calling out: Amy!!!! Stop, can’t you see? BRICK WALL AHEAD!
Then this past Tuesday, working late into the night, I got a Twitter alert about one of Amy’s posts and tired as I was, I couldn’t resist. I clicked on her latest piece titled, You’ve Done Everything You Can.
Although this time she might be closer to getting off the roller coaster of fertility treatments, some of the lines in that piece begged to be addressed. In my mind’s eye I saw myself once again having a late night chat with Amy.
Amy: (Quoting her doctor) Look, I wanted to tell you this privately,” she said. “Amy, you must know that you’ve done everything humanly possible. More than everything.
Julia: I do understand the blinding desperation that compels us to run from one savior to the next. Been there, done that myself more than once. But no, Amy, yours is not the story about what’s humanly possible. It’s a case study about the limitations of technology and our collective human arrogance of wanting what we want when we want it regardless of the cost to our health, our children’s health and the earth that feeds us.
What was the point?
Amy: Was there no point to all my suffering, these crazy meds, this international move? There was no point, and there was no end.
Julia: It’s up to us to live our way into discovering what the “point” was. It’s also up to us to turn the suffering and pain into labor pain that allows us to birth the life of meaning we had once meant to live.
Amy: “I thought of what the rabbi, our benefactor, had told me earlier in the week. “Promise me you won’t give up, Amy. Even if it doesn’t work this time: Promise me you’ll keep trying,”
Julia: Rabbis who know little about our bodies and tell us to force our ovaries into increased performance silencing the call of the soul for respite and repair, are hardly our benefactors.
Why we must engage and speak up?
The truth is after reading the piece I still tried to reason myself out from engaging any further. Enough, I thought, she can’t hear me. I’ve said it all before. (See links at bottom of this piece) I wrote welcoming posts, I sent Amy an email invitation to come as my guest to Woodstock. Why bother?
But the next day I ran into a friend at the juice bar, a lovely woman in her sixties (we’ll call her Mary) , who greeted me with:
I saw your book mentioned in a New York Times article, Mary said.
Oh, really? That must’ve been a while ago, I replied, remembering one of Amy’s last entries in which she mentioned my first book, Inconceivable.
It turned out Mary is worried about her daughter’s fertility. Her daughter Sasha is in her twenties, but Mary has read every one of Amy Klein’t s Fertility Diary entries and she is worried.
So why must we keep clearing up the misconceptions of the NYT’s Fertility Diary? Because Amy Klein’s journey will stay in the public eye for a long, long time. New York Times carries a weight of authority. Mothers like Mary and daughter like Sasha will read those entries and the words of Amy’s diary will keep seeping into the collective consciousness feeding the fire-breathing dragons of fear, powerlessness and ageism.
Here is a story I share in the Authority Vested In You chapter of The Fertile Female. Amy Klein might not read it, but perhaps someone else, someone whose doctor also just said, I’m not saying you have a zero chance of getting pregnant, but it’s close to zero. Less than 1 percent. You’re done everything humanly possible.” will find solace in this ancient wisdom.
When God created human beings, the angels were jealous because God had endowed the humans with divine wisdom that would guide them through life. So the jealous angels conspired to hide this gift from the humans. “Let’s take it to the peak of the highest mountain,” said one. “No,” said the an other, “Let’s bury it at the bottom of the deepest sea.” But the smartest angel of all said: “Let’s hide divine wisdom deep inside each person. It’s the last place they’ll ever look.” Hasidic legend
Lessons InFertility: Are We Each Other’s Healers? Can Amy Klein & Julia Indichova “Heart” Each Other?
Fertile Idolatry: A Doctor, a Rabbi and a Priest Walk Into a Womb (In support of NYT columnist Amy Klein)