An Open Letter to Babble.com in Regard to Fertility Issues

 

Babble.com, Babble, fertility issues, infertility, Mamlode, Amy KleinDear Babble,

What were you thinking running the article about Motherlode columnist, Amy Klein’s fertility issues, titled Should We Be Sympathetic to a 42-Year-Old’s Fertility Struggles? May I ask, were all the editors on vacation? Was there a hiatus on good judgment and common decency? Seriously, wtf were you thinking? Normally, I am a fan of Babble. Many of my friends write there and generally it’s very PG and non-threatening, a great resource for parents, but this particular post was deplorable. I know from her bio that the author is a comedienne but this shit was not funny.at.all!

And in answer to your “question” …Yeah, Hell Yeah!  You should feel sympathetic to anyone’s fertility issues because it’s a problem for the person who has it whether she is 25 or 45. Just like you should feel sympathy and compassion for a rape victim, no matter what she was wearing, how drunk she was or who she was dry humping the night she was raped. The same reason you feel compassion for patients with cancer, whether they smoked every day of their life, drank themselves into oblivion or played with radiation!

You are sympathetic because you are human and you have compassion to people’s struggles. You are sympathetic because you have not lived in their shoes and don’t know their story. You are sympathetic because you shouldn’t kick a person when they are down. You are sympathetic because you don’t want to be the mean kid on the playground; the bullying asshole that everyone else hates. But, instead, you chose to let one of your writers pen a condescending post on her thoughts on fertility issues, from her fertile high horse. Nice move; not very Disney of you, at all.

“These are the days of ugly emotions. Infertility hijacks your schedule, damages your relationship with your spouse and unleashes in you terrible jealousy of other women, women who conceive easily, without thought, without drugs, without dozens of days lost to medical intervention. Women whose biggest problems are swollen feet.”

Those seem like fighting words coming from a 42-year-old woman trying to get pregnant for the first time, I thought. Surely this woman must understand that at her age fertility problems are to be expected when trying to conceive for the first time. How could she be so angry? Didn’t she see this coming?

Moreover, like so many people do when confronted with this sort of thing, I thought, ”Are we really supposed to feel sorry for a 42-year-old woman who is doing IVF when she could just adopt?”

My head nearly exploded when I read the above part of the article. Let’s be honest, I know all about link bait and controversy. In fact, I am no stranger to controversy and I know I piss people off with my strong opinions on everything from gun control to breastfeeding but I would never make fun of a person who is physically unable to do something like breastfeeding, I don’t poke fun at the mentally ill and I certainly would never interview a mother of a child who found her gun and shot himself and ridicule her because I have one thing that this article lacks; human decency.

The article began dripping of judgment and condescension, on a parenting website. This should be a safe place for moms, not a place to be shamed and ridiculed. Then the author said she was going to give the woman the benefit of an interview, for context and understanding, only the entire interview read like this; ( paraphrased; these are not direct quotes ) To be fair: I do not know this writer or her story or her issues, I am only responding to how the piece was written. She may be perfectly lovely and may have just been having an off day but this is how I felt the piece came off and many of my FB followers agree.

Amy Klein (Interviewee) : Explanation, explanation, and explanation

Author at Babble: (dripping with condescension) You should have tried to get pregnant earlier.

Author at Babble: Why don’t you adopt?

Author: I married young because I knew I wanted to get married and I wanted to have a family. In marrying so young, I made a choice that didn’t work out and I’m now divorced, but I have a beautiful daughter. It seems that often women are cornered in these ways: wait to find someone you feel truly compatible with and enter a marriage you feel as certain as possible will last but then deal with potential fertility issues, or marry young and take your chances when you’re still quite fertile. Not that it’s always an either/or situation, but still. Based on the way things have played out for you, what advice would you give to younger women when it comes to love/marriage/babies? I mentioned on Facebook a while back that women should take the time they need to try to find a truly healthy love relationship, but that if they don’t find a great partner by their mid-30′s, they should just have a baby alone.

 

Author at Babble: That’s why I had my baby when I was young and fertile. I am divorced now, but I have my kid. Maybe you should have thought about all of this 20 years ago…when you were still fertile.

Amy Klein (exhausted and demeaned): Goes Home.

Please, Please, Please editors, read posts before they go live. Babble, I expected more from you. We all do. This post has left a bad taste in my mouth for Babble and I am sure it has for other readers, as well. Try a little human kindness when addressing the issue of fertility.

Sincerely,

Truthful Mommy

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Comments (4)

Wow, they really let this one slide past, didn’t they? This is unacceptable from a place that is supposed to be for and by moms.

The author has every right to be judgmental of whoever or whatever she wants, but Babble also has the responsibility to not publish something so offensive to their readers.

@Michael Lombardi

This is exactly what I was thinking. It’s like no one was paying attention and to let such a controversial topic be covered so callously is total bullshit. That’s what editors are for, to stop this kind of thing from happening.

When I first started reading I immediately thought, “Well she is going to take us on a journey starting with judgment and ending at compassion.” But even after going back and forth with Klein she still stuck with her initial, off-color tone. I am all for opposing views but a little tact and humanity would have made this article worth my time. Bad form Babble and kudos to you for saying so. You have a new reader.

I kept waiting for it to get better too! It was a train wreck. Thanks for reading:) Welcome

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