So, as I've shared with you in past posts, I run an afterschool Youth Center filled with 32 wonderful heathens. No, seriously, I love them to death and wouldn't trade them for the world. I get quite a bit of amusement out of them most of the time and my job can be very rewarding. One day not long after Hubby's MESA surgery, I caught two of my teenagers taunting each other in a very playful way. Their insult? "You're nothin' but a test tube baby."
Seeing as how I was desperately trying to have one of those test tube babies, I decided to talk to the kids about what they were saying. I asked them if they knew what they were saying and none of them really did. (None of them know anything about my journey to the test tube baby....) I explained that some people sometimes have trouble having a kid. I know this is a foreign concept to most of them because their families are huge. Trouble with conception is definitely a foreign concept to most of them. I went on to tell them that sometimes people have trouble with the eggs or the sperm and have to have a baby formed in a petri dish, not an actual test tube, in order to have a healthy baby. I told them that there's no difference from someone conceived the normal way and someone conceived in a petri dish by putting the sperm and the egg together and letting them grow there. I explained that it's a choice the mom and dad make that has nothing to do with the child. I said that calling each other a "test tube baby" like it was a put-down is terribly rude because they were making fun of a circumstance over which someone had no control. They looked pretty shocked once I explained what they were saying.
I asked them if they had questions. They asked what a petri dish looked like and I found a picture on Google and showed it to them. They seemed pretty intrigued with the whole idea. They all said that they had no idea what they were saying could be so hurtful and left my office. They've moved on and are looking for a new insult.
I knew that none of them were really trying to be hurtful with their comments, but it was my one chance to talk to them about how their words - especially those words - could be hurtful to someone. I wonder if my children will someday be eluded to as "test tube babies" and will that be a source of hurt? Hubby and I have full intentions of telling our children how they were conceived in case they have similar problems when they are adults, but I certainly never want them to feel different or inadequate because of the inability of their mom and dad to have a child the natural way. I never thought of how our children might feel until that day. I hope they know they were created out of the biggest amount of love that could possibly be shared between 2 people, even though we've had to go about it in a bit different way.