As I said in my previous post, I’m obsessed with Friends. I’ve watched the whole show in its entirety on multiple occasions. There is another show that I never tire of watching repeatedly, Sex and the City. I never got to watch it when it was actually on TV (my parents never had HBO). I discovered it in high school and fell in love. It is a great show and the friendship that these four women share is something that I strive to have in my life. They are there for each other 100% of the time through every up and every down. Plus, the show is hilarious! Their one liners are great.
If you are a fan of the show (and if you aren’t, you should be), then you know that Charlotte struggles with infertility. (This seems to be a common theme on my favorite shows, Friends and SATC. I guess it is just good drama.) I haven’t watched the show since before we started trying for a child. I recently started to re-watch the show and have a completely new take on Charlotte’s struggle. It hit very close to home.
In one of the episodes, Charlotte meets the ladies for lunch and throws a box of tampons on the table. She starts complaining that she got her period and that she just knows there is something wrong with her, that she is the reason they can’t get pregnant. She goes on to rant about how women just look at someone and get pregnant. How she tried so hard to prevent being pregnant when she was younger and that she should’ve been so lucky to get pregnant on accident. Meanwhile, this whole time her friend, Miranda, is sitting across from her, having just learned she was pregnant, on accident. They tell Charlotte that Miranda is pregnant (and possibly considering an abortion) and she loses it. That feeling is devastating. You want to be happy for your friends/family who are pregnant, but each announcement is like a knife in your heart, a bitter reminder that you are trying all that you can and it isn’t working. I immediately started crying watching this scene. It’s heartbreaking and it’s real. It is exactly how someone struggling with infertility feels in those situations, even if they don’t necessarily start flipping out and yelling like she did on the show.
Later on in the episode, Charlotte finds out that her mucus is creating sperm antibodies and is attacking her husband’s sperm, giving her a 15% chance of having a baby naturally. While on her way home from her appointment, she runs into Miranda on the street. She confesses what she just found out at the doctor. Miranda asks her if she needs her to walk home with her. Charlotte declines and continues to walk home. Meanwhile, Miranda turns around and followed Charlotte all the way home, just in case she needed her. This, yet again, reduced me to tears. The show provides a template that I think all friendships should strive to be. Here was Miranda, who just got yelled at by Charlotte for being pregnant, walking behind her friend because she needed her. She didn’t care that Charlotte was upset with her, she knew her friend needed support and she was there providing it, whether Charlotte asked for it or not. That is friendship and that is something that people struggling with infertility want to feel. They want to feel supported and know that people are there for them as they struggle. They won’t ask for this help but having it can make a world of difference.
Even later on in the episode, Miranda goes to the doctor to have an abortion. You see her go into the doctor’s office and then they cut to her in her apartment with Samantha and Carrie. There is a knock on the door and there is Charlotte with flowers. She sits down next to Miranda and advises she brought flowers because she didn’t know what to do in this type of situation (after your friend has an abortion). Miranda tells her that she didn’t do it, she is keeping the baby. Charlotte’s response was “ We’re having a baby?!”. Again, in tears. Here is Charlotte, struggling with her own infertility and realization that having a baby may not happen for her, going to support her friend who she thought aborted her own baby. That again is friendship. She put her own feelings aside to be there for her friend. I’d like to think that I’ve done that for my friends who have been pregnant while I struggle. I know I may not have been the best at it but I’ve tried to put my feelings aside and let my friends know I still care and am here if they need me.
Seeing Charlotte struggle on SATC after struggling myself with infertility, really struck a nerve. I could completely relate to her struggle. I felt like the way they portrayed her emotions, reactions, and interactions is completely accurate for someone dealing with infertility. Initially, it starts out with a little frustration but as each month progresses, your anxiety and anger gets worse. Having watched the show and movies hundreds of times, I know that she goes on to get her happy ending. But seeing her struggle while I myself am struggling, added a whole new emotional reaction and way for me to relate to the show.