Wednesday, 3 June 2009

My Left Foot

You can take the girl out of Catholicism but you can't take the guilt out of the girl.

In the 18 years since kicking my wafer and wine on a Sunday morning habit I have managed to divest myself of most of my Catholic hang ups.

When in a church for touristic or wedding purposes my hand might do a slight twitch as I walk in front of the altar but it doesn't go as far as the full spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch sweep.

The only Virgin Mary in my life is a drink without the normal shot of vodka when I'm on a health kick.

And the whole contraception thing. How ever much I might have regretted keeping it for so long, if the coil is going to sort out my womb - bring it on.

There is just two areas where I can't shake my left-footer roots. The guilt (and I know this isn't the first time I've bemoaned this), and my love of Catholic tat.

And lately I have found another reason to beat myself up.

Two friends who are fully aware of the difficulties the husband and I have been having with the whole procreation thing are themselves fast approaching the: "Ok. This isn't fun anymore why aren't we pregnant" stage.

Initially if they had got knocked up quicker than a three-egg omelette I would have been jealous, upset, pleased for them but miserable for myself. But as the months pass I have formed a theory.

It is my fault.

Hear me out on this one.

Most people start their breeding missions with a gleeful heart convinced that had they not been popping pills, wriggling into rubbers or packing progesterone (in coil form) they'd have a brood of 11 or 12. It is only after several months that it dawns on them that it might not be that easy.

But these guys. My friends. They know how hard it can be. They have practically peered into my punani with the Doctor.

What if this has caused them to be more stressed than normal about their ability to reproduce?
What if, because of their knowledge of our difficulties, they were prevented from having the first few months of the hallowed state of being "just relaxed"?
What if it is all my fault?

Yes, no longer am I blaming myself for my own shortcomings, I'm taking on those of my friends too.

All thanks to my papist up bringing.


  1. I think the guilt thing is religiously universal. I am an on again, off again and on again Catholic, who has never suffered from this guilt syndrome, however, my MIL, who is 100% protestant, seems to suffer from it daily. She actually told me once that she thought that it was her fault we couldn't get pregnant(due to her past mistakes and sins.) Well, I can blame her for a lot of things, but my infertility isn't one of them. I think that guilt is more a personality trait than a religious one, just my opinion for what it's worth (not much I know.) I doubt you are to blame for others lack of procreation, but if you are open to taking the blame for things, nor your fault, I will be happy to accommodate. Take it easy on yourself, a conscience is a good thing, guilt, not so much.

  2. Ohhhhh the guilt thing !! AND the catholic thing !!
    On making wedding arranngements our priest decided to remind us about how much the catholic church are against IVF......thanks for that !! - but how did he know !! Hmmmm Grrr xx xx

  3. **slinks away from ANY comment on Catholicism at the moment**

  4. Those nuns have a lot to answer for!

  5. That guilt thing is entrenched well then.
    But then again, I guess there's a degree of "proddie" guilt in me too ... just not about procreation.

  6. Yes guilt. It's insanity. As much as we KNOW that's not what causes IF issues - we can't escape it. And by the way.. non-Catholics can be brought up with a fair share of guilt as well. haha.


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