Who would've thunk I'd be posting on my infertility blog about an article I read today from this weekend's Wall Street Journal? Yet here we are. And apparently I'm partly to blame for the U.S.'s "baby bust":
"Today, America's total fertility rate is 1.93, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; it hasn't been above the replacement rate in a sustained way since the early 1970s."
My mom is the oldest of 7, my dad the oldest of 3. I have 1 uncle who has 4 kids; everyone else has 1 or 2. My in-laws also come from large families of 4 & 5 kids each. However, my parents only had 2 kids: me & my younger sister. And my in-laws did the same: my sister-in-law came along 18 mos after Vid was born. Contrary to what the average American thinks of India, the south of the country, where Vid is from, has undergone massive family planning campaigns since the 1970s. Among his peers, most of them also only have 1 sibling. If we ever manage to procreate, we are "1 & done", unless a miracle occurs in the form of twins or the immaculate conception, So what can we do to help encourage procreation? Some ideas:
"Conservatives like to think that if we could just provide the right tax incentives for childbearing, then Americans might go back to having children the way they did 40 years ago. Liberals like to think that if we would just be more like France—offer state-run day care and other programs so women wouldn't have to choose between working and motherhood—it would solve the problem. But the evidence suggests that neither path offers more than marginal gains."
Both tax incentives & state run day cares are interesting ideas to be sure. But what about us infertiles who don't get squat in the way of tax breaks for our embryos crapping out before they turn into humans? I suppose I should take solace in the fact I can write off health care related expenses if they exceed 10% of income. But what about those if us who will never use state-run daycare, even if we do finally have a kid? I know daycare is expensive & all but so is infertility! And @ least you have fun with kids; there is nothing fun about giving yourself a shot in the ass every night & then still getting your period.
Speaking of which:
"The problem is that, while making babies is fun, raising them isn't. A raft of research shows that if you take two people who are identical in every way except for childbearing status, the parent will be on average about six percentage points less likely to be "very happy" than the nonparent. (That's just for one child. Knock off two more points for each additional bundle of joy.)"
1. Making babies is not fun for an infertile. 2. I beg to differ that I am happier than a parent. Do I think having a baby will make me the hap, hap, happiest person since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye? No. But for every woman complaining about 3am feedings there is another wishing it was her.