Monday, June 18, 2007

Scattered Monday thoughts...

First, I’m glad I got a lot of takers on the inflatable gona1-f pen and ovaries. Ironically, my next-door neighbor has a side business renting inflatable bounce houses. I wonder if he could hook me up?

In other news, I’m EXHAUSTED. And my breasts are sore. The combo of which really gives lie to the idea that those are both early pregnancy symptoms, no? I mean, I’m on bcps, for peet’s sake!

Although, I have to admit that hubby and I had a good laugh about it. I mean, that’s good comedy: two years of infertility. One miscarriage. And we get pregnant on BCPs? THAT would be amusing. Sort of …

I’m also happy to report that I’ve less than a week of BCPs left. I start my stims a week from Wednesday. I have a feeling that, starting Wednesday, everything is going to go really quickly. It’s just all so strange, and I’m still so conflicted.

On a semi-related note, there’s been a lot of talk in the blogosphere about friends lately—and more to the point about how friends can really end up letting you down in ways that would have been hard to anticipate. I think that’s why on some level I just don’t talk to most people about what we’re going through. I think I mentioned the other day that I’m still very much in the IF closet at work. But the truth is that my closet extends beyond work. I just don’t know anyone irl who’s ever (as far as I know) been through any of this, and I just hate having to talk about it with people who I know just can’t possibly understand. I feel like it's on some level setting them up for failure, and me up for disappointment.

Case in point: I was talking to one of the few friends in whom I have confided about all of this and she was asking if we were going through with IVF. I told her we were, but that I wasn’t really happy about it. I just didn’t want to go through all of this, that it just seemed spectacularly unfair, and that I was still just having a really hard time with it.

“Well you’ll just be happy when it’s all done.”

To which I replied, “well, certainly not if it doesn’t work. And even if it does, that THIS is what it takes for us to have a baby is upsetting and hard to come to terms with.”

“I guess.”

Argh.

I don’t know what I expected. I KNOW she can’t and doesn’t understand, but it just really pissed me off that it was so easy for her to say, “well, this will all be over if you just get pregnant.” It was just another reminder of how deep the chasm between fertiles and infertiles is. I mean, even if we’re lucky enough to get and stay pregnant—and deliver a healthy baby—this journey has changed me, has changed us. It’s changed our perspective on so many things. So, while I obviously hope it does work, and while I would certainly be ecstatic about it, it wouldn’t immediately erase everything we’ve been through.

But, it occurs to me that that’s what everyone will expect. What little empathy we do get now will be gone if we get pregnant. Like a pregnancy—after two years of infertility and much pain and isolation—will instantaneously make up for or erase everything else.

And I guess I wonder on some level the news of a pregnancy wouldn’t just leave some people feeling in some sense relieved—relieved that they no longer have to deal with the uncomfortable “what should I say to the IFer” conversations.

That’s not to say they won’t be genuinely happy for us, because I know they will. But also, the news will just make THEM more comfortable. And they won’t understand how difficult and scary every day of early pregnancy will be for us. And they won’t understand the pain we’ll still feel when the due dates of our earlier pregnancies pass. They’ll mostly just think that we should be happy and grateful. And they’ll secretly hope that we can just brush everything else—all of the other pain we’ve experienced—under the rug.

Maybe I’m wrong, and I hope I am. But my friend’s reaction today just hit home in a way that I hadn’t anticipated. And it made me realize that, even if (when?) we do make it into their “club,” there will still be a void that’s hard to bridge. And while I still love my fertile friends and feel so fortunate to have them, this journey and experience will inevitably have changed our friendship.

20 comments:

Natalie said...

I hear ya on the fake pregnancy symptoms while on BCP. It's really peeving me off.

I think you're right about that chasm... how people think it will be all better if you just get pregnant. And I think that's one of the hardest parts of infertility... it's not just a "for now" kind of thing. It changes you permanently. It changes your perspective. And non-infertiles don't really see that, they don't understand that it has a huge emotional lasting impact like any other major disease.

Chris said...

You have made some really good observations, things I have felt, but haven't really been able to put my finger on.

Thanks for your kind comment on my blog. Would it be OK if I added you to my blogroll?

Caro said...

I'm sure some people will think everything is fine for us too when/if we get pregnant. I did get a surprisingly good reaction from an unexpected person yesterday though so you never know.

Amy said...

That is an excellent post Sticky Bun! I wanted to expound on one point you wrote: "It’s changed our perspective on so many things." I can't speak for anyone else but I would hope that this experience has changed us for the better (even though the actual experience just SUCKS). What else would give us a kick in the pants to be more sensitive around others and change our lifestyles for the better hopefully, like eating healthier, exercising more, etc). But not just that. I know that if children make it into our lives, we won't (hopefully) be sweating the meaningless things that can weigh us down. I don't remember on whose blog I read this, but the author wrote something along the lines that she'll never worry about $800 strollers etc because those types of things are just so unimportant in the grand scheme of it all. I really feel this way also. Anyways, excellent post. Also, sorry that your friend just doesn't get it. It's hard to be in another persons shoes and say the right things when you aren't living it on a daily basis. This happens to me occasionally when I read an emotional blog and I just don't know what to say (er, comment I mean). Obviously not the case here since I can't seem to shut up! :) Anyways, many hugs to you :)

Cece said...

I was just looking at your 'caffine free' thing on your sidebar as I sip on my morning coffee. Whoops. I gave up coffee for over 2 years - and hten just decided screw it - and have been drinking it for the past two weeks.

As for friends, I had 4 close firends who have all been through this... which is a huge help. And at work, my manager and people who work for me have all been through it - so I have a much different situation. But - my very best friend is single at 35 - and if I complain about this process - she says - well, at least you have someone to try with. I understand her frustration, but it pissed me off all the same.

serenity said...

Dude, my boobs are ALWAYS more sore on BCPs then they are normally. I've given up on them as a "pregnancy symptom."

Birth control is evil. Really.

As to your friend... I really liked this: "But also, the news will just make THEM more comfortable."

I think that most people are uncomfortable with IF unless they've experienced it themselves. There's only so much pain and sadness people can take. You are SO right - getting PG means that THEY are off the hook for being a good and constant source of support.

*sigh* Does this mean I've turned into a cynic?

Kate said...

WHat you said is very true....

Bean said...

Hear, hear! I couldn't agree with you more. Great post and you said it so well. I completely agree that the IF stuff isn't just going to go away -- no matter what the outcome, AND that non-infertiles will probably assume it's all in the past. Having gone through all this, I now have a health disdain for the phrases "just move on" and "get over it".

Mary Ellen and Steve said...

All very true Sticky Bun.

Sarah said...

uh...yeah. it's a little uncanny how well you've described what it's like to be a newly pregnant infertile when all the fertiles of the world just want you to rejoice and be happy and you're just not there and you can't make them understand. but the good news is the blogosphere will still understand, and eventually you just won't give a crap so much that the fertile world doesn't get it.

you're also very right that time will start to fly by in the next week or so (thankfully). i hope it all goes well for you!!

Becks said...

IF does change your friendships, I get annoyed when they say something that evidences that they just don't get it. It makes you want to scream sometimes.

I have been reflecting on the 'friends' thing recently, and I have decided that IF might deprive me of a baby in the end, but it won't take my friends away too....losing everything is just unbearable, so alhtough its hard, I try to bite my tongue.

Ms. Planner said...

This is an excellent post Sticky. But we wouldn't expect anything less from you, would we now : )

After my second miscarriage, I had to come to terms that my path to motherhood would be nothing like my friends. Even if we get pg again naturally, there will be the constant fear. It will in no way be joyful. I had to mourn not having a "normal" pregnancy and a "normal" path to being a mom. It sounds like you are going through a bit of this, when is totally normal as you approach IVF.

That being said, I am sorry that your friends have let you down. Especially right now, when you should be getting a lot of support and understanding. Hopefully telling us about it helped on some level.

Thinking of you, Ms. P

megan said...

i think you're right about the gulf between the IFers and the fertiles (we need a west side story equivalent here). it has certainly changed my husband and i for good. sorry to read about your friend's reaction. . . i really think that people either get it or they don't. i've found few that are inbetween...

Carrie said...

I think the emotional effort it takes to try and share thoughts and feelings with some one who doesn't get it is sometimes just not worth it. It's frustrating at best.

I'm sure most people will think that a baby after infertility=happy ever after. Then again, I'd probably have thought this too. Who knew how many levels this gets you on?

Erin said...

Thanks so much for your kind words (as always!). I hated feeling like that, but it always seems to happen.

I know exactly what you mean about navigating friends. Those waiting for our BFP, just so that they don't have to tiptoe around us. Or the others that forgo tiptoeing for stomping all over with "It will happen"-type reassurances.

Wow, your stims have come up quick! (For me anyway!) Are you doing lupron, too? Have you received all the meds yet? The sheer amount of them is mind-boggling to me. I'll be checking in on you!

CAM said...

SO TRUE! The chasm may even change those of us who eventually go to the other "side" and join the pregnancy club. One friend of mine who went through a few IUIs and was bitter and twisted with me finally got pregnant. Now she is planning other people's baby showers and totally crossed over. It hurts me because we barely talk anymore...but she has jumped to the other side of the chasm. Weird.
Thanks for the post. It made me feel not so crazy...

FattyPants said...

I am beginning to understand that friends and fertility don't mix. Well except for some of hubby's beer buddies who are suprisingly sensitive and supportive about the entire issue. Maybe she just was caught off gaurd and didn't know what to say?

Leah said...

I definitely understand what you are talking about. Some days it feels like my fertile friends and I are standing on opposite sides of The Grand Canyon. That just sucks.

Matthew M. F. Miller said...

I hope your breasts are better predictors than Constance's were. I think BCPs are evil, too, but I hope you're feeling well. Do what you need to do to make yourself happy.

Ann said...

I know this is sorta obnoxious, but if I do become pregnant someday, I plan to remind people every chance I get that this baby came about through IF treatments. That I'm NOT like every other woman out there who got pregnant just like that. That this was a MAJOR accomplishment for me.