Thursday, December 3, 2009

Next stop: guiltytown.

Warning: this is obviously my blog. So duh, I put my opinions here. I think this post might be a bit heavy in the opinion arena, and it might rub some folks the wrong way, and I'm sorry for that. My intention is not to judge anyone's path (hello? Five IVFs here) but as I keep saying, I'm writing to stay sane. Now on with the post!

I feel guilty.

Guilty that I've spent as much money as I have on this pursuit when children languish in orphanages around the world. Guilty because that's the attitude we IFers often get from fertiles when they say something like "but there are so many needy kids out there!" and it makes us want to claw our eyeballs out. But the truth is: it's the truth. Guilty because Mr. LC and I always said we'd 'have one adopt one' and truthfully, adopting goes more with our liberal/moral philosophy on life--because let's face it--taking care of a child that already exists is much better for the world in nearly every single way. Guilty because this makes perfect sense to me but I can't get my heart to agree completely to that point.

So I feel guilty because of my biological urge.

Guilty that I have made my fertile friends suffer from the condition of 'fertile guilt. That I screwed up the whole chance to have playdates and Mom's brunches and just be normal.

Guilty that I can't move on.

Guilty that four and half years of supposedly the best time of my life have had an undercurrent of profound sadness because of IF and I know that's made me a shitty friend sometimes, and a less than gracious person, and bitter, and jealous, and sometimes I've acted like a spoiled child stamping my feet saying "I want I want I want."

Guilty that I still don't want to give up.

Guilty that I'm so selfish to want my own child that I would have gone to such ridiculous lengths to do it.

Guilty that I spent so much time and energy on this. Imagine if I had channeled that elsewhere? I can say this: I would've taken and passed my NLA boards by now, I would have written my book (though what would the ending be?), I could have accomplished so much with that energy.

Guilty that I'm a crappy godmother. A crappy aunt.

Guilty that I didn't support Phoebe properly during her cycle because I was too mired in my own grief.

Guilty that I am jealous jealous jealous--not only now of my friends with kids, but of people with two healthy parents, too! Guilty because I'm jealous of former infertiles with pregnancies--I hate being jealous of them because they worked hard to get where they are and all I wanted was to join them.

Guilty that I feel like someone else shouldn't have success on their first IVF cycle because I haven't had success after five. Damn that sounds horrible.

Guilty that I'm scared of the next pregnancy announcement, from a fertile or infertile. They all hurt these days. Guilty that I'm mostly scared of being the only one left because it's ticking down--in real life and in online life.

Guilty guilty guilty.

And now guilty because my Mom just called to tell me that my Dad is in the ER with probable pyelonephritis and he's miserable. Guilty because he called out "Mrs. LC! I'm watching for you to come in the door any minute now!" Guilty because I just wanted this weekend to be with Mr. LC, we have plans to try to re-join the living, but instead I probably should be driving 3.5 hour towards the hospital right now. Guilty because if I could just move on to adoption my Mom would have something wonderful to focus on and it would lift her low spirits so much.

There, I purged.

Guilty as charged.


  1. LC,

    I'm sorry to hear about your dad. And I'm really sorry about how this last cycle turned out for you.

    I am so with you on the guilt about adoption. I have similar views, and when it comes to pets I am 100% and advocate of adopting older, special needs ones, against breeding, etc. But then when it comes to human kids I just can't get past the urge to have my own. Despite the many tens of thousands we've waste so far, etc.

    One thing that doesn't make me really feel better, but helps me, is that I truly believe you practically need to be a social worker to take care of some of the needy orphans. We've been to an adoption seminar and heard what it's like for many kids--and we were told that in essentially all cases, even where you get the newborn, there is loss of some kind to deal with. And, I have to sadly admit, I don't have what it takes for the more special needs ones, i.e. born to mothers on meth, been through the foster system for years, etc. Unless we win the lottery, we will both be working. I think some of those kids might need a stay at home parent. And then I feel guilty that I don't have the skills and fortitude. And then there's the whole environment/overpopulation thing to feel guilty about. Not to mention what we could have accomplished with all the money we've spent.

    So anyway, you're not alone in this.

    Take care.

  2. Hi Mrs LC, am thinking of you a lot.You know that old adage: "Guilt is a useless emotion". Well it's true. Please don't feel guilty for not denying yourself that hugely primal urge to have a biological child. Many of us in the IF community are guilty as charged in pursuing treatments to the nth degree but I feel no guilt about it TBH. I just know that the first thing I want to do after an unsuccessful cycle is to go again until I get there. Adopt if and when it feels right for you and Mr LC but on no account should you feel browbeaten into doing it. Our Fertile sisters don't; why should you? And I know you feel guilt about your parents but you do also owe yourself and Mr LC the opportunity to seek to rejoin life. You have been through so much - no offence, but I really hope you stay home this weekend elliej xxx

  3. You are an amazing woman. I have felt guilty about so many things during the IVF/IUI process - I mean the lengths we went to - finally using DS - when there are kids out there that need a home. I really related to the "i want, i want, i want" part of your post - I felt that. And I let myself off the hook for feeling that way - it is okay - and I think it is definitely okay for you to feel that way. There are a million other emotions that I felt that I had to be okay with - to stay sane to keep moving forward.

    We seriously thought about and pursued adoption before our first IVF. There are many pros and cons as I am sure you are aware - the bottom line is that you, we are not bad or selfish people for not pursuing that to the end. ((HUGS))

  4. I agree with ellie, guilt is a useless emotion, it can be quite
    damaging to our lives. Sometimes though, guilt can let us know
    that were doing something that doesn't sit quite right to our
    beliefs. This could be yourself letting you know that your getting
    ready to move on? I'm not sure, but its just a thought.

    I know fertiles tell us to "just adopt" and that there are plenty
    of babies out there, but that Idea is just flawed. At least here
    in Canada it is a WAY harder path to adopt and costs just as
    much. Of course I would have thought of that a while ago
    if it was easy just to say, I'll take one of the needy babies out
    there........but its not, there is thousands of dollars to pay and
    years to wait, it is NOT an easy path. Even then, that does not
    fulfill your biological urge to have a child of your own, that
    is completely normal and no guilt should be involved, woman
    who have children of their own without much trying do not know
    how it feels and never will. We should not base our opinions
    on how they see it. I thought IVF was crazy before I ended up
    in a situation where I would have to use it!
    I hope you do get a weekend to join the land of the living,
    its nice to creep up to the surface every once and a while

  5. I'm feeling many of the same feelings you are. There is no "just" in adoption. It is not an easy choice to make and it's not for everyone. Period. And you shouldn't feel guilty for not being ready to take that step. Nor should you feel guilty if you are never ready to take that step. I have two adopted brothers. One was the "picture perfect" adoption, he fit to our family like a glove. The other one (adopted as a 4 year-old, rather than an infant) did not. He brought with him so many ghosts that haunted his past. And it wasn't his fault he suffered so much in those early years. It really does take a certain type of person to care for some of these children. The next FERTILE person who asks me why we don't "just adopt" one of the thousands of children living in an orphanage will be told to go fuck themselves.

    I'm so sorry about your dad. I can't imagine the amount of stress that adds to you right now. I'm starting to realize what a valuable lesson my parents taught me when they said to me as a child 'life isn't fair, get used to it.' If I only knew then how unfair it would get. I hope you and your DH get a weekend soon to reconnect. That has helped me immensely in trying to get through the week. Take care.

  6. First off, I just want to say that I'm so sorry you're going through this. All of the emotions you mentioned are completely reasonable. I strongly believe that most people would feel this way in the same situation. You're talking about one of the strongest biological drives there is. Of course you're having a hard time moving on - your body is constantly telling you to have a child. Although I don't buy into many aspects of evolutionary psychology, I do for this.

    As for the adoption issue, is it possible to work on adopting a child while simultaneously continuing treatments? That way you wouldn't have to feel as if you're "giving up" on having a biological child. I know money could be an issue in this situation, but I think I've heard that the gov't and many companies give tax credits towards adoption? I'm sure this is something you've considered before (from every angle most likely), but I just wanted to throw it out there since you mentioned that adoption is something you'd like to pursue someday.

  7. Don't feel guilty for feeling guilty. I believe everything you are feeling right now is completely normal and expected. You are hurting right now, very deeply. Be good to yourself and let yourself go through all these thoughts and emotions. Adoption is a very individual decision, only you can decide when that path is right for you. I hope with everything in me that you can find a way to make this happen for you, with your own biology. What ever you decide to do, I'll be here rooting you on.

    I'm also so sorry about your dad.

    Big compassionate hugs....

  8. There is no reason to feel guilty for wanting a biological child .. i can't even begin to imagine the pain you are going through. i wouldn't regret anything you have done... nor do i think the last 4 years or $ were a waste. anyone else who could have- would have spent the money and time. in a wierd way i'm glad you are in a position to have had at least 5 chances at it.. there are some people who can only really afford one IVF- and if it doesn't work for them- it still hurts.
    this all sucks, it really does.. and i am really really sorry you are going through this. i can't imagine the added stress of your father's situation. i wish this nightmare were over for you. all we can do is pray, pray, pray.. for mercy, peace and the light at the end of the tunnel.
    BTW, you are so normal, and you will have brunch for mommies one day- and organize play dates.. you will overcome this.

  9. I'm sorry you are feeling guilty! But, truthfully, things just ARE...there is NOTHING to be guilty about. I still get b!tchy about women who talk about their painful struggle with IF when they got pregnant on their first injectible IUI cycle! I have also been a terrible aunt and friend to those who have kids. I know some of how you are feeling...and its okay. We all feel this way. I don't mind at all if you take a break from my blog and focus on your life and struggles...I don't mind if you seriously are pissed at me or others who have struggled and are finally pregnant. I guess it doesn't bother me one bit because I'd be in the exact same place as you (and have been somewhere close to it on occasion). Just take it one day at a time and try not to be so judgemental of yourself. You are a human who has suffered A did the best you fought to get to a place where most people in this world don't even have to try for (oops! Better buy an HPT, I hope I'm not preggo!, etc). Its just NOT FAIR and it SUCKS. You have every right to feel angry, hurt, upset and heartbroken and not feel guilty about it at all! Also - using your own words- this is a biological urge - so you couldn't help but try your hardest before pursuing adoption...that just makes you driven. Hugs.

  10. Guilt sucks, but I completely get it. As long as you realize (which I think you do), you and Mr. LC have to do and work through what is best for YOU and Mr. LC. We can't always do what is best for our friends, family or even the world even though we would like to.

  11. I feel exactly the same guilt that you do. Thank you for expressing it so well. I, too, am 35 and received a BFN from my 5th IVF the same week that you did. TTC 4 years. I've been reading along and agreeing with everything you've bloged about the past couple of weeks. It's like you've read my mind over and over again.

    I guilted my DH into doing a 6th cycle last night before we move on to donor eggs. We are just both OVER it all, but the longing is still there to have our own child. It is just a never-ending nightmare that I'm so ready to wake up from.

    I'm really sorry about all that has happened to your dad. I lost mine two years ago to a short battle with leukemia. Treasure every moment you have with him. I know you do. You are an awesome daughter and will be an incredible mom someday, somehow.


  12. Oh, Mrs LC. I am SO SO sorry you are going through all of this and have gone through so much. I wish I could make all of it go away and erase this horrible miserable IF. YOu are normal for all of these emotions. I know because I have been there. And I am still there....I feel just as guilty of our current situation because I wanted all of us to be riding on the same roller coaster. I feel guilty that I am where I am while others suffer so deeply (remember reading my last post?):)

    Making decisions on how to expand ones family are the hardest decisions you will ever make. I always said that I wanted two bio children and one adopted child. After we failed so many IVFs the thought of adoption began to be such a scary thing for me.....because that would mean that I would have to give up my dream in my mind of having the perfect little family I wanted.

    Hang in there. No matter where you are, I am rooting you on.

  13. You know, I was just thinking today that I wouldn't have met all these incredible women who have traveled the IF road if I hadn't done IVF (again). That included YOU! Yeah, it's been a hard four years for me too, but I see in many ways how I grew up during the process. Sure, I have some guilt about how much money I spent. And yes, I'll pursue a DE cycle if this doesn't work. I can't fight my genes. I can't deny the persistent urge. If I could surgically remove it, I would, because it certainly would be a heck of a lot easier. I think I would have a normal social life, at least!

    I was surprised you even kept commenting on my blog after your loss. So please do not feel guilty about not supporting me! I really felt you went above and beyond.

    I'm sorry about your dad's latest illness. I hope it's something they can treat quickly.

  14. I think all your feelings are totally normal...even the guilt, but I think the thing to tell yourself is that you are ALLOWED to have whatever feelings you have, it is normal and you have been through A LOT and it is OK to feel pissed off and sad!

  15. What you said about taking care of an existing child being better for the world in all ways than producing a new one is 100% correct. Anyone who says any different is in denial. I, however, am not in denial. I am just selfish. Eyes wide open selfish. And since I don't like being a hypocrite, I would never judge anyone else for doing it.

  16. You don't need to feel guilty for a biological imperative. How is that your doing?

  17. Of course you're judging. And so am I. But we're both right. Taking care of existing babies is better for the world than making new ones. Annnddd... dedicating my life to volunteer work would be better for the world than what I currently do for a living. But I'm not switching jobs any time soon.

    I'm a freak because I actually say what I think. But, um, you're ALLOWED to judge. Yourself and others. And you're even allowed to go against that judgment sometimes. Because you're also human.

    P.S. Have I told you lately that I love you?

  18. I don't think I have anything useful or helpful to say unless letting you know that I am guilty as charged right along with you is any consolation at all. I'm so sorry, sweetie.