Tuesday, February 2, 2010

It's nobody's fault.

Disclaimer:
This is a post meant for infertile eyes only. Otherwise, if you're not infertile, you will not get it, you will not understand and you will think I'm a bitch or a baby or completely and totally selfish. And if you were infertile and have crossed over, well, this post might not make as much sense to you, either...I'm not sure. Because even though I believe you never forget the pain of IF, once you have succeeded with ART it does take you into a different realm than those of us still clawing our way through this hellhole of a reality.

But I need a place where I can write it all down without censoring. Unfortunately, this post involves a friend who reads this blog and writes a blog. A good friend, a dear friend, who was honest in one of her posts and so I know it's ok for me to be honest here, too. We emailed, she understands, it's all good.

As most of you know, as most of you infertiles have also dealt with, I've been surrounded by fertile friends. It's been hard. Hard doesn't describe it, but there really aren't words adequate to describe the myriad feelings one experiences watching their friends get pregnant and birth beautiful babies so easily. I hosted more baby showers than I ever care to recall during our infertility...and even though they were hard, because we were still in treatment I was always stringing myself along with the notion that I would be next. I went to brunch after brunch with my friends and either their ever expanding bellies or their ever expanding broods thinking, surely I will join the fray and belly up the table with my own bump one day. It was no fault of their own--hello, I wanted to BE THEM SO BADLY--but it certainly hurt nonetheless. Because that's the biyatch that infertility is--causing hurt and pain when nobody is really at fault.

A few months ago a friend with two beautiful girls wrote a post about wanting a third so desperately but her husband did not. In fact, he was going to get a vasectomy. And while I do hate it when people don't get what they want and ultimately want my friends to be happy (duh) my most overwhelming emotion at the time was...relief.

Relief.

As in, I could mark them off the list.

You guys know what list I'm talking about, that neverending list in your head of 'who is going to be next'. Who's pregnancy announcement will knock you to the floor, reduce you to a heap of tears.

She had her two kids, there would be no more. And so I could cross them off.

I'm sure it was a similar relief that she or my other fertile friends felt the morning I got two lines on an HPT and excitedly called to tell them. I'm sure they felt happy--another duh--but I'm sure they also felt relief. Relief that finally--FINALLY--we could move forward in a friendship not complicated by the shackles of the infertile friend always dragging everything down. I felt relief, too.

This past Sunday I was prepared to have a good day. Studying (bleh, but necessary), a trail run, yoga class with Mr. LC, good food, etc. etc. etc. I innocently clicked on my friend's blog.

Oh how I wish the disclaimer had been at the top, not the bottom. Although let's face it, I would have read the post anyway.

Needless to say, the post revisited the issue of having more kids, and it turns out the issue is back on the table...they're debating on the third baby.

I read the post and immediately felt gutted. Sucker punched. Kicked in the ribs while I was already down.

No, not by anything she did.
Let me be clear here.

I cannot even fathom having the choice, two or three, two or three.

I have none.

I cannot have babies. I desperately want babies.

I have no choices in the matter.

I cannot have sex with my husband and have a baby.

I cannot look into the eyes of a daughter and see myself.

I cannot have babies. I desperately want babies.

I cannot sit around and think about the pros and cons of a third versus having only two. Only having two.

Instead I sit around and think about a life without children versus spending more money on a snowballs' chance in hell versus exploring other options when I'm already at the end of my emotional rope and just want a fucking break in life.

These are my choices.

I cannot have babies. I desperately want babies.

She says she knows she might not be so lucky to just have a third easily but as irrationally as this sounds I know--because she knows me--she doesn't have to worry about having secondary infertility. I've soaked up all the infertility for my friends.

My perfect Sunday was thrown for a loop. It's nobody's fault. It's not my friend's fault for wanting more more more and having that choice. It's not my fault for having a fucked up body that can't accomplish the most basic and human of tasks nor is it my fault for having emotions that are raw on a good day, but are bloody pulp on most days.

It's nobody fault.

It's just infertility.

37 comments:

  1. Oh, A.

    I get it.

    Sending you love.

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  2. I'd love to write something deeply profound, but you said it all. Its just no ones fault.....why would one woman get to choose between 2 or 3 when some of us are so far away from that choice we can't even imagine it. I had a friend tell me she was worried about getting pregnant again, 2 was all she could handle. SERIOUSLY? keep that little comment to yourself!

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  3. Totally get it. Infertility is like a cat 5 hurricane that leaves nothing but devestation in its wake. I have an internal debate with god about the unfairness of this blah, blah, blah every.single.day. About why I have to live next door to a 43 year-old overweight smoker who got pregnant with a healthy baby the second month of trying. Yep, it's getting old. Nope, I haven't gotten an answer yet. I'm a slow learner I guess...

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  4. THIS.

    Oh, God, THIS a thousands times to the heavens.

    "I cannot have babies. I desperately want babies. I cannot have sex with my husband and have a baby. " It's on a loop in my brain as well.

    I'm so, so sorry for the sucker punch.

    I don't even know what else to say. Everything you've written resonates with such force, that I'd swear my monitor is vibrating.

    HATE THIS.

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  5. here are your winning power ball numbers, make sure you ask for the powerplay option for a dollar more! 8 31 40 46 51 powerball number 5!!!!!!!!!!!!

    i so feel for you. i'll pray more,

    P

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  6. I totally get this too. And you are right - it's nobody's fault, but that doesn't make it any easier. I wish I didn't feel the same way about all the good news that comes to all my friends, but not to me. I wish that their happiness didn't make me so desperately sad. I'm so sorry that you go through the same thing.

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  7. I'm glad you wrote it. It is your space, you should be able to scream about the sheer inequality of it all.

    I straddle the fence on this one. I desperately want *another* baby, greediness and all. But it won't come easily, if at all.

    You want what is supposed to be. It's no one's fault it hasn't happened despite all the absolute hell you've been through, but it feels like you should be able to cross people off the list. I was lucky - I had one friend who'd had her tubes tied. At least I knew they weren't going to pop up pregnant.

    What we wouldn't give for the simple sex = baby, huh?

    (((hugs)))

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  8. i understand.

    im so so sorry.

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  9. You are right - it's nobody's fault but it does definitely suck. I so hear you and understand. Sometimes I even feel like a complete and total bitch for not being sympathetic when someone has one and is crying because they can't have two when I'd give anything for one. I know. It sucks. Having fertile friends sucks especially when you are the only infertile in the bunch. I'm sorry.

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  10. I think you're right. It really isn't anyone's fault - this is the lowsy definition of infertility!

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  11. Is it wrong of me to say that I am glad there are other woman out there that "get it"? I of course would never wish this on anyone but I so hear you on this post.
    When my sister was deciding if they would go for a 3rd and hopefully a boy I just about died eachtime she would talk to me about it. Here I am 3 years into infertility and she couldn't understand why when she called me to exclaim "I have some good news!" and then said "we bought a new house!" that I started hysterically laughing and crying at the same time. I love her to pieces but it just sucks.

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  12. Thank you for this post. I am constantly dreading the next announcement..especially now that many of my friends are onto #'s 2 and 3. I hated getting lapped. It's just a reminder that I'm jogging in place.

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  13. Have that list too and know exactly the type of gut punch you are talking about. I sometimes worry that I get too comfortable around my "safe" people because it makes those gut punches feel that much stronger. I waffle between wanting to be supportive and trying to remotely understand what kinds of issues/emotions having those options can raise with just wishing the issue to disappear from my world.

    I hate that my friends have to feel this stuff too. I sure as shit would not want to tell "me" that I am pregnant or thinking of trying again. IF is a wicked beast and it sucks that nobody is at fault because there is nowhere to really put those kinds of feelings...

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  14. This resonates with me so deeply. I have only shared my blog with 2 friends. Both have or had IF issues. They get it... but the fertile friends never would. Thank you for sharing, it helps me realize that Im not the only one thinking these things.

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  15. I think the fact that it's nobody's fault is what makes it so infuriating - if it were pegged to something like virtue or deservedness or fault, you wouldn't have to hate fate so much for handing you a lousy deal for no good reason.

    Sorry it sucks. I want it for you so badly.

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  16. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Alena

    http://ovarianpain.net

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  17. Ok... I get it, BUT! My h and I tried for 5 years and finally a miracle happened - I am almost in my 27th week. please don't judge me! before I used to be a lot like you - I hated everyone who had kids, who got pregnant, who had baby showers, who ....anything... Now, I am not comparing myself to anyone, I just thank G-d every day for this blessing!
    A side note - I have terrible, not horrible....relationship with my in-laws, and with my own mother... so maybe when you "win" somewhere, you also lose somewhere esle.

    I pray to be a mother of 3 one day. Why? Not to hurt women who cannot have kids. NO WAY. I want to be a mother of 3, so that I am busy all the time NEVER to think about other areas in my life where I am missing out (my kids will NEVER have grandparents - trust me, NEVER).

    I am so happy soon to be a mother... and I am sad to know that you are not "there" yet!

    The reason I read your blog, is because I believe - one day your dreams will come true!!!

    Please don't hate me...

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  18. Ugh, I get this. I soooo get this. Honestly, I think you are so strong for having these conversations with your fertile friends, letting this out. I often just let it gnaw at me.

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  19. I agree with the last commentator, I just let this gnaw on me or lash out on my blog. Its wonderful for you to have this convo w/your friends. I know exactly what list you are talking about, I just crossed off SIL after #2. Then I started thinking about when I'll have to redo this list when there kids start having kids, then it will all be about how great it is to be a gma/gpa and we will relive this nightmare ALL OVER AGAIN! (((HUGS)))

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  20. I get it and I get how you're feeling. I wish there was something I could do for you...you and Mr. LC who have the biggest hearts of anyone I know...

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  21. My dear, I so get you. And believe it or not, I am a fertile. But I think my brain must be glitched or something, because I "get" infertiles better than fertiles.
    It is nobody's fault all right, but still you are being "punished". It sucks big time rocks. I am deeply sorry for you. I wish there could be something to soothe you, but I think a baby is the only cure. I am very sorry for what you are going through. I hope that you will cross over. (HUGS)

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  22. Oh god, I haven't even been able to cross anyone off my list yet. My BFF is going to start trying for her third in a few months, and another friend for her second... Son of Bitch.

    The way you spoke about relief hit me hard though. I think I've neglected to realize how my hardship effects other people. Thank you for pointing that out. I love realizing I've been an asshole.

    And you're SO right about IF not being anybody's fault... Ugh, you are so fricken eloquent. Everytime I read one of your posts I'm blown away. I just love reading about your insight.

    Thank you for blogging.

    Oh and Hugs.

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  23. I think I get it, and I think I'd feel the same way.

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  24. (hugs) i can't imagine the pain you are going through. i wish you could have your happy ending soon. nothing seems fair, you are not a b... or selfish- you're much the opposite. you're an inspiration for many people in different ways. just keep being yourself.
    (hugs) sofia

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  25. I know that relief well. Until IF I never knew that relief could be such a secret embarrassing emotion.

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  26. hi there - i'm new to your blog. your last post...WOW, it's like living in my head. this journey just plain sucks!!!!!

    i've done 3 failed ivfs and waiting for my fet beta on monday. i already know it failed. you just know once you've gone down this road.

    anyway, hugs to you! i'm sorry you're down this road.

    jenn

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  27. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I actually had a talk about some of this with my therapist today. Because I just don't know if I can deal with the hope of "maybe someday" anymore. Yet, deciding to take my life off of the pause of IF doesn't stop the pain of it. Because there are & will always be pregnant teenagers at the mall, and new babies at the grocery store. It's so hard to give up a dream when the dream keeps slapping you in the face!

    I was trying to find an email for you so I could ask privately, but may I please post this as a note on facebook? Citing you and linking to your blog, of course.

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  28. You nailed it on the head. I know of 'the list'....at this very moment I'm wondering who's next.

    I wish one of us would win the lotto, I'd share with you...I promise.

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  29. I TOTALLY get it! As one friend put it when our miscarriage group was visited for the first time by someone who had a miscarriage after having had a successful pregnancy, it's binary - there's all the difference in the world between baby and no baby.I once passed a pregnant woman loading four under-fives into a car, clearly all hers, and muttered "Don't be so f-ing greedy!" under my breath - to someone with none, it just seemed excessive.

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  30. You are not alone in the way you're feeling. I think IF has tainted me so much so that I am dreading getting "the call" from my sister one day. How awful, huh?

    Anyway...I hope that one day, it will be YOUR turn, YOUR baby shower, YOUR good news.

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  31. the "list" plays in my head over and over again. It's not fair and you and Mr. LC definitely don't deserve the lot you have been given. I am continuing to hope you find the one good egg. Your post mimics my daily thoughts. I hate that you are going through this.

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  32. I get every word of what you're saying, particularly the "relief" part. I have a co-worker who found out she has high FSH, and as guilty as I feel about it, relief is exactly what I felt when she told me.

    I wish I was there to offer hugs in person. Between the two of us, we'd do some serious baking! :-) You're in my thoughts daily even though I don't always come online and post.

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  33. Oh man. This feels like confession time. There's a new woman at work who appears to be of childbearing age. I've been sizing her up, hoping she already has her kids or at least won't be having any babies while she is in my territory. If I choose to introduce myself, it will only be to assess her situation which would make me feel like a dirt ball, so thus far, mums the word.

    I also have a fertile friend (I'm assuming she's fertile since she's had 3 terminations) who has been asking me questions about freezing her eggs b/c after three Mr. Wrongs, she's just not sure when she wants to have a baby. She figures she should have her eggs frozen by 39. I've not told her that 36 is already AMA. Double dirt ball to me.

    I'm still sad for you b/c none of this is your fault either. I'm glad you have a fertile friend that you can be that honest with though.

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  34. I'm so glad you write all your thoughts here. This is YOUR place and it think you are brave and honest and strong to put your thoughts into words... all of your thoughts. Love you.

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  35. Ditto. To that I would add, "and I will never have that miracle pregnancy," that I hate to read about. You know the person who was infertile with multiple failed IVFs who suddenly gets pregnant au natural? Not this person. So much to grieve here. I guess you'll just be vicariously blogging for me on my feelings here!

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  36. I hear you loud and clear. You know, I had a peculiar experience with a "friend" that did a single IVF, just one, two embryos in all, and got pregnant her first time. Then about three months after she delivered, she gets pregnant naturally. Was she infertile? Or just in a rush? Who knows. I don't consider her an IF by any stretch of the imagination, but she'll say, "Oh, I understand your pain". RIGHT. Sure you do.

    Anyways, fast forward a few years. She has her two little boys and I have nothing. We're standing in line in a Starbucks waiting for our drinks. She spies a lady sitting on the couch with her toddler girl. My "friend" whines to me (KNOWING I am battling infertility): "Oh, it's SOOOOOO unfair!!! I want a girl!!"

    I couldn't help myself. I looked her and said into her ear as calmly as I could:

    "It's not fair!! I want a BABY!!!"

    She looked at me as though she'd ran over an animal with her car. She apologized quickly and gave me a quick shoulder hug. Still, the pain on that one cut deeply. Hopefully it sunk in for her. Deeply. Somehow I don't think it did.

    So I understand why you need a place to vent. To rage. There's so much fucking injustice about this all. And sometimes someone you think is safe to talk to does something that just floors you.

    I'm glad you're voicing yourself here. It's comforting to all of us to have true shoulders to lean on through this hell.

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