December 08, 2011

I'm Having a Moment

Please forgive me, but I'm having a pity party moment.

I know I have a lot to be thankful for, and believe me, I am. I'm very grateful to be pregnant, to be less than 24 hours away from the 24 week mark, to be able to feel Kiddo moving around.

I'm still an infertile though - 100 percent. I've read a lot of women who have gotten pregnant after infertility say at some point that they feel like they've "crossed over", and others who feel kind of in between, not like a completely "normal" pregnant woman, but also not totally in the IF world any more, either.

Neither of those are me.

Some people live the nightmare for a year or two and then go on to find success in treatments without any miscarriages or other setbacks. They have all the kids they planned to have, and while infertility touches their lives and leaves its painful mark, their lives seem to eventually evolve into "normal": it winds up being pretty much exactly what they had envisioned, even if it took longer to get there than planned, and the mark eventually fades or disappears altogether.

Then there are those of us who have lived the nightmare for a much longer period of time. There's not just going to be a temporary scar; instead, for a lot of us, infertility has literally altered who we are. It hasn't just taken us on a brief, inconvenient detour - instead, it's changed our lives in irrevocable ways.

And it turns out that even being pregnant, even feeling Kiddo's movements, doesn't make it all better.

What has brought on this statement of the obvious, you ask?

Really, I have no one but myself to blame, because I brought it on myself. 'Tis the season. I opened a Christmas letter from one of my college roommates. She has two kids and generally leads a great life - great husband, great job, great house, annoyingly slender (I say this with affection, really), etc.

There have been some years that I have just not even opened her letters because I knew I couldn't handle it. But this year, I did.

I try really, really hard not to count anniversaries. And don't ask me how, but for the most part I manage to be pretty successful at it. But she was due with her second within just a couple of days of the due date of my very first pregnancy. And her daughter will be 8 in a few weeks.

Eight. R and I should have an almost-8-year-old second-grader now.

And - valid or not, I'm choosing to blame this on the pregnancy hormones - somehow all I can do is sit here and cry for all of the losses that represents. All of the milestones, all of the little moments, all of the big celebrations.

And yes, hopefully we'll get to experience those soon with Kiddo. But one child does not make up for the loss of another. Or, in our case, 7 others. I knew that intellectually, but I guess I'm just now recognizing it emotionally.

You would think I would be smart enough to stop there. But no...

Then I go on to read about her younger sister, who is probably about 34 and had a child several years ago and has severe endo. And got married a couple months ago. And is now apparently 3 months pregnant. You know, the way "normal" people do that. And has already picked out a name for the baby, because she's Just. That. Sure. that she'll be bringing a living, breathing, healthy kid home from the hospital in about 6 months.

I don't think I can blame the pregnancy hormones for my feelings about that news. Good old fashioned bitterness and jealousy get the credit there.

Like I said, pity party. And still an infertile, 100 percent of the way.


Reese said...

I don't have a facebook account because I can't stand to see some of the things you just described. It would be nice if I could just feel happy for them, but I can't always. I get extremely annoyed when someone (not infertiles, they deserve to shout it from the rooftops)announces their six-week pregnancy as though the child is an imminent thing. I always have to check myself to keep from telling them the worst NICU stories I can recall. Maybe what you are feeling isn't the nicest, but it is valid. There's a saying that I've always loved: "When I count my blessings, I count you twice." When I look at my daughter it doesn't make up for past losses, but she gives me something to be even more grateful for at the end of the day BECAUSE of what I've lost. I am excited for you to have another blessing to count soon. And here you are at 24 weeks! It is painful when family-building comes so easily to others. I know you will be an even better mother because of what you've been through. Hang in there!

MyTwoLines said...

I had a moment today, too.
I only hope for all of us that the moments of angst come much much less frequently. I have very high hopes for you that you will be bringing home a beautiful healthy baby and I also hope that you will become so sleep deprived and tired and overwhelmed that there literally is no room for IF sadness. And I say that with a smile--because you deserve that sleep deprivation! Hang tight through the holiday season...hugs to you.

Mo and Will said...

I hear you. all of it. And expect we will feel the same, should we be so lucky to get to where you are. thinking of you and your 24 weeker this holiday season : )


Libby said...

Here, let me add to your misery. I think about being 10 years older than we'd planned, and how are we ever going to keep up with a child at our age?!!! ; )

Seriously though, IF is a detour that we were never thought we would take, and although I don't wish it on anyone, at the same time, I do wish other people understood what it's like. Their confidence in 6 week pregnancies brings me to tears at times too. At this point, I am actually just amazed that any of us were ever born! I'm just glad that you are rapidly turning into a success story, and I hope this baby heals your soul in ways you never thought possible.

Nico said...

I think you have the right to every moment you feel given all that has happened to you the past eight plus years. In fact I think it is a great testament to your strength and perseverance that you don't let your entire life be one big moment because damn, that would be perfectly understandable. I don't think you will ever forget your losses and those children who were meant to be, yet not - but I do hope that Kiddo will take some of the sting away. xox.

MrsSpock said...

I don't blame you for having a moment in any way whatsoever!

Christmas letters can be a minefield. My best friend just lost her husband to cancer in October, and because of his illness, caused by a genetic mutation, they chose not to have children. Opening those letters are a punch to the gut, with all those happy couples and the families they have built.