Jun 13, 2009

View The World Through Infertility Awareness Colored Glasses

Musings of A Beautiful Mess
**There will be children mentioned here. If you disagree with anything I say here, or think I'm saying it wrong, let me know.**

As was laying in bed last night waiting for my allergy meds to kick in and drop me into a coma, I was praying for all my ladies. I was praying for all of those that are in the 2WW, hoping and praying they get that second line and that in about 9 months they will get their bundle of joy, or joys as the case may be. I was praying for happiness, health and acceptance for my dear friends. I was praying for understanding and praying for process and procedures to be as painless as possible. It's a long list, and if my meds hadn't been interfering with my train of thought, I might have gotten through my list. Since I didn't and my mind started to wander, I started thinking about who I was when I was pregnant with Nae and who I am now. How do I view the world differently? How do I interact with people now that I'm looking at others wondering if their like me or my dear friends?

I got pregnant with Nae easily. The pregnancy was not easy by any stretch of the imagination, but getting to the positive test was easily enough. Even though, she was easily conceived, I never took her or the pregnancy for granted. I remember being at the end of my pregnancy crying and blubbering how I just wanted the pregnancy to be over. The in the next breath, I was crying because there were women out there who wanted SO badly what I was complaining about. I felt horrible for crying and throwing a fit because I was "done with all of this" and there were women out there who were crying because THEY were "done with all of this". My mom reassured me, telling me "pregnancy is difficult on the body. You've had a horrible experience. It's OK to not love the stage you're in right now." I don't remember what my response was, but I know I calmed down after that and probably ate ice cream or took a nap, or threw up.

My mom wasn't infertile, she was the opposite. She gave birth to 5 children, two of which are a year and five days apart (my lil sis and I). I do know she had a miscarriage, maybe two, but that was before she married my father. I have a feeling these miscarriages were from her ex husband hitting her, but I never asked and it's a little to late to ask now. I don't think it's right to ask my father. Plus, he might even know. I'd love to ask my mom's ex husband, but I'm sure that would cause problems and I'd rather not cause my father any more heart break then he has already suffered.

Anyway...getting off track here, sorry...Once we decided to add another child to the mix, that's when things got rough. There were miscarriages and then once we got one to stick, there was the "keep everything a secret so we could have an ACTUAL baby in July" feeling. Which sucked, because I would have liked to be blissfully ignorant during the pregnancy. There were the thoughts that crept into my brain about is it right to have our children 6 years apart? Will Nae be affected negatively for being an OLDER sister? All sorts of mind numbing thoughts, that I really had no control of. It's not like obsessing endlessly over the situation and how I felt about it, was going to change the outcome. It wouldn't matter if I worried about preterm labor, if it was going to happen it will. And it did. Thank you body!

Now that my "baby" is almost 6 and our daughter just turned 12, I look at everything so differently. I look back on our experiences and I kick myself for not going to the doctor and asking what was wrong with me. I wonder if I had gone, would they have been able to fix something and we could have had more children? Could I give the kids the sibling they've been asking for the past few months? I guess we'll never know. We're done with out family building efforts. I've come to terms that my body wasn't made for having children. It sucks, but what can I do? I'm thankful for the two pregnancies I was able to get to full term and end up with healthy babies.

Now, when I pick up Zilla or Nae from school, I look around. I look around for women who are pregnant and wonder if she is in the same situation I was in. I wonder if she intended to have her children X many years apart, or if they have another "in between" one at home? I look at the ones who have children close in ages and wonder if they've suffered a loss or are they blissfully ignorant? Do they think about the woman who can't get pregnant and have to go through procedures and such just to have a shot at what may have come so easily to them?

I talk to our neighbors, who have no children and I wonder, "why?" Of course, I don't ask, but that doesn't stop me from wondering. I wonder if I could buy her Mel's book and place it on her doorstep *anonymously* and she would cry tears of joy because someone knows AND cares or would she wonder "what the hell is IF?!"

I look around me all the time and wonder if a woman is like my bloggy friends or is she like my other friends. I am curious, not because I'm nosy, but because I have resources to help her out. I can send her over to the ALI rooms. I can offer her stories of what I've heard. I can say "hey I know what that means", but most importantly, I can offer her a place where she might not feel so alone. With wine, if needed ;o)

I know this was kind of a random post, but I couldn't stop thinking about it since I woke up this morning. Has anybody else experienced this train of thought? Am I being too overly sensitive because I'm in the ALI community? Lets discuss this!

13 friends have commented:

BagMomma on June 13, 2009 at 3:04 PM said...

I think about it all the time. Perhaps because after 4 years I am still in the throes of secondary infertility.

Oddly, having so many internet friends that have gone though similar circumstance... I still don't know many people IRL like me. Not anyone to talk to about it anyway... as close as I get is the knowing looks from the other ladies in the RE's waiting room.

Mel on June 13, 2009 at 3:57 PM said...

Even though we're days (hours?) away from welcoming our first into this world, in a lot of ways, I still view myself through the eyes of loss and infertility. I still see myself as the baby-loss mama that couldn't successfully carry my first two pregnancies.

This is something that's been spinning around in my head as of late, too. Once a person has experienced loss and IF, I'm not sure it matters how many children you're able to bear...you still see life as an infertile and wonder who's part of this silent sisterhood.

Thank you for this post. :) As always, you're spot-on!

carrie on June 13, 2009 at 4:33 PM said...

I think we are all guilty of thinking of the "what ifs" from time to time and yes - if you give it too much weight, it can become consumming. But there's nothing wrong with sharing, with asking and with supporting one another.

Because IRL or online, we are all a whole lot more the same than we are different, no matter how far apart or how many babies we have/don't have.

Thank you.

Jaymee on June 13, 2009 at 4:43 PM said...

i think about it all the time. i also talk about it all the time. most of the time it is in defense of why i am not toting around a child. this is something that seems to come up more often with each passing year. i am just so thankful that i have all my blog friends to turn to for support.

the worst thing about IF is the isolation. knowing that statistically i am not alone and yet there is no one that is willing to talk about what they are going through. there is a shame that surrounds IF that should not be there. it is nothing shameful about having a body that does not work. the last thing that anyone needs is to be alone, and yet that is exactly what we are. i think that this is a major part of the reason that i am so open about this struggle. one day someone is going to hear me talking and know that they are not the only person that sits in the shower bawling, or rolls up the car windows to scream.

this is a beautifully written post.

Kristin on June 13, 2009 at 10:43 PM said...

I think it about all the time. I have had people in my life who haven't had children and I've wondered. I am very open about our experiences with secondary infertility through repeat pregnancy loss and, because I am so open, people open up to me.

REZA on June 14, 2009 at 9:41 AM said...

nice post,,,

JamieD on June 14, 2009 at 11:52 AM said...

I think about all those same things as well. Last night, we were at a birthday party and there were several people there who didn't know me. One of them has been married for a year and she was talking to me about trying to get pregnant. I envied her for her blissful ignorance and part of me wanted to warn her for all the heartache that may lay ahead. It made me feel like, now that I am obviously pregnant, I should get a warning sign that says, "Not as easy as it looks."

But I do have those same thoughts as I look at other pregnant women - what have they gone through to get here?

A Mom in Jacksonville, FL on June 14, 2009 at 7:10 PM said...

I'm with you...

And I was once ignorant and blissful. Though I never took my pregnancy with my daughter for granted, and I never wished to "have it all over with." I knew people who were experiencing IF and I and empathized with them.

However, like so many life experiences, I don't think one can fully understand IF unless they are going through it themselves.

So, I'm thrilled to have found this wonderful online community. Because, though none of us wants to join---once you're part of the club, the best part of it is finding others who really do understand what you're going through.

(You give us secondary infertiles hope, Dani--because you did get a bfp, even if it was 6 years later!)

Celia on June 15, 2009 at 9:00 AM said...

This has nothing to do with anything but I love your new blog set up.

Stacey K on June 16, 2009 at 6:36 AM said...

Love the new look to the blog!

I get pregnant pretty easily, and never really thought about infertility. Until I got pregnant with my last one.

We had neighbors who couldn't have children and the husband was opposed to adoption. When I had a 4th child it was just too much for her and she moved. I still think about the pain she must have felt to take such a drastic step.

TSM Oregon on June 16, 2009 at 9:08 AM said...

Having never dealt with infertility directly, I can say that even I have felt that way about strangers and their families. Wondered how difficult it was for them. Wondered if they were struggling with family issues and difficult health problems that the rest of the world had no clue about.

I think it's natural for a caring person such as yourself to be drawn emotionally and wonder just a little.

Having gone through it or being close to those who have makes it even more likely that you will feel that compulsion to reach out.

So what I'm tryin to say is it's all you baby, but it's ok 'cuz that's normal :)

Anonymous said...

this post is yet another reflection of your incredible compassion. as someone still on this side of IF, i wish i could send this post anonymously to my fertile friends. you are amazing! thank you so much for sharing. and i love the new look on your blog.

christina on June 24, 2009 at 12:14 PM said...

i have similar thoughts all the time. especially when i see pg people...or people with multiples. makes me wonder what their journey was. and gives me hope for ours to turn out okay.

great post!


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