Monday, June 20, 2005

Bein' Green

One of the perks of my job is getting to leave the office at 2pm on Fridays between Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day. It makes the week go that much quicker, which is a great thing when you’re in the 2ww. This past Friday I used the afternoon off to finally visit a friend/co-worker of mine who gave birth to her first child in April. For some reason, I’m better able to handle being around children and pregnant women when I’m in the two-week wait. I think not having to visit the RE repeatedly allows hope to grow, and the positive thoughts of “maybe this time” beat away the envy. Regardless, I finally got my butt up to see my friend and her darling one and had quite the pleasant time. I hadn’t seen her since she left on maternity leave, and hadn’t spoken with her since a couple days after she gave birth, so we had a lot to catch up on. The baby boy slept most of the time, and we went for a walk around the neighborhood (which, knock on wood, will soon be my new neighborhood) and it was fun. Conversation wasn’t too child-heavy, and she did ask about my trials and tribulations and didn’t say anything that offended me; as opposed to another friend that we spent time with on Saturday.

You see, I decided to continue my good-deeds and set up a date for D & I to spend time Saturday with friends who have a 3-year-old boy and just had a baby girl last month. I’ve been feeling guilty because I still haven’t sent a gift, and we gave them a pretty generous one when their boy was born. But I figured they’re more likely to get upset if I continue to avoid them, so better to get it over and done with. We bought sandwiches and had a picnic in a park around the corner. It was nice, I only got teary when I watched D kneel down and start playing catch with their son. For some reason, it totally pulled my heartstrings. I know Donna understands, as she tells a similar tale.

Of course, my friend eventually asked me about my IF procedures. I never bring it up with anyone, but always wait for the topic to be broached by him or her. I guess because I don’t want to make them uncomfortable? (This is probably worth exploring in a new post someday, if not on a therapist’s couch.) Anyway, after I explained my current protocol my friend said something like “You seem to be doing okay with it – or are you just putting on a brave front?” I replied that it’s a brave front, that I’m pretty much sad all the time. But then I shrug my shoulders in that “But what can you do?” way, because apparently this is how I handle the thought of making my friends feel uneasy with the conversation. Then she replies, “Well, at least you’re not having repeated miscarriages.”

I know she offered it up as a “Look at the positive side of things” quip. But the thing is, despite reading the heartbreaking blogs of people who have suffered so, there’s a part of me that desperately just wants to know that IT IS POSSIBLE for me to BE pregnant - even if it was for one week. I know that’s crazy, and that those of you who have gone through the pain of a miscarriage wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but that’s where my head and heart are. I tried explaining this to my friend, and she said that she was just trying to look at things with a glass-half-full approach. But to me, it just felt like the pain and sadness I feel was being belittled. That since I hadn’t really lost anything real, I shouldn’t feel so depressed and lost myself. I imagine it’s frustrating for someone to repeatedly get pregnant and then lose it. Yet I know, that to not ever have experienced that moment of joy and possibility from 2 pinks lines is maddening.

Of course I don’t really wish for a miscarriage. I wish for a positive pregnancy test with a real high beta number, and strong heartbeat and clear ultrasound picture and a risk-free 9 month pregnancy, with a happy and healthy baby at the end. And I wish for the ability to stop looking over other people’s fences and noticing how much greener their yards are then mine.


Blogger K said...

That's one of those arguements that will always exist, as no one has the perfect answer. Each side always views it differently. Somehow the only thing that would resolve it for ALL of us is that elusive successful cycle, followed by a successful pregnancy and a healthy child.

I commend you though for doing something you know would be difficult, it's often hard to cultivate friendships among all this mess, especially with those in the fertile world.

June 20, 2005 5:29 PM  
Blogger Susie said...

What a thoughtless comment for your friend to make. I know that it is hard for people without fertility problems to empathize with what we go through, but it's always a little shocking to me when someone says something so mind-boggling.

As a frequent miscarrier I know that my hurt is different from the hurt of women who haven't gotten pregnant yet. I think it also makes our responses to everything slightly different. I often sense that people are worried or sad that I don't get happier about my positive pregnancy tests, but for me the positive is the beginning of the scariest part.

Still, I think it's wonderful that we can all be part of this community, and support each other, even if our personal experiences are different.

June 20, 2005 5:54 PM  
Anonymous a said...

do you have an email address?

June 20, 2005 8:30 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

I too have often thought to myself, if I had just gotten pregnant, even if I lost the baby, I would feel like I could continue because I would know my body was capable of at least that first step. The fact that that never happened deepens my feelings of failure. I understand completely. And I'm sorry your friend wasn't more careful with her words.

June 20, 2005 10:58 PM  
Blogger Jamila said...

I've gotten that exact same line before, from a really good friend too. My response - "yeah, that doesn't really help me feel any better." I think she's trying to be supportive, but really doesn't know how. Or what you need her to say. Unfortunately, I think that's one of those things that someone who isn't in our position would ever understand.

June 20, 2005 11:14 PM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

As one having repeat miscarriages, no I wouldn't wish that on anyone. But before that first pregnancy (which was a long long wait), I felt the same way. I just wanted to see those two beautiful pink lines and know at least I could get pregnant. Now on the other side of the fence, I don't want that anymore. I want to see those lines and be happy, and that will never happen. Knowing you can get pregnant (however fucking hard it is) offers no comfort.

June 21, 2005 7:49 AM  
Blogger Suz said...

I know what you mean...I've never been pregnant either and just want to know that I can.

June 21, 2005 9:50 AM  
Blogger Chee Chee said...

I am in the never-been-pregnant camp and I just can't help wondering if it will ever happen for me. And I find myself frequently envying the successes of others.

I am sorry that your friend was so insensitive. I find that the fertiles that I enjoy speaking with the most are those who are most positive about my prospects.

One friend (5 mos PG) offered me materity clothes and somehow, this made me feel good, like someone believes that this pregnancy thing will work for me someday (and not in a "relax - it will happen" sort of way, but in a "keep getting treatment -- it will work" way.)

Anyway, good luck wading through the fertile world. We cyber-infertiles are here for you.

June 21, 2005 11:50 AM  
Blogger Dramalish said...

Ah, Mellie, I wish for the exact same thing. Especially the lawn thing. Especially.
Hang in there. You're doin' better than you give yourself credit for.

June 21, 2005 8:54 PM  
Blogger k #2 said...

I know it is terrible, but I think the same thing about a least I know that I CAN get pregnant. I try to remind myself of the 50 year old menopausal woman that carried her IF daughter's child to term...if they can keep her pregnant, they can certainly keep me pregnant, can't they?

July 01, 2005 9:39 AM  

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