Saturday, September 6, 2008

Last to Know

Do you remember when you & all your close friends were meeting your respective husbands? Do you remember calling your girlfriends and sharing in the excitement of meeting the "greatest" guy ever? How about when everyone was getting engaged? Do you remember the joyful, gushing conversations about proposal stories, rings, and setting dates? How about the hours of planning your wedding with your bridesmaids and closest friends - the dress, the colors, the flowers?!? You could have talked and traded stories and advice for hours. The best part though was knowing that you were among the first to know when these major life changing events happened those closest to you...

Infertility has taken that away from me. The same girls that called me within the first 15 minutes of meeting the man of their dreams, getting engaged and other major life events now avoid me like the plague when they have pregnancy news to share. They don't know what to say or how to say it, so instead of calling me the minute they're late, or as soon as they see the second pink line, I get an email weeks later. An email? Seriously? From people you have planned your lives with???

I am total hypocrite because in a way, I prefer the impersonal email to the "Big Announcement" over dinner, but I am angry that it has to be this way. Infertility stole my ability to be the happy, positive person I have always been, the ability to share in my friends' life changing news with appropriate joy and enthusiasm.

How I wish I could trade pregnancy stories together - "Oh, the nausea!", "Can you believe how big our boobs are??", "Have you seen the new cute maternity line at Motherhood?", "What stroller are you registering for?" I would love to relive our labor and delivery tales together and relish in each other's sleep deprived, hormonal induced moods. I long for outings to the mall with our strollers and diaper bags in tow. Infertility has stolen these close moments with my girlfriends from me. My best friend? Her daughter is 5. My best college friend? Her son is 2, her stepdaughters are 7 & 10, and they are working on getting pregnant with the next addition to their family. My sister-in-law? Just had number 3. A lesbian friend from college? Pregnant with her 1st. Sean's best friends? I've lost count of the babies and their ages, to be honest. Friends from work? Same is true there. And you must have guessed by now, more pregnancy news today via email- a close friend from my teaching days - pregnant with her first (married 2 years after me, of course)!

Am I happy for all of our friends and family? Of course! I love their children and my nieces and nephews fiercely. I would do anything for them, I am their biggest cheerleader. I am the one planning showers, the first one at the hospital with new-mommy survival guides in tow and organizing food for the first week home, offering babysitting services and advice when asked. But I am also the one left behind. The one no one knows quite what to say to, the one everyone tip toes around, the one that is now the last to know...

And yet when it is a infertile sister that finally, finally gets her BFP, I couldn't be happier. Their stories raise me up and replenish my hope. I shed tears of joy for them. I follow their pregnancy stories and ooh and ahh over u/s pics, and nursery pics and belly shots without an ounce of that same bitterness and self-pity that accompanies friends' pregnancies. What is wrong with me? What has infertility done to me???

Polyp update: Definitely doing the laser procedure & still waiting to get on the surgery calendar. Seems likely to happen late next week.

15 comments:

Lisa said...

It is interesting how we were feeling some of the same things today. Left behind is exactly right. And, it's a lousy place to be....

Leslie Laine said...

I agree with Lisa. We must be on some sort of "same wave length" or something. Today was hard for me - I felt really strange, and left behind at a work picnic I attended.

I couldn't agree with you more about how IF has changed my life and my relationships with my friends. I feel so behind everyone else, and I realize I have little in common with many people who I thought were my best friends. Sounds like you're handling things a little better than me, because I have a hard time with all things baby right now. I know I should be happy for people, go to the hospital for them, and do all of those things I used to, but I have my limits. It's just more than I can handle and so very, very sad.

On an uplifting note, I was talking with someone today who mentioned that her daughter had to try for 2 years to get pregnant. She said that this pregnancy has been so meaningful to the entire family because it was so hard fought. Perhaps that's how it will be for us. Our pregnancies and child rearing will be much more special to us, our families and our friends because we had to work so hard to make it happen.

Thanks for your post - I really identify, and it always feels good to know there's someone else out there...for me, it's the best therapy.

Take care of yourself. You're still you - you're just working through some things.

M. said...

I have to say, Em, I read your post and teared up... But I have say, that, you can't control how the people in your life react to your IF. It's not your fault that your FIRL are weird about pregnancy with you-- it's theirs. Of all of the crap we take onto ourselves, blame ourselves for, beat ourselves up over, how people treat you in response to your IF should NOT be one of them. Please, don't blame yourself, Em. You are incredibly strong and brave and wonderful. Your friends know that, they just don't understand what you're going through... and pray God, they never will. I'm sending you a hug and a hope that you won't put THIS on yourself, too :)

Also, I'm so sorry to hear about the polyp. Know I'll be following your posts for news and praying for you :)

poppy.f.seed said...

I completely understand where you are coming from. Just yesterday I thought "I want to hear pregnancy news from people and not get a twinge of envy."

I really started dreading the "big announcement" dinners, etc. I would actually prepare myself, and say, "just pretend that ___ is pregnant, so that when she announces it you can look happy."

I am glad you're able to write about it.

And, I hope that polyp is history, soon.

Amber said...

Amen.

I'm honestly wondering what friends I'll have to share it with once we are pregnant. All of my fertile friends have moved so far forward and changed (as they should) that the bond is different now. I don't want to lose them, but sometimes I feel like we've lost eachother along the way.

Hope today is better for you.

Mary said...

This feeling is TOTALLY familiar. My best friend called the other day to talk about her son, and I love the kid, but I'm just not able to be there.

By the way, I tagged you on my blog!

Lisa said...

Great post! I've been feeling lately that my friends may be having this secret conversation behind my back..."Okay, I'm pregnant, but how do I tell HER".

I remember one really good friend, who I knew was trying, respond tentatively to my question about how it was going. She said she was unsure how to discuss this with me...I was glad for the understanding/honesty. Luckily, she did say something because she thought she did the whole POAS thing wrong and got a faint line. I told her she was pregnant, just her hsg wasn't higher for the line to be darker.

I'm now the educator of all things cycle related...except being pregnant.

Jill said...

Oh Em, I don't know exactly what to say. I'm sorry you're feeling down about the whole situation, but honestly, I feel the same way most of the time. I am proud of you for spelling out your feelings. I often feel ashamed and angry for feeling this way sometimes. I'm such a cheerleader for everyone, too! And I hate that IF has changed that essential part of me.

I feel so disconnected from my "best friends." They are all (yes, all) at different points in their lives, just as yours are. I guess that relationships and friendships change over the years and sometimes just take on different roles in your life at different times.

What I am so grateful for are the relationships that I've made along this crappy path. Your (and Christi's) friendship has meant a lot to me over these past several months. I just am so lucky to have such incredibly supportive friends who understand me!!

I hope that your polyp removal goes well later this week. Always keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Big hugs hon...

Jennifer said...

I feel like I could have written this myself. For me, it's hardest getting random e-mails from women who I haven't spoken to in years telling me they're going to be a mom. It sucks and I'm sorry that we all have to be in the situation.

sarah23 said...

Oh, I DO know how you feel because I felt the same way just a few months ago!

For me, I was left stranded between the married-with-kids friends, and the still-single friends, and feeling out of step with both groups.

Someday, this IF nightmare will be over for you and you will be a mom. I, too, cheer the hardest (and even cry reading blogs) when someone who has overcome IF gets pregnant!

Hoping to make it three!! said...

I know how you feel. I feel like all my friends are part of this secret club that I didn't get invited to join. I understand why they talk to other friends about it I guess. I mean I really can't relate to breastfeeding troubles. That makes it even worse because not only does it make me farther away from my friends, it also just reminds me of what I don't have.

Maria (MKC101103) said...

That's great about Sean's procedure!

I know where you're coming from on the other issue and it totally sucks being there. All I can do is send you some hugs and keep the hope up that you will have wonderful pregnancy stories in a few short months.

Bee said...

I walked in on a conversation my friend was having about her sister finding out she was having a boy. I know her sister better than the person she was telling, but she chose to spare me the info. I agree we are left behind. Or at least left out.

The Angry IF said...

I totally agree. There comes a point where people start keeping their pregnancies secret from you, and it makes you feel like crap. You know that they know you can't handle another announcement, so they just try and spare you. You're left out and left behind. I haven't found any way to keep up.

RMCarter said...

I found your blog randomly and, how interesting, I just posted about the same thing this morning.

http://www.inpursuitofparenthood.com/2008/09/i-am-liability.html

Infertility sucks, doesn't it... :(