Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Some Day One Word Vomit

This weekend I visited my best friend Emma and her six week old baby Rorschach. Okay, that's not really his name, but it may as well be. (Please don't be insulted if you intend to name your baby Rorschach. But maybe re-think your decision.)

I was a dick of a best friend. I'm not proud of how I behaved. I'm still sort of confused by my current emotions. This post is going to be a jumbled reflection of that. Oh, and it's also Cycle Day One. So happy cramps and leaking uterus to me!

Let's back up. A few months ago, I went down to visit Emma by myself (without Bobby). She was about 8.5 months pregnant. I stayed at her apartment and we had some awesome girl time. We chatted about life, love, babies, and generally commiserated that we both had really terrible experiences after coming off from birth control and we wished someone would have warned us before we went on it that it may take close to two years to once again get regular periods. I didn't exactly say it outright, but I think Emma accepted the hint that we were trying to get pregnant and failing.

This time, Bobby and I both made the trip and we stayed in a hotel (to make up for this experience on Valentine's Day). I'm glad he went with me. I probably would have been even more of an awful friend if he wasn't there. That man keeps me sane.

All four of us love thrift shopping, so on Saturday we made a day of going to about seven or eight thrift stores. Bobby and I shared some "Happy Not-A-Father's Day" looks when Emma and her husband would briefly argue about who had to carry little Rorschach's monstrosity of a car seat. They ended up trading off every other store, but whoever got stuck with the kid had a significantly less fun trip. Bobby and I are nice people, but not nearly nice enough to offer to take a turn dragging around that kid's carrier. Instead, we held hands and browsed through the antiques and had a lovely time.

Both nights when we were hanging out in their apartment, Emma had to nurse little Rorschach. And both nights he screamed bloody murder into her boob until she gave up. I sat in her room with her while she did this, since we were both working on some sewing projects from our thrifted clothes. I pretty much ignored the screaming. I felt like a jerk. I didn't ask if this was a regular occurrence. I didn't sympathize. I didn't reassure her that she's a great mom. I didn't offer any kind words. I didn't do anything but focus on the seams I was picking. I thought about offering to hold him for a bit--but I'm not sure if would have been any use. Babies don't generally like me anyway, it's not likely I would have been able to soothe her little screamer any better than she was.

Emma casually brought up the conversation of children on Saturday night. It was late, this was post-Rorschach screaming and we were both tired. Maybe we were getting sick of each other. I don't know. This is when I mentioned that I didn't think people should have kids if they can't afford them. I'm not saying everyone should be millionaires to procreate, but if you can't afford to feed and diaper your kid, can't provide a decent space for them to grow up, etc., then maybe you should wait a bit.

And Emma disagreed. She NEVER would have disagreed with this statement a year ago when she was still battling infertility. She would have joined me in making fun of the women who just can't seem to figure out that reliable birth control exists. But now, she's on the other side. She's pro-kid. She's firmly entrenched in Babyworld and I'm still stuck over here in Infertility Hell.

She casually brought up birth control, asking if I thought I would ever go back on the pill (recalling our last conversation about how much going off of it had screwed up my cycles). And do you know what I said? This was the opportunity to confess my infertility to her and have a real life friend become a supporter. I didn't take that opportunity. Instead, I said: I'm on the pill right now. 

Why? Why did I tell her that? I don't even know. It was out of my mouth before I even made the decision to lie to her. She sort of stuttered a response of, Oh...okay....? I could see that she wanted to ask about our plan for children, but thankfully she didn't. She let it go and we eventually changed the subject. It was seriously a dick move to lie to my best friend, and I honestly don't know why I did it. It just happened. I don't know what I'm going to tell her if I get pregnant in the next few months, but with the way things are going now, that's not really my biggest concern.

In some ways, I thought hanging out with Emma and seeing her and her husband with this little tiny baby would make me ache for a baby even more. And then as I watched them grumble over having to drag this kid around shopping, and watching Emma struggle to breastfeed, I thought I might change my mind about wanting kids at all.

Instead...I feel ambivalent.

I came home feeling like I just don't freaking care what happens anymore. I don't want to go through all of this effort to have a baby. Yes, I want one. But I don't want to have to do any more research. I don't want to feel like I'm buying a kid. I don't want to waste money on failed IVF attempts or an adoption that falls through. I don't want to have to worry that if we adopt an older child, he'll be able to overpower me and hurt me. Or that an older daughter will never feel connected to me, and constantly have her scream at me: You're not my mom!

I don't want to give myself shots. I don't want to take pills or shove them up my hoo-haw. I don't want to keep taking my temperature every morning and monitoring the discharge in my underwear. I don't want to pee on any more sticks. I don't want to have any more sex when neither of us is in the mood.  

I'm so sick of whining about this. I look over this post and I'm annoyed with myself. I want to grab myself by the shoulders and yell: Get a grip! Either suck it up or give up. Stop feeling so damn sorry for yourself.

And then maybe slap myself across the face. One of those huge, full wind up, soap opera-style slaps.

11 comments:

  1. We all feel this way at times ya know? This is tough no matter how short or long we are at it. Sometimes it just feels like it will never happen. I had to rethink this whole thing. The thought came to my mind that, while yes I would love a child more than anything, if for some reason we aren't able to have any that's ok. It's ok because we have a great marriage and a child would be adding to it. We don't need a child to keep us together. We have a great life right now. Again, don't get me wrong I REALLY want a child and we aren't giving up but it's not the end of the world if we can't. I'm rambling here and I don't know if this helps at all but it helps me to have a different frame of mind :)

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    1. Thanks, Amie. I have to remind myself of this, especially when other people call having kids "starting a family." I'm always reminding myself (and others!) that even though we don't have kids, Bobby and I already are a family. Kids would add to our family, but we are still a legitimate family right now. Good thoughts!

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  2. As crummy as you might feel right now, I think it is important that when you have those not-so-pretty moments you let them out. It helps you process. The release can be therapeutic. The anger, confusion, frustration, the fed-up-with-myself-already feelings you feel have/are shared by many...which doesn't make any of this any better, but hopefully makes you feel a little less fed up with your "whining." Sorry about CD1. And sorry about the lame visit with your friend. I had a similar experience a while back...it stinks.

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    1. Thanks, Kelsey. These are things I find myself saying to others...it's just so much harder to give myself a break, you know?

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  3. OMG, I could have written this post. I feel that I've been a crapy friend to Myrtle as I never really ask her about her daughter or about her experience with motherhood. I also lied to her when I was newly pregnant last November and told her that we wouldn't be starting fertility treatments until the new year. At times I wish I hadn't told her about my miscarriage. It sucks, but there are just some things I can't share with her. I can also relate to resenting the feeling about buying a baby. When our last transfer failed, my husband's parents asked if we needed money. Sadly, I think they don't appreciate that there are some things money can't buy. Anyway, I didn't mean to take over with my comment. Sorry you're having such a sucky CD1 and an eye opening trip with your friend

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    1. Thanks, Jane. This is why I'm afraid to share anything with Emma...I might have to take it all back and end up regretting it. And I know you've had other issues with her understanding your treatments and feelings, and that sucks. Maybe we can let Emma and Myrtle have each other and then you and I can be new BFFs.

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  4. Wow, I never read your "Emma" post before but, to echo jAllen, I feel like I could have written much of it. Even though we don't really "lose" our friends when they get pregnant, there is a loss that happens there - of how we wanted things to be, of a shared experience, and in the case of a friend who had the joint experience of trying harder than most to get pregnant, an ally. I think that's the worst part; it isn't actually us-against-them, but damn if that's not just what it feels like. Thinking of you.

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  5. Sorry, I just wanted to add that it's often harder to deal with stuff like this the closer the person is to you. It should be the opposite, the closer you are to someone, the more it seems like you should be able to support them and be happy for them because you care, but it just doesn't always work out that way. Instead, the people you care about most can be the toughest to deal with and inexplicably the last ones you'd turn to for support. Really sucks, but I've found it to be true. Don't beat yourself up, you're definitely not alone.

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    1. This is so true! It's been so much more painful when my close friends have had babies than when someone I sort of knew in college posts an announcement on Facebook. I mean, that doesn't make me happy, but it's just so much worse when they're close. I want to love this kid and be a good "aunt" but I also want to wallow and feel totally sorry for myself.

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  6. We all have to enlist our own set of defense mechanisms, and no one can fault you for not wanting to sign up for diaper duty for her kid or anything. Might be why the pill comment just flew out of your mouth too, because it's just too much to talk about it and that was the knee jerk way to avoid it? So don't beat yourself up for that either. It's so hard watching those who've been the closest to you become parents when it's taking longer for you. We have all been there and can relate to that icky feeling. You're allowed to feel exhausted and just over it. Do not ever feel guilty for the way you feel.

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  7. I had really "dick" moments with my sister after she announced her first pregnancy. That was a long time ago, but I still remember how pissed I was and the awful things I said (thankfully, mostly not to her face). It's so hard when those closest to you start having babies and your aren't. You are not alone in having pity party moments. I don't know if this is comforting or not, but I eventually moved past having those hard feelings and accepting that we may never have kids. And then one day, we decided to bite the bullet and give it everything because we couldn't live with the regret of not even trying treatments. And now we have our family :) but if it didn't work and we still didn't have babies, at least we would know we tried everything and wouldn't live with regrets.

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