Tuesday, May 27, 2008

nice while it lasted

I knew the Lupron would get to me eventually, and get to me it has. I'm headachy and sore and yucky-feeling and I have intermittent moments of nausea which I'm pretty sure are just my body's response to feeling plain ol' gross. It's kind of like having the flu. My mood has taken a nose-dive as well. I don't know how much of that is hormonal and how much is just my typical reaction to feeling lousy, but I'm really grumpy. I found myself downright irritated over a pregnancy announcement today. There's always a grain or two of jealousy mixed in with my happiness over someone else's pregnancy, but 9 times out of 10, the happiness wins out by a considerable margin. Today, I found myself flat out pissed. This woman became pregnant with her first (on try #1) within a month or two of when we started trying, and she is now pregnant with her second (on try #3). How is that fair? I mean, C'MON!

This announcement comes from someone who has challenged me to remain supportive as she deeply mourned her 2 BFNs. More on that in a minute. I'm sure she understands and is grateful for how lucky she was, both this time and last, and she in no way owes me any demonstration of that. That said, she's now had two cake-walk conceptions, to the extent that such a thing exists for those of us that aren't in heterosexual pairings, and it wouldn't hurt my spirit to catch a glimmer of gratitude for them. Or hell, for the sake of argument, let's say she doesn't get it and isn't grateful. That should be fine too. There's no law that says you have to recognize and appreciate your own good fortune. I have every reason to believe this woman is the salt of the earth and a great mom to boot. I'm grateful to her and everyone like her for populating the earth with cherished children that will grow into kind, conscientious adults. But today, she's pregnant and I'm not and I just need to feel pissed about that for a minute. Please no lectures on the futility of looking for justice here. I get it. I know we're all on our own journeys and her success is unrelated to my lack thereof and blah, blah, blah. I'm just in a lousy mood and I needed to vent about that for a minute.

I know this isn't politically correct to talk about, but among the shades of grey that compose a community of TTC-ers at various stages in their journeys, there can be some difficulty in watching people get all torn up over their first couple of BFNs, especially when they go on to get a relatively early, easy BFP. Don't get me wrong; mourning those early BFNs is 110% appropriate because they SUCK, and when I'm firing on all cylinders, I'm happy to wipe away tears and offer genuine reassurance that we are all entitled to every fiber of sadness in our being, whether this be our first or one hundredth disappointment. We've all been there. I don't think I got off the couch for 2 or 3 days after our first BFN. That said, witnessing that sadness can also be frustrating and a tiny bit insulting to those of us who have been at this for what feels like forever. To hear someone say after their 2nd or 3rd BFN that they worry they'll never get pregnant (again, something I myself did - the proof is in this blog, I'm sure) can push someone like the bitter, jaded, infertile lady I've become to take a deep breath and count to ten before responding. Standing where I am now, I can see how my early BFN grief (which was real grief and I don't mean to discount it) was probably very hard for some of my more experienced peers to witness. I don't think that should take away from where either person is (or was) - it's just the reality of being at different stages of the process. On my good days, I'm able to smile empathetically and endearingly at those women who stand where I stood nearly two years ago. On my bad days, I want to shake them and say, "Are you joking? Look at me! Get back to me if you're still not pregnant in a year." Or a favorite from my childhood, "You want something to cry about? I'll give you something to cry about!" I don't say those things. I never say those things. And most days, I don't even think those things. Most days, I'm beside myself with joy at the larger picture - that so many of us are creating such deliberate, longed-for families. But there are layers upon layers of emotions around TTC and some are just darker than others.

I guess where I'm coming from with all of this is that there are some of us who fill the "always a bridesmaid, never a bride" roles within our respective TTC communities. We have become the elders, the core, the backbone, the whatever you want to call it. We are always there to celebrate other's pregnancies, offer condolences on BFNs, and share hard-earned wisdom from our own trials and errors. But at the end of the day, we are just people, with our own emotions and in the midst of our own TTC journeys. We are still trying to acheive the same goal as everyone else. While it's all well and good to say that we should be unconditionally understanding and supportive of women who charge enthusiastically into the communities, soak up support and quickly graduate to the world of pregnancy and motherhood - that we should be slow to judge or compare - that just isn't going to be realistic all of the time. It's especially not going to be realistic when we're in the throes of our own TTC struggles; getting bad news from an RE, hitting our three-year anniversary of TTC, or injecting an expensive medication that makes us feel sick, crazy, and poor, just to pick a random example. :-)

Hopefully this post didn't trigger someone else's grrrr-reflex, but it probably has because this is emotionally charged stuff. We're bound to react to one another. I suspect we all agree that the benefits of having each other's shoulders to cry on outweighs the cost of stepping on each other's toes and that's why we're here. Still, I hope that nothing I said hurt anyone, and if it did, I hope you can believe me when I say that wasn't my intention.

7 days of Lupron down... a whole bunch more to go. Please remain seated and keep all arms and legs inside the vehicle. It looks like we've got a bumpy road ahead.


bleu said...

Oh K, I have been where you are and I have been on the other side having easy pregnancies. I never complained about 2 bfn's though, ever.

I thought what you wrote was honest and wonderfully raw.

One thing I can tell you from my own experiences is that for me, with Lupron, the main upsetting effect I have on it is a sudden and almost complete lack of empathy. It chokes me and unravels me every time. I have always been an empath and it is so much a part of me in every facet of my life, but while on Lupron it disappears and it kills me.
I hope it gets better soon and is all so very worth it in a very short time.

Anonymous said...

Oh FUCK unconditionally understanding and supportive. Who says you have to do that. I dwell in the darker layers very often my friend, and find myself needing to walk away for however long it takes for me to feel able to come back. You're right - we are all entitled to every fibre of our sadness, but that right does not outweigh all others. Keep what you need for fighting your own battles.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant brave post hun. I'm sure I was an annoying grief-stricken early bfn-er. This last time (4th try - still early I know) I was really struck with the blood at how much strength it would take to do this over and over. I don't think it's in me. We'll give it our go for now and put it on the shelf if we have to. But for those of you that have ventured on, battle after battle, I take my hat off for. I'm grateful for you and you exemplary honesty. I'll try to zip it in next time Aunt Flo comes by and think of how much stronger women handled it. xo

Inlocoparentis said...

Great post. I have endlessly marveled at your empathy for people (incl. me) going through TTC stuff that seems so premature from where you and M are standing. This is one of your great strengths. But good grief, you are entitled to be annoyed sometimes by this bullshit and the people who don't get it. I kind of like mad K, actually. Hot. :)

Anonymous said...

What an excellent post. Thank you for articulating so clearly what I have often wanted to say, but abstained for fear of doing it too clumsily.

jay (that was vee above!)