I am struggling. This seems to be a prerequisite for me to find the motivation to write which makes me feel concerned that I sound like an depressed, angst-y cow. Thank goodness I have the security of anonymity. In my last post, I discussed our last ditch effort to conceive prior to booking a bucket list vacation next summer. Despite my mind understanding that the odds were against us, my heart was still broken to be disappointed once more.
My grief waxes and wanes depending on the day. And the last few days have been difficult. About a month ago, a second supervisee of mine confided in me that she was pregnant. I kept her secret until she announced her happy news to our team on Friday. This was followed by what felt like an eternity of baby talk between the two preggos and a discussion of who in the office would be “next.” My team is aware of our wait to adopt and thankfully managed to leave my name out of the betting. I did my very best to be present for the conversation and keep a smile on my face. As always, I am happy for others but sad for myself. Once the team meeting wrapped up, I headed to my office for a good long cry.
Bless this supervisee…she came to find me later in the day and gave me a small gift. She thanked me for being so supportive of her and acknowledged that she could imagine that this has not been easy for me. Just to be validated was enough to make me burst into tears once more. I thanked her and stressed that my happiness for her is separate than my feelings about my own situation and we agreed that there may be days where talking about her pregnancy may not be possible for me. Thank goodness for her showing me such kindness. I can’t say this has been the norm in the many pregnancy announcements I’ve endured since dealing with our infertility.
Today we had a special outing planned with my husband’s family. I was very much looking forward to this after the hard day I had yesterday. We met at a local breakfast spot before heading out of town to cut down a Christmas tree. His brother and wife have three children, ages 4, 3, and 1. They are very aware of our infertility struggles but don’t always seem to understand how impactful it has been. While sitting in the crowded restaurant, they handed us their yearly Christmas photo announcing their 4th pregnancy. They will have had three children in the time that we have tried for even one. I feel selfish for even being upset over their announcement, but this is my reality.
I know everyone needs something different when coping with infertility (http://www.yourtango.com/experts/leora-fulvio-mft/how-announce-your-pregnancy-friends-coping-infertility), but blind sighting me with your fourth pregnancy in the middle of a crowded restaurant was less than ideal. I could feel my husband’s eyes on me waiting to see if my fake smile turned into a waterfall of tears. Shockingly, I held it together until I got into the car. For me, I’m learning I would much rather hear about a pregnancy by email or text message (with hopefully a little tact and compassion woven in) than to have to look someone in the eye and overanalyze and force my reaction. In these moments, I am overwhelmed by emotion and it feels impossible for me to sort through my joy for others and my intense feelings of grief. Please spare me this. Please.
We got home with our tree and I no longer felt the energy or the desire to celebrate. I need some time to wallow, to feel sad for our situation, and to be jealous of the many others in our lives right now who seem to get pregnant without much effort. Infertility is lonely. I feel guilty for being stuck in self pity. I’m angry at those around me who can’t seem to do things in the way I want or say things in a way that shows some compassion (http://www.resolve.org/support/for-family–friends/infertility-etiquette.html). Three and a half years in and the pain is as present as ever. Infertility is the crappy gift that keeps on giving.