Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Way We Were...

I know this is my second post of the day, but I just felt like I needed let it all out. It helps, it really does.

I remember when we first started TTC. It was something that was inevitable, something that was going to happen in the next couple months. We were going to be parents. It was so exciting. We would look at the baby section of stores, giggling like pre-teen girls in the juniors department of Macys. We would lightheartedly argue about names, I constantly rallying for Lucy, Rob laughing and using his "power of veto". We painted the office a light, buttery yellow. I started considering putting my very non-baby friendly car up for sale. I couldn't wait for the Pottery Barn Baby Catalog to come in the mail. It was thrilling to see the women at the Farmer's Market, with their babies in slings and strollers, or with their pregnant bellies protruding out from under cute maternity t-shirts. Back when I could look at them without the sting of jealousy. Shower invitations only brought on a feeling of excitement since we were probably next. I would take a mental note the presents they received that would be great to register when my time came. It would be so soon. We would say things like "Imagine next time this year we'll we parents!" or "This may be our last Christmas just the two of us". Whenever people would ask us when we were going to try and have kids we would vehemently deny it, but give each other a secret smile...if they only knew!

Every major holiday and birthday I would think, "Oh, wouldn't father's day be the best day to tell Rob?" I would dream of telling my mother on her birthday... on my father's birthday...on mother's day... on grandparents day... on Thanksgiving...on Christmas.

The perfect-time-to tell holidays rolled by for one year, then another. The uneasiness set in. The endless doctors appointments began, I've never been to the doctors so much in my life... and it is only just beginning. Doubt about our baby-making capabilities slowly creeped in. Medications needed to be taken at certain days, certain times. Side effects made me cranky, emotional, and not myself. I stopped thinking up creative ways that I would tell my best friend. I put the two things I had bought for the baby into the closet in the guest room. The quilt for the wall that I bought from Red Envelope went back into the box it came in. The unbelievable soft lamb-shaped baby blanket that I would often take out just to touch has been stowed safely away. I haven't opened it for months now. I stopped pouncing on the Pottery Barn Kids catalogs and eventually they found their way directly into the recycling bin. I now walk by the baby department at Target with only a quick sideways glance. I feel a sharp stab of envy looking at the women at the Farmer's Market who have what I want so desperately. Do they see me? Looking at them? I wonder if or when it happens for us if I will recognize the looks in women's eyes. Women who are going through what we have went through. I'm pretty sure I'll be able to see it from a mile away. You don't forget that sort of thing. It is almost like a sisterhood, a sorority you never wanted to join.

A shower invitation, a Christmas card with a new baby in a Santa hat or sitting in the middle of Christmas lights(there were so many this year), a bulletin on myspace announcing the pregnancy of someone years younger than me, all make me blink back tears and push away the devil on my shoulder, "Why them? Why not us?". The jealousy is almost the worst part. You can't stop it, it is there with every pregnancy announcement. You can fake your way through it on the outside, inside it rips your heart out...every single time. When people ask us about TTC now I immediately change the subject. There is no more "when we get pregnant..." it is always "if we get pregnant". It isn't being negative. It is simply self preservation, steeling ourselves for the possibility of a outcome that does not include a pregnancy.

"But now old friends are acting strange

They shake their heads, they say I've changed

Well something's lost, but something's gained

In living every day"

-"Both Sides Now" Joni Mitchell


13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I won't try to say that I understand how you're feeling. I have two little ones of my own, and in all honestly, it happened pretty quickly. It does however, hurt me to read about the amount of pain you are in.

It hurts me in a way difficult to describe. Due to certain events in the first months of my daughter's life, we had some genetic testing done. We discovered an abnormality. It is not down syndrome or anything like that. It is not something that affects her appearance or her development. Rather it is something that will likely cause her to feel pain very similar to yours.

Because of something entirely out of my control, my beautiful little girl will likely have extreme difficulty bringing a child to term. She may not have trouble getting pregnant, in fact in may be quite easy for her, but because of this abnormality it is much more likely that any baby she conceives will be miscarried within the first trimester. Over and over and over again. How and when do you even tell your child something like this is?

It breaks my heart almost every day. I think about you all the time, and I hope (as I am not the praying kind) that you get wonderful, happy news, soon. If you do, perhaps so will she one day.

Bev said...

anonymous- I am so sorry to head about your daughters condition. The only thing I can think to say is that medicine has grown in leaps and bounds over the year, easpecially in regards to infertility. Hopefully, by the time your daughter want to have children there will be a treatment for her abnormality that will allow her to have a child!!! It is amazing what has happened in the last couple decades in fertility treatments, imagine how far things will have gone in 20 years. Thank you so much for sharing your story. :)

Amy said...

I saw so much of myself in this post. I have felt so many of these extact same things. It was almost as if I could have written this myself. I haven't gone the route with the doctors as I am still hopeful we will be able to achieve this without their intervention.

One thing I must say and I realize that its difficult to do, don't give up hope. One thing I have prided myself on (and it doesn't make me any better or worse) is the fact that I have never stopped saying "when we have children." I know without a shadow of a doubt I will have children. It's just a matter of timing. I've been silently following your trials of IF as I have been going through my own. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. As difficult and disappointing the passing months can be, keep up hope that you will have children.

Mandie said...

I sit here reading this and fighting back the tears so that when my husband comes in from the other room, he won't ask me why I'm crying.

This was so incredibly well written and my heart breaks, not only for you but for every woman out there going through this. It also breaks for myself, because I've started reaching this point myself. It's been a year since we started ttc and I know that's not forever. However, it's the start of the catalogs being put in the bin, the baby stuff being put away and the thought of going to the doctors scares the piss out of me.

Right now I'm living with the idea that we're just not timing it right or I'm temping wrong and I have no idea when I'm fertile. I've convinced myself that it's taken this whole year to rid my body of the pill and that's why nothings happening.

Bev, your blog is on my google reader list for posts just like this. You're an amazing writer and you touch a very familiar note, not just with me but with women like us everywhere.

I hope nothing but the best for you in 2008 and remember that you are far from alone.

Jennifer said...

I just happened onto your blog and I wanted to tell you that you have such a way with words. I had a m/c in August and an ectopic for which I had to have surgery 2 weeks before Christmas and I completely relate to this post in particular. I know how you feel and it sucks.

cocojack10 said...

I can relate to a lot of your post... we've been trying, and nothing yet. I too somewhat glace at pg woman and those w/ children with a bit of jealousy... I want to be like them.

Oh, and do I hate the "when are you guys going to try?" Is it really any of their business, seriously?!

TabbyW said...

Hello from a fellow nestie. Though you and I have slightly different stories I want you to know that I relate so much to all the feelings you describe in this post so much so that It could have been me writing this.

My husband and I have had a long hard journey so far towards parenthood that is unfortunately still ongoing. Went off BC July/August 06, started trying around October 06 and were thrilled to find out we were expecting in January 07, unfortunately that February I had a m/c and have not been able to get pregnant again since. Lately I have become relatively convinced that we may not be able to have this happen again without medical assistance if at all and the thought of it all terrifies me and makes me so sad. The longer it takes I find that I have just become so pessimistic and down. Like you have said before it's a definite rollercoaster ride of emotions. I, like you, now refer to "if we have kids" The couple of cute onsies, teddy bear, and rattle that I bought for our future child have all now been put away in the guest bedroom closet and recently I have toyed with giving them away. I, like you, struggle daily with jealousy. Jealousy of women who I don't even know or of friends who have picture perfect pregnancies, concieve easily and "on accident" or "without trying" It tears me up to think about all those people out there having babies that they don't really want while you and I sit here desperately wanting it so badly but so far just not able to make it happen. It truly is such a cruel irony.

I admire the honesty in your posts and how you aren't afraid to open your heart and share the sheer crapiness of the situation with everyone. I hate to see other people struggling with this but at the same time there's a peace in knowing that there are other's out there that understand. I hope so much that 08 brings you and your husband the thing that you desire most. Keeping you both in my thoughts.

Keren said...

You dont know me but i happened to find your blog on a friends blog...I just wanted to tell you how touched I was reading your blogs, I was adopted b/c my mom and dad we unable to have children and I know how much that hurt them...I have 2 friends now ttc and I say a prayer for them every night..just know I will say one for you tonight too! good luck and Im sending baby dust your way!

Donkey said...

Bunnies, I truly hope it happens for you soon. I can't even begin to imagine the strength it takes to go through IF for so long. You are an amazing person, and you deserve a baby. You're in my thoughts.

theJen626-nestie said...

Hi Bunnies, This was so well written and you just made me cry at work...thanks for making it so eloquent. We are at the exact same step in our treatments, except I have no IF coverage. So please, for me, go out there and get every single test that you can get paid for by your insurance. I know you are scared of the HSG(I am too, eek!), but I will have to pay out of pocket for any and every IF test that I need done. So please go get all of your tests.

Good luck to you and I wish you nothing but the best. Eat, pray, and love.

Love ya,
Another Portland Nestie

casicola-luckyme said...

Bev,
As many before me said...Well said. I felt also like you read my mind. It was so beautifully written. I giggled because my magazine is "Parenting" which has been sent to me by accident..ok, not accident, but as a telemarketing scam i fell for...but anyway, thats my magazine in a pile:)

I just found you guys this week, IFers...its so nice to read about others out there going through it.

So thanks for the smile:)

mollie said...

i have many friends struggling with infertility or fertility issues and your post made my heart hurt for them - and you.

you will have a beautiful family.

LoveComesFirst said...

awww, this post made me a bit weepy. It's us to a t. At first things are so exciting, you think that the baby will be inevitable. Now it's not so certain. I think of ways to tell the parents before holidays too. I hated realizing that the last cycle before Christmas had ended in AF, and there wasn't enough time to conceive a child and wrap up a sonogram picture in a "world's best grandparents" frame before the holiday.

I have 4 friends who are expecting right now. One couple is recently married and weren't even dating yet when we started TTC.

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