Thursday, February 2, 2012

the admission

One benefit to being infertile (yes, I just typed that) is that I've really been forced to come to terms with my emotions and feelings.

In the beginning (beginning meaning around 2 years in to TTC), I would just feel. My emotions would run rampant, and I let them. Like a wild horse. I was bitter, jealous, unhappy.

(Ok, so maybe not like a wild horse. Generally wild horses must be happy, right? They get to run along the beach and stuff...)

Starting this blog was my first step in identifying my feelings. Typing out my thoughts provoked me to actually think about why I was feeling a certain way. 

(Many of you may be thinking that I should have learned to do that years ago. I don't know when people really start to fully understand their emotions. To realize what triggered a thought or feeling, why you reacted the way you did, and how you can take steps to avoid getting upset. Perhaps I'm late to this party. I never claimed to be an early-developer! I'm like a real grown-up now!)

I've made progress, too. Hearing a pregnancy announcement no longer sends me into a downward shitstorm spiral. I find myself genuinely feeling happy for newly-expecting couples (especially those who are close to me). And this is a place I was never sure that I would reach. I'm proud of myself.

But I'm not perfect. My recent loss has added a new (unfortunate) dimension to my feelings. As if my feelings weren't complicated enough (I'm so emo, right?). Now, instead of pregnant bellies and ultrasound photos causing me anguish, it's smaller things: the date, a name, a memory.

Because I feel like I've grown as a person (gee thanks, IF!), I have something I want to get off my chest. It's something that has been there, tucked and hidden away in my inner-most thoughts and feelings. Something I've not ever revealed to anyone because I'm ashamed the thought ever crossed my mind (multiple times over many years).

Many of you may think I'm an asshole. Or may pity me. And maybe most of you won't understand, unless you fit a very specific criteria: unexplained IF + no pregnancy ever + 4 years of TTC. Or maybe all of you will understand. Who knows.

Before my recent pregnancy and miscarriage, I was envious of women who had experienced a loss.

Sure, go back up and re-read that. Clean your monitor or your glasses if you like, but you read that correctly the first time.

I was jealous because they had seen two lines. I was so desperate for answers, for hope, for anything, that I actually welcomed the thought of a miscarriage. I wanted to know that at least my body could do something semi-right. Because as it stood, it wasn't doing much of anything properly when it came to making a baby.

Sure, I was ovulating. Sure, Buster had all kinds of sperm. But that wasn't getting us any closer to conceiving. 

We had nothing but wasted time, wasted money, and heartache. 

And I was ashamed at the time to be feeling that way. I felt guilty for thinking it, because I knew those women who experienced a loss were hurting. Of course, I had no clue how much they were hurting until January 2, 2012.

Now I know. After 4 1/2 long years, I got my sick and twisted wish. I experienced a loss and the shattering of earth that goes along with it. The breaking of hearts. The pain of losing what you never really had.

This is a tough hand we (you and I, anyone who walks this road) have been dealt. Infertility is hard. Infertility + loss is even harder.

I hope that in recognizing my feelings, I can work on not letting guilt creep in. Coping with the emotional toll of infertility is hard work, and guilt only makes things tougher.

I no longer feel guilty for those thoughts. I carried that guilt with me for too long. I understand why I wished for a loss. Why I wished for something, anything to happen. I know that the me who thought those things is different than the me today. I'm more mature, and more in touch with my emotions.

And I've suffered a loss. And it's nothing I would wish on anyone, especially the me from two years ago.

24 comments:

  1. I definitely dont pity you. I think your an amazingly strong person. Also I love and respect your new mindset on things, especially being truly happy for other couples who have concieved. I wish you nothing but the best and hope you get your dream.

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  2. I applaud you for sharing your innermost thoughts. You are very brave and strong! After my first loss, I remember secretly feeling like I belonged to some (non-existent) club. That I had at least gotten pregnant and that was a step. After the third loss? Well, let's just say my current state is less than desirable. Bitter Betty, party of one?! I'm working on it though. Hang in there, and thanks for your honesty. :)

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  3. Gosh, I wish I could hug you. Your honesty is refreshing...and relatable. I, too, have looked at other women with eyes of envy when their pregnant bellies waddle toward me. I have cried in the bathroom over hearing pregnancy news.

    But now...in my early thirties, I too, have matured and grown and can now be genuinely happy for others. It feels good to finally be able to do that!

    So, I can relate with you. You aren't the only one...but you are the only one I know of who is brave enough to stand up and say it out loud. Good for you! I'm proud of you.

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  4. I think a lot of people think that but aren't brave enough to say it. I'm sorry you had to find out the hard way how horrible IF + loss is. You are amazing and strong.

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  5. Thank you for writing this. It's something I addressed on my own blog just a couple of weeks ago. It's something I'd felt for a long time, but it took months for me to work up the courage to voice it. I know it's a terrible, terrible thing to wish, but I've been in that place of wishing I could at least get pregnant, even if it didn't last. As you said, I'd at least like to know that my body can sort of do something right.

    Does it make us awful people? No, I don't think so. I think it comes with the territory when you're dealing with IF. It's a total mind-f**k and it makes you think and feel things you wouldn't normally think and feel.

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  6. I hate to admit it but I've thought the same thing. After trying for about 6 months a close friend got pregnant on her first month trying and misscarried, it sounds so so awful but I was jealous, really really jealous. I know better now and my heart breaks for all the women who have to go through it but at the time I just wanted to know I was at least capable of getting pregnant. Anyway, I just want you to know that I think you are the kindest most compassionate TTCer I've ever met and I know that your ability to see joy for others when you're experiencing sorrow has been a wonderful support to me and many others. So, thanks for being you Kara!

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  7. Kara, I think a lot of women have the same feelings as you do. To be brutally honest right back a good friend of mine had a late term miscarriage. After feeling very sad for her, I instantly had the thought, "well she got pregnant the first try with both pregnancies, so I'm sure that she'll be pregnant next month."

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  8. I have definitely had that thought before. You are not alone.

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  9. You didn't wish for a loss - you wished to be pregnant! I've heard of a lot of IF women express this same jealousy. Since my IF came after my loss (kind of), it's never a feeling I've had, but I can certainly understand how going through IF can make you feel that. Thank you for being honest. I really appreciate honesty on IF blogs.

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  10. I also felt the same way. What it all came down to was the fact that at least these women *knew* they could get pregnant. What I didn't understand was how terrible it is to lose a child. That said, I don't believe that spending years with BFN after BFN is any easier. Both miscarriage and IF are their own special circle of hell.

    Don't beat yourself up about what you're feeling. I think it's completely natural to have these thoughts. What it comes down to now is what you do with them. I've seen bloggers who bash on others who have never lived through miscarriage claiming that "they can't possibly understand" that level of pain. It's wrong of them to do this because no one wins in the pain olympics. Instead, if we embrace what we've learned and reach out to others, we will only become stronger as individuals as well as a community.

    Thinking of you.

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  11. I think just like the other ladies have said, it's something we've all felt, and natural I would assume. Hugs for you! xoxo

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  12. I've been suffering from the guilt of the very same thought. I've never seen those double pinks. Not once and the not knowing if I ever will sends me to a dark place.

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  13. You have nailed these thoughts on the board!! I have often felt this very same way... I thought maybe I was sick... funny how this unfortunate event has changed us for the better, we see the little things in life now and see how special they are. We see this all as step by step, even getting pregnant and losing them as a step ahead, because like we are told often "at least you got pregnant" - I hate those words, but then realize my thoughts were once the same... its funny how our strength surprises us!!

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  14. Your feelings are so normal my dear. Before I became pregnant and lost my twins, I was jealous too. I wanted to at least know I could make a baby...feel that for even a little while. You are not alone in the feelings you had and it takes guts to even put it out there. I think you will be surprised how many women have guilt over their jealousy of someone else's loss.
    You are doing amazing.

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  15. I completely understand, and you are not alone. <3

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  16. I totally understand...I think a lot of other women feel/have felt the same way. I have been ttc for over 5 years now, and have had one failed IVF. I would do anything to see two lines. I am so sorry for your loss. Your words are a great support system to myself and many other infertile couples out there.

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  17. I have a love-hate with your blog. I love how honest and genuine you speak, and I love how your blog touches on exactly what I'm feeling. But I hate the pain that you have experienced and unfortunately are still experiencing. I'm so thrilled that your body did something (semi) right and I cant wait to follow your FET journey!!

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  18. I applaud your honesty in this post. I almost feel like an outsider after reading all the comments when I say that I honestly prayed every day that if I were ever lucky enough to get pregnant that I would NEVER experience a loss or that I would just never get pregnant. There was a point about a year into TTC when a good friend of mine had just suffered her 2nd miscarriage and I turned to my husband and said I know babies aren't coming easy to us but thank god we aren't losing babies, and I meant it. I would rather suffer through years of infertility than deal with a loss but I can respect and understand everyone's comments here how the ability to get pregnant could be comforting.

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  19. I absolutely agree. I also have a friend who got pregnant first month, miscarried early, then got pregnant the next month AGAIN and is now 17 weeks pregnant. She keeps serving me platitudes and I love her but I can't bear it. She has NO idea what it's like to not even know whether you're capable of pregnancy. I liked the comment about the pain olympics though - it's so true: she's had her pain, I've got mine.

    Kara, your blog is amazing. I don't think I've ever been so hopeful for a total stranger's dreams. You write really well, too.

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  20. Just found your blog through Stirrup Queens and I'm glad I did. Wow, I found myself nodding along while reading this article. I can look back and remember experiencing alot of those same emotions that you recalled having.

    I can remember thinking that same thought and having jealousy of anyone who was able to even get pregnant, even if ended in a loss. That seems crazy to even write that out, but it's true.

    But in some way, I feel that our miscarriage "validated" our struggle over the last 4.5 years. Maybe validated isn't the right word, but IF is such an unknown for so many people that the miscarriage was something tangible to grieve. The truth is, we were grieving for four years prior. Grieving the loss of something we thought we might never have.

    Thanks for writing this, I'm now following along so I can keep up on your story. Best wishes to you.

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  21. You are not alone, kara. Wishing for hope is not something to be ashamed of. Being envious that someone else has experienced that hope that you yearn for? Completely understandable. You needed to know if it could happen, because the not knowing was enough to make you crazy (which you clearly steered far away from! wink). You should not feel guilt for needing hope, because you simply could not have fathomed the attachment that is formed over such a short period of pregnancy. You didn't know that pain, so how could you foresee it? That's like me trying to imagine the pain of having a limb cut off... I can hypothesize under what circumstances I would do it, but come down to it, I would probably eat my words later.

    You deserve to mourn your loss without guilt. As my grandma once said "everybody is playing their own game of golf, so why should they care about yours?!" those women that you envied? They don't know, and it shouldn't concern them, because you were working through your own pain.

    This is how we learn empathy and compassion, and you are well on your way to being one hell of a compassionate lady ;)

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  22. I love the honestyfeel in this post. I'm not there with you on the 'genuine happiness for pregnancy announcements' but yes to the blogging to identify my feelings.

    I feel like I should say 'sorry you got your wish' - but thats based on what I know and experienced through pregnancy loss . . . I would never wish miscarriage on anyone, but also kinda recognise we all process things in our own way and I have a better idea now from this post of understanding the feeling you had for this wish, although its something I'm finding really hard to put into words on this comment - not for any 'you' reason, more me not wanting to say something inadvertantly shitty. Because of that gaping chasm potentially between our individual sitches? Dunno. I also needed to close that sentence, in case you were gasping for air . . .

    But I know guilt is one of the shittiest challenges of this stuff we face, and I have a 'different' perspective, from one who knows what they are dealing with re infertility diagnoses, I often think it would be a whole heap harder to be dealing with unexplained infertility - the 'not knowing'. I 'get' the wanting of certain criteria, but recognise the feelings are probably not that unique, just shaped differently round the edges. Still tastes like shite though, whatever shape it is . . .

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  23. I understand that wish, because I've had it, and then felt awful for having it.

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