A hug and a punch

So I’ve been a bit quiet on here lately (ha! That’s me being quiet, people!) and I think it’s because I’m just sort of stuck in limbo, and I’ve had many thoughts going around my head, but somehow not the ones to blog.

Most of the time I can forget about infertility.

Most of the time I can forget about loss.

I had IVF, which worked. Until it didn’t. But I can forget that, more or less, in the day to day humdrum of my life. I get up, I walk Dog, I go to work, I come home, and I walk Dog and I spend time with T. We go out and we do fun things when we’re not at work. It’s actually pretty good.

But every now and then something happens which makes me feel a bit pants.

Yesterday it was this: I logged onto Facebook. (Who am I kidding? I’m perma-logged-in. I just opened the app.) And there staring me in the face is yet another brand new baby. I guess it hit me a bit harder than usual (the picture, not the baby – it wasn’t a cyber-violent baby or anything) because this was baby #2 from my friend. This was a second unannounced-before-time baby from my friend who’d been such a comfort to me when we were first thinking about going through IVF… because their first baby (again unannounced) was the result of IVF. He only told me this when we had some kind of catch up congratulations messages and I mentioned that I didn’t have kids because: infertility. And it gave me hope that it could work for us.

So I think it made me a bit more sad (although happy for them; I’m always the happy-for-them friend and best baby gift buyer) because I’d previously felt we were in the same boat. Like: They knew what it felt like.

But the thing is, when you have two babies in two years, I kinda feel like your words of sympathy around infertility aren’t quite as welcome. It feels more like a punch in the [not inconsiderable, IVF-bloated] stomach.

Or to put it more accurately, it feels like a punch and a hug at the same time. I can be happy for you, and I can be happy that there’s some success stories to come out of “infertility”*, but I can also think that it is hard for me to take the idea that you’ve reached your end goal relatively easily.

(*I still don’t believe you can struggle to conceive for a year or two and equate that to any long term infertility-operations-pain-miscarriage-loss type scenarios that many people go through silently. And as far as I can see, once people have a child they seem to have a kind of amnesia around ever struggling to have one.)

I still don’t feel like people who have one or more children now can honestly remember the pain.

The pain of never being a mother and always the aunt/godparent/”fun childless friend”…

The pain of being asked about “plans” to have children when we’ve been planning it for years and years before you even accidentally got pregnant…

The pain of having operations to fix one thing or another and still having an excruciating monthly reminder of being barren…

The pain of having to try to conceive your child not in an act of love but through medical intervention…

The pain of unacknowledged babies lost through miscarriage or stillbirth or RPL that nobody ever talks about in polite company…

 

But you know what?

I’m never going to say anything like that. I’m never going to rain on their parade. I’m always going to be the happy, childless friend. I’m good… I’m fine… I know that when I’m not feeling sorry for myself I have a nice life. I’m whoop-de-whoop wonderful.

Just got to keep hoping that one day I’m going to be that annoying person who seemingly had a baby without even trying. And you can bet your ass there’s going to be a picture on Facebook.

 

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21 comments

  1. lgandlg

    Even though I’ve experienced the baby announcement world myself before I still know what you’re talking about. I often think about how people who went through the struggle automatically have amnesia about it all. It’s like all they want is a chance to post news on Facebook to get those likes. All I know is, if God willing we get pregnant again, I’m not posting on Fb, or making a big deal socially. It’ll be a big deal to my husband and myself but I really don’t want to share with others who don’t nor never will understand the struggle. My outlook has totally changed being on both sides of the situation. My prayers go out to you that your journey may be successful. May we overcome, but never forget.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Thank you. I was sort of joking about FB. I’d probably never post during pregnancy as I would never feel like it was safe. I’ve barely discussed this with many friends at all, although lately I’ve talked to more people about the miscarriage. For some reason it seems easier – it’s more of a guaranteed sympathy thing than infertility, if that doesn’t sound completely wrong! Thanks x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Courtney

    Speaking only for myself, I honestly remember the pain. I remember the fear, the sadness, the bitterness, the anger… I still cry every time I think back, or tell someone, about our first failed IVF. I remember the devastation, the things people said to “help,” and the 2+ years of serious marital unhappiness and stress. And all if my IRL friends who have had to do IVF feel the same way (with the exception of 1 who said it felt like a bad dream once pregnant, but she only did 1 IVF to get there). You won’t forget it. I promise you that. You won’t think about it every day, but it will always be present and waiting to remind you when you least expect it.

    Facebook is the devil when you’re childless. It’s a god-send when you have kids because you can print books from it that keeps you from having to keep a baby book.

    You’re in the worst place right now, the limbo of knowing IVF can work, but not able to do it again yet. That is torture.

    Like

    • Nara

      Thank you for understanding. You’re right, I was being a bit flippant. I know that there’s no magic pill and that a child isn’t a panacea. To be quite honest when I see my friends with babies puking and crying and pooing, I sometimes think “ugh”. (Actually I don’t love babies but I do love toddlers upwards!)

      I guess that people don’t forget. But their sympathy becomes more sympathy and less empathy. They got their child in the end. It’s like finishing a marathon or something… It feels awful going through but there’s a sense of achievement in the end… It was worth it. Whereas for us it’s like running (or something horrible) with no end in sight…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Courtney

        You are so right on the marathon comparison… Spot on. There is a huge sense of relief once done (baby here) but you remember it being awful getting there, but not every grueling 0.1 of a mile.

        Like

  3. ashleykyleanderson

    I noticed your absence and have been thinking about you, so I was glad to see you posted this morning. But I am also sorry that you are still in the midst of this hell and hurting so deeply. I know exactly what you mean about post-infertility amnesia, because I have also noticed it and have vowed to never let myself get that way. Honestly, as my friend, please tell me if something I do or say ever hurts you and feel free to disappear from my blog for however long you want or need to. I already know you care and are happy for us; it is completely okay if you don’t feel able to like or comment on something.

    Can we exchange emails and/or (if you’d be comfortable with it) fb names? It’d be nice to be able to still connect if one or both of us goes without posting for a while. Also, I have never mentioned the pregnancy on there other than when posting a link to the blog and you don’t have to worry about any surprise ultrasound photos from me on your newsfeed– I am against posting them to a place where someone can’t control if they want to see them.

    And, I haven’t mentioned PB lately because I didn’t want to make you sad if you are in a place where you are okay at the moment, but I want you to know that I still think of him. You guys were right behind us and whenever we reach a new milestone I feel the loss for you all over again. We should be doing this together and I wish more than anything that things were different right now. PB is absolutely not forgotten, and you and T are not the only ones who remember him. I just wanted you to know. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Nara

      Hey you! I sent you a friend request. You were quite easy to find! 🙂

      I promise I’d tell you if you did anything hurtful but I can’t see that ever happening. Don’t ever dampen your joy for others! Least of all me! I want you to be joyful and there is no reason for you not to be. You are super considerate at all times and it’s honestly not necessary for me- I can take it! 🙂

      I do feel like I’m generally okay. Just in limbo like Courtney said. It’s sad… and every now and then I think “oh I’d be x months” but it can’t be helped. No use crying over spilt milk! I am focusing on having an amazing time in the Magic Kingdom and then the operation, before we even think about another round of IVF. We will be fine! Xx

      Like

  4. Disorderly Love

    So much of this resonated with me….most especially the piece about a friend who was so supportive when you were considering IVF & then-low & behold-popped out a baby. I had a similar situation with a best friend of mine…she was so supportive but I just found it so hard to keep in touch when she was ACCIDENTALLY pregnant with baby number 2 after I’d lost one & not been able to get pregnant again for years. It hurts like a SOB.
    It is perfectly the way you deemed it, a punch & a hug. I’m happy for her new baby, I really am…it just stings that this was suppose to be my time to have a baby.
    blah! okay, support group over lol
    ❤ xo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My Perfect Breakdown

    Arg, I wrote a really great comment a few hours ago and then our internet went out and since it’s been a few hours I cannot remember the whole thing. So, I will say, have fun posting whatever baby photos you want to when your turn comes. I think you’re allowed to if you want to!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. RC

    I was wondering how you had been going.
    Time will tell if I can remember the pain following my miscarriage earlier this year. Chances are, I won’t. I will try and forget the pain. I will remember the confusion, the loss, but the pain I will happily walk away from.
    Things will get better. And know that one day you’ll be the one giving someone a punch and a hug. When the time comes, post your photos and take your hugs x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Thank you. I think you’re right. I already feel like it is fading and not so much of a suckerpunch. It’s just every now and again something gets me. Most of the time I can focus on the good stuff! 🙂

      Like

  7. screwyoustork

    Deep dark secret time: some days when I am emotionally taxed on all this stuff, I mentally write my hopefully-someday-future Facebook pregnancy announcement. But I know I will never actually write it. Not because I don’t believe it won’t ever be me. But because I could never bear to be the same source of pain for someone else as some of those posts have been for me. But…I do reserve my right to change my mind and post it some day. I say….when you’ve been through the marathon, you should get to wear the medal.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. bgw2thek

    I have to agree with you. I think once you’ve had the baby you’ve completely moved passed everything you’ve gone through. Same thing with secondary infertility. I think it’s a different kind of pain. Once you’ve become a mother, it changes everything. Your no longer in that lost, hopeful, grieving, lonely place. You’ve moved past it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      I’ve been fairly vocal about secondary infertility in the past. Without wishing to offend anyone, and I know everyone’s struggle is their own, I really cannot understand people getting so upset at not having an ADDITIONAL child. A sibling isn’t a human right. (The reason people usually say they’re desperate for another.) A gender balanced family isn’t a human right. Heck, even a first child isn’t a human right. It seems nuts (to me) to go through such sadness about it when you have one child already, that you could be enjoying parenting. But I get that I can’t begin to comprehend that as I don’t even have one. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

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