The infertile and the fertile friend

The last couple of days I’ve been thinking about my pregnant friend and how I’m failing to cope with pregnancies around me. I’m too aware there’s a very good chance (like 70%) that this cycle I’ll be facing a negative pregnancy test or worse I’ll discover my eggs aren’t great and won’t get to even take a test. I know that at the end of it, I’ll have to lick my wounds and find the strength to get on with life – work, newborn in the family, watching my friends form and grow their families.

I also know that as a couple we’ll have to make a decision about how much of this we can really do – financially and emotionally. We are both tired. So so tired. I’m trying to live in the moment and not worry about the future but I really don’t want to fall apart post-IVF like I did the last time.

Tulips

Anyhow, my friend had the 12 week scan today and I had my final scan before trigger for ICSI/IVF. We text well wishes to each other and on my way back from the hospital I bought her some flowers. I realised that if I were in her shoes, she would do the same and genuinely celebrate it with me. I am becoming my bitterness and somehow I need to stop it before it consumes me and I can’t see beyond it.

But it’s so hard 😦

I went to see my friend later in the day. We both had small plasters on the exact spot on our left arms. Mine to check hormone levels for trigger and hers to check everything’s well with the baby. I sat and looked through her baby folder with her. I examined the scan pictures when she passed them to me. I held it together, even when Super Man stupidly said ‘Oh it’s like your scan pics!’ (He meant the same black and white scans). We all fell silent and I could only reply ‘Yeah, except there isn’t a baby in mine.’ I wasn’t sure what else to say.

I think she meant well but I almost died when she started to narrate stories about her friends that have fallen pregnant by… wait for it.. relaxing …thanks to acupuncture. It was clear that she’d forgotten about our fertilization issues.

Just relax | Infertility | Someecards

And then I got hit with the ‘I hope you’re both ready for babysitting duties.’ Seriously.

Children | Infertilty | Someecards

I forgive her. What else is she supposed to do or say? She means well. How is she supposed to know what this pain feels like?

This pain. Nobody can understand it unless they’re going through it so I’m going to quit expecting sensitivity from those who are fortunate enough to not be in this situation.

God I’m looking forward to biting into that Lindt chocolate bunny once egg collection is done. I sure as hell need it.

 

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I opened Pandora's box and infertility entered my life.

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Posted in Emotions + Coping, Infertility, IVF
23 comments on “The infertile and the fertile friend
  1. I’d have to tell her that we will only baby sit once we have kids otherwise I’d be happy to watch her dog..You are a much better friend/person than myself. AND to boot I’m not sure I could stop at one bunny… It’s a good lesson though – to not let your bitterness become you.

    • Ha! That was Super Man’s response ‘I’m not babysitting anyones kids if we don’t have our own kids. F that.’ Tbh I go through waves of being strong and then waves of not wanting to face any of my fertile friends and hibernating for months.

      Oh and btw.. congratulations on your pregnancy. 😀 x

  2. hopingonhope says:

    Fertiles never get it and why should they!! Let hope they never have to face this trauma. At least some % of the population should be the product of just sex.

    • Lol. At this point I’d take my child just being a product of sex! I once had a great vision he or she would be a manifestation of love. I guess with IVF they’re a manifestation of super love because it’s so much to go through for just a chance/glimmer of what might be.

  3. Lauren says:

    I really admire your attitude and response. That takes some real guts and compassion. I’m proud of you, even though I don’t even know what you look like! Stay strong, and allow yourself a good cry too xo

    • Aww thanks, Lauren. Don’t get me wrong, there are days where I hibernate from pregnancies – even here but yesterday I just knew I had to be strong for myself and to be a good friend. I didn’t want to leave it until post failed IVF because she wouldn’t get the support she deserves from me. I’d be in shut down and stay away from me mode.

  4. taylor says:

    I try to tell myself that it isn’t her fault it was so easier for her, just like it isn’t my fault that it’s so hard for me. I just wish my close friends were more sensitive. Having said that, most of the time I think they just don’t know what to say, so they often say the wrong things.

    • The crazy bit of it is that going through IF you really do understand pregnancy and what to expect. So I found myself giving her advice on what she should/shouldn’t be doing and things she should be considering. Oh the irony! Banging my head.

  5. kiftsgate says:

    You are one strong and nice lady!!! Be proud of yourself. I just hope this is the last of this type of meet ups you have to do since you have egg retrieval coming up. I would like to quote a very wise woman (who apparently tells me smart things but does not follow her own advice): “Prioritise you and tell them you’re unavailable. […] You need you time right now. The world can wait.”.
    I know you are strong and adorable and I know you’ll be there for your friends and it’s not their fault if they don’t get it (though they could make more of an effort), but you don’t need this right now. You don’t need to be comparing yourself with her right now. You need time for yourself and to focus on the miracle that may well happen to you very soon.
    I have everything crossed for your egg collection. Thinking of you! xx

    • I am late replying to this but I’m not sure where the last few days went. It’s all a blur now. I’m now officially indulging in letting the world wait. I’m exhausted.

      And you’re so right .. I really don’t need to be comparing right now and it’s so hard not to do. I need a bubble. Let’s picture bubbles around us. x

  6. barrenbetty says:

    😦 even the best of friends just don’t get it. Even if you tell them, it goes straight in one ear and out the other. I don’t think mine can understand that IVF might not work for me, which is something I have to face. They just think it will happen so can’t understand why I’m quite so sad, or not really in the mood for baby showers. You are a super friend though, even if she doesn’t appreciate it as much as she should. You should feel proud of yourself x

    • I’m late replying to you on this but that’s only because you’re in my Whatsapp anyway 😛 I don’t think they really realise what it means not to have your own child because that’s a reality they’ve never had to face. However, I’ve noticed a pattern.. once their children are toddlers they tend to become more understanding. I could be wrong. I’ll have to continue my research on this theory.

  7. NotSoNewtoIVF says:

    Oh my lovely. The pain. Just. ..The pain of it. You are truly a wonderful friend, I don’t think I could do that.
    I know what you mean about being tired..I’m exhausted. I’m sick of it. I hate that we have to go through this. Sending huge hugs xxx

  8. NotSoNewtoIVF says:

    Also….What kiftsgate said!

  9. You are one special lady to be able to show that much compassion and friendship at such a difficult time. I am trying really hard to be better at this. When I pass pregnant women on the street I’ve started trying to send a little blessing to the mom and the baby instead of bitterness, resent and jealousy. I had read about this on another blog and, although it’s not always easy, I’m finding it to be positive for me and my mindset. I love your card and flower choice and hope you’ll be getting mailboxes full of similar messages soon. Your comment about being so so tired definitely struck home. Don’t forget to take care of yourself and allow yourself a little distance from people who can’t contribute positive energy right now to you, your husband, and your soon to be embryos.

    • I have total bump envy. I find myself staring at pregnant women regularly on the train. I do wish them well but I still carry the sadness and emerald jealousy in me. Your comment about my inbox made me smile – one can only hope.

  10. Holly E says:

    I think you are super awesome for doing that for your friend even though it’s so hard for you. Hopefully she recognizes that.

    • Thanks for leaving a little note Holly. I don’t think she will know how much it takes to do it but I’m glad I did it too. I felt stronger for it and hopefully she won’t feel the need to avoid me now.

  11. My sister is pregnant at the moment to her boyfriend who cheated on her, while I await to undergo my 7th IVF next cycle. You are a true inspiration to me in being able to face that situation and deal with those unintended yet insensitive comments.

    • My sister was/is going through marital issues when she fell pregnant. I really struggled after my failed IVF to face her but knew that I had to do it. She did some cringeworthy things like showing me a pregnancy app at the time and sending me a baby scan just as I found out fertilisation had failed. This is her second pregnancy while I’ve been trying to conceive.

      I really don’t think anyone can understand this unless they’re going through it – not even my own blood. I’ve lowered my expectations and when it does get too much I do back away. I panicked when I realised her baby shower is soon but it turns out that I’m out of the country – thankfully. When I face her pregnancy and show strength, I do feel better for it but I don’t punish myself or feel guilty when I need to step away from it. I want her to know I care without harming myself. So I try to do little things.

      With 7 IVFs you’ve been through so much. I think you have to still protect yourself and then when you’re ready you’ll open up again.

  12. Weylin says:

    Oh my, fertility doll. You took the words out of my mouth ” I am becoming my bitterness and I need a way to stop it before it consumes me”. That was way inspirational for me. It was a blessing to read you words today because I was having a bitter, sad, jealous day (5th female colleague pregnant in a team of 6 women and the rest men) where I needed it.

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A potent spell. All women alike
Fight fiercely for a child.

~ Euripides, Iphigenia in Aulis, c. 405 B.C.

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