Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Breaking for Melodrama

When I got home a few nights ago, A_ was finishing up a phone conversation. He got off and said "Well, J's pregnant."

Of course she is. J is a friend of ours who took A_'s old teaching job after he finished law school. I was talking to her a few months ago and she mentioned they were going to start trying.
I love J and know she is going to be an amazing mother and of course I am happy for her. She was a foster mother to a teenage girl when she was only in her early 20s herself and she absolutely kicks ass. I was excited that she was moving down here to take this job so we could hang out more.

But of course, hearing that she's pregnant sent a wisp of jealousy curling up through my stomach and into my heart where it squeezed so tightly I felt like I couldn't breathe.
With that last breath I managed to throw out "Oh." Fuck. "That's great. I'll have to call her and congratulate her tomorrow."

See, A_ generally gets vaguely annoyed at my infertility melodrama. He's expressed to me before that he doesn't quite get why I moan and wail and raise my fists to the gods and crank about every time somebody else gets knocked up. (Or maybe I just get a little sad. But he doesn't get that either.) So I try not to be that bitter bitchy infertile you all know and (hopefully) like when he's around.

But this time instead of moving on to talk about something else, A_ looked a little lost and then said "Everyone's having babies."

And it's true. His best friend is pregnant, his old office mate just had a baby, his new replacement is having a baby, our friends who have two biological children already went and adopted another one internationally because they have millions of dollars and want to be Brang-e-fucking-lina. My other friend J is pregnant because she wasn't using birth control because she thought doing drugs* and smoking and drinking would keep her so unhealthy she wouldn't be able to get pregnant. There are a million other friends that are having babies.
Like I said, it doesn't normally affect A_. But I think that starting his new job, he's realized that all of his coworkers have children. And they like to talk about their children.

A_ started talking about how I should just go find somebody else and have a kid. Then I could come back if I wanted. He was only half kidding. He said he knows how much I want a child and he hates that he can't give me one. He hurts that I hurt. And I hurt for him. He hates that we still have to come up with ten grand for IVF. (I've been trying to save money but it's slow going. I never turned in my C**per application because I'm a size 14 right now. Nobody would want my fat eggs. Hell, *I* wouldn't want my fat eggs. A_ finds out about the b*r on May 9th and while he can take it again if he failed, I worry that he'll lose his job and the savings we've got now will disappear again.)

I know that this is just a temporary depression. I'll be done with the campaign in less than a week so we'll see each other more and I'll have time to do basic things like laundry and I can make time to exercise. (And most importantly to read and comment on blogs!) Hopefully A_ will pass the b*r and his job will get easier and we can be better about the money he's making. But I worry that I will get to next week and it won't get any better. I'll have more time to wallow in self-pity. I'll have more time to sit on the couch with ice cream and my Charlie (who is also getting big - like 7 pounds!). I'll have more time to listen to the quiet creaks of my old house and watch the dust slowly settle in thick layers and think about what I would be doing if I had a baby.

Wait. Maybe this is why A_ says I am melodramatic...

*Maybe I'm just sheltered, but I have never even had a chance to contemplate doing stuff like cocaine. I knew J was a little wild, but good grief. I'm keeping my nose out of her business, but I wanted to shake her and scream "What the fuck were you THINKING?!" It was very hard to be supportive as she sat there and talked about how she was originally thinking she might abort but then she realized she could never do that and boy, she sure hoped all those drugs didn't royally fuck up her baby. As soon as she found out she stopped drinking/smoking/drugging etc, and has made a complete turnaround, but it still made me want to puke.


  1. It's amazing how parallel our lives are sometimes... Mark is just as stoic and just as annoyed by my neurotic tendencies regarding babies and my theory that pregnant women and their cute little chubby spawn are taking over the fucking planet. And while Mark never (even jokingly) told me to go find someone else to make babies with, he did have a very intense and sincere fear that I would leave him so that I could find someone else to start a family with. I don't know when it gets easier... If I had to guess, I'd say it's the day your kids are born.

  2. I almost threw a piece of pizza at a pregnant woman in Pizza Inn yesterday. She was right behind me and complaining so loudly about her pregnancy if I had not have been with my grandparents she would have got it!! I am glad we have somewhere that people get it. My husband doesn't and it sucks but I bet they all hurt more than we know.

  3. This doesn't sound like melodrama to me, and it seems like that has finally occurred to A_ as well. Manny is quite similar - not just about the baby stuff, but everything - and it is annoying and hurtful. He's finally clued in a bit so at least he makes sympathetic noises sometimes now. I agree with Marie that they sometimes hurt more than we realize - I think the comment about having a baby with someone else is a sign of that. Manny has said similar things to me, and I know that when we got the news that his reversal had failed he was most afraid of our marriage ending than anything else. I don't know about you, but that was so sad I still hate thinking about it. That he was so fearful of that.

    Anyway, this is not melodrama. Far from it. It's just the crappy stuff we IF warriors have to face from time to time.

    And I would want to kill your friend J, too. Honestly! Who thinks that just being unhealthy and addicted is enough birth control?!

    I've missed you, too. Can't wait to have you back for real. The blogosphere is really not the same without you.

  4. My husband has made the same offhand comments to me, about maybe going off to find someone else to have a child with. He tries to say it jokingly, but I think there is a real underlying fear there. It hurts when I hear things like that... it just sucks.

    He slowly seems to be clueing in on how I feel when I see all of the pregnancies around us. He probably thought I was being melodramatic as well, but as time has gone on he seems to understand a bit better.

    I'll be crossing my fingers for A_'s test results!

  5. My husband has always been so strong that it really threw me for a loop when I heard his voice crack the last time we got a negative HPT. That really made me feel like shit. You have every right to feel the way you, and you can only hang on to one another to make it through. Good luck!

  6. Tell A_ that, from a single woman's perspective, there's nothing on earth that would make me trade my true love in for a sper*minator (if I had such a true love, that is). Even *I* know that being with your soul mate is waay more important and fulfilling than being with a sperminator.

    Other people's pregnancies bother me the most when I'm on a break or in a TTC standstill. It's really, really hard to take when it's so easy for everyone else and you can't even start trying for a baby yet. Big hugs to you. I know the feeling and it's a deep, deep heartache.

    Only a few more days until the campaign is over! If you celebrate with alcoholic bevies, would you please write another post whilst celebrating? The one you wrote after the St. Paddy's Day celebration has got to be on of the All Time Greatest Posts Evah. :-)

    Best to luck to A_ on the exam results! Looking forward to having Io back in the Blogosphere.

  7. My husband will never understand why other people's pregnancies are so difficult for me. Men are just better at compartmentalizing and they sometimes don't understand what someone else's good news has to do with us.

  8. Fingers crossed for A_, and for the return of "regular" life after the campaign ends.

    Can I steal your description of the feeling of jealousy at another's pregnancy? Because that is *exactly* how it feels.

  9. Oh, god, it's kind of nice and awful at the same time when your man finally GETS it, isn't it? It takes longer for men, but when the finally start to feel it, it's kind of devastating.

    His comment about you finding another man broke my heart a little bit. J's recent comments about just giving up on IVF and going to donor sperm make me realize how much he's hurting.

    So I'm glad for you, in a sense, that maybe you're not going to feel quite so alone with it all. But I'm sorry you have to see your man hurt like that.

  10. Just found you through my friend Patti who said we were similar. She's right.

    My DH is black and Roman Catholic. I'm white and Jewish. Okay maybe that part isn't exactly the same. :)
    Our problem is my old-as-Methusela eggs. So we need donor eggs. Okay, similarities are getting further apart. :) In any case, she suggested semi-jokingly that we should trade sperm for eggs. ;) Not sure how our DHs would feel about that.

    Only thing is I'm in Canada. But Toronto is a great city to visit! And it may be cheaper for IVF. I have no idea how it would work on a shared cycle.

    Anyway, great blog. Love your writing. Will be following along on your journey.

  11. Men are just stupid. Or at least naive to what we are going through. It does always feel like the whole world is pregnant. I am hoping your temporary depression disappears quickly!

  12. There are days were life in the IF world blows and this is certainly one of them.

    I don't think it hit my husband until I started showing him some of my carepage entries (carepage is like a medical update blog sort of thing) and he realized the depth and scope of how announcements affected me.

    I don't think the IF process ever gets easier though I do *believe* that it gets less sucky as days pass.

    Io - Don't forget to breathe, you have a lot going on right now and I will keep very positive "passing the bar" vibes for A.

  13. So NOT melodrama. Totally normal and rational thoughts. Why shouldn't you be able to feel those emotions? It's only natural to feel these things especially when dealing with this type of loss. And when I'm talking "loss," I'm more talking about the "loss of control."

    Anyway, the more pregnancies that Hubby & I encounter, the more it affects Hubby. The latest one, his sister's third pregnancy, I think finally broke him. And while I know he knew how much pregnancy news hurt me before ... getting THAT news made him more aware of exactly how badly it hurt.

    Big HUGS to you, Io. I'll be sending good vibes your way!

  14. It does hurt like hell when they finally have that moment. As much as I wanted the hub to get it- to really feel what I have these past months, when he finally did I felt so much worse. I wanted him to understand, but still be strong enough to be positive.

    They have it rough sometimes- they need to be soft & strong all at once for us. I hope it gets better for you both real soon. Because I know how much it sucks to be where you are (if not for exactly the same reasons)

  15. Bah. Pregnancy announcements suck ass. And it never gets easier. You'd think it would over time, but it doesn't at all.

    Mark also does not enjoy my melodrama. He actually got angry with me when all three of his friends wives got pregnant within two months of eachother (planned, of course) and I cried. He doesn't get it at all.

  16. When my husband took his new job, his staff was almost entirely women, and it seemed like almost every one of them was pregnant. It was in the middle of our IF woes, and he was really discouraged by it. Sometimes I guess men have to be hit over the head to get something. I'm wishing him luck in passing the big test. That will be huge hurdle behind you, and I hope the upcoming hurdles get eaiser.

  17. Wow, the J situation is a bit hard to take.

    My DP doesn't understand why I still get upset at pg announcements, other peoples babies.

  18. I don't think you are melodramatic either. I think you are real.

    I think it is a real turning point in the infertility battle when our men start feeling bad about other people's babies too. Mine didn't, and didn't, and didn't, and then one day a switch flipped and now he can't take it. I feel terrible that he feels bad but also comforted that we are on the same page.

    Since our prob is eggs and I know how much he has always wanted a family, I have told him often to leave me for a younger, healthier baby mama. But he never does. I am quite grateful. I guess he really likes me. ;-)

  19. It really stings when the stoic finally acknowledge they are hurting. I don't think it is melodrama by any means.

    BTW, I don't think I could not be in J's bidness, and I would totally say "What the fuck were you THINKING?" That kind of thing still hurts.

  20. Shit, maybe I'll take the J approach. Living like some religious hermit food-wise hasn't done jack for my fertility.

    I think emotions take longer to bubble up in men, particularly stoic men who haven't perhaps seen the point of dealing with emotions. I understand his emotional logic in his offer; I've made the same depressing one to my husband.

    Somehow, for me, the preg announcement thing has gotten a bit easier (though I'm always able to be caught off guard sometimes). I'm also in a professional world where pregnancy is seen as something that happens to people outside the field (it's very male-dominated) or as an unfortunate extra duty unrelated to academic matters. It's kind of stupid, but kind of nice, too. It frees me from contact with awful Momzillas-to-be.

  21. Mr. W had that moment once. Although it's really nice to know that they feel somewhat like we do, it's also kind of sad. Maybe it's just me, but it was always nice to know that Mr. W had no doubt (still doesn't even though I do right now). Of course, he still had his moments. Like telling me about the 3rd pregnancy among his coworkers in about 2 weeks...of course I snapped and told him to keep it to himself. Ha!

    I'm with Pepper...please blog the next time you celebrate with alcohol!