Friday, February 13, 2009

Family...

I have been existing like an ostrich, with my head hidden in the sand, hoping to get past these days without event. In effect, in the last few weeks, I have managed to focus my attention and my emotions on the future, and pin my entire energy on being positive and hopeful. I was making an effort not to dwell on things that have gone wrong in the past, and to a large extent I was successful.

Today changed it all. Friday the thirteenth, indeed.

I have a cousin who I am very close to. Closer in many ways than I am to my own sister. We’ve grown up together, and shared every single detail of our lives with each other. Close enough that when I had my miscarriage in Nov 2007, and I wanted to get away for a few days, DH and I flew to the UK and stayed with her and her family. I couldn’t think of any place other than her place where I could feel some comfort in my darkest moments. Close enough that when her daughter was born in July 2004, they asked me to choose the baby’s name, and gave the baby the name I suggested.

Needless to say, my infertility is not hidden from her, and even more needless to say, she is fertile.

June 2008 – I got pregnant after IVF#4. Of course I informed her, and she was ecstatic! Flash forward a few weeks, my pregnancy turned out to be an ectopic pregnancy. I was shattered and totally broken. Of course I informed her, and surprisingly she didn’t call. She emailed me a couple of times, but it was unusual for her to not call me. She called a few weeks later, and cried on the phone. I asked her if she was crying because she was pregnant (I had a “feeling” about her). And she said yes.

She said her due date was exactly the same as what my due date was to be (2/24/09), and she didn’t know how to call me when I lost even that pregnancy. We both cried on the phone, and I told her that I understood that her life need not stop because mine was screwed up. I told her she need not feel any guilt at all. Of course I was happy for her, but after that phone call, I could never make myself call her again.

I may come across as uncaring, uninvolved and selfish, but the reality is – it’s self preservation. I’ve spent way too many years trying to be the bigger person, and to act in a way that is normal, and that is expected and accepted by the fertile society. I can’t do it any more. I owe it to myself – to my body, my heart and my emotions to keep myself from exposure to certain situations.

So I never called her. She didn’t call me either. I don’t know if it was because she didn’t know what to say, or because she felt guilty for being pregnant, or if she didn’t want to jinx anything for me if I was trying again.

In November, she pinged me online and asked me how I was doing. I told her all about CCRM and Dr Schoolcraft and that he had found my uterus to be T shaped and that I’d gone through surgery to fix it.

My cousin wouldn’t buy it!! She kept asking me how come no other doctor had seen my uterus shape to be a problem. She kept saying I shouldn’t do the surgery because it did not sound right (and yes, my cousin is a doctor, so she does understand what I’m talking about). I was a little agitated at that conversation. What did she think were my options? Question Dr Schoolcraft’s judgment, and refuse to have the surgery done, when I knew that Dr Schoolcraft is amongst the best in this field? How would my chances at ever having my own baby improve if I didn’t do the surgery? And it was beside the point that I had already had the surgery!!

December 30 – my cousin sent me an email saying “I am not contacting you because I don’t want to jinx it if you’re pregnant. I know you went to Denver, and perhaps you’re expecting but are waiting for enough time to go by for it to be safe for you to announce.”

Something about her assumption about me made me mad! I didn’t even want to make the effort to explain to her what was going on with me, that I was yet to go to Denver for my IVF. Perhaps I felt jealous too, that she seemingly had a smooth sailing, and I was forever in waiting mode, praying fervently and keeping my fingers crossed that my next chance should work!!

She called yesterday. I didn’t bother to answer the phone. This morning my mom told me that my cousin had had a baby boy a few days ago. The baby boy who was due on my baby’s due date. He came a couple of weeks early.

Yes, I spoke with my cousin. I congratulated her. I heard about her labor and how quickly my nephew was here. I heard about how he is sleeping through the day, but cries a lot when he's awake. I heard how he has a head full of hair. I heard how much the baby looks like his sister. I was brave through the conversation. I updated her on my life. I hung up the phone, went and sat in DH’s lap and broke down.

Why must it be so hard? Why why why? Why must we have to deal with SO MANY raw emotions? All at once? I find myself going and lurking on the pregnancy boards. Women who got pregnant when I got pregnant are putting up their newborns’ pictures. I managed pretty well to be forward thinking and not think about dates and what could have been. But it’s hard. It’s bloody hard!! 

Sometimes I wonder if I’ve really totally lost it……. This current me is SO far removed from who I used to be. I wonder if I’ll ever find me again….

20 comments:

JJ said...

Nikki, just sending a huge hug to you darling. I understand the way you feel. Jxxxx

Caroline said...

Hi Nikki,

I feel for you. There are certain times in the journey that are tougher than others. Don't be hard on yourself. You are going through a rough time. Just do what you need to do to focus on yourself. You are doing so well. Not long to go until your ET!

Miss Tori said...

I'm sorry that this once close relationship you had with your cousin has tanked because of stupid IF! It certainly can take a toll on us, huh?

(((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))

Michelle said...

wow, you're post is a tough one. I too wish infertility didn't change us like it does. No one else can really understand unless they've gone through it. Even the most well intentioned comment by a fertile stings, because you know they have NO IDEA what you're going through.

I hope you feel better soon.

margelina said...

Hey Nikki,
I'm so sorry about all of this. It sucks that we can't always take everyone on our journey or follow them on theirs...but there is much hope that one day you can bridge the distance and be close again.
I understand about losing yourself...I think the person we become is because of what we went through and we are forever changed...that's just how life is sometimes and we have to find a way to embrace it. (((big hugs)))

Shelby said...

Nikki, I so feel and share in your pain. IF has torn through the fabric of so many of my relationships and most importantly, it's torn through the fabric of me. I am so sorry that you are going through a rough period with a person whose relationship I know you treasure.

In responding to a few evites today, I realized that I was turning down the fourth party in as many months because of IF...because of someone present who just had a baby or has one on the way. But ya know, we must do what we must to protect ourselves. Don't beat yourself up for this hiatus. You need it and it's likely that your relationships will be better off in the long run than if you had not taken the time off as the bad feelings between you guys would've only been compounded by forcing it.

By the way, if it makes any difference, I never knew the pre-IF Nikki, but the current one is pretty fantastic. :) But I know that change is not always detectable and I know that you'll feel whole someday soon. You'll find your happy ending. I'm banking on it!

debbie said...

Hi Nikki,

This is with regards to your previous post. I go to Stanford OB clinic and can help you with names of doctors if required. I actually gave my IVF sharps container to them (along with the container full of needles for my diabetes).

Anonymous said...

Dear Nikki,
I completely understand where you're coming from. It's totally natural to want to protect yourself and not talk to or see people that seemingly have no problems in having babies. I'm the same way....
My sister and I fell out because she got pg in 2005 when we had already been through 2 yrs of IVFs and when she told me all she could do was complain about how it was the wrong time for her to have a baby, how she felt crappy 'cos of the morning sickness, how her husband and her weren't getting along etc. etc. etc. I totally lost it when I hung up the phone. Other stuff happened (too much to describe) but long story short we haven't spoken since. I could not believe how selfish and incosiderate she was being towards my feelings after knowing full well what we were going through.
To make it even worse, my sister always said she never wanted to have children ever since we were young, I could not believe how wrong it all was!
Another time, I started balling in the middle of a crouded Costco because I was surrounded by families with kids (this was before we adopted DD).
Hang in there a few more months sweetie, I know that this FET will work out for you and your nightmare WILL COME TO AN END!
Major hugs,
Kaila
xxx

DAVs said...

I'm so sorry for all of this. I HATE INFERTILITY. It robs us of so much, and no one outside of this world even remotely understands.
All I can say is that I'm sorry, that I understand, that I know this pain is so very real.
I'm very very hopeful for your upcoming FET, so hopeful that you will finally get YOUR dream realized.

Darya said...

I'm so sorry sweetie. IF sucks so bad. It takes so much from us. You are so strong for listening to her and bearing the news even though it broke your heart. (((HUGS)))

Chhandita said...

I can understand... my sister, who i was really close with, didnt even inform me that she was pregnant with her second child because she didnt want to upset me... Thats when I kind of realized i needed to make peace with what was happening in my life...ittook me 11 months to get in control... ((hugs)) IF sucks

Brobe said...

wow! I was shocked to read that your close friend would write something like "you are waiting for a safe time to announce"!! I really feel that she could have been far more delicate in communicating with you especially since she is so close and knows what is happening in your life. I don't think you have lost it, this is a time in your life that you need other people to be by you. Stay away from things that bring you sadness, as that is the last thing you need right now.

Anonymous said...

Nikki..

I can only shed a few tears along with you.. let me take part of your pain..that is the only thing I can do..fertiles are humans too and so it is but natural that they err..my sis when confronted cried saying she didnt even realise that her words would hurt..in fact she thought she was being as sensitive as possible..and I felt bad for having slotted her so badly..

You deserve much more Nikki..whichever IF blog I go to I find your comments..always sensible, caring,warm..and I feel proud..(dont ask me exactly why 'I' am proud..)you are a fantastic lady with a wonderful heart..never doubt THAT about you..things will turn around..just you wait and see..

Hand over your pain to us..and you go ahead and focus on hope for this cycle..

Take care
Heavyheart

strongblonde said...

oh nikki, i think that shelby said it well. (as did most of these ladies).of course i didn't know you before, but if there is one good thing about IF, it has brought some of us together. i feel so blessed to have the opportunity to know you, hear your story, and get your support and encouragement when i am feeling down. i'm not sure that IF chnages us as a person, i think that it just seems to make the highs higher and the lows lower...if that makes sense. we have so much riding on things, and in some ways are so much more sensitive and perceptive than the general population. but we all need to have a safe haven where we feel protected and loved, regardless of what is happening. i think that is part of the reason that this was so hard: your cousin used to be part of that support system for you, but things changed a little.... :(

i'm thinking of you and sending positive thoughts your way.
**hugs**

mlg- believe N miracles said...

Nikki
You are a wonderful and supportive woman, I know you feel so disconnected to your "prior" life, but you are a strong and encouraging woman. I cho what heavyheart wrote, I find your comments on blogs everywhere and they are so thoughful. Your encouragement to me on my blog has been paramount in my healing, you are often the first to comment.
I know how you feel about your cousin, as you know I am experiencing the same thing right now, while still trying to focus on the future, to stay optimistic. I am optimistic for you, this FET is coming up soon, the wait is almost over. You are doing great.

Anonymous said...

Hey shit happens. .. But the human spirit is strong and has high powers of regeneration. we really do not know why some things happen to us while other's have it differently.It is all part of the mystery of life.Don't judge yourself so harshly. It is natural to feel the way you do. You never know what tomorrow will bring for you. Maybe you are here on this earth for a different reason and we do not know it yet...

Buddha said,let the fire burn under you,but let it not consume you."

Chin up brave girl..:)

Love,

Shilpa

Jill M. said...

As if IF wasn't bad enough on it's own... to endure broken relationships because of it, that is just too painful. I hope one day you two are able to get back to where you left off, it would be sad to see the closeness you two once shared to be permanently severed. I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this on top of everything else. Hugs

fruitbowl said...

Thanks for sharing your (at times difficult) feelings here. It really does help to realise that there ARE some people out there who understand what it's like even if those close to us don't.

It does change you all this doesn't it? I was thinking the other day, I haven't laughed properly for years. It's just so draining.

Do try and look after yourself. I hope you get the support you need. x

Clio said...

Nikki, it sure sounds much harder to go through these situations after having the losses you had. The coincidence in the due dates... it makes it all more painful.
Don't blame yourself for not 'being who you used to be'. Grief is a long process. We need to heal, but we are still making new attempts, that then require more healing...

hugs

Sarang said...

I'm so so sorry you're hurting right now. What you're feeling is natural and I hope time will ease things for you.

Thinking of you.