First, I wasn't sure how to post about our joyous news without causing pain to my fellow infertiles still "in the trenches," so I waited.
Then, the nausea hit, along with the Random Moments of Comatose Sleep, so that I found it difficult to get myself out of the house, much less find the wherewithal to make sense of the thoughts inside my head for a blog post.
About the same time as the nausea hit, actually that same day, sadness seeped into my world over people I care about deeply, and a blog post about our joy seemed not only inappropriate, but was nowhere near the forefront of my thinking.
In one day, I learned of two people I care about deeply whose hopes were dashed. One twitter friend who has had a major impact on me learned that her final attempt at IVF had resulted in a BFN (Big Fat Negative) and, based on certain circumstances, it seems (for now at least) she has no further options. Another IF friend I know in real life had a situation that was drawn out over the course of the last week and a half, but that day I received the news that she was miscarrying. Her pregnancy was a non-medicated pregnancy (meaning no help from a doc), and she was exactly the same number of days pregnant as I was. She is one of my dearest friends, and my heart was torn in two.
Her situation became more complicated, and it was discovered that she had an ectopic pregnancy. The entire week and a half was a heart-wrenching roller-coaster ride of emotions for all of us. Even DH, half a world away, was full of sorrow at the news of their loss and the drawn out process of getting medical closure, and we grieved together over Skype, praying for our dear friends.
In the midst of that, another twitter friend went in for a routine ultrasound at 9 weeks, only to be told that there was no heartbeat. I was dumbfounded. My heart paused and I couldn't breathe as I read her tweet: "It's over. No heartbeat. I feel numb." I flashed back to the day I had read her joyous news of her BFP (Big Fat Positive) and I remembered watching her heart melt and unfold each day as she embraced the joy of her pregnancy. I was heartbroken for her, and I immediately imagined myself in her shoes. She was two weeks ahead of me. I had just, the day before, heard and seen our baby's heartbeat and had scheduled my own 9 week sonogram. I was stricken with grief for her and fear for myself in the same moment, and I wept for her and prayed.
In the midst of all of this, there have been lots of prayers and lots of weeping. People keep reminding me to enjoy each moment of this pregnancy (and I am enjoying it), but my mind and heart keep turning toward those still "in the trenches" of this journey through infertility, toward those suffering loss and attempting to find a way to pick up and move on, even as another battle scar forms on their hearts. There have been moments in the past two weeks where I have asked God why these dear friends have to go through more pain when they have been through so much. I am reminded that pain serves a purpose and, in the hands of God, hearts that go through it not only receive peace but they become stronger.
But it still sucks. I'm sorry, but there's no "nice" word I can think of to describe how sucky it is.
In light of the suckiness of the pain of infertility, I desperately long to be mindful of those still waiting on their BFP. I'm also very much aware that this week, this day, may be my last day of having the joy of this particular little life growing inside of me.
So, I have been hesitant to post on this blog, not knowing what I could say to express my joy without rubbing salt in the wounds of my readers. I have been tentative in my tweets on twitter, trying only to answer questions about the pregnancy rather than volunteering information (although, if you follow me on twitter, you may have caught a glimpse of what I call my Incredible Hulk side coming through in response to every day circumstances...I don't have a very good filter on my brain lately).
After our sonogram, DH was eager to post the news of our pregnancy on Facebook. Prior to the sonogram, we had agreed together that we would post on Facebook after we saw the heartbeat. But I had not yet reached a dear infertile friend to let her know we were pregnant, and I did NOT want her to find out via Facebook! After I was able to get a hold of her on the phone, she and I had a good visit and we both cried together as I reassured her that her tears were completely understood, and she reassured me that her tears did not diminish the joy she felt for me.
In preparation for our upcoming Facebook announcement, I reposted a twibbon from resolve.org on my profile picture, just to refresh people's memories that we have been struggling with infertility, and to remind them that chances are extremely high that they know someone who is suffering silently through infertility. An acquaintance I have as a friend on Facebook, "liked" not only the new picture with the twibbon and a blip about infertility, but also the link to resolve.org that I posted. Since she seldom, if ever, "likes" anything or comments on my page, I went to her profile page and immediately all the facts and signs came flooding to my mind to confirm in my heart that this friend is infertile. Suffering silently, as far as I know. I then learned that her sister had suggested she talk with me about IF, although she hasn't yet.
This new information made me even more hesitant to broadcast our news via Facebook just yet, and I sent a text message to someone who could convey to this girl's sister that she had my permission to tell her we're pregnant, because I do NOT want her finding out via Facebook!
Here I was, aware of this girl, her age and circumstances, and yet it never occurred to me that she, too, might be infertile. Yet I was the one posting a link, informing people that they probably know someone who is struggling through infertility and aren't even aware of it.
I would LOVE to talk with her about infertility. I would LOVE to be an in-real-life support for her through this journey! The question is, now that I'm pregnant, would she really want to talk to me?
My infertility hasn't gone away because I happen to be pregnant. This sounds crazy, I know, especially to those not dealing with IF. One response I have received to that statement was, "Well, right, because you don't yet have a living child in your arms." To which I responded, "Even if I had a living child in my arms, I'm still infertile. It still takes medical intervention to bring about pregnancy in me."
One thing that HAS happened as a result of this pregnancy, which totally caught me off guard, is that my infertility has suddenly become less about me and more about other people. Getting to experience these things I thought I would never experience makes me more mindful of those who still long to experience these things. There isn't a day that goes by that I'm not thinking about one of my IF friends' circumstances, whether I check twitter that day or not!
I'm a little bit afraid to post our news on Facebook, because I'm afraid of what my response will be to the people who assume we waited on purpose (not that I've kept it a secret, people just don't really pay attention on Facebook). I'm afraid of how I'll respond to idiotic blanket statements or cliches. I'm afraid of how I'll respond to people who bring up the infertility issue and grossly misrepresent, or show their complete lack of understanding.
I have found that lately I don't have a whole lot of grace to extend to people in my Incredible-Hulk-like mentality. ("You won't like me when I'm angry.") It's not that I can't tap into the source of grace, or that grace is unavailable to me to extend. I find that I have lost my desire to extend grace to certain people, and I am quick to respond as I feel a situation warrants. If a person is behaving like an idiot, instead of trying to see the good in them, or trying to figure out the motive for their asinine behavior, I'm more likely to simply call them an idiot. Not behind their back, like I might have before. But within ear shot of them, or even directly to their face. (And when I use the word "idiot" here, I'm keeping it PG. There are other words I've been using on a regular basis of which I'm not proud.)
So, in a nut-shell:
- I'm enjoying this pregnancy, but am even more aware of both how fragile it is and how many people there are still hurting and suffering through the loss and heartache of infertility.
- I am not anxious to post on Facebook for various reasons, but don't want to rob DH of his joy in this, especially as we are not together to celebrate.
- I have limited patience and am not very nice while being flooded with new hormones.
And finally, I am simply trying to figure out where I "fit" now in this realm of infertility.
If you're one who prays, please pray that I find that balance, to be able to still encourage and support those waiting on a BFP that results in them getting to hold and raise their living child; that I will feel the freedom to enjoy this pregnancy fully without fear, without apprehension, and without guilt; and that I will not punch people in the face or cuss them out (as is often how I imagine my response), but that I would instead extend grace and even educate people along the way (you can pray that that "education" would involve a lesson in humility on their part if needed...that I'm okay with) ;-)
May the God of the universe hear and respond positively to each of you in the cries of your hearts and give you strength, and may he help me know when to laugh and dance as well as weep and mourn!