Thursday, April 30, 2009

Infertility and #2

Many of you may know that it took us a while to get pregnant, and ultimately, after tests, medications, IUIs, surgery, and many months of waiting, we finally went through IVF before we got pregnant. When you go through challenges getting pregnant, the doctors brand you with a diagnosis . . . "infertility." I always thought that infertility meant the inability to get pregnant or have children, but it turns out that "infertility" also means "we worked really hard, went through a lot, pumped my body full of all kinds of crazy hormones and waited a long time to get pregnant."

That time was extremely difficult for me . . . I wanted very much to experience the joy of pregnancy and parenthood, but everyday, I lived with the fear that we would never get pregnant. I also remember the jealousy that would strike. It was very difficult to be around pregnant people, paste on that smile, and be happy for them, when all I wanted was to be in their shoes. And trust me, EVERYONE I knew was getting pregnant, having babies, having baby showers. The worst part was how UNGRATEFUL so many of them seemed. It had me FUMING all the time. Nevertheless, I learned how to bottle it up, paste on that smile, and get through things without letting on how hard it was. You know the ad "never let them see you sweat?" Well, I believed I should never let those "fertiles" see my pain. I was dedicated to faking it so well that no one but my closest confidantes knew how hard some of those interactions were for me.

I remember when we were TTC #1, I used to be pretty pissed off at all of these women posting on the SK boards who already had babies who were whining about not getting pregnant with a 2nd or a 3rd child. I really was not sympathetic - I kept thinking, "at least they have one." I know they went through pain each and every month they didn't get pregnant, but part of me would think "well, they can wait their turn." There was always a long list of women on my board that I felt deserved to be pregnant first (me included). I would often be annoyed at the women who came on for #2 and moaned and whined about how it was taking them 2 or 3 months to get pregnant and they didn't have to wait that long for #1. I just did not think it was fair for those women to get pregnant with a second child when there were so many women trying to get pregnant with their first child.

So, here I am, a woman with a child, getting ready sometime in the next year to TTC #2. I still feel that those women who are still TTC #1 are in a different place. When I even mention it on the Board, sometimes I feel terrible - that I'm somehow offending the "long-timers" who are still waiting for #1 by even suggesting that I deserve a #2. I feel a bit guilty to be preparing to go through this process, and a little afraid of airing my whines and rants about not getting pregnant each month, when there are still women out there TTC #1. Sometimes, I feel like one of "them" - those women I used to resent. On some level, I hate being on this other side when so many of my friends are still waiting.

Not surprisingly, I do feel a bit different about the subject now that I am on the other side. I do think infertility is infertility, and it hurts whether it is for #1 or #2. In some ways, going through it all over again when you know what you are about to face is just ridden with all kinds of anxiety. But, at the same time, I still feel that there are a host of first-timers that deserve to get pregnant first. And yet, a part of me hopes to be one of those lucky ones who has it easier the 2nd time around. If that happens, I am sure I will feel guilty that I became one of "them." And secretly, I hope to have the opportunity to join the "them" club. I know that I will certainly try my best to be respectful of those women who are going through this infertility stuff while TTC #1 . . . that fear that it will never happen is just awful, and I don't wish that on anyone. I also really do hope that I am not one of those women who can never have that 2nd child - I hope that infertility doesn't try and steal that joy from me, too.

Eve once posted the question on her blog . . . are you an "us" or a "them." I guess I still feel like an "us" even though having Micah might put me in the "them" category. As I responded to her post that day, I think that once you experience infertility, you are always an "us" - you never quite feel like "them." So, to those of you on SK . . . I hope you can still look at me as an "us" when I do eventually start on this journey for #2. And know that I understand - I remember how unfair it all felt, and I can't say I disagree. If I could give everyone trying for #1 their BFPs before I started out trying for #2, I would.


Christian Housewife said...

T. You are so much better at verbalizing this than I am. The first part describes my emotions perfectly. As one of the old timers I can say that I think everyone on SK is cheering you on your journey to number #2 and praying that you join the "them" category. Honestly once people have their babies there are very few people that I am able to follow their stories. It is just too painful (you know what I am talking about) but you and Mandy and Michelle are inspiring to me. By reading about your joy with Micah I'm getting a different perspective of it all. Please don't think you can't post the number 2 stuff on SK. Sorry to hijack you blog here. We love you on SK!

Chele said...

Welcome to my world. I feel so very blessed because I have Derek and Jake but on the other hand I still had to deal with infertility and come to grips that after 6+ years of ttc and a loss that we just weren't meant to have another child for whatever reason.

Infertility hurts and is a trial for anyone experiencing it. When you don't have another child already the bitterness is for anyone that does especially those that fall pregnant so easily and don't want to be pregnant.

When you already have a child different feelings come into play, guilt was one of them for me. When I'd see all of you struggling so hard to have that first child I would feel guilty that I was struggling and being selfish for wanting my third child. I also dealt with and am still dealing with feelings that my body has betrayed me.

Keeping ++++ vibes that this next time around won't be the trial it was the first time.

infertilityrocks said...

Oh yes...we're on the same team now for sure, lol!!!! Someone once explained a component to pregnancy/parenthood after IF as 'survivor's guilt', and I definitely thinks this occurs.

I feel guilty for having such a wonderful son, guilty that others haven't been as lucky, and the MOST guilty for (gasp) wanting another!

But, then I look at my 'normal' friends who easily add 2, 3, 4 kids to their families and are not seen as selfish or evil, and I realize that's just my own interpretation of wanting another chid.

I also remind myself that my fertility (or currently, lack thereof) or infertility has no actual effect on the fertility of another, and vice versa. What I mean to say is that just because it irks me beyond appropriate words that Octomom (for example) has been wholistically irresponsible in her parenting...her actions have not CAUSED nor sustained my own infertility.

I'm rambling...but I think about this stuff a lot. Just proof that infertility does not go away once a child enters the picture.

Something to look forward to I guess.

Mandy and Russel said...

I agree... no matter how many children we ever have we will ALWAYS be an "us". Infertility is a label that sticks. I already get anxious when I think about the day that we start all of this over again and try for another.
Good Luck on your way to # 2!!!

Kari said...

I agree with the others infertility is infertility. I can understand what you mean about feeling resentment towards those looking for #2, #3, etc while you are working on #1 but I don't think it hurts any less.