Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It happened

The first pregnancy announcement of 2011 has happened. Thankfully, I'm doing ok with the news and it did not come as a surprise. My pregnancy radar had already suspected it back in November (when she must have been only 5-6 weeks pregnant or so - have you noticed just how powerful an infertile's pregnancy radar is?!), and it was somebody who was almost a fellow infertile...which helps a little. I am glad she did not have to become a true infertile.

I say "almost infertile" because she is the woman I met with back in August who had been TTC for 10 months and was about to start infertility testing. At the time I had enjoyed meeting with her and praying together, but I also felt a little jealous that they were already ready and excited to pursue adoption. In fact, over the next couple months we would talk about their adoption plans when we ran into each other, and they had begun the paperwork for a foster to adopt agency. They were honestly very excited about this, and while I was happy for them, my own selfish heart felt jealous at their excitement. That after less than a year of trying God gave them this path, while I still feel like I am floundering with no clear direction from him...and my heart still yearns and longs to have a biological child. Why did it seem so easy for them? Needless to say, my own insecurities made my run-ins with her feel more and more awkward. Obviously it was nothing she did, but my own sin and jealousy got in the way of feeling joy with her.

Fast forward to November when I stopped seeing her at church. In fact, I would see her husband around but not her, and I heard him say "she wasn't feeling well." The alarm bells went off in my mind and I began to suspect she was pregnant. I picked up on a few more clues along the way, and with this week came the official Facebook announcement, including 14 week "preggo pics" and all.

I don't feel emotional in the weepy sense over this, but I do find myself filled with questions that only the Lord will answer in time. Why is that this couple who was honestly very excited to pursue adoption was able to get pregnant....and not us? I have no doubt they will also adopt down the road....but still. Why?? And why am I NOT ready to go down the adoption path, but cannot conceive after almost 3 years, 4 IUI's, and 4 ART cycles? Why??

I also feel a little miffed that I heard about it over Facebook and not in an email from her. We are not close friends, but I guess I thought after swapping infertility stories (or almost infertility stories, in her case), she would have understood. I told DH that I actually feel like a tool (I have no idea if this is the right use of that word, nor have I ever used it before, but it just seemed like the best fit with whatever definition I have in mind - ha!). I initiated meeting with her when I learned they were struggling to conceive, and thought I could at least be a support to somebody and share my knowledge about testing and treatments. I shared my sordid IVF history with her, but it turned out they were giddy about adoption... and I wished I hadn't spilled my guts. And then it turned out they got pregnant soon after, anyway, and I really wished I hadn't shared so much of myself.

*sigh* I feel like this phase of my infertility journey will be one of grieving, but also one of refinement as jealousy rears its ugly head. Have mercy on me, Lord, and help me.


Micha said...

Sorry, I actually don't really know what to say in this situation. Perhaps a *hug* will do this time around. ((hugs))

A said...

Ugh. That is a bummer she didn't share it with you personally. Once when I was lamenting fertile peoples' behavior around infertile people, someone commented that it is a shame that fertile people assume they know how we want to be treated, instead of asking us. It is totally true- I wish they would have more consideration for US instead of just thinking they know everything.

Praying for you- we are in the same wandering around in circles stage that you are (HUG)

Anonymous said...

Ugh. Seriously, there is nothing stronger than an infertiles pregnancy radar...crazy! I'm so sorry you feel like a tool :-P...I've had similar experiences where I wished I didn't share, but I have to believe that we're educating others, even when we don't get any support out of the bargain.

I was really struck by your comments about why can't God open your heart to adoption, but can do that plus make someone else pregnant...I have that constant thought about my younger brother. He has always wanted to adopt (and now is nearly engaged to a VERY fertile woman - she has donated her eggs a few times), and I just don't understand why I couldn't get on board.

I have to believe that it's in God's master plan for us to feel this way...but it definitely doesn't make it any easier.

Beckie's Infertile said...

I did this exact same thing with a friend of mine. She was sobbing away at how this was terrible meanwhile after she told me I had traced the timeline and she probably would have just been pregnant when we were talking.

I know infertility is the same thing but know I am more gaurded to "new inertiles" because that preganancy annoucement hurt the worst.

I felt the same, like a tool. I still have hurt feelings from that situation because I to shared too much information!

Hang in there girl, I am right there with you on this one! said...


I think I would feel like a tool too though. That you opened yourself up to her and had to see it on just like everyone else...Maybe she'll come around at church and talk to you?

Anonymous said...

I'd be miffed too that she didn't share it personally with me. Especially since she should have known the news would have been hard for you.

Christa said...

Oh man, that is tough. It is difficult to know when to share and while it sounds like you were being both a friend and an advocate, this woman did not seem very sensitive to your situation and that sucks. I'm sorry you're going through that.

Melissa G said...

Honestly, I'm surprised she didn't give you a heads up as well. It just seems like the right thing to do.

Hillary, I'm sorry you're floundering right now. I've been there too and I know how much it sucks. And I hate the feeling of regret that I've over-shared with someone, it takes a lot for me to open up to new people about IF so I can imagine your frustration.


Amber said...

I totally understand the IF prego radar! When God is leading you to adoption or further treatment or being a family of 2, you will know. It won't be a feeling that is forced. God's timing is perfect in leading you. He has the perfect child for you, and sometimes we're in this "where do I go from here" mode and we think this is a bad thing. It's not!! He's using it for a purpose. Praying for you in this phase of your journey!

Anonymous said...

Don't be afraid to be open. A similar thing just happened to me, and it made me feel so vulnerable and almost naive, but being open is one of the special things about me and I don't want to trade someone else's carelessness, thoughtlessness, or caution for who I am. Raw feeling and all. Hang in there.

Rosie said...

I felt this way about the last prego announcement I heard. I had shared with my new friend my infertility. I cried to her. I think I even scared her into starting to try to conceive. And then she ends up pregnant two months later. I felt like a "tool" too! Keep your faith, God will answer all your questions in some form or another eventually. I think it's so normal to feel jealousy or pain when someone so easily achieves something you're very deserving of and something you've worked so hard for. Huggs to you!

carrie said...

I totally know what you mean! I honestly was thinking about this same thing yesterday. One of my friends went through infertility several years ago (before we started trying). I would listen to her tell me how she's so scared she'll never get to be a mom (my same fear now). I comforted her as she cried. She went through numerous treatments and then finally became pregnant. I was sooooo happy for her. It was around that time that I found out about my infertility issues. Before she had her baby, she moved and no one ever heard from birth announcement, nothing. I tried to call her to talk about my situation, but she never called me back. A month ago she came to my school with her son like nothing ever happened. She even asked me if there was any "pregnancy news." I just felt so used and betrayed. It was like she got what she wanted and didn't care about anyone else. Anyway, part of it could be my feelings of jealousy...all of this to say that I do know how you feel :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm sorry. I just got my first announcement the other day too. From someone I thought was sharing my journey, too. (My friend had a m/c over the summer and said she wasn't planning on trying again right away.)

It sucks.

On an unrelated note, I love your interpretation of the word "tool," and how we can just pick words to fit our feelings, whether we're sure they're technically appropriate or not. xoxox

Andrea said...

Sweetest Hillary,

I am so sorry that you divulged your heart to someone who did not return the compassion. I've been there, supported others through "their" storms to only be disappointed they did not return the same. It just plain hurts, makes you feel used and brings forth so many painful emotions.

I actually formed 4 very dear friendships on line in a miscarriage support group. We all knew that announcements would eventually come and when I had to reveal my news I agonized over how to tell these precious women my news. Ultimately I did not want to hurt them, but I KNEW as happy as they were for me my news would leave some of them in shreds. I procrastinated for weeks. Finally, I took time to compose a proper email and told them I knew the heart ache this announcement would bring and I understood. It was a loooong email of me appologising for potentialy hurting them. They appreciated the honesty. This is where you "aquaintance" missed it...I won't say friend, as friends don't behave this way. She took the easy road, to ignore contacting you and hurt you worse. And I'm so very sorry this happened to you.

If I can offer you this, don't beat yourself up for how you feel. I was once jealous and bitter toward someone who suffered multiple losses. Now, I look back on that behavior and am so ashamed. But, my emotions were real and honest. Continue to be honest, share the positive and share what's real and're human.

Praying for your Blessing to come. It WILL sweet friend and I refuse to believe otherwise.

Much Love

Sarah said...

Infertile's pregnancy radar is CRAZY!!! I swear people around me dont need to take poas, they can just ask me if they're pregnant haha And you are not a "tool." :) You are just feeling what you are feeling, and you have a right to it. I think she should have sent you a private message first, too.

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to you. I remember those days, They are really, really hard. I remember going through the same exact thing! I would go home fall on my knees and cry out to God - "What about Me?" Where is my baby?"
Really one of the hardest times of my life.
I am blessed to have 3 wonderful children...but it was not without heartache, IVF, prayers, lots of $$ and many, many days feeling like you do now! Hang in there..

Keep trying, don't give up..
April is a good month :)

Mrs. Hammer said...

I totally understand what you are experiencing. (And not just the 1st preg of the year either, ugh) I felt used by my former friend who also ended up getting pregnant. I think it's even harder for an experienced infertile to have shared their knowledge with a newbie and then learn that they didn't really understand what it means to be infertile be it in their actions or words. Maybe she didn't know how to tell you or didn't even think about it, who knows. But regardless it hurts because infertility is such a deep, personal trial.

Hang in there Hillary. I too wish God would just tell us where we should go. Right when I think I understand we get a curve ball thrown at us. So we're either in the dark or getting mixed signals. It's so frustrating after 4 years of this. I'll continue to keep you in my prayers dear friend.

Anonymous said...

Dear Hillary,

Hello! I am one of the lurkers that has been following your blog for a while now. I found your blog after my husband and I were TTC for a year. Fertility testing showed no problems and I was searching the internet for people that were going through the same thing as me and I came across your blog. It was so helpful and comforting to know that someone out there really understood how I was feeling. Thank you!

I do have a comment on this particular post: During the time I was TTC, I had a friend at work that was also going through the same. When ever we would bump into each other we would chat a bit and then ask each other "how it was going", refering to getting pregnant, of course. Each time I would brace myself for the news that she had been successful and was ready to be excited for her while hiding my sadness and jealousy. But then, after 15 months of trying, I became pregnant. (It ended up that I needed surgery to remove extensive endometriosis). I was elated of course, but also felt terribly guilty that it had worked for me and so many other women out there were still suffering. (I even feel guilty telling you because you have been through so much more than I had to). And I was dreading telling my friend. I knew how it felt to hear news like that, especially how I had dreaded hearing news from someone close to me that was also trying.

So, my point is, although it may seem mean or cold or thoughtless, perhaps your friend at church is feeling guilty or doesn't want to make you feel sad by talking to you about it directly.

I am thinking of you and have my fingers crossed for you! Btw, a few restaurant suggestions for DC: a place called Le Halle, good French food near the National Mall, and a place called the Caucus Room - pricy and fancy but a good place to spot politicians and steaks so amazing you can cut them with a butter knife (and if you're vegetarian, the chef will whip up something special for you). Best Wishes!


Anonymous said...

I understand these feelings of feeling bad when a friend gets pregnant. I felt this when a friend who smokes got pregnant the first month trying. These announcements can be hard and sometimes I just need to wait to email back or answer until I'm in a good place.
I will continue following your story and hopefully 2011 will be our year!