Saturday, May 8, 2010

The day before the day

So tomorrow's my birthday. And mother's day. And the age I will be is 40. And that is crazy, because 40 is old and I'm still very very immature.

So we've been pretty much low key about the whole thing, per my request, and that is all good. And I'm generally feeling better about things, but I'm pretty volatile right now, so that could change in a heartbeat. But I'm trying to be upbeat and at least modestly cheery.

Other things that are good? On CD 12, right after my predictions of doom and failure to ovulate, I got a "2" on the CBEFM. And have stayed there for 3 days, which is good. My body working as it should be has definitely improved my mood.

And on the topic of all things good, I reached out to another friend (B) and sent her the same article that I sent friend A, and she read it and we had a nice enough talk, and so that was generally good. Not great, since her toddler had woken up at 10pm and was having a meltdown in the background and she had to hide in the bathroom, but it was reasonably helpful just to have someone generally validate my feeling shitty.

And then friend A sent me an email which basically said "I think I did something to make you unhappy, and you should tell me if I do because I don't mean to." And weirdly, that email made me stupidly happy. Not so much because she made me unhappy about the squijillion references to her kids, but because she figured out why I bailed on our conversation.

And then I did something I should have done before, which is tell her the truth. And I sent her a long and somewhat rambling email, and while I haven't received anything back (perhaps this time I really DID piss her off??), at least I feel like I pissed off with purpose. By that I mean that my intention this time wasn't to make her unhappy or invalidate her feelings or experiences, but I wasn't embarrassed of how I was feeling and instead unambiguously articulated what I was feeling. And so if she is unhappy about it, I can't do anything because it truly captures how I feel.

And who knows? Maybe she's not offended but just waiting for time to get back to me. All I know is that I feel this huge sense of relief from sending an email that is frank and true to me.

For those of you interested, here's an extract:
OK. You outed me. Apparently you've known me long enough to see right through me.
Mentioning your children 2 times in a 2 line email just was like hitting me over the head with a bat about how different my life is from yours and pretty much everyone else's. And I know that I'm a huge ass for saying that, but it made me feel way more isolated and lonely, not less. So I bailed. Because I'd rather feel *as bad* as I am already feeling, not feel worse.
The thing that I hate the most in the entire world is how this fucks up every relationship I have. It's beyond poisonous and yet consumes about 1000% of my waking hours. Actually, there's a lot else to hate about this, but that's the most germane.
So, in an effort to get out of the cave I am hiding in, I am embarking on a "let's talk frankly about how I feel" campaign.
Last week was National Infertility Awareness Week (don't get me started about how lame it is to be part of some group that has an awareness week -- the earnestness alone makes me want to puke). And someone sent me a link to a video that someone else made. It's worth watching, and it's not entirely my experience, but it's pretty close. I cried when I watched it, but then I cry all the fucking time nowadays so that's not that notable.

There's much more to say about this, except I'm supposed to be prepping for a meeting so I have to go. And one other thing -- I adore your kids and so you should know that they are not verboten topics. They are a part of your world right now just like not having kids or being pregnant after trying for 18 months is part of mine. I just thought that was important to say -- I don't need you to negate your experience just to feel like you can help me with mine, but sometimes I just can't bear to hear about it.

Next time I post, I'll be 40. Holy shit.


  1. Hey. Happy birthday. I hope you can have a good chat with your friend, post-email.

  2. You know, I think that's a great email--kudos to you for having the guts to send it. This crap may be difficult for other people to handle or understand sometimes but I think it's really important for us to be honest.

    I think you should do something really nice for yourself tomorrow, and not just because it's your birthday. In my mind, one of the truest measures of a great mother is the sacrifices she makes for her children--whether they're here yet or not. You've made some incredible sacrifices along this journey and those are just as deserving of recognition as the sacrifices made by some 20-year-old who gets pregnant accidentally. So be good to yourself tomorrow--you deserve it.

  3. Your email made me cry. Or maybe it's just that it's now Mother's Day and I'm a little emotional myself...

    I'm glad you're having these conversations with your friends. It is actually inspiring me to open up with my friends as well - not sure how that's going to go, but if I never tell them how I feel, then they'll never get the chance to support me like I need them to, right? Hopefully...

    Anyway, I hope you have a great birthday! Low key or not, you should celebrate your day, screw Mother's Day!

  4. Happy Birthday. As to the other, let's dismiss it as a trumped up Hallmarkian money-making commercialized invention. (Which doesn't mean it doesn't hurt.)

    I'm glad your body is kicking into gear. It makes such a huge difference to peace of mind, I know. I also think your e-mail is great. Honestly, I don't see how any reasonable person could be anything other than moved, sympathetic and understanding. The fact is that you are upset by your respective states, not by her actual children. I think that pointing that out was genius (and it's doubtful I would have been smart enough to do it.) I can't see how anyone could be pissed off.

    I hope it's a good day, one that defies all expectation. Low key is GOOD.

  5. Happy Birthday! Hope you're having a fantastic day!

    I think if friend A is any friend at all, she'll be back and with a greater understanding of you. It just may take her a while to digest it all and figure out a way to respond.

  6. Happy Birthday - I know right now, there doesn't feel like a lot to be happy about, but I wanted to let you know that I'm thinking of you and I can so relate to how you feel and what you are going through. My 40th is coming up later this year and it just sucks. 40 wouldn't be so bad if we had children or were well on our way to being pregnant, but when you aren't, there's not much to be overly happy about. I'm sorry you are having a hard time, but I applaud you for speaking up and letting your friends know how you feel. I'm slowly starting to do that after 3.5 years myself and, you know, it's kindof a relief - it's hard, but I feel like after all this time, we should start letting people know about all the hell we've been going through. Glad to hear you are doing the same.


    My husband turns 60 this August, and he is really really not 59 at all. He keeps getting really frustrated with me when I comment on how old I am (I'll turn 40 in December). And it isn't just being nice frustrated, it's a much deeper thing for him. He comments that age becomes pretty irrelevant at some point in our lives and age is more about how you decide to live it.

    And he is right on so many levels.

    I wish our mental state could influence our ovarian state, and that concept he'll never quite get. But it helps me to remember his perspective on it all, even though he can be full of BS sometimes.

  8. Happy belated birthday! I hope the day was just what you wanted it to be.

    And I think it was a well-written and clear email. I hope she "gets" it.

  9. Happy belated birthday! And kudos on the email. I hope your friend understands.

  10. Happy (early) birthday! I think your email was brave - and right on. I really hope that it helps your friend better understand where you are coming from.