Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ouch! That still stings!

Turns out that the emotional wounds from being infertile don't just disappear after you have a child. Having B has insulated me from some of the pain for the last many months, and so I almost forgot it was there. Until Friday.

Friday I ended up at the drugstore near my office with a friend of mine from work. She is just married, 31 years old. Husband is 37. So in my world, they are very young (we are 41 and 46). I was buying tampons because on B's 7-month birthday my period came back. And it appears to be back for keeps, since 31 days later it came back again. Coworker was buying ovulation predictor kits. Because they have been trying for 2 months and, according to her, her husband was starting to freak out that she wasn't pregnant yet and was thinking they needed to go see a doctor.

And while I would wish the pain of month after month of failure on no one, and certainly not on her because she is lovely, I was surprised at how much it bothered me that there are people who think that 1-2 months of trying is a lot. And who take it for granted that it will work. And for whom a couple of months of timed sex actually does work. Because it bothered me so much that I still can't stop stewing about it. I kind of wanted to shout "are you f*ing kidding? 2 months at your age? you have no idea what you are talking about! do you think that this is magic and just happens with a snap of your fingers? it is NOT easy."

But, as it turns out, for some people it is easy. And I just happen to resent the hell out of them. Yeah, it's not mature or kind, but I still struggle with the unfairness of it all.

I think this was harder than usual because at casa Irrational we have been discussing whether we should try for a second child. I'm all in and ready to go (we have been lulled into thinking it's a good idea by B being a very easy baby), and would do another ivf cycle next month, but DH doesn't want to do any more intervention. His view is that if it happens it happens, and if not, he is ok with that too. What that means to me is that it most certainly is NOT going to happen, and then my window of opportunity will definitely be closed.* There is more to discuss with us, for sure, but that is where we are now.

So I resent the people who can just be more casual about having kids and actually have the option of no assistance. Being infertile just makes so many things so hard.

*Note: there is much more to say on this, and I know that, for those struggling to have their first child this seems crazy at best and greedy and ungrateful at worst. I love without measure my little boy, and if I never had another child that would be OK. But a second child is still something I'd like and it still stinks to have to work so hard and negotiate so many obstacles to have the option.


  1. I am with you. Although I of course don't think these problems compare at all to those who are still trying for #1, it is very frustrating to know that we can't just *plan* our families. My best friend who got knocked up on her 1st try is talking about planning her #2, and it makes me upset to think about. I am not ready for #2 at all yet, but I HATE that I have no control over whether or when I will ever have another one. I would like kids that are 2.5 years apart, but there is no way in hell that I could ever arrange for that. I know, cry me a river. Still, it's annoying that lots of people CAN just decide how many kids and how far apart! And they don't even know how lucky that makes them!

  2. Two months hardly counts as trying. I sense that there will always be this bit of reaction when it is so easy for some people. Actually, I guess most people have it easy and then there are the others like us on the fringe taking it for the team, statistics-wise.

    I have a hard time when my SIL talks about only having one child because morning sickness was awful. Yep. That's her whole thought.

  3. No, it really doesn't go away. And, yes, there are a lot of idiots out there who think a couple months is a LONG time and probably at least as many who conceive without trying at all (aren't something like 50% of pregnancies unplanned?).

    And as someone who dealt with both primary and secondary infertility...yeah, I know what you mean: having one doesn't make the desire for a second go away. And it doesn't make infertility go away either.

    Thinking of you.

  4. i'm with you. i don't think the pain of this ever goes away - hoping tho that it will get pricked less often for both of us as time goes by.


  5. I just found my way to your blog from cgd's blog (adventures in infertility-land), and, as someone still trying to have my first child, I don't think you are crazy or greedy or ungrateful for wanting another child, and for wishing that second child could come without more obstacles.

    I always wanted a big family. I know that I will feel very blessed now if I can have even one living, biological child, but I also still want to have several.

    I also wanted to say that I am with you on the resentment of people who get pregnant after one or two months of trying, and *stay* pregnant and go on to have healthy babies.

  6. How this post resonates with me, on all levels. One of the reasons I am hesitant to let my mind go towards wanting a second baby is that I really don't want to experience that anguish again, and I would hate to miss enjoying even a day of Madsy by feeling rotten-for-desire. That isn't a good reason, but man how I hated hated hated wanting something I couldn't seem to have.

  7. I swear I could have written this very post. The same feelings have been percolating especially since I joined a mom's group. I never really felt upset in my infertility treatments about other people and their thoughtless comments, but, I get really angry. I think it's because I know how amazing have a child is. :( Sorry this is kind of a venting comment.

  8. Oh please, trying for one or two months for most people, doesn't even count as "trying". They don't even usually know when they ovulate at that point! They're just pulling the goalie and seeing what happens.
    My (extremely fertile) friend told me once that after having sex, her husband looked at her and said, "I just got you pregnant!". And it turns out he was right. She said, "Oh he always knew before I did with my pregnancies." Well, sure, if you're super-fertile and you have sex, that means a baby is coming, right? Blech. She had no clue about ovulation or anything. They just had sex. I have no clue what that must be like...

  9. Right there with you. Though to be honest, I still remember how disappointed I was when it didn't work the first month or the second or the third...and I was using OPKs from the beginning! But little did I know what disappointment really felt like. Just wanted to put in a word for the idiots out there...

    I kinda wish you had shouted all those things at her. SIGH. And the whole thing with your husband being anti-intervention has got to heighten those feelings of anger. Anyways, all so totally reasonable!

  10. I can think back and remember when I was naive and certain I was pregnant the first month and how disappointing it was. And, can think about how four months trying felt like FOREVER. But, it is SO hard to have ANY sympathy whatsoever with people who are still in that spot. No matter how much I try to remind myself that I felt that way once, too. It just pisses me off.

    But, you don't! It is not at all selfish to want a second child and wish that it would be "easy" like "everyone else."

  11. I feel exactly how you do. I'm 41, had beautiful daughter E in Jan '11 (best thing that ever happened to me after world's best hubby). Wish I could give her a sib the old fashioned way, but can't. Failed FET last month (from E's cohort). I feel urgency to start next IVF.