My faith in the world and the blogging community has been restored. I think I need more than a paragraph to collect my thoughts into words and since an unbaked challah is still calling to me from the kitchen ("Melissa? Have you forgotten about me? I'm ready. I am doughy goodness that you are counting on for later SO WILL YOU GET OFF THE DAMN COMPUTER?) and I wanted to point out just a few of the other thought-provoking things I read this week, I will leave my thoughts for later in the weekend. Thank you, Murray, for throwing this out there as well as When Eggs Go Bad and Thalia.
In addition, thank you to all who stuck through my extremely long story this weekend and offered advice along the way. I will, of course, keep y'all updated just in case someone else decides to pursue this route. My hope is that the Thursday appointment yields a referral to the specialist my friend, Lisa, recommended. And that he finds literally nothing wrong. So that all of this worrying and navel gazing and agonizing will have been for nothing. Because that's just the way infertility goes. Just when you think you've got your body pegged, she gives you the old one two (is that a punching reference? I'm not sure. I hope so--shazaaaaam!).
And now onto the bloggy bloggy bloggies.
This was written last week on Friday and I debated whether to republish my entry and include this one since I read it after I posted. Instead, I give it to you now. And it contains stories of parenting post infertility, so stop reading now if you're not up to hearing this. I didn't want to write (children mentioned) at the top of this entire post because...well...this is the only mentioning of its kind in a small sea of other infertility blog posts today. But it does go on for the next five looooooooong paragraphs.
I have tried to write this idea down a few times now, deleting each time. And since I am probably going to put my foot in it anyway no matter what I do, I might as well just write this disclaimer at the top and then jump into making an ass of myself. Disclaimer: I am not saying this to bring more guilt onto Persephone or anyone else--who am I to tell you what is right to do? But I've done this and...that inward anger is more painful than anything anyone else throws at me. And this is more to say you're not alone, everyone does it (though you know that from the other links inside your post), and we need to take a stand (against ourselves) and stop.
Long explanation, very interesting blog. First Fruits is what happened after The Barren Season. Persephone finally had twins after IVF. This week, she had a post where she gave herself the kind of beating only a woman mothering after infertility can give. And I wanted to talk about this phenomenon because (1) I did/do this so much and (2) it's dangerous. She writes: "Actually, it never occurred to me to hold both my babies at once. I didn't know how to hold both my babies at once. I didn't know how to comfort both my babies at once. I didn't know how to be a mother -- the kind of mother I wanted to be -- to both my babies at once." She goes on to talk about IVF guilt and points towards I'm Waiting's post about it as well. This is the guilt she means: you have the exact same thoughts every new mother has (that this is the babysitting job from HELL and when are the real parents getting home and this. is. so. hard.) but instead of rolling with them and feeling sorry for yourself and complaining to your friends, you keep it all inside and beat yourself up for feeling like this. You're angry at yourself for not being grateful for every second with your new child. You're angry at yourself for dreaming about leaving the child in her crib and walking over to Starbucks for a three. minute. break. You know that there are 7.4 million people just like you who are currently still waiting and you're angry at yourself for not appreciating what you have. Are you seeing the theme here--inward anger. They should set up tattoo booths at fertility clinics so we can all just get it over with and stencil "I AM SO FREAKIN' ANGRY WITH MYSELF" on ourselves. The other side of her post is tied to the fact that she has twins--and believe me, those thoughts hit very close to home as well--but it's that first part, the guilt, that I wish everyone knew was normal. I mean the wishing for your old life back. Just for a few minutes. For a small break where you can just be yourself and get some rest and think. Because you know you used to be able to problem-solve, but you're just confounded in this moment.
One of the best things a fellow stirrup queen did for me was to call me a few weeks into being at home and say, "so how much do you hate it?" And I didn't hate it at all. But she gave me the space to just open myself up for a second and cry to someone who got why I wasn't saying this to everyone else. I loved my babies (and I still do) and I worked hard to get them and I was so glad that they were finally home after three weeks in the NICU. But those new motherhood emotions are going to creep in--I promise you, I was just speaking to my cousin today and she was saying aloud what I kept inside all of those months--and stirrup queens need to know that it's okay to vocalize them. And not feel guilty.
No matter what I say, I know that you will feel guilty because we all do. And you'll keep it inside and hate yourself for not being 100% ecstatic 24/7 now that you have the child you worked so hard to create or adopt. But maybe this post will be in the back of your head and you'll remember it and you'll call a fellow stirrup queen and whisper about this. It's okay if you don't want to shout it to everyone in your family for fear of receiving the most annoying lecture of all time: "but you WANTED children. You worked so hard to have this child. If you didn't want to be a MOTHER why did you put yourself through it?" But share it with another stirrup queen. Because it will make you a better mother to get out some of those emotions rather than turn them inward into one more reason you're pissed at yourself.
And I hope, I hope, I hope, Persephone, that you will not be angry at me for being one more person telling you what to do when there is probably a long line of people yelling at you at this moment (two small people come to mind). I am merely saying...in not the most eloquent way...that's it's okay to feel this way and have a good cry.
Next blog! I wanted to stick that in bright orange just in case you skipped over my post about First Fruits. Please do go back to it when you're in the right mood because it was my public service annoucement/soapbox for everyone who will ever experience parenting after infertility.
Sparkle at IF and the City has been teasing us for a while about something in the works. We still need to wait another week and a half, but to tide over readers, she told a story about seeing a psychic years ago. And you can almost picture her cringing her way into the room with her palm tentatively outstretched as she waits to hear her verdict. The psychic told her that she wasn't sure if Sparkle would have children (gee, "wasn't sure"--psychic, you're being paid a lot of money. Do you think you could be more definitive?). Of course, this is currently in the back of her head four years into her IF journey. I'm actually curious how many of us have a story like this. I went to a psychic many years ago and so far all of her predictions have come true. Except one. The one about children. Unless. Gulp. She's right and I'm wrong and I am about to spend a lot of money for nada.
A Dad Someday had a well-written post comparing his new business to a baby. It needs constant attention and keeps him up all night. It took them a long time to name it. He has to speak to specialists for its "health and welfare." And it's so true. It's just so true. Wishing him a lot of luck on this endeavour. Hope it grows and matures (and never turns around during the middle school years to say, "I don't care what you went through to have me. I hate you I hate you I hate you." Aaah...adolescence.). I'm just wishing you a lot of good luck and happiness.