My brother called me this week to let me know that my blog isn't funny.
"Infertility isn't really an amusing topic," I told him.
"But it used to be funny. Before you started reading eight pregnancy loss books a day."
(Add obligatory, Paul Shaffer-like drum roll to cue laughter)
It has been making me pause. And consider things that I hadn't really stopped to consider. Serenity had a great comment this week that when she had an early miscarriage, she didn't know whether she was mourning the loss of the baby or the failure of the cycle. And take that a step further because sometimes I didn't even know whether I was mourning the failure of the cycle or the failure of myself as a woman.
(Um...Mel...this really isn't funny. Where are the stories about putting on knee-high boots and accompanying your husband into the sperm palace rooms?)
When we conceived the twins, there was a third sac--a blighted ovum. The RE directed our attention away from the sac, continuously talking about the twins every time I asked about it. And I barely acknowledged it except for when I lost the sac 8 weeks into the pregnancy and ended up crying in the therapist's office. And again, was I crying about the fact that the baby didn't form or was I crying from fear over seeing that much blood and cramping during the pregnancy.
Or was I just mourning the entirety of the experience of infertility itself?
(Damn, Mel, seriously, put down the pregnancy loss books. Pick up something light. Something fun. There's a Plum Sykes piece of fluff in your book bag. Read that.)
Sometimes I wonder if it's healthier to keep barreling through--keep trying after the loss, move on to adoption, have a few more tests--or whether it's healthier to pause for a bit. Give yourself time and space to mourn that is imposed by your own needs rather than matching your mourning time to the IVF slots at the center. How many people have jumped into the next cycle before they were emotionally ready just because they couldn't really handle the idea of sitting out a cycle and not trying? I know I can't stand the idea of waiting. I'm impatient by nature. And any time I was told that we had to sit something out, I became a bleeding mess. When I talk about a self-imposed break, I mean at any point in the process--not just after a pregnancy loss. Because there's a lot to mourn even if you haven't suffered a miscarriage or a late term loss. There's a lot to mourn in infertility itself.
(Plum Sykes? The Debutante Divorcee is just breathing in anticipation for you)
And I think sometimes I only considered those losses in terms of what they meant: what did we learn? How can I stop this from happening in the future? What is the greater meaning of this loss? Rather than taking pause and considering the emotional side of the loss. At some point, I started thinking like an RE instead of thinking like a woman trying to conceive. I was emotional, but I took the emotions out of the process and instead the emotions were directed at myself--at my own failures, at my own short-comings--rather than at the not-yet baby.
(For the love of Jesus Christ Almighty, put. down. the. pregnancy. loss. books.)
A man and a woman walk into a fertility clinic. The woman tells the RE, "we want a baby. With my eyes and his nose." The RE rolls his eyes and says, "his nose? I wouldn't do that to a kid even for the $12,000 IVF price tag!"
See, it really isn't funny.