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LFCA Latest Issue: Friday, September 25, 2009.

Latest Post on BlogHer: Parenting after Infertility.

My Status: Fed Josh's almonds to the squirrels. They needed them very badly.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Friday Blog Roundup

Listen, new is bad. That's just the way it is. Internet Explorer tricked me into loading an update and now my Web browser is seventeen kinds of messed up. I can't find and use my favourites folder easily. I can't even find the "search" feature anymore. My Internet Explorer essentially looks like Mozilla Firefox. And I didn't use Mozilla Firefox for a reason. That reason being that it's fucking annoying. And now I'm stuck with this new Web browser.

And it makes me feel completely off-kilter.

Like my whole world is leaning a little bit right now.


There were a slew of pregnancy annoucements these past two weeks: Jessica, Michelle, Inglewood. Congratulations! I'm sorry--I know I read more than just three (including Mary in the wish stone's comment section who got a positive beta after eight years of IF after wishing on the stone--how freaky is that?) this week. So if you received a positive, this is a huge note of congratulations to you too.

We all know that a good vent good. So I wanted to bring you the best vent I found this week in order to inspire you with your own. Get all those crappy feelings out before the weekend. Square Peg, Round Whole had a vent post called "Crabby." She begins the list by saying, "Just to give you a sense of what else is running through my head, and perhaps for the sake of catharsis, allow me to make a list of several things that have been bothering me, on more or less a daily basis" and ends the list with the wonderfully cathartic: "OK, that feels a little better. I won't do the whole "now here is what I'm grateful for" list because I know that things could be SO, SO much worse, and I know that for the most part I should consider myself insanely lucky. Plus I just feel like moping. So there." And it was just such a good vent. And by now, she's feeling better. See, isn't good to get it all off your chest?

There were two great posts this week that went hand-in-hand. One was on newly-minted mom, Barely Sane's blog, Infertility Licks (which has moved over to the "parenting after adoption" category on the side bar) and the other was on Cibele's Hoping For Better Days (now in English so I can stop plugging her entries into Babelfish in order to read along). Cibele writes: "Then I remember we will be the only ones childless out of our group. I was reminded one more time what I failure I feel like sometimes. Than I cried, I cried, I cried… DH cannot understand it. HE said, but I don’t want her baby, I want our baby… He then told me that I use not to be a jealous person. I AM NOT, I AM NOT A JEALOUS PERSON…and that makes me feel even worse to cry over her happy news." Barely Sane has an equally powerful post called "Mending Fences" that has the same message: "DH wants me to get over it. I do not. Just because we have Ashlyn now does not change some of the things they said and did to us. It does not take away the hurt they caused us... some of which was intentional."

It took a long time for my husband to understand female relationships and how fertility is processed in that world. Perhaps it's because pregnancies are so inherently female--it all takes place inside our bodies. Perhaps it's something biological--a chemical reaction that takes place inside the brain when we're around fertile women that reminds us of our state. Perhaps it's just that women are more sensitive and more comparative in nature? I don't know. But this is a clip from my journal from back in January of 2003:

"I have been sad all morning, crumpled up inside of myself. I can't get motivated to write or do schoolwork. I don't want to cry, but I keep bursting into tears...Josh makes me feel guilty for being sad. He was pissed at me today when J called to tell me that she had delivered her baby (she got pregnant on the first try, had an easy pregnancy, had an easy labour, and now has a healthy baby) and I didn't want to talk. He hissed at me to take the phone. I know what's best for me. It doesn't help me to talk to J and hear that 'childbirth is the most incredible thing in the world.' I WANT A CHILD."

As you can see, the Josh of today, who tells me to take care of myself and supports me whenever I remove myself from a situation that is just making me sad, came a long way. And I don't fault him for his optimism during the early parts of our journey. I mean, it is good form to get on the phone and congratulate a friend. I understand why he nudged me to do things. But once he pulled back and gave me the space to feel sad or frustrated, I stopped feeling quite as sad and frustrated.

I'd be interested to hear more stories like this: do you have the support you need from your partner in order to make decisions that protects your heart without feeling guilty for making those decisions? What was the turning point that brought you onto the same page?


Sarah said...

Melissa, a thought provoking post as always!

This is so interesting. The cycle I realized that our road to parenthood was going to be longer (possibly much longer) than we hoped, was a doozy for us. It was our eighth cycle, I was spotting again and shopping for a baby shower gift for his oldest sister at Target. His other sister called on his cell phone to tell us she had just (like in the last few hours) found out she was pregnant. She'd been married 4 months. I stood in that Target and cried like no tomorrow.

I desperately wanted to avoid going to his oldest sister's shower the following Saturday. It meant traveling 350 miles and staying at his parents house for the weekend while I was haviny my period and I was feeling very emotionally fragile. He refused to let me back out. And then his newly pg sister asked me to take over hosting duties for the shower (which was at her house) so that she could go to a funeral. I felt like saying no would make me an ass so we went. It was absolutely the lowest point of our married life.

After that, it was slow going but it did get better. Counseling with a social worker at our clinic helped us tremendously. He finally understood that I needed him to support me above all else (no matter whose feelings got hurt)and he finally does. Go DH! Knowing that does make me more open to others and more okay with everything baby related. Feeling less alone makes all the grief much more bearable.

Anam said...

interesting post. I am lucky i have a hubby who gets the way i think 90% of the time and he is really clued in to idiots. soemtimes though he doesnt undetstand the optomism I go into cycle with... he is like i am not even thinking about the possibilies until your period is WEEKS late. and i understand that - we've been through so many times of being pregnant for 2 or 3 weeks that i understand, thankfully i have a good group of buddies who understand the need to obsess over 1 day late and a hike or drop of 0.01 in a chart... mostly i am vbery grateful i married him becuase he uis the perfect fit for me.

Anonymous said...

I've always felt incredibly lucky to have Mr. Mandolyn right by my side through all of this. Once when we were dating he remarked, "Of course I want kids. I just wouldn't feel like my life had a point if I didn't have any." I melted. That was a hard line to hear over and over in my head as we kept getting BFNs. He doesn't struggle as outwardly with his emotions as I do, but I know that IF hits him equally has hard. He is very protective of me and my feelings. He teaches and had to go to a baby shower at work where he was asked along with other guests to offer up parenting advice. We'd miscarried two weeks before. It was hard on him, too. I think I really felt like a solid team when he talked to me about it-it was only the second time I've seen him cry. He had thought of it as weak, like he needed to be strong for me, to guard and protect me, but I was just glad to feel like my feelings were justified. We've both dealt with guarded hearts with this pregnancy, but it's reassuring to know that we do it together. He's said out loud, "We can't lose this one. Not this time. How could I ever handle it?" Now I realize that we could weather whatever storm we wandered into, but I felt a bit better knowing that he was verbalizing what goes through my head constantly.

DD said...

My husband definitely holds back and he tries to hold me back as well, and I know it's because he feels responsible for keeping me "safe". Man's nature is to be protective of his mate.

However, he still has a hard time letting me grieve, rant, piss and moan when things are crappy. He wants to be happy, and therefore wants me to be happy with him. When I'm sad, he thinks he has to be sad with me.

Verbally, he's a...well there's no nice way of saying...a putz. His auto response to my crazy moments is to tell me I'm "being ridiculous" and I want to knee him. However, when he goes to apologize, he does it by writing a letter and he writes the most powerful things I have ever read. Truly. I keep asking him to write about what our IF has done to him and I would publish it for him, but he resists.

I have to admit that I'm glad he's not like me, or like any woman. I'm too much to stand at times. There doesn't need to be two of me. He's perfect in his way.

~r said...

ahh.. more reason to love DD - she's saving me some typing here. just stick my name at the bottom of her comment, that's pretty much my husband too.

He's actually the reason I blog - when I spent two full days crying (sobbing? wailing? yeah, that too) after our first IUI failed, and was a miserable wreck at my sister's wedding (because she was pregnant and I was on CD1), he told me I was obsessing... Til that point, he'd been my only outlet, and I think I threw a little too much overwrought emotion at him. Combine that with the fact that he thought he was failing me every failed cycle.. and I totally get why he had a hard time listening to be and being supportive.

'S ok with me, I like blogland.

good seed said...

For now, I have come to accept my husband's way of expressing sadness over each failed cycle. He hugs me more, makes an extra special dinner for us, and has a fire going in the fireplace when I get home. It upsets him to see me fall apart and be negative. He is saddened by each failure, but he is also still "patient" after 18 months, and figures it will happen when it is meant to happen. He goes into each cycle with fresh optimism, while I tend to guard myself against hope. In this way, we seem the opposite of anam.

Like dd, I'm mostly glad that my husband is different than I am, though I sometimes wish he could understand the sad depths to which I can plunge.

good seed said...

Oh, and ditto ~r about the reason for blogging. Although I'm only now -- right now -- letting anyone know it exists.

Anonymous said...

Yes. my husband is incredibly supportive. I don't think there was a turning point, I think it was gradual. After watching my sadness increase after each loss, I think he gradually realized that sometimes he needed to just let me be sad. He seems to know just the right balance of letting me wallow in sadness and avoid life just enough, vs when to make me get out of bed and do something social.

Bobby and Ivy said...

My hubby tried very hard to be supportive and encouraging but never really understood. He sat back and let me make the decisions thinking that that's what I needed. He never gave any input. He never told me what he wanted. Then one day, after my surgery, as we were preparing for IUI, we went to my doctor's office for an ultrasound to check on my ovaries. After months of building myself up for the moment I received my first shot, the start of the invasive treatments, my doctor looked at me and said, "You need to go on the birth control pill."

Needless to say, that was not a good moment for me. I completely lost it. When we got home, I looked at Bob and said, "Play the man card. Make a decision here." To which he said, "You're done. I can't watch you go through this anymore." And finally, after years of infertility, we were on the same page.

Six months later, after our children came home, Bob and I were laying in bed, listening to our kids, OUR KIDS, playing and he told me, "I never knew that something was missing. You knew, but I didn't understand. Now I know. I know what you were feeling all that time. I'm so sorry."

Anita said...

We did things a bit backwards compaired to others in the IF world, we always seem to do things backwards.

Our turning point came after we had attended an adoption conference in Toronto. We had been to a few before, came very close to being chosen as parents for a child but Sgt's career seemed to be a roadblock the social workers could not overlook. I was feeling low.

While sitting on the couch talking about the conference and our chances this time Sgt turns to me and says 'Let's find a fertility clinic and see if they can help.'
I had thought about donor sperm but did not bring it up to him because I did not want to hurt his feelings. He was the one that said to me it did not matter if the child was genetically linked to him. That was one of our turning points.

The next came after my miscarriage in May. I was a wreck and he was the one Googling Grief, Counselling, Pregnancy Loss etc. I blamed myself and he was the one to tell me I shouldn't. He wanted to stop but left the final decision up to me. I'm a tenacious gal and wanted to keep pushing forward. I know he can't fully understand why I want to keep putting myself through the hurt and heartache but let's me vent, cry, rant.

This last cycle we found ourselves on the same page. This would be our last and I was OK with that. I had finally figured out that our lives would be fine, we would be fine.

Melissa said...

I'm with DD too...The husband and I have had many a disagreement over how he "doesn't care." In actality-he does care, but by being strong, he is trying to protect me. Ya...sometimes I hate it too-but really-if there were two of me, and two of dd....The world might be a much scarier place! :) Thanks for another awesome post mel!

The Town Criers said...

Good Seed--I can't comment on your blog or add it to my blogroll. And I wanted to write you back but I couldn't figure out a way. If you get this, you can email me:

callea said...

Finally, someone who understands!

My husband and I have been trying to get pg for almost two years. I recently miscarried and it was almost more than I could bear. My husband has been so wonderful and I realize how hard this is on his, as well.

Since our miscarriage, four of my friends have become pregnant. Four extremely close friends, not the ones you hardly see or speak to. At first, my husband didn't really "get it", when I needed to distance myself from these friends. I mean, two weeks after our miscarriage and they're popping up pregnant all over the place! Over time, its gotten a little easier, but there are still days when I see their phone number on my caller ID and I just let that phone ring. Thankfully, my hubby now understands, but it took a little while for him to see that I wasn't being a "bad friend" to them, I was trying to be good to myself.

We're now trying IUI w/Clomid. I am very nervous. We've been through so much and want to start our family so badly. Wish us luck and the best to all of you who are trying, too!