All the rest of you who have struggled with infertility longer than I have, I get it. It being the "bitterness" for lack of a better word. I sort of got it before. It's easy to be a little bitter when it seems like everyone else around you can conceive with no issue and is complaining about pregnancy side effects or babies that don't sleep (with that I do sympathize, truly... I like my sleep and that is certainly one thing I will not love about the newborn stage, but I still want it). Before, it was a little eye roll and the internal thoughts of "if only." But, now I feel like I'm starting to really get it. I'm not full on bitter, but I definitely feel the jealousy creep up more or the total lack of sympathy over certain facebook posts I read or the almost resentment of people trying to encourage me when they have no idea what I'm going through. Not that everyone hasn't fought their own battles, but you don't know what this one is like.
I think it was on the Resolve website where I read a post that put it into words better than I could, so I am using some of their words and some of mine. Infertility is different to everyone who experiences it. To some people, it is the worst thing in the world, and it's awful when someone says it isn't. You don't know what someone's worst thing in the world might be, and to those who have wanted to be parents more than anything for their entire lives, it might be the worst thing in their world. To me, it sucks royally, but it is not the worst thing in the world. It still annoys me when someone says those words to me, because they don't know how it feels. But having lost loved ones, especially my dad, I see this as temporary. I understand the permanence of death (at least in this mortal world). All that said, it's a totally different but eerily similar type of pain. When someone you love dies, that is permanent. You can grieve and be mad and cry and scream and yell and it S-U-C-K-S. When someone you love dies, no one would imagine saying to you that it's not the worst thing in the world. Or say many of the crazy-ass things people come up with and say to you when you want to have kids and can't. But, the thing is, you deal with it and you move on, because that's it. There's no changing it.
Now imagine those emotions, maybe to a lesser extent, but imagine experiencing that feeling of loss roughly every 30 days. My month looks like this... I start my period, and I am mad/ sad/ frustrated/ lonely/ lost/ pissed, etc. (stages of grief... compacted) --> I put on my big girls panties and muster up hope and encouragement again --> get excited at the prospect of getting pregnant --> hopes crushed yet again. With infertility, there's no dealing with it and moving on. It's the same thing every.single.month. Even though I know there's a one in a million chance that we could procreate on our own without medically assisted family building (so, you're saying there's a chance!), I still hope I will be pregnant this month. And, it will still suck when I'm not (P.S., God... I know You are there... prove me wrong. Thanks in advance.). And then starts the IVF cycle again, which is filled with even more hope and more letdown if it doesn't work.
And, frankly, I am scared. I am not excited this time. At least, I'm not today. I am so damn scared that I am going to feel these awful feelings again. The loss. I don't think that people that haven't been through failed IVF can really understand that. And, I presume everyone is different. But, to me, those were our babies. I don't consider it like a miscarriage... I never truly had the chance to bond with them or know I was clinically pregnant (well, for a moment but that's neither here nor there), but those two embryos were living things, the future of our family. I still have the pictures. I don't know what I am supposed to do with them, but I can't throw them away (they're tucked in my Bible for now). And, just like that... one test and it's all crushed in a matter of minutes.
The thing is, I don't want to be bitter. I don't want to roll my eyes at people sharing their pregnancy news or feel jealous at their happy announcements or be annoyed by someone complaining about how big they are. I am not always, but I don't want to feel any of that at all. I want to be happy for them, unconditionally. I want to be hopeful and positive for myself. I want to be able to accept freely the words of encouragement people give me. I want people to feel like they can talk to me and ask me how I'm doing without fear that I'm going to punch them in the ovaries (sidebar- anyone else excited about Anchorman 2!?!?). But today, I don't know why today, but I just can't. Tomorrow is a new day.
P.S. To the one person who acknowledged me on mothers day, you know who you are, thank you. You are a blessing to me.