Ugh, I am the worst! I seriously wrote a blog post two weeks ago and then never posted it because I don’t like to post without proofing and I was too lazy to proof (and also too busy watching The Americans – this season has been amazing!). Maybe tomorrow I will actually post it - I think it was about my baby carrier obsession.
Believe it or not, I actually have something to share other than my usual blah blah about Max and daily life.
Back in the days of when we were still trying to get pregnant without help, Jeeves and I went on an awesome trip to Portland, Seattle, and points in between. While we were on this trip, we got a very annoying call from his parents that we were being invited to a wedding that was only 3 weeks away.
Let me back up a little. Jeeves’ family has a rich network of friends who also emigrated from India. Jeeves grew up with a bunch of other first generation kids. These people are like extended family. They are “Aunties” and “Uncles.” It’s very different from how I grew up, but it’s lovely. One of these kids, R, was getting married in the September of that year. We had invited him and his fiancée to our wedding, but they couldn’t make it. We heard through the grapevine that we weren’t going to be invited to R’s wedding because there were just too many people, etc., etc. And it was totally fine, we absolutely understood. Then three weeks before the wedding, R’s parents called up Jeeves’ parents and said, “Good news! Jeeves and Megan can come because we had a lot more people say no than we expected.” Ummm… thanks? So Jeeves’ parents called us on our vacation and wanted to know immediately if we were coming, and if so, did we want the chicken or the beef?
We went to the wedding, which I honestly didn’t want to go to. I thought the situation was handled poorly, and it was out of state and required a lot of schlepping. And it was black tie! I only have one dress that’s black tie appropriate and I gained too much weight on our trip, so I had to starve myself to fit in it.
So we go to this wedding, and guys, I kid you not, I have never heard future children mentioned more than I did at that wedding and I really don’t think it was just that I was sensitive to the subject at that moment. It came up several times in their vows, during speeches, and then, when I was sitting at a table with the bride’s friends. I didn’t even ask – the friend sitting next to me just volunteered that the bride (who was a med student at the time) was going into her chosen specialty because the hours would be better for a mother and that they planned to have several kids, and soon. Barf.
I was resentful. At this point in my journey, I didn’t know we were infertile, but we were having problems and I had a bad feeling that something was wrong. I fumed over their presumption that having children wouldn’t be an issue. I thought mean things about them.
Last fall, Jeeves’ parents told us that R and his wife were expecting in the summer. That’s nice, I said. And I mostly meant it. I have to be honest – even though having Max has been incredibly healing, I do still sometimes feel a small pang when I hear that someone else is pregnant without issue. I thought back to their wedding and how hard it was for me and everything that happened after that and I just thought, well, some people are lucky. Some people don’t have to struggle. And then I promptly forgot about it.
A couple of weeks ago Jeeves’ mother emailed him that R’s wife had the baby, and he weighed less than 2 lbs. She phrased it in a way that made us think the weight must be a typo, and I thought to myself, “wasn’t she due in the summer?” After some clarification we learned that she had started having contractions at 23 weeks, had been admitted and kept at the hospital and then delivered the baby via c-section at 25 weeks. The baby is alive. They obviously have a very, very long and difficult road ahead. I felt terrible for that moment of meanness in my heart years ago. I hugged my big 9 month old baby (who wriggled away and wanted to crawl to his toys). I thought about how having a micro preemie was going to completely change this couple’s life in ways they never expected. I tried to remind myself that my resentful thoughts at their wedding did not magically create this situation.
Lately I’ve been emailing with a couple of women who are going through IVF cycles. They are family/friends of friends and because I’ve always been a big mouth about my experience, I’ve been set up with these ladies to offer moral support. Which I love doing, and which was the entire reason I’m such a big mouth about our experience. I think being alone in infertility is horrible, it’s the only way to make a crappy situation worse, and I don’t know what I would have done without the support of other women who had been through it. We talk about all sorts of things, and I have these memories about feelings, but I did something today that I hadn’t done in a long time because Max. Max has made me forget some of it. So I read a bunch of my old posts.
I read those old posts from after my miscarriage and D&C, the summer off, the treatment, my early pregnancy. I remembered and felt those feelings for that moment. Oh god, guys, it hurt. I was so, so scared. And jealous. And filled with self-loathing for being so jealous. But even though we went through what we went through, I’ve got Max and so every part of it feels worth it to me now.
I think it can be easy when we reach our goal for there to be fuzziness in our memories about what happened before. It’s not that we forget. It’s just that we’re in a new phase and we’re so wrapped up in the happily ever after. I do hope that that notion is soothing for other infertiles still struggling – that notion that it really will be worth it. I still completely believe that you can have a wonderful, fulfilling life if you decide not to pursue treatment or an alternative means of parenthood. I just mean to say for me that Max has healed a lot of those negative memories and feelings.
And if you’re still in that crappy place, that scared place…. I’m thinking of you. Everything you feel – please let me validate it for you. It is real and it is terrifying. You won’t always feel this way. And please don’t be hard on yourself for feeling whatever you feel.