Something Ends, Something Begins

by Veronica on June 20, 2008

in Soapbox

Xbox4NappyRash was asking the other day why people who have issues with fertility or trying to conceive seem to ignore the fact once we get pregnant.

“From what I see and read, there are also relatively few recounts from people who have been here [dealing with infertility] and emerged out the other side. I find it hard to grasp why they would almost pretend it never happened.

They must remember the sadness, they must remember the frustration and they must remember the prayers they offered, or deals they were willing to strike with anyone, just to end their longing.”

I am thrilled to be pregnant, I am also aware of people who are still reading my blog while trying to conceive. I find myself trying not to blog about the mundanities of pregnancy; especially early pregnancy with its fear of miscarriage, because I don’t want to feel like I am rubbing it in.

For this same reason, I am less likely to comment on infertility blogs. Someone said that ‘her diagnosis of secondary infertility between her 2 children didn’t last long enough to mean anything’ and that is how I feel. I don’t feel like I have any right to have an opinion on TTC anymore.

We did 4 months of low stress trying and then 12 months of concerted trying; complete with cycle counting, sex on cue and propped hips afterwards. Also added in for extra flavour, cycle depression, many ‘just relax and stop trying’ comments and the always welcome ‘well maybe you are just trying too hard, stop stressing about it’.

I have been bitter and wept at pregnancy and birth announcements. I have lamented my bitterness when a pregnancy announcement that hurt me badly ended in miscarriage, twice. I have been happy for friends, but sad, so awfully sad for me and then horribly sad when their pregnancies ended in sadness too. [No link for my other friend, she doesn’t blog]

I feel like I have walked over hot coals to get here, but compared to others, I had an easy run. Because of that, I don’t feel qualified to offer advice on infertility. It feels like I wasn’t there for long enough to be considered part of the group.

I don’t talk about trying to conceive much anymore. It feels a little surreal, but more than that, I would hate for someone to come and visit my blog only to feel blindsided by my pregnancy. The last thing you need at the end of a failed cycle is to head over to someone who has been understanding and sympathetic, only to find them whinging about morning sickness, exhaustion and toddler tantrums.

We do indeed remember the sadness and the frustrations. We remember our longing; the prayers and deals offered all too well. That’s why once you walk through the fire and end up on the other side, you are a bit hesitant to talk about it.

I remember intensely the feeling of hollow emptiness at the beginning of every period. I remember how angry I was with other people simply for being pregnant when I wasn’t. I remember the heart breaking sadness of a failed cycle; of knowing that my daughter was going to be just that little bit older; knowing that the age difference was going to be that little bit bigger.

Once you have walked over the hot coals that is TTC, you are much more aware of how tenuous this all is. Of how lucky you are to be in this situation and how close you came to not being here right now.

It makes you infinitely more grateful for everything, but also so much more aware of everything that could go wrong. Because you wanted this so badly, it tears the carpet out from under your feet when you just need to whinge about it all. Someone is always ready to remind you about how badly you wanted this, and what right do you have to whine when *someone else* has never seen 2 pink lines, or heard the doctor say congratulations.

I can’t claim infertility because in the end, I didn’t need treatment to fall pregnant with this little one.

I can’t claim a surprise pregnancy either, because it took us so long to get here.

I remember exactly what it felt like when I wasn’t here. I know that I will be a much more supportive friend to anyone needing fertility treatments, doctors visits or simply a shoulder. I know that this has made me a stronger person and it has made me that much more grateful for a strong heartbeat and morning sickness.

And I am able to stand here and sing ‘Ner ner neernerner’ at the ‘just relaxers’ because I know we conceived on a train wreck of a cycle, when I was more stressed than I had ever been. I am living proof that relaxing doesn’t get you pregnant, it takes a sperm meeting an egg, in whatever way you can get that to happen.

Xbox4NappyRash June 20, 2008 at 12:31 am

I can relate to a lot in this, I think.

I understand when you you say you don’t feel qualifed to talk about infertility, there is so often a feeling that it’s ‘not real infertility’, don’t worry, it is.

Also, there is almost always someone in a worse situation than you, trying longer, harsher treatments etc.

For the same reason, even though we have not had any success, I feel like a fraud all too often.

All that doesn’t change the journey you’ve been on, you know n your own heart what it felt like, and therefore it is as real as anything can be.

While, personally, I do feel a bit ‘left behind’ when I hear good news like this, I know that those receiving it need to move on, focus on what they now have, that is what’s important.

Not to mention how hard it must be to remember the bad times, when you can much easier rub your belly and think of the good.

It’s such a personal thing, don’t ever be ashamed to ‘not look back’.

The rest of us will see you when we get there, I hope.

Nice piece.

Xbox4NappyRashs last blog post..Or maybe not enough

Memarie Lane June 20, 2008 at 1:13 am

This is surprising to me because in my experience with RL friends who have had infertility issues, they remain extremely bitter about it. When I got pregnant with Jessamine a woman I knew with fertility issues, who had a little girl after years of treatments, got very angry with me and told me I was very audacious for getting pregnant when I knew full well she couldn’t herself. She said she couldn’t hang out with me anymore if I was pregnant because I’d always be rubbing it in her face. And my sister-in-law has some sort of cystic disease. Even after she had her son, when she found out I was having a girl she got very angry with me and told me that she was supposed to have the first girl in the family and how dare I. :/

Memarie Lanes last blog post..Well, there goes that idea.

Marie June 20, 2008 at 1:56 am

First, a little note to Memarie Lane up there: throw rocks at those people.

Second, V, be happy. You have every right to be. You worked and stressed and cried and worried really truly and genuinely for a long time for this baby. Happiness and relief is something you deserve.

Also, I do know what you mean about perhaps not feeling like part of the TTC “group” anymore. I mean, I’m dealing with real infertility (no eggs making an appearance – I’m pretty sure you don’t get any more sterile than that), and yet I wonder, what if the meds work, and I wind up knocked up soon? Will I feel foolish for these months of worry, sorrow, grief and fear? Probably. But does the destination negate the road travelled? I don’t think so.

Whine away. It’s one of the medals you get to wear for making it this far. For not collapsing on the road to pregnancy, for being always hopeful at the beginning of the cycle, always crushed at the end, and then tough enough to get hopeful again.


maiden53 June 20, 2008 at 2:31 am

great post, V 🙂 I have never had the problem of conceiving but I do have empathy for those who want to so very much but can’t. I believe that there is a higher purpose to that – a good purpose. But I still have empathy for those who want. Do not feel bad, V, put all the prayers you had for yourself to those who are still trying… so that they succeed at their hopes or discover that there is some greater purpose for them. It is sad when the great loving people can’t get pg and the people with no love in them can…. love to you, and to all who are trying 🙂

maiden53s last blog post..Fly Problem Solved!

witchypoo June 20, 2008 at 2:40 am

I think I may have been a just relaxer, because I believe that babies come when they are meant to, and that you might as well have loads of fun making whoopee. I apologize if I got on your last nerve.

witchypoos last blog post..More June Peeps

Suzie June 20, 2008 at 3:17 am

Its good you are very sensitive. But you are also allowed to bitch whine and complain. Its ok. I do it too and I am very very grateful for my kids.

Suzies last blog post..Get Over It Already!

Sandy (Momisodes) June 20, 2008 at 7:38 am

V, *hugs* to you for writing such a heartfelt post. I can only imagine the tumultuous journey that has brought you here. Infertility can be such a tough subject. I have a close friend with fertility troubles who no longer calls because she can’t handle the sound of my daughter in the background. She refuses to visit my blog because of pics of her as well. But it’s my blog. It’s my place to express and recount my daily events and thoughts.

Sandy (Momisodes)s last blog post..Life Before Momisodes

Taz June 20, 2008 at 8:15 am

well written..

Tazs last blog post..34 Weeks Old

Toni June 20, 2008 at 8:24 am

Having had infertility (both primary and secondary – although if you have problems with the first one, and try for a second one – does that really count as secondary?? Ponder and let me know) – I can understand from both points of view.

HOWEVER, I would think that most people are happy to see that those who are trying are able to conceive – it gives those of us who are trying (while not currently for myself – hopefully soon) HOPE that it will work – that someone is getting pregnant.

I do have a problem with those that HIDE their infertility and make it seem like it was easy when I know darn certain it wasn’t (aimed at you J.Lo – no way you had those twins by just ‘relaxing’ and trying really hard). Own up to it and tell others to help them out (see HOPE comment above)

I think people have two feelings. 1) When will it happen for me and 2) Am I alone with this?. By telling us about it – it makes me feel like it WILL happen for us and I’m NOT alone. Thanks 🙂

Ree June 20, 2008 at 9:37 am

Very, very well written Veronica. {hugs}

Rees last blog post..Conversation with The King

Tanya June 20, 2008 at 10:30 am

I was talking with a friend about pregnancy last night, she was describing everything to me, telling me how wonderful it is and all I could think about was all the things that could go wrong. I don’t have faith in myself to carry a healthy baby and all I would do is worry. What if I ended up like one of those people you see on tv who have babies with complications and things go wrong?

What I’m saying is I feel so happy to see people have healthy babies because I always remember those who can’t. So when you announced that you were pregnant again, I smiled and thought,

‘Another baby entering the world.’

Kat June 20, 2008 at 11:22 am

Beautiful, well written post.

I want to say – you have every right to complain about how you are feeling even though you’ve had your happy outcome – you have every right to be happy without anyone giving you an earful of shit, and without worrying about hurting anyone’s feelings in your happiness. Joy isn’t something that should be suppressed, I say. We just need more more and more of that.

Just as someone who is unhappy, and not able to achieve what they are after has the right to complain about it, and seek out understanding company. You don’t have to be understanding company to someone who would have you lessen your joy in any way.

Says me.

Kats last blog post..Update

tiff June 20, 2008 at 11:36 am

This was so well written and true.
I have been on the infertility road, although when I remark about it, people are dubious because I am a breeder and I do have a gaggle of kids.
It doesn’t mean that I don’t understand what people are going through and I think infertility, no matter if it was 12 months or 12 years, is still infertility. If it is primary or secondary ( I had both) it is STILL infertility. You still had all those feelings and the worries and the wonders and the what if’s.

Your infertility issues may be over with a new baby on the way but having had 18 months of infertility has made you more sensitive to others. You have helped others and I bet, you will keep helping, even though you may feel inadequate or unqualified.

I still look at all those infertile years of mine, I think about them and how I felt and I also think about friends and family who are going through the same things. I don’t talk about it much anymore because I have gotten what I wanted and so much more but those days are still haunting.

You shouldn’t feel bad for achieving pregnancy, Veronica. You will never forget how you got to baby number two, you will always appreciate how hard it can be and that makes you an amazing person.

tiffs last blog post..When you’re down to the wire.

Karen MEG June 20, 2008 at 12:14 pm

Beautifully written Veronica. And BTW, I’ve been a bit remiss, so CONGRATS on the news. I know it has not been an easy time for you, far from it.

And Tiff is right, just because you didn’t have years or have to resort to ART, doesn’t mean you don’t understand or haven’t experienced the struggles, heartache and frustation. Because you have; and it doesn’t count any less just because you have finally been blessed with this precious baby.

Karen MEGs last blog post..Thursday Thirteen – I love my DVD

Bettina June 20, 2008 at 1:12 pm

what they ^ all said.

Nothing else to add really.


Bettinas last blog post..More please?

Sharon June 20, 2008 at 1:21 pm

Beautifully said Veronica.

Deb (Missives From Suburbia) June 20, 2008 at 1:43 pm

You are so much more eloquent in response to XBox’s post than I was in his comment section yesterday.

It is a very raw topic still in our house, and I walk on eggshells around people who are struggling, because even though we felt like we did, I understand what you mean when you say you feel like a fraud. Very, very well-put.

As for crayons, they’re the washable kind, so I think they’ll just come right out. Lucky me.

Deb (Missives From Suburbia)s last blog post..Spring Is Officially Over

Widdle Shamrock June 20, 2008 at 1:50 pm

I get you !!!!

You have put into words stuff that was buzzing around ma widdle brain.

Am thrilled to bits for you !!!!

Widdle Shamrocks last blog post..Musings ~ Luck of the Draw

Jill June 20, 2008 at 3:14 pm

I am one of those secondary infertility gals… been TTC for almost 2 years now… several miscarriages, a few D&Cs, the whole works.

I can only speak for me… but I am one who appreciates hearing from those who have been down that path, however short or long it was. I don’t shy away from stopping by people’s blogs who are pregnant or who have recently had children. As sad as I am for me… I always love reading a good story about someone else positive experience… who had success and got pregnant.

I hope that my luck will change in the near future. Until then, I’ll be reading and sending wishes along the way.

Jills last blog post..What Does $1281 from Costco and $1069 from Target Look Like?

Just a mom June 20, 2008 at 4:16 pm

I HAVE ONLY READ THE FIRST FEW LINES,,, I WANT TO SAY TO YOU THAT YOU HAVE TO ENJOY AND BE HAPPY FOR YOU AND EXPRESS YOUR FEELINGS FOR YOU ,, YOU WRITE HERE ON THIS BLOG FOR YOU!!!!! sorry for hte caps lock I am thrilled for you and any other person who gets their wish,, I ma also sorry fo rthier loss or their not yet joy but I will go to their blogs and tell them!!!! love the ultra sound down there look at that little sweet thing good luck and keep smiling!!!!!!

river June 20, 2008 at 4:40 pm

Nothing to add here, they’ve said it all. Morning sickness settling down yet?

Marylin June 20, 2008 at 7:30 pm

Great post Ronnie. I sometimes feel bad when I’m whinging and moaning about my boys, or because I wish I could have more… I’m so lucky to have my two happy and healthy boys I really *shouldn’t* be complaining at all should I?

I love hearing about how you’re going pg-wise, but I can totally understand why you don’t want to talk about it all the time here, expecially when it’s still pretty early days!

Marylins last blog post..Wordless Wednesday

Nan June 20, 2008 at 7:45 pm

WOW Ronnie, I think that is the best piece you have written, I am very proud of you,
Lots of Love xxxx oooo

Annie June 21, 2008 at 1:11 pm

Hi Veronica,
I’ve been ‘lurking’ here for quite some time now. There has been many times I’ve wanted to comment, times when you’ve hit a certain emotion in me and I’ve wanted to share my opinion, yet I’ve always held back. I don’t blog myself, nor am I TTC, pregnant or have children. Yet I’m drawn to you the same way I can’t miss an episode of Neighbours.
And so I’m getting on my soapbox because I know that one day soon, I will be ready to start TTC, and I can only imagine that if I were ever in the same situation as you, trying so hard for so long (regardless of having have a child already or not) that when I did finally fall pregnant I would be exploding with happiness and wanting to shout it from rooftops! Actually, I’d probably be like that if I conceive first go.
So to think that when the dictionary meaning for blog is “An online diary; a personal chronological log of thoughts published on a Web page. Typically updated daily, blogs often reflect the personality of the author” and that you would ever hold back on ‘blogging’ about your feeling and experiences out of fear of hurting others, or not feeling like your opinions are valid, it just about breaks my heart!
I want to hear every last little detail, good or bad. I don’t want you to hold back because it’s your uniqueness and own story that makes me say “I wonder how V is doing today” and visit here every day to peer inside!
As Marie said, you deserve to be happy about being pregnant and feel relief about no longer being part of the TTC group, and you deserve to blog and comment about it!

Hyphen Mama June 21, 2008 at 1:50 pm

When I conceived Wynnie, it took being off the pill for one month and exactly 14 days after my last period started, BOOM, there she was. I had a psychic reading on that 14th day and she said “Today is the day. You’re ripe for the picking” I hadn’t told her I’d been counting days and already knew it was the day. She told me to light a candle, ask the soul to “come, baby come” and make it happen. It happened. One shot and it happened.

When I decided it was time for Mack, I was so stressed out over other family members in my life, it just didn’t happen. I was absolutely heart broken. Every period was a slap in the face. Every beautifully bumped pregnant woman in the grocery store was a slap in the face.

I was broken.

My voodoo dr (I say that purely in jest) told me I had to get over the stress before the baby would come. I had psychic readings saying that souls are literally AFRAID to come into this life on Earth at this time… be patient. It finally happened. Then at 19 weeks we had a scare that we’d lose him. There was nothing they could do to help him. I wept.

All of it is so extremely hard. Creating life… so fucking hard. So heart breaking. What the hell is god thinking?

I want so much for xbox4nappyrash to get pregnant. My heart breaks for them. I hope desperately that it works for them. I cannot imagine the emotional pain they experience every month when it doesn’t happen.

Adoption? China? There are gorgeous girls there who have been given away… abandoned. I know people who have adopted from China. Nobody gets one… they go back for a second. So many girls at my daughter’s preschool are from China. Those unwanted, discarded babies. I’m so glad somebody can give them a safe, wanted home. I cannot in my soul understand how it happens, but thankfully it does… for those who cannot achieve parenthood any other way.

Hyphen Mamas last blog post..Pet Peeve Thursday

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