Tag: friendship
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Giving Thanks

Ohhh… the holidays.

The end of each year is rife with days where it is expected that you reflect on the year past and how life has treated you.  Days where you count your blessings, and put your hopes for the coming year out on the table for all to see.

The holidays can be difficult for Infertiles and miscarriage survivors.

Not only were our hopes for the past year – or years, in most cases – never realized, but sometimes they were turned into nightmares from which we have not been able to awaken.  The loss of a child, no matter how early or late in the pregnancy, or even after said child has entered the world safely, is not something upon which anyone wants to reflect, and certainly not something for which we should be expected to give thanks.

However, I fully believe that despite how hearing it ad nauseam from people in my life makes me want to throat-punch someone – Everything happens for a reason.

I believe in a higher power.  I believe God is directing this shit-show from above, and in my life and the life of my child, he saw something that caused him to take my child early.  I may never know what that reason was while on this earthly plane, but that’s what faith is, right?  Blind belief in something you cannot see.

I believe that my miscarriage happened for a reason.  Perhaps it was to make me into a stronger person.

Check.

Perhaps it was to make my marriage into an impenetrable force which cannot be rent asunder.

Check.

Perhaps it was to make me realize that life is not always fair, and some of us have to work harder than others for things to which we think we are entitled.

Check.

Perhaps it was to instill in me the patience of Job.

CHECK.

Perhaps it was to make me write this post, listing reasons my life does not suck and things for which I am thankful…

Check.

Life, God, has been good to me.  I have more than many people will ever have.  I know I have things that others wish and dream for, like a very solid marriage where my husband is truly my best friend and biggest supporter, and a relationship with both our families where I know that we could go to them with anything, and they’d be ready to help in a moment’s notice.

We have good, stable jobs.  I love my job.  I have coworkers who are true friends.  I have some friends who have become coworkers.  My place of employment and its cast of characters is quickly becoming another family.

We have a roof over our heads… Two, actually!  We are in the process of moving from our apartment into a beautiful house!  This transition could never have happened if not for some serious help from family.  We are very grateful and count ourselves truly blessed to have this opportunity.

There are so many things to be thankful for, and yet we still want.  We want to fill that new home with children.  Two maybe?  Okay, even just one would be amazing.

We want our families, friends, and die-hard supporters to stick with us as we start treatments again… probably as soon as next week!

We want Christmas to bring celebration, not sadness.

We want 2013 to be the year we become parents who get to parent, and not just parents who get to grieve.

For all that we have, for all that we have been given, allowed, blessed with, we still want.  It’s the nature of the beast, I suppose, but want isn’t just selfish hoarding of material things.  Want also creates motivation and hope.

We desire these things, and therefore we are motivated to work for them.  We have hope and faith that we will be blessed in the future, just as we have been in the past.

For all of the blessings, the joy, the sorrow, the grief, the hope, and the faith, we are thankful.

I am thankful for my life, sadness, loss and all, and I am thankful for you.  Without support, without kind words and kicks in the rear from the readers here, I would never have been able to make it this far in my nearly four-year journey to have a child.

To my readers, my friends:
 
May your holiday be filled with warmth and kindness and carbs and pie, and may your families just embrace you with love and not tell you to “just stop trying so hard”. 
 
May you find yourself truly thankful for all that you have in life, and may whatever heavy disappointment and grief from the past year be lightened enough this day that you are able to enjoy yourself.
 
May whatever diet to which you’ve been subjecting yourself be put on the back burner, next to the gravy.  May you lose track of your caloric intake as well as your wine consumption.
 
And finally, to those of you who are still trying to conceive this holiday season, may your turkey be basted to fruition.
 
Happy Thanksgiving, my dear friends.

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Bittersweet

My best friend is having a baby.

Have I mentioned this?  I must have at some point…

Anyway, she found out she was pregnant about a week before I did in August, making her due date about 10 days earlier than mine was.  It was exciting to be pregnant together, even though this was her second child and she and I had started trying at the same time nearly four years ago.  We were even talking about having our ultrasound tech friend perform our gender scans at the same time so we could find out together what our babies would be.

And then I miscarried.  My baby died.

Thankfully, hers is still healthy…

Now I feel like it’s hard to talk to her… Not at all because she makes me uncomfortable about her pregnancy – it’s quite the opposite, in fact.  When we talk, she doesn’t bring up her pregnancy at all, and I feel like a jerk when I hang up for not asking how she is feeling, or what’s been happening in that regard.

I know she doesn’t think I’m a jerk, and I know she gets how awful the miscarriage was, and I’m sure that she understands how difficult it must be for me to hear about her milestones when I know that’s where I should be – would have been – too.

I got a text from her last night, letting me know that baby # 2 is another little girl.

I thought Gummy Bear was a girl, too.  They would have been besties, just like us.

I was so sad last night… I try really hard not to have pity parties for myself, but that just caught me off guard.  I know that Thanksgiving is going to go by in a blur because of the move, but I think that once we are settled in the new house, Christmas is going to be a little tough.  Holidays that are all about children are difficult to navigate for us Infertiles, and even more so for recent miscarriage survivors.

I had plans for this cute pregnancy test Christmas tree ornament and everything.  Ugh.

Maybe I’ll just gold-plate a Menopur vial and hang that on the tree…

At least December will bring back the cycling routine, and with it, the feeling of working toward that take-home baby once again.

To my friend, if she is reading:  I love you, and I love your kiddo and that new baby girl you’re carrying.  Life is hard, and you’ve known me for most of mine.  I will get better, one day.  Until then, please stick with me and know that I’m really trying.

Every day I walk that razor-thin line between “happy for you” and “sad for me”.

Someday things will be less bitter, and more sweet.

Someday… hopefully soon.

 

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On Infertility and Friendship

I was married in December of 2008, in a lovely ceremony in a historic chapel, surrounded by the people I love.

Standing by my side were five bridesmaids: old friends, cherished friends, childhood friends, best friends, family.

Between those five women, they currently have eight children, and one more on the way.

I am still trying.

And it hurts that I will never catch up.

I love these girls.  They are the people with whom I’ve grown up, learned, made mistakes, got into mischief, and experienced life.  They are the people I can count on through anything.

I have known my best friend since we were six years old.  We played Barbies together, and built forts in the woods together.  We got boy-crazy together (…well, she did; I had Coke-bottle glasses until I was fifteen, so it took me a bit longer.).  We dreamed together, graduated together, went off to separate colleges, fell in love, grieved losses, and in all that time managed to keep us together.

She was married just three months before I was, and we were each other’s maids-of-honor.  We have a close relationship to this day, and I know that we always will.

Six months after her wedding, she was pregnant.  I was thrilled, and expected that I’d be right behind her on the baby train.

I wasn’t.

I’m still not.

By the time her daughter was born in January of 2010, I was ready for my time to come.  By the time another great friend’s daughter was born in August of 2010, I was ready.  By the time another beautiful bridesmaid had her third child in December of 2010, I was ready.

By the time the last two of my bridesmaids came to me with their expectant news in 2011, I was beyond ready.

I was getting bitter.  With life, with my circumstances, but not with my friends.

Infertility has definitely had an impact on some of my relationships.

It’s a tough to pinpoint when exactly, but this journey – and life in general, I think – has caused some of my friendships to fray at the edges a bit.  The cloth is still intact and capable of standing the test of time, but we occasionally need to reestablish our boundaries to keep the integrity of the relationship.

Don’t misunderstand; I love these girls, and I love these children.  They are my nieces and nephews and godchildren.  I would do anything for any of them.

It’s a confusing and difficult thing to explain to people how this grief, this process, has changed me as a person, and thus changed the dynamic of some of my closest, most important relationships.

I think a big part of the occasional tension is just general getting-older-and-on-with-our-own-lives growing pains.

We have all started our adult lives with spouses and significant others, and moved to all corners of the state.  We all have jobs, and lives, and families, and in-laws, and vacations, and chores, and bills, and other relationships to manage.

Within all of that chaos, there are children.

For them.

Children take time, and effort, and pretty much every minute of your entire life from the time they are conceived.  I get that.  I get that my friends would have less time to talk to me about my life, let alone my sad and pathetic infertility, let alone manage any other friendships, because they have their own families to attend.

And this is where it gets hard, and a little depressing, to define:  Sometimes it feels like we don’t have anything in common any more, aside from the fact that we have history.

I know this isn’t entirely true.  These girls care about me.  I care about them.  We will always have bonds that transcend whatever life throws our way.

Our struggles bring us together and make us stronger.  …Even if they are hard to understand and relate to on occasion.

There has been more than one instance where I’ve had to back out of plans because of blood work/ultrasounds/insemination/other infertility drama, and it’s never easy to explain.

I know that I only feel that way because infertility has become so much of my daily life; I try not to let it define me, but there are some days that I feel like just that:  an Infertile.

And nothing else.

Yes, they all know what is going on with me, and they all understand.

Well…  In a way, they understand.

In the way that they want the best for me, and hope and pray that I will get what they all have, but not in a way where they’ve been through this.  Not in a way where they’ve known this kind of desperation, or loss, or grief, or all-encompassing, nauseating sadness.

…Not in a way that I would ever want any of them to know firsthand.

Now, on the flip side, I have other relationships that have been formed, renewed and strengthened due entirely to this infertility journey.

In that way, I feel fortunate.  I am able to relate to a whole new group of people, and I am able to share what I am going through with others who may not understand.

I can bring some enlightenment to the Fertile masses by sharing my story, and that’s something special, I think.

I have grown apart from some, and closer to others.

Wax and wane.

Sunshine and rain.

Life goes on, and we all go on with it.

I am thankful for the great friendships I have, and am thankful for all that they have endured.  I know that they will survive through this trial, and probably through many others as the years go by.

I may never be able to properly explain the impact infertility has had on my friendships.  I only hope that I can continue to count on this core group of ladies to support me in this, and guide me in whatever form of motherhood comes my way in the future.

Because it will.

And I will need them even more when it does.

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