Thoughts in my head…

I have been over thinking things today… I do that sometimes… I had a whole post planned on how I am going to top up my spirit but then my fingers but felt compelled to get this out… this is a bit of a brain dump.

I checked in on our little ever expanding support community Fertilicare yesterday as I usually do and some of the posts got me thinking  A LOT… now this is my opinion and I am not judging anyone here, I am just working this over in my head so please keep that in mind…

There were a couple of threads started about how seeing little ones at the fertility clinics hurts those of us who have not had any children yet and there were comparisons drawn between those of us who are ttc #1 and those of us who are ttc # 2 or 3… To be dead honest *I* don’t think that anyone can really draw comparisons in this journey called infertility. 

While there are those of us who have gone through SO much in our walk, those of us who are just starting out have also had to jump over the hurdles of being reproductively challenged.  The thing is that this journey is an immensely personal one, and what I may think of as routine might be the end of the world to the girl sitting next to me at the clinic.  Can I admit (cos I’m being dead honest right now) that I sometimes get annoyed with *that* girl, the one who has been ttc for 2 months and is bleating about how devastating the 2ww is for her? Sure, of course I do, in fact some days I could probably smother her with a pillow, but the fact remains that perception is reality and to her, to *that* girl the 2ww is torture.  Do I feel that I deserve this more than anyone else?  98 % of the time I can say that no, I don’t think that, but I do sometimes fall into that 2 % bracket and I will shamefacedly admit that I do think I deserve it and it is my time… 

And what about the girls facing secondary infertility?  Surely they cannot feel as much pain as those of us trying for number one “cos they know what it’s like to have a baby already?”  I’m not so sure, I think that the girls who have had children already and are battling to expand their families might feel the pain *more* acutely cos they know what they are missing out on… but at the same time the longing to fill empty arms has the power to overwhelm those of us who are still waiting on that blessing.  But we share the longing with our secondary infertility sisters… the longing still rests in the hearts of all of us wanting a child whether it be child # 1 or # 2 or # 3 or # 4.  I don’t think the stigma of being an infertile is ever “cured” by having children… I think our scars and hurts and longings are tempered when we manage to have our children but we still know and remember the essense of the infertile heart and mind…

Then it also begs that age old question – is it better to know you can fall pregnant or not?  Again I’m really not sure, but I think for me personally I would prefer not falling preganant to falling pregnant and having to ensure miscarriage after miscarriage.  I cannot imagine how the woman who’ve had to ensure miscarriage after miscarriage or late losses during pregnancy get through something like that… To me, I think this must be the most soul destroying thing to have to go through… cos at the end of the day life goes on after dealing with these losses… businesses continue to make money, friends and family continue to live their lives on a day to day basis, and other people continue to go on to create and / or expand their families…

Sometimes I think that for those of us undergoing treatment we know about our pregnancies too early and it can cause us so much pain… I think of the girls who fall pregnant with no intervention and don’t even know that they are pregant and “get their period”, they really are none the wiser and carry on regardless… I guess in many ways Ignorance *is* bliss… and in a warped way we infertiles are robbed of the innocence of conception… And that is surely a pain we all feel in our own way?

While I can easily think back to the pain infertility has caused me, I must also remember that it has given me many gifts as well… I know that my partner will stand by my side no matter what and is prepared to work through the challenges we face as a couple – no matter how hurt we both feel because of those challenges, my faith has held strong thus far in this battle (and many a time it took a severe beating and nearly lost the war), my friends and family are true treasures, I am more sensitive to others now, I listen better and I hear more, I am much more compassionate towards others now and I love harder and am more able to recognise my blessings.  Before it was easy to overlook them.

I have quite the love hate relationship with my infertility.  It has brought out both the bad and the good in me and I’m pleased to say that there has been more good…

My pain is your pain is our pain.  In the pain olympics of infertility we all “win” the gold and we are bonded by that common thread.  It sucks, but at least it sucks together…

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34 thoughts on “Thoughts in my head…

  1. Here!! Here!!! I couldn’t have said this better myself, this post feels as it it went from my mind to your hands, so similar are my thoughts Sam.
    There is NO better or worse situation in infertlity, there are no winners or loosers in this game, nobody has it easier than somebody else, as you said perception is everything and what is real to me is abstract to somebody else. There can be NO comparison.

    I’m in the same place as you are, dare I say it, I’m almost grateful for my infertility for making me a stronger better person today than what I was 6 years ago.
    Of course, I would rather live without it, but thats not an option so I choose to make the most of it.
    Dare I say this without offending or hurting? But I find the most frustrating thing to be self pity, life is too short to sit around being sorry for ourselves because of the shitty hand we’ve been dealt. Its a waste of time and won’t solve the problem, I think our energies are better spent making the most of the situation, trying to learn as much as we can and take something positive from the experience no matter how shitty it may be and of course and having that baby!
    Sorry never meant to leave such a long comment. But after a 6 year battle, in the last few months the fog of hurt and desperation and pain has lifted and I have a new found clarity about my infertility that has got me all excited and I want to share it with everyone! 🙂

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  2. Sam, I found you through another blog. I have never heard someone describe infertility so well. You hit the nail on the head for sure!!!

    I pray God’s blessings on you and breathe his heavenly breath of life into your womb. It will happen.

    Thanks for being so honest!

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  3. well said. it all sucks. there has always been some unspoken competiion amoung us IF’ers. and it’s just weird.
    you’re right, even though i am almost to the finish line, having won the greatest lottery…IF still hurts. wounds may be less raw, but they are there.
    while i needed the first year of IF-it got me into counseling-where i needed to be for a long time and made me admit that i have depression–the other year i.did.not.deserve.
    and you don’t deserve any of this.
    fvck, i hope you’re next.

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  4. Yes, pain is pain is pain. I feel that everyones situation is different and so so personal. Therefore the pain is personal. Although I must admit that sometimes I am more empathetic to certain situations. But that makes me human….right?

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  5. I’ll just retype it. If you removed it, I apologize for putting it back up, I’m just not sure if it went through or not …

    Since I suffered ~both~ primary and secondary, I felt like I had a few things to say about it, due to feeling both and therefore, being able to do the comparison within my own feelings …

    It’s too long for here, but I’ll link to the 2 posts I wrote on it

    1) http://thenewlifeofnancy.blogspot.com/2007/09/primary-vs-secondary-infertility.html

    2) http://theotherlifeofnancy.blogspot.com/2008/01/secondary-thoughts.html

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  6. Well said Sam! I couldn’t agree more. I am also more sympathetic to certain situations than others, but I know we all have the same longing and hurt. Infertiles who are trying for number one often cannot understand how others can’t *just* be happy with one child, because that’s all we ever dream of; is to have at least one baby. But then somehow after the birth of the baby we long for more and so it begins again.
    You’re right it all sucks, but it sucks together. I have met some wonderful friends during my journey which would never have happened otherwise. It’s taught me to look outside myself. To consider the world out there. To really care about other people, and to realise that none of as are perfect and that everything happens for a reason.

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  7. What a great post. I agree with everything that you said, except I’m not sure if I would choose never getting pregnant vs. recurrent m/c. I think they both are crap in their own ways.
    I am the same way…going through these things has changed me. I took a lot for granted before and I never will again.

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  8. Pain is such a difficult thing to compare. When I see the primary vs. secondary IF battles heat up, the thing that stands out most to me is that everyone just wants to be heard and have their feelings validated. We reach out looking for those in similar situations to ours who can relate to our feelings and thoughts. It is impossible to fully understand what secondary IF is like when you are stuck still working on #1, but we don’t have to fully understand another person’s situation to feel empathy and compassion for someone in pain. Comparisons just won’t get us anywhere.

    Okay, I admit that I had to LOL when I read about a devastating 2ww after trying for 2 months. Not in a LOL mean judging kind of way, but in an irony to my own journey kind of way. I remember those as the fun months when I still thought sex at home in our own bed actually made babies. These things still crack me up. Again, not her situation, just my own reminiscing.

    Great post, Sam. (:

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  9. You make some great (and very magnanamous, I’m more the bitter type!) points but as one of the women whose heart was frequently broken by children in the fertility clinic time after time I had just got a bfn I can say that I would never bring the two babies I am so blessed to have had via IVF into such a waiting room. I just couldn’t do it to others….

    J

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  10. there is nothing more that i could add to this post you said it all…

    i do feel that we all experience heart ache and pain in different ways and some people can handle more than others, so yes we should support each other through this but not judge one another based on each others diagnoisis or whether we facing secondary infertlity…

    as for knowing that i could fall preggies but then going to loose the baby, i am not to sure… mixed emotions on this one

    xxx

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  11. Ah, yes, I have often had to remind myself that there is no competition for most TTC-related misery. But to the person feeling it, it does feel like the absolute worst pain in the world – how can anyone else top that?

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  12. Thanks for the thought provoking post. I am one of those that has a much more difficult time understanding those ttc#2. Maybe because I know that if I was just blessed enough to have #1, I would be eternally grateful and not be, for lack of a better word “greedy”. But I also have to remember, I’ve always only dreamed about having one child and my dreams are not the same as others. My dreams are no more important than those dreaming of a houseful of children. No one should be denied their dreams and it is painful when you can not fulfill them. It is a lesson that my infertility has taught me.

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  13. Another lovely thoughtful post from one of my favourite bloggers.

    You say it so well, and I admire your compassion. I wasn’t too hot on entertaining those ‘2-monthers’ and totally agree with what you say in that we should think of how everything affects individuals differently.

    Bravo xxx

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  14. I admire you for being able to acknowledge the good things that infertility has brought to your life, or maybe helped you to better appreciate. As for the pain olympics, I try not to participate, but I am human and I have to admit I’ve done my share of comparing. I’ve done less and less the closer I get to the end of all this. I’ve come to realize that nobody else’s situation makes mine any worse or any better. My pain is mine and hers is hers. And yes, they both suck.

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  15. Infertility is such a tough group. It’s hard in different ways. I know being in the younger group, I get told to suck it up basically because I have time. But it doesn’t make it any easier for me, except that I get longer to suffer.

    But yes, we all suffer, in our own ways.

    Coming over from ICLW…

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  16. I do that a lot also, compare myself to others. I think women do that with everything. Fertiles also compare themselves to infertiles, “I am SO much more fertile than THAT person, thank God!!!” I get mad when someone who has been TTC for a few months gets pregnant because I feel like they have jumped the line to get to the front, like we are standing in line for some trendy, expensive yet fabulous nightclub. I don’t know how to get over that.

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  17. Well said! I agree! It is so important to step outside of ourselves and try to better understand others. I have “graduated” to the other side and even after three boys (with many, many losses) the pain is still there. Yes, it might be different, but it is still there. I think infertility is like all of us walking the same path, yet leaving slightly different footprints unique to each one of us.

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  18. Infertility (as well as fertility) touches us all in different ways. You’ve done a remarkable job of trying to point out that we really cannot compare perceptions to develop reality.

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  19. Well said! It doesn’t matter where we are on our infertility journey – we all know pain, be it the pain of longing for baby #1 or #2 or #10 if that is what you want. And you’ve made me think more about those people who are ‘2-monthers’ – and potentially more compassionate, the 2WW is hard, no matter what.

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  20. What a great post. I will admit to being guilty of thinking my pain is ‘more’ than other peoples at times. But then again I am a bitter infertile so that must explain it.

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  21. That is very profound. Everyone’s pain is different. I don’t mind if kids come to the office as long as people all follow the same rules. My RE and perinatologist both specifically state no children in the office, but every time I go there are children. I just wonder why those people think they are exempt from the rules.

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  22. I really like this whole thing, but the thing that grabbed me most was the stuff about the husband and you knowing you can do anything together, knowing that he’ll always be supportive. I so fully completely agree. If you can get through this together, there’s not much you SHOULDN’T be able to get through together.

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  23. I agree with so much of what you’ve said here. Most of the time I do really well in realizing that our experiences unite us more than the minute differences (a failed IVF here, a m/c there) divide us. But on occassion I too find myself judging someone as less infertile. And even as I’m doing it I wonder why in god’s name I’d want to win that contest.

    (Here from ICLW)

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  24. Best Wishes on your break. I”m not going to fill your head with all that “just when you relax, it’ll happen” crap that everyone says. Just have a nice break, party like a rockstar and welcome 2009 with open arms!

    ICLW

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