Thursday, May 27, 2010

Letting It Roll Off My Back

In the three years that I have been struggling to conceive I have heard so many comments about relaxing and opinions on how to become a parent that, for the most part, they really have started rolling off my back. I know that these pieces of advice or consolation while sometimes misguided, are almost always meant with the best of intentions. I still do not enjoy hearing them, and I always try to politely explain this position when I can, but these things don't sit rattling away in my brain for hours after I've heard them as they once did.

But there are still some exceptions to the rolling off the back thing.
Not that I am angry with anyone, just feeling kind of defeated by what someone said recently and in all fairness to her she is not the first, and will probably not be the last. A friend, in the midst of empathizing with my struggle and recent loss proclaimed that she just knew I would be a mother someday "whether it was my own biological child or not".

Of course, one of the first feelings I have is that even if I do adopt one day, that child will still be "my own". I hate how diminished the relationships of an adopted family seem to be in other people's eyes sometimes and it makes me hurt for all those who have to contend with these views everyday.

But the thing that hurts the most when people say this to me is the implication of failure on my part. I am in no way opposed to the possibility of adoption as a way to expand my family and have seriously considered it even before I knew of my infertility, but no one else really knows that. It is not something I am actively pursing right now, nor is it something I have ever discussed with this friend or many people at all for that matter. Her saying that, when it was completely unprompted and never previously discussed, felt like a small stab into my heart. When someone says that, it's as if they are saying they don't believe I will give birth to a child, that my IVF and FET attempts won't work, especially when it is my IVF attempts being discussed and there is no mention from me of adoption. Or that, the fact that I have had to use these methods at all is some sort of failure. Adoption is not off the table for me, but it is for now. I am focused on my treatments and my frozen embryos right now, my future maybe-babies. And it hurts that they are so easily disregarded.

The other thing about this conversation that hurts is that this friend is dealing with infertility issue
s of her own. Although, she is nowhere near the point of using ART treatments and may never be, nothing hurts more than a non-comforting statement coming from someone else that is struggling and you feel should better understand. The statement coupled with the fact that she still is able to TTC the old-fashioned way, makes me feel like she sees my path as a loss in itself. I am almost always so proud of my journey, and my future IVF miracle baby, but on days like this I feel like I am wearing a scarlet "I". "I" for infertile, for IVF, for inadequate.

But, as I said earlier she is not the first to say this exact thing, nor will she be the last, so I don't want to pick on her or make it seem that she specifically has upset me. Just as with the other well-meaning offers of advice or support that hurt more than they help, I know that this too is meant to be encouraging. I know that people are just trying to let me know they believe I will be a mother no matter what and that I will be a good one. I just wish they wouldn't bring up issues of biology or other things unless I do it first. I know it sounds silly but I often doubt whether I will EVER be a mom and when someone else tells me they believe that it will work, that my frozen embies will grow and live and become my babies, it gives me strength. I sometimes need to be allowed to feel fear or doubt but I don't want anyone else to join me in my uncertainty. I need the people in my life to be my cheerleaders, to believe wholeheartedly that it WILL work. It's what keeps me going on the days I can't see any hope.

I am trying not to let this get me down, but I have to admit feeling a bit bluer today than yesterday because of it. I was a mommy to a 'biological child', even if it was only for a few short weeks my baby was alive inside me and I feel like that has been made to be unimportant. I am hoping that by getting this out I can get to that same place I've gotten with "just relax" and be able to keep it from affecting me as deeply as it has today, and instead focus on the positive words and support I receive from so many every day.


Ashley said...

I just found your blog and I wanted to say thank you for your honesty. I am not going to try and attempt to understand exactly what you are going through b/c each of our struggles are different. I did want to thank you though and let you know that your words help me and I am going to be praying for you. I am looking forward to reading more and although we haven't gone through the extent of ART that you are, we are currently in the process of shots and IUI treatments and all that stuff!

Beth said...

I think we hold other people who are going through IF to a higher standard when it comes to sensitivity. Since I know they more than anyone else know what I am feeling (or at least partially) what I am feeling when they make insensitive comments, it hurts more.
Good Luck with Everything!!

Kacey said...

I'm glad you are listening to tour heart...hold on to gods promise and put your trust in him...and don't give up on your dream...gods timing and our timing are notnthe same. I believe if someone is meant to adopt that god willmgive them a peace in their heart that whatnthey r doing is not his plan...I never had that peace that having my own chiod wasn't his plan so I kept believing and trusting in his promise and sure enough after 2 miscarriages and 3 years later his promises did prevail!

Ashley said...

I know hearing those words can be so painful. I even had my loving well meaning mother say that exact phrase to be between our two IVF cycles. And she knows everything we have been going through. It hurts ALOT but like you said they just mean well. You are in my thoughts often and I'm praying you get your little miracle baby very soon.

The (Type A) Nightmare said...

The greatest mother I know (other than my own) adopted her son. She and her husband are some of the most phenomenal people I have ever had the privilege of knowing and when I was younger, I wondered why God wouldn't allow them to be parents, when they would be the best parents ever. It was only later in life (and after I had some of my own struggles) when I realized that she was preselected and chosen to be that little boy's Mom. He had some special needs that she could adequately tend to, and very few people would enjoy that or even take the time to do it, but she does... and she loves 100% the whole time. There's no bitterness, and I could never minimize her role as a mother. They are parents times ten!, and will always be some of my greatest role models - as human beings and definitely as a parent.

Keep your chin up. There's a plan. Goodness knows, I haven't figured out the plan yet, but there is a definitely plan. You will be a Mom and you will absolutely rock at it! Sending you hugs! Love ya!

Waiting Lisa said...

I may have been guilty of saying something similar. Minus the biological part, of course. But, it was after a conversation about adoption that you and I had. And it was way before you even started IVF.

I can't wait until you are able to start your next cycle. I have so much hope and love for you in my heart.

I have felt the same way when people say something to me about adopting an older child from foster care. Not that I think there is anything wrong with that and maybe we will in the future.....but it feels to me like they are giving up on an expectant mother ever picking us. Like this track we are on will never work and it's time to change what we are doing. I have been hurt by that before.

And I am the same way about having doubts, but not liking it if other people share their doubts about the adoption never happening for us.


Callieflower said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you Holly!
It's so good knowing you're there. I have been saying the exact same thing to my husband and best friend the previous week.
I am so tired of hearing well meaning people tell me to relax and that I should look into adoption(which by the way I've always wanted to do even before infertility-not that they know that). I want to scream at then and say why don't you adopt.
It's like they think it solves everything-that there's no hope, I'm broken and you know what they weren't, they aren't.
I feel the never-I feel like sometimes God is laughing at me-my dream in life was to be a teacher and I have been a Kindergarten teacher for the past nine years-loving every one else's child. Struck down with infertility.
WE are attempting our first IUI this month-my eggs are not growing. I'm scared-the reality and/or possibility of NEVER having a child is there.
In my heart I know there's an end, I have given up my career for our maybe babies-gladly. Your words comfort me, your struggle while it saddens me brings me hope.HE has not nor will not forsake us. I do not doubt for you...your time is coming...our time is coming...chin up and thank you for being here.

* PCOS CHICK * said...

I've enjoyed stumbling over your blog. I want to follow you and keep up, but I just wanted to encourage you to keeping going forward and don't give up. I have PCOS and have been trying to conceive for over two years now. So I can relate and understand how you feel. Feel free to check out my blog, I'd love to add your blog to my blog roll, and I hope you will follow me, and add me as one of your favorite sights. I'll be praying for you. Here's my blog. Follow me.

God Bless,

liberalgranolagirl said...

I get it, too and I don't like having the adoption suggestion tossed at me lightly. There are a few people (one being my BFF who was an adoption counselor) who have talked to me about it and mention it out of sheer goodness but others, I want to smack them sometimes! I actually WANT to adopt but I also really want to have a baby physically. *hugs* I am excited for you to start your next cycle and I'm praying that it ends in a healthy pregnancy <3

Love is all you need said...

just found this post, not sure if you have adopted since, but I know first hand how much happiness adoption brings. I have two beautiful boys as proof. Good luck!