Some honesty...last night the girls in my support group started chatting about the joy and pain of being around new babies. Some of us torment ourselves by reveling in the joy of them while others keep our distance. It's hard to know which is harder.
I typically soak up new babies and most of my friends' kids with all I can, but will say that some days I just didn't have it in me.
In trying to keep this real and honest I will share something that not everyone knows about when I was in the darkest throws of infertility. My birthday falls close to one of my dear friends and we like to have a joint party most years. It's super fun crawfish and beer and once kids came along they were included too, even Easter egg hunting was added for them to enjoy. This was both wonderful and awful for me, as I was childless and heart broken, but loved playing with all the kids. What only my husband and sister were lucky enough to witness was the full on meltdowns that would occur after such occasions. I'm sharing because I know that I'm not the only one who has had this happen, not to make anyone feel bad, but after these fun occasions I would come home and experience full on debilitating crying sessions. Infertiles know the ones where you feel like your heart may cave into your soul and leave you hollow forever. It was almost like a masochistic torture I would do to myself. But I couldn't pass up kid fun!
Sometimes within a couple each one handles it differently, where one soaks up kids and one avoids them as much as humanly possible and often feels like they look like a monster not wanting to hold new babies! Because really?!? Who doesn't love to hold new babies?!? Um, devastated heart-broken people who can't seem to have their own children, who are possibly afraid that given the opportunity they may cry all over your child and or run out the door with them! **I may have tried to steal my godson a few times and a few times his mommy might would've let me, at least for a few days! ;) **
The handling it differently causes division within a relationship too because you don't grieve the same way and then you worry your spouse doesn't care as much or cares entirely too much. It takes a whole lot of staying power to make it through infertility!
Brutal honesty also leads me to this statement...we know we are irrational and we know we snap at random times. Believe me, we would love to be forewarned too, we would avoid ourselves at times! I will share a story (again to make others feel normal). In the year of pregnancy (as I lovingly refer to 2010 when literally everyone I know was pregnant) while we were in the depression of adoption scam dregs and starting IVF, yet another of my friends called to tell me that she was pregnant. **Yes I am aware that everyone dreaded telling me, believe me I dreaded hearing it and trying to keep it together** Bless her heart I think she hit me on a highly hormonal day of a new injection or something because I believe my response was something along these lines..."Seriously!!!! Can none of you wait until the pee dries on the stick to call me?!? I am just trying to get to my IVF an EVERYONE is knocked up. I cannot take anymore! I mean obviously I'm happy for you!". Her response, bless her sweet heart, was something along the lines of, "um, ok, I'm sure you will be pregnant soon too and it will all be ok! I'll call you later!" And she did call me later (maybe a few DAYS later). That is the reality of an infertile heart and the kindness of someone who does not get it, but can take a random outburst and never mention it again! I'm forever grateful to her for that and how she did not insist we talk about pregnancy constantly, she understood that while I was honestly happy for her my pain precluded me from being able to fully share in her joy!
Infertility is misery and it hurts relationships, some beyond repair. Sadly that is a truth we all learn. I'm blessed it has not destroyed my marriage and lucky I'm married to someone who is rather hard headed and thick skinned. Blessings also flow from the online support that I found and the ladies who became my life line when no one else understood, those who listened to me, tied my rope, encouraged me, and kept me afloat when I could not do it on my own.
If you need support ask me about the group here, contact Resolve (www.resolve.org), or search online! If there is not a group in your area, start one! No qualifications are necessary, just a heart to help others! Also know that your horrible behaviors, even if only in the privacy of your own home are things plenty of us have done and you are not alone!
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