Thursday, October 10, 2013

Once an IF, Always an IF

On the me front (me me me) - I am good. From what the doppler and I can tell, the kid is cooking, my uterus is rising and enlarging, and my immune system has essentially shut down. There's a lot of snot, congestion, whining and couch surfing going on in my house but I'm told it's to be expected. This cold of mine would typically be something I could shrug off but apparently my body is busy doing other things. Fair enough and thank the lord for neti pots.

It has been 2 weeks since my last ultrasound (that felt like a confession) and I am holding up pretty well thanks to ye olde fetal doppler. Used it twice yesterday as I'm a spazz. Since the last post, I came out to my boss and coworkers. All were completely supportive and charmingly gleeful. It was nice. Naturally it gave me the jinx-willies hence the increased doppler useage. Again, no apparent correlation between pregnancy announcements and fetal cardiac activity. None the less, the experiment continues.

This weekend is my 6th wedding anniversary. Eleven years together and six legally bound to each other. Pretty cray cray. J and I are totally the couple that plans a romantic celebration and then ends up ordering pizza and watching a movie instead. Hey, it's worked for us. This year I've taken an entire half day off work (I know, slow down crazy!) and we're driving up to my parents cabin in Wisconsin. I'm thinking fall colors, picking apples off our very own very tiny apple trees, a hike with the dogs and general coziness. I'm psyched and willing tomorrow afternoon to come immediately.

So that's it for me. Uneventful and nice. And then my loves still in the trenches. This morning I got a text from my sister-in-law SD. I've mentioned her before. She ventured into the world of infertility before I did. We navigated treatments, fielded each other's hysterical phone calls, and glared at pregnant women together. And now I'm knocked up and she's not. The text this morning was telling me that her period had started after her third round of IVF. She didn't want to talk - and certainly not to me - and said she'd call some time next week. I want to remain a support system for her and I'm afraid that's just not possible. My heart breaks for her. It breaks for all of us. Once you're pregnant after infertility, the infertility doesn't go away. It lingers and haunts. It's why I have to check if my baby's heart is still beating after I tell another person I'm pregnant. Why I can't really imagine my baby and what he or she might look like and feel like in my arms. For so long we protect ourselves from those painful yearnings. When they start to look like a reality, the dream doesn't flood back. It creeps back slowly and we keep on protecting ourselves.

How do we support each other? The way this process works, all of us in the infertility boat will achieve our families at different times and in different ways. The timing of it all can make you feel so left behind. I felt so left behind for two years until suddenly I wasn't. I know that many, probably most of you reading this are in the midst of fertility treatments and adoption applications. Is there any place for comfort from someone teetering on the other side of the IF divide? Is that even possible?

If this all goes well and my baby comes in April, I will be back in the stirrups a year or two later. More hormone shots, retrievals, transfers and tears. My heart is still in it. I hate this natural, probably necessary, and temporary divide between SD and me.


  1. Happy anniversary!

    I think that it is sometimes hard to say the right thing when you are currently pregnant. I would just tell your SIL that you are sorry to hear the news and are willing to listen if she needs to vent.

  2. Aww, happy 6 years. That sounds like the kind of anniversary night that we end up doing, too.

    I often wonder what it's going to be like for me once I'm "legit" pregnant. I do think I'll carry these scars forever, but I'm afraid of being annoying or even smart-alecky to other infertiles... unintentionally, of course. It's a tough spot. I think as long as you tell your SIL that you understand and she can take as much time as she needs, and you'll be there for her no matter what, that's enough. Sometimes the hardest thing is giving people space. She'll process it.

    1. I live in utter fear of sounding like a smug bitch. I think perceived smugness is a natural by product of post-IF pregnancy. All those things you obsessed over for yourself - diet, drug cocktails, etc - you have this need to pass on to someone else. It's a sickness.

      When you're "legit" pregnant (and by the way, I don't consider you illegitimately pregnant), you'll feel those same waves of excitement and terror, just in smaller more bearable doses. And randomly you'll find yourself at work or with friends NOT thinking about your uterus. It's weird and kinda nice.