Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What it really means to lose a baby, to be infertile-

Not having 99.9% of the people in your life understand what you're going through, even as you walk through hell.

Feeling selfish for not being there for other pregnant women, when really you are often incredibly selfless, listening to them talk about their pregnancies when you are in so much pain, wanting to relate but not saying a word because you don't want to make them uncomfortable. But you hardly ever get extended the same courtesy.

But still, we have limits. Not attending baby showers is one. The pain is so acute, being surrounded by all these people who will have everything you ever wanted, but may never have. Being reminded of what you have lost, and will never get back. And having no one get it, when you can't handle it. Skipping the shower, and wondering if they're talking about you behind your back, if people are judging you, saying your selfish, labeling your pain as unreal- when it is all too real, and amplified by the littlest things, that no one will ever get.

Having unfulfilled dates circled on a calendar.

Missing you babies every day of your life, even as no one misses them with you.

Remembering them in silence, because other people get uncomfortable when you bring them up. Which makes you feel like you are crazy, that you should be over it- when this is normal, it's just everyone else doesn't get it. You never get over losing a baby- anyone who says otherwise is crazy. Grief doesn't go away, it just gets integrated into your life, until you become one with your grief.

Having pregnancy change from something special, to just another medical condition. No expectations, no guarantees- only the hope that it will result in a healthy living baby.

Having a positive test, and crying because you're scared, happy, sad, mourning, overwhelmed, incredibly fragile. Telling your significant other, and having them barely even acknowledge it because it hurts too much anymore. Remembering how it was the first time, and won't ever be again. For me, it's remembering the first, the second, the third- and how each time the light died a little more in my husband's eyes. How I felt a little more broken. How I felt a little more detached. How I grew more fearful with each loss.

Having to make the conscious decision to try again, because you can't leave anything up to fate. It doesn't work like that when you're infertile- you have to decide, and pay money, to try again. Knowing all the while what it means, what could happen again, and that all your effort/pain/money/hope could be felled with one swift blow.

When you go through multiple losses, you go through repeated testing trying to find the cause. Testing that can be painful, invasive- that a normal woman would never have to go through. More testing on top of all the infertility testing- more insult to injury. Wondering why this keeps happening to you. Often never getting answers.

Having your broken heart fragment even further.

Having all sorts of emotions and pain attached to so much, the infertility interwoven with the pregnancy loss pain, sometimes not being able to tell why something bothers you so much, only knowing that it does. And often, one amplifies the other.

That is, the pain of infertility grows more bitter as you remember your loss. Like salt in a wound. Or your loss seems more powerful because you tried so hard for that pregnancy, and yet you lost it anyway. Your infertility more acute because you know that pregnancy doesn't guarantee a living baby- yet you go through the treatments, knowing the risk. It makes each decision more heavy, more filled with the burdens of history and possibility.

That's not to say that pregnancy loss by itself isn't painful- it is. Immensely so.
That's not to say that infertility by itself isn't painful- it is. Incredibly so.

I don't know how much each would affect me differently by themselves, if they weren't a whole. How my life would be different if I was only infertile. If I only had one miscarriage. If I only suffered repeat miscarriages. If I was dealing with them separately, instead of all at once.

I'm sure each, on their own, would feel like this.
Like even the sun rising each morning isn't guaranteed. Like my heart is heavy with the burden of what I've lost. Like the world is spinning topsy-turvy and it will never be right again. That everything has came unglued, the world unmade.

But this is what I know- I am infertile. And I have suffered multiple miscarriages.
And the world goes on, whether I want it to or not. The sun keeps rising each day. My heart is heavy, but it is still my heart. The world is spinning in the same way it has for ages. The world has not came unmade- only my world has.


janis said...

This brought tears to my eyes. Big, big ((hugs)) to you. I wish I could undo all the pain you experience, I am so sorry, I wish I could do more, other than read.

Celia said...

Oh babe, I think of you so often. Infertility just colors your life forever. I wish I could tell you it all goes away once you have a baby, but it does not. I still feel jealous around pregnant women. And I feel absolutely paranoid that any negative thoughts about parenting will cause Peter to be whisked away like freaking Labryinth.

Anonymous said...

This post made me cry. It's so easy to feel the pain in your words. I wish I could take the pain away, or tell you how to make it disappear. But all I can do is tell you that you are not alone.


Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry. I hate it that I live in fear now, all the time. Fear that things won't happen, fear that if they do they'll be whisked away at any moment. It's exhausting and unavoidable all at the same time.

Glass Case of Emotion said...

I feel your pain. And I also often wonder if it wouldn't be easier to just have infertility or just have repeat loss. But to have both, it's cruel. I am not sure if it helps, but know you are not the only one to feel this way.

Melis.sa said...

I wish I could forward this entire post to the people in my family who don't get it. But then again I still don't think they would get it.


I don't even know how my DH is dealing with this latest BFP because I'm barely acknowledging it knowing how the last two worked out

adsf said...

Once again, you are an incredible writer.

Michelle said...

This just breaks my heart. I HATE that there is nothing anyone can say or do to make the pain go away or make you fertile....like some magical potion. I so hope you get a happy ending. I like what you said, the grief doesn't go away it becomes integrated into your life. That has been so hard for me to accept, yet it is so true.

Kristin said...

Oh honey, I am so, so sorry you are in so much pain.

Incredible writing my friend.

Three Cats and a Baby said...

This post made me cry. It's beautifully written. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Jodi said...

I know that it feels like you are so alone hun, there are alot of us who wish we could be there with you in person instead of just online. I am one of those people I have been there and I know how you feel. Your writing is wonderful even tho is it so sad keep writing hun because that will help.

I am here if you need me just a click away.

loribeth said...

SO TRUE!! (((hugs)))

Cherish said...


Mrs. Unexpected said...

This post is beautiful- even more so because you've made it out of something so ugly. Thank you for putting this in words.

Anonymous said...

This post is eloquently written. Your wording makes the emotions of infertility easier to understand.
"Having pregnancy change from something special to just another medical condition. No expectations, no guarantees- only the hope that it will result in a healthy living baby."
It's so sad.
I would like to share this post if you don't mind.

AnotherDreamer said...

PFM I don't mind at all.

Thank you for the kind comments everyone- so glad I am not alone, but so sad that so many of us have been through this (*hugs*) to you all.

Anonymous said...

The isolation is what's so terrible I think. Feeling all alone as you describe. You know there are those out there who can share and understand your pain but finding them means exposing your own pain for the world to see and critique and judge and pity. I am having lunch today with a friend who's pregnant with twins after several fertility treatments and another with two very young kids for whom getting pregnant was easy. Shoot me now. This is a lunch I have already rescheduled several times. I am dreading it.

Unknown said...

Ok...I'm not reading anymore of your previous posts tonight. **bawling** Totally hit that nail on the head on this one. Number 1001 reason why I don't talk to said sister from my previous comment to you "get over it - it's just a miscarriage".

Christina said...

I just came across your blog and found this post on your side list.

While I haven't had rpl, I do understand the feelings and heartache of dealing with infertility and loss. It isn't fair. Your post was so eloquently written and captured the emotions and damage things like these have on our lives so perfectly. While it is a poor consolation, know that you aren't alone and we are here to support each other and give strength to one another.

Lyndsey Davis said...

You describe it perfectly. No one can understand unless they go through it. I'm so sorry you understand.

Laine said...

This is so beautifully written- thank you so much for giving these feelings words. It resonates so profoundly for me.