January 21, 2006

Blindsided and bewildered

Posted in TTC woes at 10:06 am by Erin

I got blindsided two days ago by a pregnancy announcement.  I was so thrilled when I had a normal reaction to a friend telling me that she was pregnant that I thought I was able to handle things again.  I figured that if it was someone I am friends with, then I could apparently be happy for her without feeling like I’d been whacked over the head with a baseball bat.  Truly was not the case on Thursday.  A friend told me that she was pregnant with their second child; she knows about our IF problems and to her great credit, she was as gentle as she could possibly be about it.  But I was completely thrown for a loop, as I’d thought they weren’t even going to start trying for several more months.  I managed to smile and say congratulations, ask the required questions about when she’s due and how she’s feeling, but the whole time my brain was screaming and wailing in agony. 

I spent the rest of the day and much of yesterday on autopilot: taking care of P, getting dinner ready, getting him to bed, working on my dissertation as best I could.  I kept my emotions as well hidden from P as I could and for once, I don’t think he really picked up on it.  But that had a consequence also–when he was in bed and I was all ready to sit down and have a good cry, I couldn’t do it.  I was depressed and miserable and felt like my heart would shatter into a million pieces, but I couldn’t cry.  It felt like I was beyond tears.

The bewildering part comes from J.  I often lash out when I’m hurt or sad, and J’s a safe target since he knows it and doesn’t take it personally.  I was trying so hard to stay angry on Thursday, taking offense to him not saying the absolutely perfect thing at the perfect time, the fact that he doesn’t seem to care each month that we’ve failed to create another baby again.  (Fortunately, he got home after P was in bed and I don’t yell, I just bitch.)

I was amazed to find out how differently we view things.  He admitted that he doesn’t know what I’m going through.  He said he’s just so thankful to have P that he can’t get too upset about the possibility of not conceiving another one–he very much wants to have a bigger family with me and knows that we’ll be able to do that through adoption, so it doesn’t bother him so much if we can’t conceive another.  It bothers him to see me unhappy, which is why he often seems a little depressed when another cycle ends.  I was trying to stay angry with him–it’s so much less painful to be angry than to be sad.  But I couldn’t be.  He just made too much sense and was so open and honest.

I had a hard time understanding his reactions before that, but when I think about it, a lot of my desperate desire to have another child is very much physical.  I physically yearn to carry another child, to feel another child growing in me, to feel that life come to be.  I feel like there’s another someone inside me who’s trying to get out (though admittedly, not as strongly as I did before we had P).  My breasts sometimes ache to nurse another baby.  And these are sensations that J would never feel, so of course he has a different type of desire to have another baby.

It certainly gives me some things to think about.  J wants me to go talk to someone, and I’m considering it.  But not now.  I’m still feeling too small and sad right now.



  1. Courtney said,

    I love you much Erin and don’t have much to say beyond that because sometimes there aren’t really words as one struggles with the prolonged yearning for a child. I do hope very much that you will realize this desire of your heart to physically have another child. I do know that a tough journey to parenthood is, well, tough. Blessings can come through the experience of infertility…but so can those sad and overwhelmed times.
    It’s draining to withstand cyclical disappointments and it’s draining to have to regroup and figure out your “gameplan” as it relates to treatment options and adoption and such and “the end of the line” for ttc. You are facing all this in the midst of a dissertation (which is a big deal in and of itself) and myriad other life ups and downs. J’s suggestion to talk to someone strikes me as wise, but then again, I am the type to find it helpful to talk, so I guess of course I find it wise. Your blogging seems another wise way to work through the emotions that attend infertility struggles.
    I wish you all the best. I appreciate your insightful and candid writings. And I do so hope that you WILL get to experience all the physical dimensions of motherhood for which you ache now. Hang in there and know that I am here to listen or go eat chocolate or whatever else might be helpful.

  2. Jenny said,

    I too have PCOS and have had the same exact feeling over the past few weeks with a few blindsiding pregnancy revelations. I hope you feel better and know you aren’t alone.

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