Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Split Personality Disorder

I survived the IVF class :) It actually made me feel confident about moving forward with the whole process. I'll write more on it later. Today, however, I am frustrated. I worked over the weekend at both hospitals and somehow at both the topics of pregnancy and babies kept popping up. I was once again asked the bothersome question, "When are you having kids?" Aside from wanting to burst into tears, I used my usual response of "someday." What am I supposed to say to this!? "We've been trying to have a baby for over 3 years and I've had one tragic miscarriage. Thanks for checking." I know most of my co-workers have no idea what is going on with my infertility issues and it's an innocent question, but it's infuriating, heart breaking and frustrating all at the same time. One of my co-workers is pregnant and she continuously talked about her baby, finding out the sex, etc. While I am happy for her, part of me just ached inside the whole day. I feel like I have split personalities sometimes; there's a facade of the "Outside Amber" that is carefree, fun and full of energy. This is the person most people know me as. But, there is also the "Inner Amber" that a lot of people do not even know exists. This person is emotionally fragile, constantly dealing with infertility and confused. I always stay composed in these situations and no one has any idea what is going on in the "Inner Amber's" thoughts. I discretely fire off a text to Collin for support during these baby filled conversations. He always knows what to say to make me feel better. (What would I do without this splendid man?)
Since this post seems to be complaints (the next one won't be so negative!) I also have to admit, and anyone going through this can relate, logging on to Facebook can be like navigating through a mine field. Don't get me wrong, I adore Facebook, but I am so tired of people complaining about how "horrible" it is to be pregnant, having morning sickness, feeling swollen, being exhausted or how they dislike feeling tired because their child woke them up at night. I swear, every time I log in, another person announces their pregnancy. Ugh! The blocking feature has become one of my favorite tools! If you announce you're pregnant on FB, I am very happy for you and your expanding family! However, if you start the unwarranted pregnancy rants or repeatedly post sonogram photos, for my own sanity, I have to block you. I even have one of my sister-in-law's blocked. (Granted she and my brother are completely callous, but that's a story for another time)
Anyway, anyone going through a similar situation, how do you deal with the questions of "when are you having kids"?? Do you feel like you're keeping part of yourself hidden??
I've tried to open up and let the "Inner Amber" out before, but I have found people just don't understand. They say the wrong things and it doesn't help me feel better, so I just don't talk about it typically. Below is a list of things to say/do and things never to say/do to someone going through infertility, along with smart ass comments I'd like to say. I can't take credit for this list nor all the comments, my friend Google provided them and I added a bit here and there. But, nonetheless, I've heard all of these throughout the years... (I know you ladies going through this have probably heard them all too!)

NEVER say:

You need a vacation, then you'll get pregnant.
If that were true, we'd have around 8 kids by now....

I can't believe you sought medical treatment. Seeking medical treatment just shows you are spiritually immature and you don't trust God.
So do you usually comfort cancer patients this way as well?

Have you tried praying about it?
Now why haven't I thought of that before?

[in reference to our miscarriage]
Well at least you know you can get pregnant!
Wow, thank you for minimizing my loss of my child to just a test run to see if pregnancy is possible. Yeah, I appreciate that.

It's all in your head. If you stop thinking about it, it will happen. ("Just relax")
Infertility is a real medical issue. I have endometriosis which is a biological reproductive disease and causes my infertility. But yeah, thanks for implying that I'm mentally unstable enough to cause myself to not have kids.

You must be having lots of fun trying!
Oh yeah, it's a blast when there's all this pressure on both of us, and then you're poked and prodded to get test results and you're asked all kinds of questions about your sex life to a doctor you've never met before. LOADS of fun. Wish we started sooner.

You should adopt, then you’ll get pregnant right away (or the "you could always just adopt")
I would never ever ever use adoption as a method of getting pregnant. How absolutely terrible for the adopted child!!! Besides, check your facts. There is no correlation between adoption and having a biological child. The percentage for getting pregnant after an adoption is exactly the same as the percentage of getting pregnant before adoption. Also, there is no way to "just" adopt. It takes years, thousands of dollars, and it's something we have no intention of pursuing.

My husband just looks at me and I get pregnant
Good for you.

Here, you can just have one of my kids
The next time someone says this to me, I might just grab their kid, hop in my car and drive off, just to prove what a heartless comment that is.

Things could be worse
For me, this IS the "worse." My feelings are valid.

You're still young

I'm well aware of my age, thank you. I'm also well aware that my endometriosis makes conceiving a child more and more difficult with each passing year. Three years is a long time to try to conceive...

The following are comments that we truly love and appreciate. But because I get so embarrassed, I don't usually know what to say...but please know that if you're reading this and you have either done or said these things...we love you so much for it.

How are you?
Is there anything I can do? (not likely, but the fact you care enough to ask means the world)
Can I get you some tissues?
I'm here if you want to talk about it
We are praying for you/can we pray for you?
And the actions...
a hug
crying with us
a card in the mail
remembering that while I do not have a child in my arms, I AM a mother and my child is in heaven...

No comments: