Friday, January 25, 2013

I'm Just Not There Yet

My blog friend, Kimberly, recently wrote a post that intrigued me and got me to thinking about my personal experience with infertility.  As I read, I quickly realized that I'm not anywhere near being close to the Acceptance stage in The Kübler-Ross model's "five stages of grief" (note: Kübler-Ross applies this model to catastrophic losses, to include infertility diagnoses).  In fact, I'm not so sure that I've fully moved on from any one of the other four stages.  I'm just SPLAT! right in the middle of Denial, Anger, Bargaining and Depression.  Acceptance is the fifth stage and I don't think I can even see it in the near far distance!

Denial.  Sometimes I think I'll fall asleep and wake up pregnant.  I'm not delusional, I swear.  But in all seriousness, many times I'll think to myself this is not happening to me.  When oh yes, this absolutely is, in fact, happening to me.  Take this week for example: I'm spotting.  AF is coming.  Wait!  Is AF here?!  Yes, it's AF.  Call the doctor, get instructions to start meds.  HOLD THE PHONE, definitely NOT AF (how can someone who is so sure of her most regular cycles have no clue if this is CD 1 or not?!).  Don't start meds.  I wonder if I'm pregnant?  I've heard of people spotting around the time they were supposed to get AF.  See!  I knew I wasn't infertile (denial)HPT confirms I'm not pregnant.  Blood test confirms I'm not pregnant... I am infertile (or as my acupuncturist calls, it "sub" fertile).  AF is here.  Start meds tonight. 

Enter anger.  I'm definitely right in the middle all over this stage!  And to be honest, it's quite embarrassing.  I hang my head low because of my anger.  Perhaps my anger is what I like least about myself these days.   My anger about my infertility has bubbled over.  I'm not just angry about what I'm going through, I'm angry about what other people get - others' blessings.  You can go ahead and judge me now, but it's true.  I get angry as I walk through the mall and see young moms pushing their bundles of joy in the perfect stroller that they registered for and then received at their most adorable baby shower.  I'll probably be an old lady by the time I'm able to have (get?) a baby.  My anger overflows when I'm at a lunch meeting for work and I get to sit there like a bump on a log because the entire conversation is centered around my colleagues' and clients' children.  Why am I even there?  Anger filled my heart and my soul in the car yesterday after a work appointment when my co-worker announced that his wife is pregnant with baby number two.  How is that fair?  Or, more so, how is it fair that I'm not even pregnant with baby number one?!  After all this time?!  After all these IUIs and IVFs?!

As the anger dissipates festers, then comes the bargaining.  Please, please, please God, I'll do anything to just get pregnant and have a baby.  I'll stop swearing.  I'll pray every night.  I'll go to church every Sunday.  I won't complain about where I live anymore.  I'll be a good person (because you know, maybe I'm going through all of this because I'm not a good person.  I know this isn't true, but these are the real thoughts of infertiles).  I'll do anything!  I really will do anything.  And sometimes I think, I have done everything!  What else do I need to do?!

And so, this is where the depression comes into play.  I've done so much to try to get pregnant.  I've pretty much exhausted the medical intervention options with cycle after cycle of IUI and IVF.  If that doesn't work, then what will?  Will anything work?  Will I ever get pregnant?  Will my husband and I be at birthday parties for children of our family and friends year after year after year after year looking like two dummies who still don't have a child?  These thoughts are depressing.  They make me feel alone.  Like I'll never move on from this stage in my life.  The stage that consists of me, Nick and Belle.  The stage of hope, followed by failure and disappointment, continuously circling around me month after month after month after month.  How can one escape this despair without feeling depressed? 

I know that everyone deals with life's circumstances and situations differently.  And, I guess I'm just not someone who will sail through these stages of grief checking them each off as I go (and I know that's ok).  All of these stages are sort of meshed into one big, fat, ugly stage for me.  I may leave one stage and then quickly fall back into another.  The truth is, I haven't accepted my infertility.  I haven't made it there yet.  And I'm not sure that I ever will.  But, I envy those who have.  Those who have found happiness again in their lives.  Who look forward to their future.  And who believe that their future holds the promise of a family for them.

I'm just not there... yet.


the blogivers said...

BLAH. Just blah. That's all I have to say about infertility today. Hate that you are feeling stuck :(

Amanda said...

I'm there with you Aubrey. I think I've kind of accepted it, but I sure haven't moved past any of the other stages. One day I'm bargaining and the next I'm angry again. I'm just a mess. I'm with Allison… Blah, just blah.

Christen said...

I SO get what you are saying in this post even though you are much farther in the fertility process than me. I actually wrote a diatribe in my diary about going through the stages of grief a few weeks ago, but I haven't got the guts to share it on my blog yet. I do think I hit the "acceptance" phase for a split second when I begin to hope again. I'm all like, "Okay, well THIS time we'll try (different timing, going on vacation, ovulation kits, using preseed, me drinking pomegranate juice, a new diet, me drinking cough syrup, fertility doctor, new testing, praying, always praying, more praying, enlisting others to pray). It's exhausting.

I also get what you mean about the anger stage. It's the part of myself I hate the most in this whole process, but it's there... and natural. Vent whenever you need to, hon!

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your honesty in this post, especially about anger and jealously. I think all of us IFers go through that - seeing strangers in the mall or people on FB who have unplanned pregnancies. WHY does it happen so easily for them, and not for us?! Its infuriating! I am glad that my blog helped you process and I appreciate how truthful and sou-lbearing you are in your posts. Your honesty is refreshing and Im so gad we are blog friends. Hug!

dspence said...

Thinking of you. IF is such an ugly beast.

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