Monday, March 18, 2013

Some Thoughts and FAITH

I want to write something because I have so much on my mind.  Yet, at the same time, I have no idea what to say.  So... I'm going to just put it all out there.  Here are my thoughts on infertility today:

- Friends.  The lack of friends.  Friends who have disappeared.  Is it them?  Is it me?  My relationship with (most of) my friends really started to slip back at the end of the summer in 2011.  At that point, Nick and I were well on our way to trying to get pregnant on our own (I ended up first going to my doctor in October, 2011).  One friend announced her pregnancy at the end of August (and who now actually just recently announced that she is expecting baby number two this summer.  Ugh.).  That was it for me.  I knew that, as I started on all sorts of hormone medications and the crazy, scary path of infertility, one of my 'closest' friends was starting on her journey to mommy-hood.  Ouch.  I pulled back.  Big time.  And to be honest, aside from her baby shower, I don't think I've joined that group of friends on any of their get-togethers since.  I couldn't be around her (the friend who was expecting).  I just couldn't handle it.  I still can't.  About a year ago, I shared with this particular friend and also another friend with whom I was closer to (compared to others in this 'group'), the story about my struggle with infertility.  Sadly, the response I got was less than anything I'd ever expect from a friend.  On one hand, I think that maybe these friends couldn't get over the fact that I had waited so long to share this (something that is so personal) with them and that they're actually angry with me.  Therefore, they don't care to be supportive.  On the other hand, I wonder if maybe these friends don't know what to say, don't know what to do or fear saying and/or doing the wrong thing.  Maybe I've pushed them away for so long that they don't feel comfortable comforting me and being there for me (in fact, my friend who is expecting baby number two didn't even tell me - I heard it through the grapevine).  I don't know what it is.  But, I do know that I'm equally to blame for friendships (and not just the two that I've described above) ending.  And that's hard.  Along with everything else that infertility has bestowed upon me, is guilt for pulling back from a lot of my relationships because it's just too difficult.  Too difficult to care about what someone else may be going through (I know that sounds so awful), too difficult to be 'present' when all I can do is think of my infertility - focusing on the next time I have to give myself a shot, when my doctor will call, how to excuse myself so that I can speak to my nurse or doctor in a private area.  It's too difficult worrying about what I'll do if someone announces their pregnancy - how will I react?  Will I be able to mask my extreme sadness (for myself)?  Will I be able to stop the tears from flowing?  The answer is that I probably won't be able to mask my sadness or stop my tears, so I've just pulled back completely.

- Happiness.  Where did you go, true happiness?  I haven't felt you in two years.  Sure, during this time I've done things that have been fun (Nick's and my amazing trip to California, a long weekend in DC/Virginia with my super supportive and loving family - and especially my Nana, holidays with Nick's family and my family, birthday parties, dinner nights, etc. etc. etc.).  But looking back, those fun times are completely over-shadowed by my sadness.  When I look at myself in pictures, I see sad eyes full of sorrow and heart ache - there's no hiding it.  But, do you want to know the crazy thing?  I'm totally willing to put my true happiness on hold... for now.  Right now, as sad as this is to say, I don't believe I'll ever truly be happy without a baby of my own.  Now, deep down I know that eventually, I may have to come to terms with this.  I'll need to somehow, somewhere find true happiness again - even if I don't have a baby of my own.  But, right now?  Right now I won't be happy until I am pregnant.  I won't be happy until I've overcome infertility.  I'm not ready to find happiness somewhere else... yet.  And so, I just keep going... moving along.  Trying to at least look happy as I put one foot in front of the other. 

- Hope.  It's all I can do, right?  The odds are against me.  One of the top infertility doctors in the nation gave me a 25% chance of conceiving (with my own eggs) with IVF (and that's only from just looking at my medical records - once he meets me and does tests of his own, there's the possibility of this percentage decreasing).  In other words, every time I do a cycle of IVF, there's a 75% chance that it won't work.  Gulp.  So far, I've been in that 75% chance of failure with every cycle that I've had.  BUT... I don't think of it that way (surprising, isn't it?!).  Rather, I hold onto that dismal 25% chance.  Could it be a lot better?  Ummm, YES!  But, it also could be worse.  I haven't been told that there's no chance (yet).  And so... I have hope.  In fact, I guess I have a lot of it.

- Faith.  Oh, Faith.  This word truly brings tears to my eyes.  I've had a struggle with my faith recently as I continue to navigate my way through this horrible journey of infertility.  Some days I feel like I have more faith than anyone in the whole wide world.  Truly.  When I close my eyes, this is what I see:  (In one of our spare bedrooms is a bed and dresser.  This will be the nursery.)  I can see this room with nothing in it other than a cream colored area rug and a Pottery Barn glider (that I will buy someday).  Sitting in the glider is me.  With a big round belly.  Belle will obviously be on the ottoman at my feet (actually, who am I kidding?!  She'll probably be right up with me and my baby belly!).  And I'll be praying, thanking God so profusely for my blessing.  My miracle.  My vision gives me chills.  Some days I see it so clearly.  Other days, though?  Well, other days it's so far out of my sight.  No matter how hard I close my eyes, I can't picture it.  The vision is gone.  I try so hard to put those pictures back in my sight, but I can't.  And that's when I lose faith.  I often wonder why this is happening to me.  Why did God have to make me with less eggs?  With eggs that are bad?  Will I ever get pregnant?  Will we have our miracle baby someday?  When?!  Sadly, I'll never know the answers to these questions (which kills me).  I have to just keep navigating my way through this awful journey to see how it turns out.  And to do that, I know that I have to have Faith. 

And, speaking of Faith... I bought myself a St. Patrick's Day gift yesterday.  Since my husband is 100% Greek, he never grew up celebrating March 17th.  Over the years, I've teased my 100% Greek husband, explaining just how important this day really is and that it should be celebrated in some way or another - especially if you're Irish... which, lucky for me, I am!  So, on this day (yesterday) I got Nick to not only buy me a shamrock shake :), but he also finally agreed to let me design my own new Nike sneakers (hey, Greeks get to benefit from having Name Days, so this is only fair!).  They had to be the custom designed sneakers so that I could choose an "ID" that will be sewn into the tongues. 

...And so now every time I look down at my sneakers, I'll see FAITH.


Erika said...

Dude. I hate that I can relate so strongly with some of these. :( And that you can. But I love that you put Faith inside your shoes! Such a neat idea! I'm intrigued that your husband never celebrated St. Patty's Day-- did he grow up IN Greece actually? Tell us more!!

the blogivers said...

Though it took you awhile to open up to your friends about your struggles, I am and always have been an open book with my friends... and a handful of them have still disappeared over the last several years, mostly because they don't know what to say, so they just say nothing. You are right that it goes both ways, but it sure would be helpful if EVERYONE understood how this kind of thing feels!

I hope your fancy new kicks bring you some happiness :)

Ashley said...

Wow, I honestly feel like you have explained my life!! I feel like everyone is moving forward with life and here I am stuck in the same 4 year rut! I'm sick of pretending to be happy, that everything is okay because it's not! I love a life of darkness right now and somehow I'm surviving! Surviving in silence because I can't face people's comments or judgements. I want to be that positive patty in life but infertility is holding me back. My faith... What is that again? I don't even know where to start with it! Is it possible to be mad at God? We should talk, I feel as though we would feel better gettingthis hostility off our chests and be able to actually understand each other with ease. In this world of being isolated by our uteruses

Risa said...

Love the shoes :)

I wish our friends understood better. I do have some friends that support me, but others who just don't get it. And the ones that support me, it's just not the same going through it with another person.

P.S. I got chills too reading about your vision.

Emily said...

I can totally relate to every last item you listed here...except for the Greek Shamrock shake hatin' hubby. hehe

If only there were an easier answer to both side of our friendships with others that could make things easier. I think what you said is true. On one hand, people just don't know what to say or how to respond, but in many ways it's just easier for them not to deal with it at all, because it's "uncomfortable" for them. One day, I hope we can join the cool club and just be NORMAL! Even then, I have a feeling I will still resent women who have it so easy. This infertility journey will just always be a part of me now. You can't go through this and not have it affect your life in a very big way.

Jessah @ Dreaming of Dimples said...

I don't even know what to say expect that I understand how you feel...and can relate to all of it. As much as I'd like to blame my friends for "bailing on me", I know I am responsible as well. Sigh. No easy answers. But I love your faith Nikes!

JoJo said...

I can relate to every last thing you mentioned. Seems like this infertility struggle does make you shut yourself out from the world. I sometimes want to blame my friends for not being supportive at times...but then there is times where they dont know what to say or say the wrong thing. Then again ppl can be harsh and that is the reason I pull away. When you said you are putting your happiness on almost brought tears to my eyes. This struggle is extremely painful and even if I try to put my happiness first it never works.

Amber said...

I love the shoes. I recently "created" a pair of Nikes too, but I didn't quite get as far as actually making the purchase. Hang in there Aubrey! Hugs!

Anonymous said...

I am so glad you posted this and ahred your feelings - I can relate to all of them! Especially about friends. Fortunatly I have kept 6 girlfriends in the loop and most have been awesome. but I too have pulled away from a lot of people because of the reaos you described - not just 'what if they get pregnant and i cant hide my emotions' but also - what if i get a phone call, need to do my shot, have to cacel cause of an apt, etc. it is hard to spend time with people who arent in the loop, and sometimes i would rather be alone.

I am so glad that you are feeling some hope and faith in all of this! I like how you point out that you are OK with not being able to be fully happy right now. That makes sense. Maybe some day some of us will have to be happy without kids, but now is not the time and we know that at leastfor now we cant be truely joyful without this vision completed


vanessa • • attractive, affordable blog + web design said...

oh man, I keep forgetting how badly I want to try a shamrock shake hahaha - did you like it? Is it just minty?

Vanessa @ 7Jaded Creative
Custom blog designs starting at $55

Site Design By Designer Blogs