Thursday, 23 August 2007

A little ironic

I guess this post is really a post-script to the earlier post about fertile friends.

There has been one friend in particular that I have been dreading interacting with. She is a beautiful and supportive friend and has been a fallback "safe place" for me while other close friends have been pregnant and then mothers. Which was partly why it tipped me so much when she told me she was pg. My safe place wasn't safe anymore.

She told me she was pg a few days before I was due for a frozen embryo transfer. As it happened, I had the "tottaly unexpected" horror of having neither of my two embryos survive the thaw and thus the transfer never went ahead and I was back at square one and further away then ever from having a living child. So, I guess the timing wasn't that great either. Along with her "it's only a matter of time" comment. Which we all know is a lie. But it was very uncharacteristic of her to say something to make the situation emotionally comfortable for herself.

Well I was getting more and more worked up about having to see her. I was trying to think of the things I can do (as per suggestioni from my counselor) and I had sent her a card to say I was thinking of her. In particularly, I was dreading the engagement party of a mutual good friend. A "happy" occasion. And one that is definately not about me. But an occasion when I knew I would see my pg friend.

Tuesday night my husband and I were driving to a friends place for dinner and I was discussing/ crying/ wondering how to cope. Should I call her and arrange to hang out before hand? Should I tell her how hard it is for me to be around her? But it's not really anything to do with her, the problem is pretty much on my side etc etc blah blah blah ( I am sure you all know the drill). In the middle of dinner that evening I got a message from her hubbie asking if they could come and stay the night as they had had builders in and the long and short of the story was that they were unexpectedly unable to sleep at home.

So they came over. And funnily enough my friend hadn't turned into a scary monster - she was still the same person. And I avoided all conversation about pregnancy until late in the evening when I asked a very general question about how it was going then retired to bed about a minute later.

I still had bad sleep and wierd dreams after this interaction (why is it so God damn hard?) and I don't know how I'll be in future interactions. But I feel kinda glad my hand was forced in this situation.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

It's official

Starting IVF on Aug 29th.

Which calls for a plan of attack. I am not known for being a strategic person. I rely on my intuitive reactions which can serve me well in an event where everyone else is unravelling (eg. lose someone on an excursion) but is not great when you know there is something momentous ahead.

So - against the grain, I am trying to PLAN for my and my husbands emotional stability over coming weeks and months.

Strategy 1. To remember "this is a new event. I have not done IVF in Aug 07 before. I do not know the outcome. I do not even know how good/bad I will find it. I will take each day as it comes". Gotta get a good start with that self talk huh.

Strategy 2. And here I am drawing a short straw. I can't think of a strategy number 2. How the hell do we do it?

Well...... that post was short lived.

Mmmmmm maybe I could at least think of a few "thou shalt nots". 10 commandment style.

Thou shalt not try and predict outcome but will take each day as it comes (yeah right).

Thou shalt not fight with husband (yeah right)

Thou shalt not withdraw and isolate self

Thou shalt not go loopy

Thou shalt not stay in bed every thursday - but every second thursday is oK

Thou shalt do reading on anxiety and panic disorders and how to manage it

Thou shalt buy series 6 of Northern Exposure and hang out with thine Alaskan friends.

Thou shalt cook something excellent at least once a week. (starting with jerk chicken)

Thou shalt sit in the garden with the dog.

Thou shalt have a wee sip of wine from time to time

Thou shalt tell thine husband when thouest is blue or down

IS that 12 yet? Or is it only meant to be 10? And I call myself a preacher's kid.

Anyone want to add something to my list of commandments?

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

What a little sweetheart.

Cute moment alert.

At school today a little autie kid was getting excited and flapping and buzzing in front of me. He's a good looking kid with these beautiful big floppy curls that looked so darned sweet when backlit by the sun. This kid has a big vocabularly but almost never uses words functionally - just to provide momentum to his incredibly complex inner world. I did the super-nanny thing and got down to his level and said "hey sweetheart. What do you want? What do you want?" and he goes "love" and offers me his head to hug.

Ohh bless

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Infertility and fertile friends

I guess you could say any friendship is fertile - if it's a good one - but I'm not really using the word in that way. I'm using it in the baby making way. I hate that my beautiful daughter Maya died. I hate that she is not here with our family like she should be. I hate the fact that I have balanced translocation. I hate IVF. I hate failed IVF cycles. And I hate the effect that all that has on my relationship with fertile friends.

The fact is - I feel alone.

I know eveyone is alone when it comes down to it.... that is what my friend K was trying to tell me..... "you're not alone in that". But it is different. She told me that becoming a mother did not change her friendships with other women who are mothers. If that is so, why does becoming a mother of a child that has died, and not being able to conceive again, change all my friendships with other mothers? K admitted it. There is a big gaping hole between us. Not because either of us put it there or want it.... it's just there because of circumstances. But the thing is, while she is angry about the effect it has on our relationship (me too - we are good friends) I am angry because I now have that gaping hole in all my friendships. My sister who has recently had a child, my close friends have both had babies, and now another close friend is pregnant.

What is that hole? What is that seemingly unbridgeable distance that has appeared now?

It is many things. From the side of my friends (I speak only from what people have said to me) they have to overcome their own feelings of non-worthiness ("I don't deserve to be pregnant/have a child"), of clumsiness ("I don't know what to say/how to be around you"), of questioning how to make a space for their celebration or day to day life with baby ('how much should I say about my pregnancy/child?") and though no-one says it this bluntly, their's the good old guilt. ("Being around you makes me feel guilty for being pregnant")

From my side, I have to overcome the deep pain at being around someone who is pregnant or with a child. Let's call a spade a spade - it fuckin hurts and I have to pretend in front of you that I am OK when I am so not OK, you don't see it but I always go home and cry on my own after seeing you. I have to deal with your clumsiness which never used to be there... that hurts too. I have to find a way to handle all the comparisons that continually rear their ugly head. When I see your child, I only think how big my daughter would have been. When I see your belly I think how far pregnant I should be if my last IVF attempt had worked.... I am sorry my friends.... but I struggle to see you on your own terms. I see, or more accurately, I feel your life as the photo of my negative...... What is a baby in your arms is a dark hole in the negative. What is a pregnant belly in your photo is deep blackness in my image.

And what of being a mother? To you breast feeding is OK/a pain/ have I drunk enough water?/ my nipples hurt. To me - who has had milk stream from my breasts but never had the experience of holding a child to it, breastfeeding is pretty amazing. I long to be able to give to a baby in that way. It seems mystical and profound. I could go on in the difference of my perception of being a mother and your experience. And you can't tell me my perception is not true -even though it may not be your day to day experience. Some truths you only know in absence rather than presence. But it is another part of the gap that now exists between us.

So my question is this? How do we be friends? How do we find a way to continue to participate in each others lives? I find it so hard. It hurts me to the core seeing the difference between your life and mine. Seeing things move forward in your life where I have stalled. Seeing your child grow while my experience of being a mother is visiting the grave of my daughter and looking at photos that are now a year old. Watching your family get bigger (and with such ease!) while we struggle to have one living child. Trying to be genuine in my sympathy for your day to day drama's, while in my head i think "well it's not that bad" and "I would give anything for that to be my problem"..

I do not know the answers to these things.

I do know that I do love you and do not want to loose your friendship. I just don't know how to keep it.