Monday, September 11, 2006

Shell Shocked

What a weekend this was.

I've suspected for some time that my oldest SIL is pregnant. There was the incident a month or so ago when we all got together for Chinese and the smell of the food made her sick. A few weeks later we got together again for a BBQ and she spent the last part of the evening on the couch, exhausted. And then when we met up last weekend and she said she couldn't have wine with dinner because she was taking antibiotics.

So when we went to see my MIL this weekend and she said, "I have something to tell you" I knew what was coming. And I was right. But there's more...not only is my SIL pregnant, two of DH's cousins are as well. They're all due in the first weeks of April. So all family events for the next seven months will include three happily pregnant women.

Honestly, this news made me feel like some kind of freak. This will be my SIL and one cousins first baby. It took almost no time for them to conceive. The other cousin already has three children and only has to think about wanting another baby to succeed. It's like I forgot that people actually have sex to get pregnant. I can't imagine a world like that - no temping, no OPK's, no checking cervical fluid...waiting all the way until your missed period before confirming with a HPT. Meanwhile, I have to do all of those things and get the added bonus of being propped up in stirrups for another month of IUI while working on plans for IVF. This news brought me back to the time when I assumed it would happen just as easily for me.

And the news really hit my husband hard. Knowing all of these men got their wives pregnant so quickly just makes him feel inadequate. I really felt like much of the progress we've made towards understanding that MFI does not mean you are less of a man just evaporated. I would argue that dealing with the issue actually makes you a stronger man. But last night we were talking and I said something like, "Where would I be without you?" and he said "You'd probably be on your second kid by now." That really made me sad for him. I've never once wished I was married to someone else. I know he knows that, but hearing him say that hurt.

On the way home that night, I felt numb. My head and heart were racing. It wasn't until the next morning that the tears came. They surprised me. I've tried so hard to fortify myself against these kinds of events and I didn't expect that my little fortress of protectiveness could just vanish. So I spent the day first feeling sad, then guilty for feeling sad (I really love the three women and their spouses, and I want to feel unfettered happiness for them) alone, scared, and bitter.

I'd like to say that I sincerely appreciate my MIL and SIL. They knew how much this would hurt, and did everything they could to lessen the blow. It was my MIL who told me, and I didn't have to face my SIL telling me the news. They plan on announcing their news when we all get together for Rosh Hashanah, and wanted to make sure we knew in advance and weren't bombarded at the party. My MIL also told us that if trying to qualify for the New York State grant for IVF was going to force us to delay treatment, to not worry about it - she will help us out. That was so kind of her to say. The love and support of our families helps, but this. Is. So. Hard.

So that leaves us as pretty much the only couple in our family who isn't pregnant or aren't already parents. And we've been married for over five years now. I'm going to have to come up with some answers for all of the people that are going to ask when we're going to be parents. I want to be honest, direct, and maybe even a little biting. I've smiled and stayed silent for too long.

Infertility really keeps on giving, doesn't it?


aah0424 said...

I'm so sorry! This post really touched me. Your converstaion with your husband sounds like something my husband would say. I love that you say "dealing with the issue actually makes you a stronger man." I wish you all the best over these next few months. I too get conflicted about wanting to be happy for loved ones and feeling so sad for yourself.

Emmie said...

Wow. That's a lot to digest. You are so lucky to have sensitive in-laws, but I know it still hurts. It's great that you and they can separate the fact that your sadness doesn't mean you're not happy for them. Shows you're not as "bitter" as you claim. ;) Not that there's anything wrong with bitter. I aim my bitterness at the general universe.

I'm sorry your husband is so down. In a way I'm relieved that my husband's brothers show no interest in kids right now, because I think it would kill him.