So remember my vent after cycle 11 ended? And how I needed comfort from tequila when I found out a fellow Latina, with whom I’d been commiserating and who was also working with an RE, announced her pregnancy? And how I thought it best to not share my journey with her going forward?
She’s miscarrying. I feel terrible for her.
I also feel like something of a jerk. When I replied to her message after her announcement (you know, the one that rubbed me the wrong way), I kept it short and sweet: I thanked her for her good wishes and sent my own for a happy and healthy nine months. I wanted my message to be interpreted as nothing but positive, but I clammed up when it came to my own journey.
The RESOLVE website let me know that this is natural: when a friend gets pregnant and the other doesn’t, paths tend to diverge. It’s not good, it’s not bad, it just is.
With the loss, I sent her a message saying how sorry I was, but I don’t expect us to become comrades (or comadres) once more in this journey. I find myself turning less and less to other women who are trying to conceive and turning instead to those around me: my husband, my mom, my sister, my best friend. One thing is that I feel comfortable and familiar with them; the other is that they want to share my joys and sorrows. I don’t feel like I’m imposing on them.
I also don’t have anything to potentially envy.
I know that’s terribly mercenary of me. But it’s what works for me right now.
And that’s why I feel like a jerk. In theory, I could be there for my online friend. In practice, my heart would break if she got pregnant again and I was still languishing in RE hell.
I just don’t feel I have emotion to invest or risk.
Particularly given my recent bout of sustained optimism, I don’t want to do anything to upset my hard-won equilibrium. Opening up to my husband, mom, sister, and best friend when cycle 12 failed was glorious. I barely shed a tear because, quite frankly, they helped me lift the load. They’re supplying me with so much encouragement and good wishes that I feel grateful and sometimes overwhelmed by their kindnesses. I realized I no longer had to do this alone.
Before turning to the people in my life, I tried to reach out to other people online (mostly through message boards and the FB group that this woman and I both belong to). It didn’t help. It felt like I was imposing. As people got pregnant, I felt like my venting of frustrations was boring people — they’d been there, done that. On TTC message boards, people sometimes cycled through so quickly that I never got to know anyone. On trouble-trying-to-conceive (TTTC) message boards, the dynamics were firmly established and it was hard to break into them. I didn’t feel support, or relief, or comfort. I would walk away feeling condescended to or, worse, ignored. I just couldn’t connect. When I did, even a little, it ended quickly.
Here, this blog, is a safe space. I can say what I want, I can feel what I want. Though I enjoy feedback, I also don’t expect it. It’s a place to jot down my feelings. There is the potential to be judged, or for people reading to be bored, but it’s ultimately a journal of this time for me. One day it’ll transition to a pregnancy-after-TTTC blog. And then it’ll probably cease to exist, having served its purpose for me.
It’s what the message boards and my FB group are to some people. But the difference is that I don’t pretend that the goal is to support or comfort others in addition to receiving comfort. This place is about me, me, me.
Mercenary, again. But necessary.
I feel sad for my online friend. I hope for her that she gets pregnant soon. I hope that she gives herself the space to mourn and process everything she’s feeling. But I can’t offer to be a shoulder to lean on.
I don’t think I’m strong enough.