Friday, January 25, 2008

Sucker-Punched

One of my closest friends just went into labor. And I feel like I’ve been sucker-punched. I’ve known this was coming for 6 months, been thinking about it actively for the past month, been e-mailing her daily for the past week. So why is this such a shock to my system? Why do I feel like I can’t draw a complete breath? Why do I want to just break down and cry in my office—again? (I just closed the door. Very proactive, I am.)

Of course, the WHY is obvious. But it’s still so enfuriating. I’m overjoyed that my friend is having a child. She’s almost 3 years older than me, and she and her husband weren’t sure they would actually have a baby ever. They weren’t willing (and don’t have the means) to do IVF, so if nature didn’t take it’s course, it wasn’t going to happen. And J and I really want them to have one—we want to raise kids with them, not grow gradually apart as childfull and childless couples do.

So this is a joyous occasion, right? A cause for celebration. But, like all the other joys infertility has robbed me of, my infertility has taken my ability to celebrate the happiest moment in my friend’s life. Not fucking fair. Another item on the long long list of things that are just not fucking fair.

Tomorrow morning, my honey J will go up to see them in the hospital and greet their new baby. (He and my friend’s husband are the most BFF guys I’ve ever seen—they call each other every day!) And I’ll probably stay home. Hiding. Pathetic. Empty.

Fuck. I hate this.

LATER (at home):

A friend I e-mailed suggested that I write in my journal about this. I ignored that advice and picked a fight with my husband instead.

Remember that post—all of a week ago—about this great conversation J and I had about how I needed him to share his pain, too, so I wasn’t so alone with all of this? Yeah, right.

As soon as he picked me up to take me home from work, I started venting. Told him how I felt all shaky and upset, and how mad I was that I couldn’t feel happy for my friend. Glad, yes. But not at all happy. I mean, I’m pleased that she’s having a life-changing event tonight. But it’s only causing me pain.

Silence. Not unusual, he never really says much when I tell him about how I’m hurting. So I tell him, “I’m having a hard time because I know guys take this different than girls, but it’s hard for me that you’re not feeling the same things that I’m feeling.”

“Yeah,” he says, “I know.” Then more silence.

I picked at him some more. “And it’s even harder knowing that you really wish I wouldn’t talk about it so much.” Silence again. “And I know you’d really rather I shut up.”

“I don’t wish you’d shut up,” he protested.

“But you’re happier when I’m not talking about it.” He conceded this point.

“It’s really lonely for me,” I said. “I feel like I’m the only one experiencing this.”

He thought about this for a minute. “ I’m not saying it wasn’t kind of a bittersweet moment when M called and told me T was in labor,” he said. “But I guess I’m better at compartmentalizing it so I can be happy about this.”

“I know. I wish I didn’t resent that so much,” I responded softly.

Then he started to talk about other stuff, light stuff, stuff that happened during his day. And I just sat there and cried.

Eventually, he said, “I just don’t know what you want from me.”

“I want you to hurt like I do,” I snapped. “I’ve never felt so lonely.” (Nice wifely sentiment, no?)

At that point, he got kind of pissed. He ranted for a little while about how this sucks for him too. “What is there to say?” he said. “Everything is the same. Every day. We’re coming up on three years of this now. Three years where, aside from my efforts on my career, nothing has happened. We can’t make plans. We can’t do anything.”

“We’ve been on three ‘this is our last vacation’ vacations,” I added softly.

“But it’s the same every day. I have nothing new to say. So why should I keep talking about it.”

I guess this was a good conversation. I guess I feel a little better now that I egged him on into bitching a little bit about our infertility. But I think it’s clear that he’s never going to voluntarily talk to me about his feelings. When I get desperate, I’m going to have to pick a fight and drag it out of him.

Maybe if he doesn’t talk about it he doesn’t feel it. Maybe he only gets upset when I make him tell me he’s upset. I don’t know. But I don’t feel much less lonely.

7 comments:

Io said...

I read this before you did the conversation and kept thinking back a month and a half ago to the birth of my friends daughter. Al and I were invited to be there at the birth and I know it was important to my friend that I be there, but it was so hard being there are being supportive and happy when really all I wanted to do was sulk because I didn't have a baby and she has two.
Al, on the other hand, was happy for them and it just doesn't seem to bother him.
I hate that. I know infertility affects him, but it just doesn't seem to throw him into a constant downward spiral of depression and it pisses him off that it does to me. Infertility has turned me into a person I don't like, but I don't think I can do anything about it. And I am alone.
I guess I'm trying to say that we're all lonely together out here.

the Babychaser: said...

Doing a bit better today. Took a xanax and a percocet last night, which took care of the headache and the tears. Then had a really good workout today (first good w/o since the surgery), which got the endorphins flowing.

J's not going up to see our friends until tomorrow, because they had a really rough night with the labor. Also, their baby was feverish and "jittery" and is in the NICU. I don't think the doctors are seriously worried, but it's got to be freaking out my friends.

I've decided not to join him tomorrow. Instead, I got a really nice flower arrangement that I'll send with him. I'll write a nice note as well.

Maybe next week I'll go visit, meet the new one, lend my support.

I just wish my heart didn't hurt. And I wish my husband and I felt the same way. And of course, I just wish it were me.

luna said...

ah, these situations are so hard. it's even harder when you don't feel like your partner understands or is on the same page. they why not me feelings are so normal. just keep on talking about it, and give yourself the space to feel what you need to. ~luna

Working Girl said...

My husband can compartmentalize his feelings also. It's a guy thing. I know he is very upset about our infertility because we have spoken about it several times over 3.5 years TTC.

I just can't help getting pissed at him when he can joyfully play with his brothers children. The brother that got married a year after us to a woman who did not want any children. Ah...yeah right...bitch.

She got pregnant the first time during month two of marriage and then again when three months after the first birth. And, she wants two more!!!

I feel like she stole my family. Not in the literal sense of course but, was it too much to want one in between her two?!! So, needless to say, it really upsets me when my husband can separate his feelings. But truthfully, it is only because I wish I could be like him.

I don't want to be jealous of her or anyone else. I wasn't like this before IF. It is hard to accept the person I have become but, I must believe things will work out in my favor. I just want friggin' want to know when!!!!!!

Malloryn said...

I sympathize with both your post, and the comments everyone has made. I envy D's ability to compartmentalize how he feels about infertility. At the same time, sometimes his logic infuriates me. Just a few days ago, I was muttering about how annoyed I was that the our insurance doesn't cover fertility drugs or treatments. He went off about how if he was the insurer, he wouldn't want to cover it. He said that they shouldn't cover anything that is a "lifestyle choice". Well, I didn't like that terminology at all. From a business perspective, his point might be valid... but I don't give a shit about the insurance companies, I just want him to agree with me!

::deep breath::

I'm sorry that you're having a tough time with your friend just having a baby. Give yourself time. You'll know when you're ready to see her. ::hugs::

Trish said...

The conversation between your husband and you made me cry. The "we haven't gotten anywhere" sentiment stung me as though my husband had just said it to me.

I feel much the same way as both of you. I feel... stagnant. And I also feel lonely. And that I have to pick pick pick at him to get the little bit from him. And I never know if I'm causing his pain or if he's really feeling it.

Infertility sucks.

kcmarie122 said...

Oh my gosh, this conversation you had with your DH sounds exactly like me and mine. I think he has said some of those same exact things to me. As I was reading I felt like like I was sitting there with you.

I also read your next post about your visit with your friends and their new baby. Yup, I've been in that same position too. Isn't it weird how when you hold that baby you don't have a breakdown, even though you thought you maybe would? I felt exactly what you did. A little envious, but I really enjoyed the visit! It was much less traumatic than I thought! I gues the hardest part was going home afterwards knowing how good it felt to hold that baby and being reminded (as if I needed more reminding) of just how bad I wanted that for myself someday.

But I am glad you got to experience that!