How to be a friend?

Every infertile or RPL woman has to go through the pain of being surrounded by pregnant women.  Sometimes it’s close friends, sometimes family members, and other times it’s just those random women you run into when you least expect it.

I’m fortunate that I have very few family members in general and the ones who are childbearing age I can just avoid when I’m not on Facebook.  I don’t have that sister or sister-in-law being pregnant in my face and expecting me to throw her baby showers to worry about, which I imagine is particularly difficult.

But I have several friends right now who are pregnant- 3 in particular that I care about still having a relationship with.  They have all told me via text or email, thankfully not in person.  But now I’m struck with wondering what to do to keep that friendship going.

I don’t want to be around pregnant women.  At all.  I can’t trust myself or my emotions- half the time I see them and feel this scary, intense hatred (usually strangers) and the other half of the time I just bust into tears and am reminded how much I hate my life and stupid body.  When I take Sweetie places that I know we’ll be seeing pregnant women, I totally focus on her.  I try to pretend that Sweetie and I are the only people in the room.  That’s not really conducive to going out for coffee with a pregnant friend or having her over for a playdate.

It’s hard because I still love these 3 women as people.  I don’t wish them bad things.  I know that there wasn’t some grand lottery where their babies get to live whereas mine get to die.  I do wish sometimes that they could understand better what I have been through-  I don’t get how in my entire pool of mommy friends that I only know of two who have had miscarriages before going on to have 2 and three kids (oh and the one who always makes a big deal about her chemical pregnancy before she had back-to-back-to-back children one each 12 months- um, don’t think you get it at all).

So I care, but I don’t want to look at them.  I don’t want to attend their baby showers or hear about their perfect OB appointments or be their shoulder to cry on about weight gain or being tired because of pregnancy.

I can’t stand it when I mentally compare myself to them sometimes-  Are they a better mom than I am?  Do they deserve this more than I do?  Why do they get to have 2, 3, 4 healthy babies AND a living mother who is their best friend AND nothing else bad that happens?  Why doesn’t any of this get spread around?

I look at their children and wonder- why do they deserve to have siblings and my Sweetie doesn’t?  Are they going to be more well-rounded than my Sweetie because they grow up with other siblings close in age?

I know, there’s no point in comparing or trying to understand.  But it really does impact relationships and I can’t imagine that ignoring that helps.

So I’m really confused as to how I’m supposed to be a friend anymore.  As if I didn’t need any more ways to feel bad, I feel bad because I don’t even consider myself a good friend anymore.  My mom always said that to have good friends you have to be a good friend.  I have felt so alone and surrounded by ‘bad’ friends because people don’t want to hear about my grief or losses.  But then I look in the mirror and know that I don’t want to hear about their pregnancies or happy family building escapades so I guess it goes both ways.

So what do I do?  What do you do if you’ve faced this?  Do I just tell these friends that I care about them but I don’t want to physically see them until after they have their babies?  I don’t see how that’s going to work well, because who knows how I’ll feel about their newborns (although, pregnant women seem far more difficult for me to see than babies-  but baby girls are still awfully hard).  Do I try to change our relationship to a phone one?  But then it’s not really fair to ask them to never mention pregnancy because I have found that often pregnant women end up feeling like their lives are consumed with the pregnancy and that’s all they can talk and think about.  Or is it fair to ask that?  Will any of this get better if my surrogate gets pregnant soon and I know I have a baby coming half a year or so after theirs is born?

I just feel like I’m destined to have no friends because I cannot be a good friend.  Just another thing Recurrent Pregnancy Loss has stolen from my life and another thing to feel like a giant jerk about.

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Thanks for that

So I haven’t posted about faith or religion since an earlier post a few months ago.  Basically, I’m at a place in my life where I really don’t believe that there’s a god out there.  I’d link to that post, but I’m completely blog-illiterate, so sorry about that :), it’s out there, I promise.

I had a massively frustrating exchange with someone from our old church that I just had to write about.  My husband and I did join a church back when I was pregnant with Sweetie.  He believes that our child(ren) (if they are ever plural) should have the opportunity to choose to go to church if they want to (he didn’t grow up with religion at all), so we were exploring that.  We were very active and great attenders in the church for almost 2 years- every week through my pregnancy and then thereafter with Sweetie.  Sweetie was baptized as an infant in this church.  We attended all the youth group fundraisers, tithed and pledged money for building fundraisers, and we went to Mommy and me playdates in the church nursery.  Then I had miscarriage #4 (after having Sweetie) and we just stopped doing anything.

Slowly, it began to hit me that not one freaking person from the church ever reached out or asked us why we weren’t there.  No calls, emails, nothing.  Sweetie and I were enrolled in a toddler midweek music class and we stopped going- the teacher never once contacted us.  Yep, that’s the ‘Christian’ response, I guess.

I did continue to get little mailings of monthly newsletters for Sweetie telling me all about her important Christian milestones we should be meeting- (think little prayers to do with your 18 month old, little Christian stories to act out during bathtime with your 19 month old, etc).  After losing my Abby, I contacted the youth pastor who sends those out and told her they needed to stop because every month they are just painful.  I don’t need monthly reminders that my one and only living baby is growing up and I don’t know that I’ll ever get a chance to do this again.  She sent me a page full of Bible verses talking about how loving God is and how he’s so sad for us, too.  Oh and some more shit about ‘God’s plan’ and it’s ‘ok to be angry with God’.  Lovely, but I just didn’t respond.  Not worth it.

I finally got an email from someone in the mom’s group at church this past weekend.  I haven’t seen this mom in over a year and a half.  She asks me how ‘my baby’ is doing and said we should come to a particular fall church event.  Um, yes, Sweetie was probably 5 months and a baby when she saw her last, but that question just kills me after my latest losses.  Sweetie is full-blown toddler going on teenager, just not a baby anymore.

I thanked her for the invite and just said I was busy so wouldn’t be attending.  Then she pushes and says that my husband should bring Sweetie as ‘Christian fellowship is so important for toddlers’.  I then replied thanks again, but we aren’t doing anything with the church anymore.  I left it at that and was very polite.  Then she asks why not.  Finally, I replied back that I’ve had 6 miscarriages and lost my fertility after the last loss and I really don’t want to be involved with church or God right now.  Then I get back the lovely Christian spew email telling me about Job and his trials and how he didn’t lose faith or curse God.  And that I should take comfort that God is holding my babies in heaven.  Oh, and God send his only son to earth to die, so he knows the grief of losing a beloved child better than anyone.   Wait- it gets better:  With God nothing is impossible and he works miracles every day.

So now I want to seriously go off on this lady.  I know I’m kind of bipolor- I am pissed that no one from the Church ever bothered to care or ask about us, but then when they do, it also pisses me off.  So there’s no winning with me, I’ll acknowledge that.

But seriously, I don’t know where these people get off.  Does it really help most other people (ie, not me) to read random Bible verses and to hear that because God killed off all of Job’s family and he remained faithful, that I should remain faithful to?   Maybe I’m just in the very small minority, but I don’t see how shaming someone for how they are grieving by comparing them to a Biblical character is helpful.

I should have just ignored the last email.

I just told her that I wasn’t Job.  And I do curse God, on the rare days where I still believe he exists (and they are getting rarer).  And that I wish if he were God that he would just strike me down with lightening for cursing him, rather than making me live through the continual hell of him killing my babies.  And I think I said something about Mary not having 6 miscarriages with her ‘immaculate conception’, so obviously when it’s important to God, he doesn’t cause a miscarriage or kill a healthy baby.  Oh, and he supposedly raised his Son in 3 days from the dead, so when God wants to bring back my babies to life, maybe I’ll believe in his miracles.

Yes, it felt good to write that.  And I was really, really nice the first two emails, so I really don’t fly off the handle immediately.  I should have learned after the first time that just not responding is the better response to the spew.

 

Little steps and no gut instinct

So we finally talked to our first surrogate candidate.  She was very nice.  But…  I don’t know.  I have never interviewed surrogates before and it feels very odd to choose this person who is going to fill this massive role in your life based on a 2 hour phone call.  But I am getting absolutely no gut instinct on this.  I think my gut instinct is feeling so damaged after all the recent shi**y decision making that I am just out of touch with myself.  And the bad part is that I want SO BADLY to be moving forward that I think I would pretty much let the Devil carry my baby if we could transfer soon.

For those of you who don’t know the process of matching with a surrogate, here’s a brief summary:  We are using a (crappy, I hate them now) Agency to match us with potential surrogates.  We have filled out an Intended Parents (IP) profile and the surrogates all fill out their own version.  The profile feels very much like internet dating as does the initial phone call.  The Agency notified us they thought they had a potential candidate and we reviewed her profile.  We said we thought initially that things would work so then we get together on a three-way phone call with our carrier, my husband and I and the Agency rep.  Kinda awkward.  Then you try to make small talk until you can get around to asking more details which are far more personal than anything else you have ever asked a stranger over the phone!  At the same time, you really, really want this person to like you back, so you feel the need to be cautious and likable.

We don’t have a ton of criteria when it comes to a surrogate-  I have heard of IPs demanding their surrogate eat all organic or vegan or not have a single gram of caffeine for 10 months.  We are not in that camp.  We want someone healthy and trustworthy.

So do I think this person will be that?  Yes.  But I am still feeling no peace of mind in saying yes, she should carry our baby.  And the only horrible thing about saying ‘no’ to her at the moment is just the amount of time we will have to wait until another candidate is identified.  It’s taken us this long to see one profile, when supposedly our agency had dozens available (insert eye roll at Agency’s blatant lies), do we really want to turn her down and wait another 3-4 months?  So you really feel like if you don’t say ‘yes’, you are screwed.  But if my gut doesn’t say ‘yes’ about her, aren’t we screwed that way too?  What do you do when you don’t trust your gut anymore?  Or when you have suppressed it so much that you can’t even feel it?

 

So on other lovely life and uterus news, I am going to pretty much have to have surgery.  I am yet again without a period since that disastrous hysteroscopy.  Lots of cramping, lots of pain.  Too many different hormones to try to kick-start a period again.  Thank you all for your thoughts on my drastic action against my uterus- I need to look for another OB who could potentially operate.  I am actually at that lovely time of the year where I’ve paid out so much in medical bills (once again, I’m floored that it’s far more expensive to have a dead baby at 16w than to have a live baby at 39w at my hospital) that it would make far more sense to try to have a free surgery before next year resets our out of pocket maximums.  We’ll see what I can accomplish.  If nothing else, I need them to remove the scar tissue so I can get a cycle and stop this endless cramping.

 

 

 

Thoughts at the end of a bad week

I’ll just preface this with saying that it’s been a bad week.

Today I would have been almost 32 weeks pregnant.  But 16 weeks ago my Abby died.  She’s been gone from me longer than she was with me now.  I don’t know how I walk around with this empty hole in my chest.

So then after trying to come to grips with her loss and planning to move forward, today was supposed to be the day that I was going to get knocked up again via FET.  But, since I made a horrible decision on the day my Abby left me, I now have a lead weight in my abdomen right below the gaping hole in my chest.

I just cannot wrap my brain around my life, the things that have happened to me that I had no control over and the bad decisions I made that I did have control over.  I thought I could move forward but I just can’t right now.

I wish I had just stopped TTC after Sweetie.  I would have had three miscarriages and then one beautiful baby.  I wish I would have stopped then.  I would have been a far happier person (not happy, because I would have always felt like I wanted more babies) but I wouldn’t have destroyed everything else in my life by pushing through two more 1st trimester miscarriages and then the 2nd trimester loss.  I would have been a far better mother if I had just stopped after having Sweetie.  I would have been a far better wife if I had just stopped.  I wouldn’t have hated my body so much- I would have carried her to term and breast fed her for over a year and stopped while I still felt like my body could still do something ‘right’.  I would have been sad that I only had my one child, but I wouldn’t have wished for my own death every single day like I do now.  I wouldn’t have lost so many friends because I’m just a shitty, awkward person to be around because everyone just doesn’t know what to say and they feel sorry for me (and in the same breath they are really, REALLY happy that they don’t have to go through the shit I have).

I found out this week that two ‘friends’ are pregnant- not just new pregnancies or hitting the 2nd trimester.  Like 17 and 18 weeks pregnant.  Where I was when my little girl died.  And as if that isn’t enough- one of them found out she was pregnant the very week my little girl died.  She got a great Mother’s Day present and I had every future Mother’s Day ruined for me for the rest of my life.  She got to celebrate life and I once again just get stuck with death.  And grieving.  And grieving.

My psychiatrist says that my depression/anxiety meds are working ‘well’-  Um, ok, glad I’m paying you out the wazoo for this appointment when I don’t agree with you.  She doesn’t want to ‘overmedicate’ me so I don’t properly grieve.  What the hell?  Please, just overmedicate me.  I need something.  Anything.

 

 

 

I should be ‘used to this’?

Oh my goodness, just when you think you’ve heard it all…

I had a husband of a not-so-close friend* tell me that he was sorry to hear that I miscarried, but that his wife (my not-so-close friend) said she thought I was ‘used to it by now’.

I pretty much choked on the bite of pasta salad in my mouth and said ‘no, you don’t really ever get ‘used to’ your babies dying’ and got up and walked out to the bathroom.  And texted my husband from the bathroom, telling him that I would be sitting in the car for the rest of the party or until he could get his behind out to the car.  We left 5 minutes later.  Now I’m home and still shaking.

Is that really what people feel for those of us who have Recurrent Pregnancy Loss?  That it’s like working out and the first time makes you really sore, but it gets easier/better each time?  Seriously?!

Stupid people SUCK.

*She only knows my history because she’s in my mom’s group and a mutual friend told her.  She is not someone who I would ever have shared my story with, which I guess makes this worse.