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.

Yet another announcement

I told myself that I wasn’t going to write another blog post until I had something positive to say.  I try to read lots of other blogs now and I’m always loving on their wit and upbeat nature and whatnot.  Why can’t I be like that?  I’m just a downer and if I wait to be positive, I don’t think I’ll ever write again.

I got another email this afternoon-  the third in 2 weeks (but who’s counting) that yep, another friend is pregnant.  This one has three kids and was the person who made the worst comment about surrogates being crazy because she worked with a crazy one and she would never use a surrogate.  Then she proceeds to say that this was a ‘surprise/unplanned‘ but very wanted ‘little miracle’ .

First off, why the fuck do fertile people feel like it makes it better to hear that their pregnancy wasn’t planned?  Do they think that as an unfertile, recurrent baby-killer, I will take the news easier because they didn’t PLAN to have a baby?  No- actually it just adds a few extra layers of mindfuck to me.  I PLAN and spend THOUSANDS of dollars on IVF AND take endless injections in my stomach and ass AND STILL the only ‘surprise’ I get at the end of the day is a DEAD baby.  So tell me again how you PLANNING or not PLANNING and still getting a healthy baby should make me feel better?

Second off, she proceeds to tell me that she wasn’t using birth control but they thought they were being careful.  I DON’T CARE HOW YOU GOT PREGNANT.  Maybe I’m not being fair, but I don’t get how two 30 year old married adults can feel like they have a ‘SURPRISE’ pregnancy when they aren’t using any FUCKING form of birth control?  REALLY?  They have 3 other kids, they know how babies are made (at least for people who can have sex and get a baby at the end and don’t require doctors up in their business to get knocked up).  I will grant her that this may not have been planned, but if you aren’t using any form of birth control, PLEASE don’t pretend to be ‘SURPRISED’ when you get pregnant.

Then we hear how she had already given away all of her baby things so this was ‘uncharted’ territory for her to start over.  UM, please, you send me an email trying to give me advance notice and pretending you are being sympathetic to the fact that I’ve lost 6 babies (and my fertility with the last baby) and then you put in that the worst thing that you are dealing with is needing more baby clothes?  Cry me a river that you gave away all your baby things.  Let’s talk about trying to START OVER after your BABY dies-  that seems a little more uncharted and challenging than having to go to a few garage sales.  Am I supposed to be the better person and offer her all of mine since I obviously don’t need them anymore?  Here-  Sweetie’s little sister DIED, so why don’t you take all her old clothes?

I’m just done.  I am too angry and bitter and nasty and I hate this world.  My Sweetie deserves better.  I can’t handle these cards I have been dealt anymore.

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.

 

 

 

Surrogacy battles: Part 4 (what others think)

So, this Sunday was better than last Sunday.

Although, I guess that’s easy when you just stay at home and play with your toddler and lots of water outside.   Life is just easier without happy pregnant women in your face at every turn.  It’s easier if I just focus on my one child and try to forget about the six that aren’t here with me.  And it’s physically impossible to toss your cookies in public if you never go out in public.  I’m voting for several more months of hermit-hood.

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I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me what other people think when they hear you are having/trying to have a baby via a surrogate.  There are so many misconceptions out there and I just hate to think that the only possible route for me to have a child anymore is viewed in a negative light.

I’ve told several more people that we are moving to surrogacy to try to have another child.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised that most responses have been positive.  One friend offered to take Sweetie anytime we need to go to surrogacy appointments.  Another friend said it’s awesome we are doing this and she hopes it works easily for us because we ‘deserve’ it.

Then you get the strange responses that you aren’t really expecting.  A friend asked if we were open to having a surrogate who is a different race than us.  I must have had a strange look on my face as she continued to talk about it until I realized she thought we were adopting a baby who was already due and she wondered if we would be open to a “black baby or brown baby”! (and really, I wouldn’t care, but biology is a giant reason many choose surrogacy over adoption)  I really don’t mind the questions and we had a good discussion about adoption vs. surrogacy.  I really don’t mind asking questions about it- I’d rather be able to educate people than have them not ask or assume incorrectly.

Then there was my last friend (who has three children) who said ‘Meh, I wouldn’t be able to ever trust a surrogate.  There are too many crazies out there.’  Turns out that this friend worked with someone a few years ago who was apparently ‘crazy’ and acting as a gestational carrier.  So much of her opinion was based on this person (who may or may not have been a good surrogate).  I explained that there are lots of background checks, psych exams, clinic and agency requirements, etc. to screen out any possible bad candidates.  But she wouldn’t hear it.  I finally left it alone and just said this was my only option, so I wasn’t going to put up barriers where they don’t need to be.  I don’t want to have to trust a surrogate to carry my baby, but we all do things we don’t want to do sometimes, especially when you don’t have a choice.  I have had enough challenges in my journey.

Then there are the people who we are NOT telling about surrogacy.  My husband doesn’t want to tell his family.  At all.  Until we have a baby in our arms.  I’m pretty blown away (and at the moment pretty pissed off about his reasoning on this) but I figure it’s his family, his choice.  He says that his mother, in particular, has been so let down by our other losses (even though she only ever heard about 2 of them- our first loss and Abby, because we were so far we figured there was no way it wouldn’t work) that she just can’t handle it.  This makes me feel like shit on so many levels-  like jeez, I’m such a horrible daughter-in-law to have a killer uterus that we shouldn’t even talk about any more potential grandchildren.

So, on the more challenging side of things, we are traveling to physically meet with our agency this next week.  Both my husband and I are pissed off with them at the moment and we are really hoping that a personal meeting will get some more communication and hopefully results.  I keep trying to think what we should have done better/differently in choosing an agency and I’m drawing a blank.  I checked other Intended Parents’ references, read all the reviews and word-of-mouth we could find, we talked to them several times, we closely reviewed the contract we signed with them.  Everyone said that you don’t need to be geographically close to an agency, you can use anyone, but I’m wondering now if that might be making this harder.  If it hadn’t been a major financial investment in signing with this agency (many agencies ask for a large portion of their fee- 50%-100% upfront), we would just cut our losses and find a different agency, but I think we need to wait a bit more before we can do that.

 

 

 

 

 

Alone

I talked to an old friend yesterday.  One of those friends who you keep in touch with only once a year or so but its very easy to just have that infrequent conversation.

She has had a very rough life situation the past year- her husband racked up tons of credit card debt, stopped paying their bills/mortgage and they lost their house (they have 3 children).  She has been through the wringer with this and it’s still a big mess to continue to ‘fix’ as best she can with lawyers and such.

She said she wanted to talk to me because I wasn’t as close to the situation and didn’t live in the same town.  She feels she has effectively lost 90% of her friends she would have defined as close because of this awkward horrible situation her husband put her in.  These friends were the ones she did coffee with every week and the ones who called themselves auntie for her children, etc.  She imagined that they just didn’t know what to say to her so they have just cut her off.

Sound familiar?  I haven’t shared my history with this friend beyond her hearing about my 16w loss of Abby.  She doesn’t know about any of the other babies, nor does she know there won’t be any more that I carry in the future (I just wanted to let her talk, it wasn’t the time or place for me to share).  But the similarities of how we both feel following a significant loss/situation just blew me away.

I really think my friendship is over with a good handful of friends.  I don’t know how much more understanding I am supposed to be over the fact that they couldn’t bother to contact me or talk to me after my latest miscarriage.  It’s odd, because these were the friends who actually knew I was pregnant (the ones who call me now are the ones who didn’t know).  They had been so ‘happy’ for me when I told them at 12 weeks that I was pregnant.  And now I haven’t heard from all but one of them (in my supposed close group).  I put myself out there and invited them to my Sweetie’s upcoming 2nd birthday party.  I didn’t hear from a single one, not a single ‘hey, got the invite, sorry we can’t make it.  BTW, how are you guys doing?’  I don’t think it’s possible to feel more deserted or alone by the people you called your friends.  I guess I just picked the wrong people or mistakenly counted on the wrong people to be there in hard times.

And now, even if they did come back in awhile, I wouldn’t trust ever again that they could be there.  Maybe we could repair a surface relationship, but I won’t ever let myself open up to them again.  You shouldn’t need walls up to protect yourself from ‘friends’ abandonment.  It’s just awful to feel this alone.

Silence of the Friends

Where do all the friends go when you have a major loss?  Have yours stuck by your side or do you feel more alone than ever?

I (thought I) had a great core group of friends who all knew I suffered from RPL, we were all first time moms with one child each about the same ages.  They were all excited when I told them at 12 weeks that I was pregnant, because they knew I had been through so much to get there.  Two of them were trying to get pregnant at the time (I was helping one of them with her questions about infertility as she wasn’t ovulating), one has an IUD (doesn’t want another baby yet), and the last one thinks she’s too old (has one tube and pretty bad pre-eclampsia with her only child).

I haven’t heard from any of them in weeks.  I texted them on that horrible Mother’s Day in a shock, because I was sitting there alone, had already texted my husband and just didn’t know what else to do.  Since that day, I have gotten a smattering of texts, two FB private messages, and one of them came over once for a playdate.  In 8 weeks.

On the one hand, I don’t blame them in the least.  I don’t want to be around myself- I’m depressed, angry, cry at random things at random times, etc.  I try to keep it in check when I’m in public, but I’m sure I’m not coming across as perky or over-the-top fun right now.  I know people don’t know what to say- most people don’t want to say the ‘wrong’ thing (or sound like an insensitive jerk) for fear of making it worse.  And the two who are trying to get pregnant, I kind of get that, too.  Honestly, I don’t know if I could take watching a swelling little bump on either of them right now (granted, I have no idea if either or both are pregnant yet).

On the other hand, I feel so dropped by my friends and alone in the world that it’s not even funny.  Aren’t your good friends the one who don’t care if you are crying at random times about your lost baby?  Aren’t they the ones who are supposed to ask how you are and if you respond with a lie that you’re ‘ok’ that they push for a real answer?  Aren’t they the ones who come over anyway when you’re sitting by yourself or make plans they know they can include you in?

I told at least 3 of the 4 via text or FB that I felt much safer with home playdates- I hate going to public places where I don’t know how many pregnant women I’ll see and I really hate the random trigger that makes me cry in public.  So I’m totally ok when they go to the public kids play gym and don’t invite Sweetie and me.  Then why do I see on Facebook that they all met at someone’s house for a playdate in the backyard and never invited us?   Ouch.  My husband says I should just be the social coordinator and invite them, but I feel like I have a majorly hard time reaching out right now- I just feel so freaked about rejection and so overwhelmed at trying to make plans for a group, that I just don’t feel like I can.  One more reason to shut down Facebook so I don’t have to see all my old friends having a fun summer without us.

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.