Thursday, August 31, 2017

Up and Down

Ohhh infertility. You painful, hurtful condition. Just as I "feel good again," I experience more reminders of my losses. That is why I have this blog: to write about the good and to write about the bad. Living life after infertility, while it does get good again, still has its ups and downs.

Most recently...



So I realized that the vast majority of my friends are either in their 20s or their 50s and 60s. This is because they either don't have kids or their kids are already grown. I have very few friends that are around my age.

I had lunch with a friend last week. She is in her early sixties, and her son and his wife (who are almost ten years younger than me) just had their first baby. It is my friend's first grandchild. I remember feeling shocked when she told me about the pregnancy. I mean, I figured it was coming. I just didn't realize how soon. Anyway, I hadn't seen her since the baby came, and I was looking forward to hearing what they named him. (I've always had an interest in what people name their children.)

And can I just tell you... My friend is just about one of the most sensitive fertile people I have ever known. We meet at the restaurant and sit down for lunch. We have a brief how are you kind of chit chat. And then I just jump right into it. I said, "Okay, what did they name the baby? Is the mother doing okay? Are you loving being a grandmother?" Honestly, I hardly ever engage in conversation about babies these days, but I was eager to hear that everything was going well for the new family. So, my friend shared the baby's name, said the mom was doing well, and that, yes, she was enjoying being a grandmother.

Then she said, "Let me show you a picture." And I said, "Of course!" (Newborn pics are hard for me, but I had mentally prepared for this one and wanted to see a picture.) But then she said, and I thought this was so thoughtful, "But I'm only going to show you one. Then we can talk about other things."

Praises from the Heavens!!! Everyone is healthy, my friend is happy to be a grandmother, and we are not going to spend all of our time together talking about the baby!!! Oh, I was so, so hoping that grandmotherhood wasn't going to totally take over my friend's brain! And I don't think it did. :)

My friend gets on her phone, scrolls through her pictures, and says, "Ok, I'm going to show you two pictures. One of [the baby] and one of [the baby] with [the mom]." I smiled and laughed and said, "I would love to see two pictures." Did she intentionally tell me what pictures she was going to show me? I think she did. She is really that thoughtful. Nothing she said or did was condescending, and it was all just very respectful of me and my feelings and experiences.

And then she showed me two pictures. And they were nice. Cute baby, happy mom.

And that was that. The rest of our long lunch was full of so many other conversation topics. <3


So while I'm still thinking about how nice lunch was and how thoughtful my friend is, one of my oldest friends from high school calls me later in the week.

First of all, she calls me. I mean, we will talk on the phone every once in a blue moon. But. But. We usually text. And she's still going through fertility treatments. And she knows what I've been through and I've been giving her space and wishing for the best for her. And she calls me.

My phone rings and I look down and I see it's her and I immediately think, is she calling because...

I was in the middle of reading a suspenseful part of a really good book so I decided to let it go to voicemail. She didn't leave a message. She didn't text me either. I finish the chapter I'm reading and call her back.

Hi, I missed your call, how are you.
Hi, I'm so glad you called back, yeah I just wanted to catch up.
Well, honestly, I was reading a really good part in a book so I couldn't answer right then hahaha.
Hahaha, oh that's funny. So how's school going? Your husband? Your dog?

Okay, so now I really know what's going on. This has happened so many times. A friend who I haven't talked to in a while calls, asks me a million questions about my life, and then, you know...

Her: "Well, I'm pregnant."
Me: "Really? Ohmigaw that's great!! That's great news!!!"

How far along, when are you due, how are you feeling, I will be thinking of you, congratulations, thanks for calling, yeah we should get together, I'm so happy for you, talk to you later, I love you, bye.


I'm still sitting on the couch. Staring at the cover of this really good book I'm reading. And suddenly I don't I want to read it. I don't want to watch tv. I don't want to get on the internet. I don't want to eat. I don't want to sleep. I don't want to exercise. I don't want to do anything. But what I really don't want is this longing in the pit of my stomach, this unrelenting existential ache that won't leave me the fuck alone.

"EVERYBODY GETS PREGNANT EXCEPT ME!!!!" I yell at my husband, who has no idea what's going on, because last time he saw me I was contentedly reading a book on the couch in the living room under a blanket with the dog.

What? He yells from the bedroom.

So I get up and go in there and say, "[My friend's name] is pregnant." And start crying.

I'm happy for my friend. Of course I'm happy for my friend. I'm relieved for her. I don't even know how many rounds of IVF she did. She is completely immersed in mommy culture, with her sister and all of their friends, and she was the only one who didn't have a baby or toddler. I am so glad she is pregnant, and I am so hopeful for her pregnancy.

But she was the last one. She was literally the last one of my friends to get pregnant. Everyone got pregnant except me. And so while I am happy for her, I am allowed to grieve for myself.


And so that is why I am blogging. Because this shit is hard. And it HURTS.

I can't even believe I'm blogging. I am an extremely private person. The internet even freaks me out a little bit. But I have to write. I have to connect with others. I am not doing this shit alone if I don't have to.

So I will continue riding the ups and downs of this life.
I will keep working toward my daydreams.


  1. You're right. It's hard. And it hurts. You're allowed to grieve. Sometimes, we need to grieve years later, even though we get to a stage where 90% of our life is not grieving.

    All I can say is that the spaces between "feeling good again" and getting painful reminders grow longer, and the painful reminders become less painful. You'll get there. But in the meantime, I send hugs.

    1. Thank you, Mali. Always. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

      I'm in a better place these days. Several years ago I doubted I would ever see light again. I'm honestly amazed at what all I've done and grieved and processed. However, I may be in a better place, but I am still in it. And it is still lonely. I know it will keep getting better, just as I know there will still be grief moments throughout my life.

      But I refuse to give up. By that I mean, I refuse to stop working to create a life I want to live. And that is so much easier to do with the support of this community. <3

  2. oh your first friend sounds so thoughtful! I'm sorry about the unexpected announcement from your other friend though and the reaction it caused. Hugs.

    1. Thank you. My first friend is an amazing human being. And I don't begrudge my friend from high school either.

      I'm sure that wasn't an easy phone call for her to make. I'm glad I found out personally and not on social media. Finding out personally lets me know the person at least thought about me and considered my feelings. Plus, this friend, just because she has dealt with infertility and unsuccessful treatments for years, knows more than most. She probably knows I hung up the phone and started crying. My husband was a little frustrated and didn't understand why she called to tell me but he just hates seeing me upset and falling apart. Oh well. It is what it is and I have to feel my feelings. I'm glad she told me personally.

      It's still really hard to fathom that I'm the only one who never got pregnant. I am sooo thankful I'm not still sitting around my old house waiting for something to happen. It helps that I'm changing my own life so drastically. Sorry! Long reply hahaha, but I appreciate you reading!! :)))

  3. And I will continue riding the ups and downs of this life together with you. I know, this shit hurts.

    I stopped counting how many times I had hurtful conversations like that. Obviously I was happy for them, but so sad for me. I also had this feeling - everybody gets pregnant - but me.

    And I am very glad that you have a kind thoughtful friend in 60s. Friends like that are rare.

    sending you a big hug from Europe.


    1. Thank you Klara. You and your blog mean so much to me. I like your plan- I will continue to ride the ups and downs of this life with you too! :)

    2. And maybe one day we can meet and have cake!! :)

    3. I would love to meet you one day!!!
      sending you lots of love from sLOVEnia,

  4. I have very few friends in my age range too! Aside from my child free not by choice friends, my other friends are either younger or older.

    Love your description of your sensitive friend. I really think that's what we want and need - people making real connections with us that are not parenthood based.

    And sorry for all the hurt. It's normal but completely unfathomable at the same time. The losses, especially the social ones, really seem endless for awhile.

    1. Thank you so much. You are so right about social losses. All of the social changes that came with infertility were so weird for me. Just a lot of unexpected stuff. Nearly every relationship I had with family and friends changed. There are so many things that I would like to write about but still can't put into words. A tremendous amount of loss, most of it unacknowledged (even by/to my own self at the time).

  5. As Mali says, we get to a stage where 90% (maybe 98%) of our life is not grieving but these pieces of news still make me feel belligerent. "Social losses" are a perfect way of describing them. I sometimes feel there's a gulf between me and mothers, and I sometimes feel that my mum friends wish I were different (more like them, more understanding of their experiences), and I do hate that I feel like that.
    I'm glad your older friend is so nice! That empathy is rare.

    1. Hi Shores! :)

      Yes, I definitely feel like there's a gulf between me and mothers, even though I love kids and have a lot of experience with them. Well, I am not experienced with babies at all, so I do feel pretty awkward around them. But the babies don't care about my awkwardness, so they're fine haha! :)

      I look forward to getting to that 90 - 98% place. I'm not there yet, but I believe I will be.

  6. "Everyone gets pregnant except me!" Boy, I know that feeling! I do have a few childless friends (by choice & not) -- but among dh's adult married cousins, we are the only couple without children, which really makes us the odd couple out at family gatherings. :p No matter how sensitive your friends are, it just plain sucks to be the only one. (((hugs)))

    1. Yes!! I even feel a little weird at family gatherings sometimes. I look around and every woman there is a mother except me.

      I'm sorry you can relate, but thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me. Thank you always Loribeth <3

  7. Hearing you loud and clear about everyone gets pregnant except me also... I was that person, year after year getting those same out of the blue phone calls, sometimes with the person calling back night after night and me willing them to tell me that I already knew - they were pregnant - it only made things worse them dragging things out and going weird on me like that.

    No one can ever prepare you for how all of this changes every facet of your life. Friends, relationships, relatives, social gatherings, work functions... it permeates everywhere.

    I can also assure you that as time goes on, you will rise up stronger... I'm proof of that. There will be the odd caving in moment, but with the strength comes resilience too. Sending you massive hugs x

    1. Thank you Bamber. I just found your blog a couple weeks ago!

      That's so weird- that some people dragged out their pregnancy news over multiple phone conversations. I mean, come on...

      It *does* permeate everywhere and change everything...

      Each year I grow more into my new life. But damn, if I don't still get knocked down every now and then. And no one else gets it except for the other women who live it like me.

      Thank you for stopping by! :)