Last week, or the week before (I don't remember) I wrote a post about the results of my IUI. This week, I will be eight weeks pregnant.
So there's that. YAY!
We are incredibly excited, although a little nervous about having two children (just one babe in there, we checked!) but excited none the less. The post has since been removed because, well, it was kind of depressing. As excited as we are, it was a tough pill to swallow, knowing that I have hurt some people that I love who are still very much in the trenches of infertility.
And then I got no response. Not even one congrats. Which, you know, is fine. It's not about that. But I poured my heart out in that post as well, about the guilt I was feeling, and I didn't even receive any thoughts on that, either.
So, it is what it is.
When I broke the news on twitter, as gently as I could, it was mostly positive responses. But there were a few. Some harsh words were spoken. Words that hurt. Words, honestly, I can't get past. They are in the throws. The very ugly throws of infertility. They hurt. They are in pain. I understand this. But it sucks, mostly, when I have been so supportive of others, through good news and bad, no matter how hard it has been to me in the past, to not receive that support in return.
So, I threw in the towel. I deleted the post, because I'm growing weary apologizing and feeling guilty. Does this make me a horrible person? Maybe. But right now, I'm focusing on me and the ones who HAVE been there for me. Whether some like it or not, there is this mentality in the infertility community (not among everybody, but among some) that your struggle does not count if it is not the same as their struggle. Many seem to forget that pain is pain, no matter what form it comes in, but if it's not the same level of pain, if you haven't gone through the same treatments, then sympathy or support is not required. It's expected to be received, but not given. It's also unfortunate.
And as somebody on the bottom rung of the infertility treatment, I fall often into the category of having to give, but never receive. As somebody who has gone out of my way to send love, strength, hope, care packages, gifts, cards, words of encouragement and all the hugs the virtual world can offer (and sometimes in real life) sometimes I want that back when I am feeling down. Or scared. Or worried that this pregnancy might just not continue to go well (the permanent worries of some one who has survived a miscarriage). Instead I feel like I cannot talk about such things without the catalyst of anger that is received.
Plain & simple? I will continue to give support to those that I can, to those that are close to me. But yes -- I would kind of, sometimes, like a little support in return. I'm only human. I am blessed with an amazing child, one that I cherish & am grateful for every day, and I am even more blessed that we are lucky to have a second one on the way. But that doesn't mean I live a fearless life. Or that there are tough days. Or that I still get irritated with the amount of over sharing some individuals chose to do about their pregnancy situations. Every single day, I worry. I worry about my lack of symptoms (the ones that are basically non-existent). I worry about the fact that I am just about 8 weeks pregnant and still feeling like I'm not pregnant at all. No nausea. No belly bloat. Nothing. The way I am feeling, it would be very easy to FORGET that I was pregnant. I don't have many reminders (something that is very welcome, I promise) that things are going well. I just ... am. These may not be a big deal to some, but it's scary to me. I constantly worry that things aren't going well. But when I see others complain of this, again while mostly positive, there usually are some harsh words that also follow from others. Why put myself out there if I know that's what will follow?
I've searched out some new moms to follow -- those who have had success with IUI's. I'm hopeful that I will find a new group to fit into, one that I am better accepted in and who is more understanding of the life I live now with a child but also the life that comes with having to use IUI's as a way of conception. I know that others feel this same way, because I have talked to them, but while there is a mentality of "your struggle isn't as hard as my struggle" there also seems to be a mentality of "my struggle isn't as hard as your struggle." A struggle is a struggle, is it not? I'm not saying that I ever intend to post every single detail of every single day (trust me -- it annoys me when others do it). There needs to be a level of humility & a desire to be humble about your experience. But keeping mum out of fear of others isn't the way to go, either. There can be a middle ground.
So a little word of advice -- if someone reaches out to you, reach back out to them every once in a while. The internet is an easy place to hide how we all feel. But as a community, we should love & support everyone who is going through this or HAS gone through this. No matter what direction their treatments took them in. Because you never know who is struggling.