May 28, 2013

My Pregnancy & My Truths.

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.


J o s e y said...

Yep yep yep. This is the first post of yours I've read, but I 100% understand where you're coming from. The pain olympics (or whatever term you want to use) is so ridiculous. I GET it, I do, but you're right that pain is pain, and we all deserve support.

That being said, people tend to search out people who have traveled similar paths - which is both a blessing and a curse in the ALI world, because we all start at a fairly similar place, and then the timelines/treatments/etc vary WIDELY from there. An ALI friend of mine who needed multiple rounds of IVF to conceive told me once that she just couldn't stomach following ppl who conceived after "only 1 IUI" for awhile -- (aka ME) -- which hurt like hell, even though I know she was just being honest and trying to surround herself with other people who understood the intensity of going through multiple rounds of IVF.

At any rate, my point is that this is two-fold. You 100% deserve congrats and support - ESPECIALLY from people who you have supported, and they 100% deserve to unfollow for awhile if that hurts too much for them as well.

Pain is pain, on both sides of the coin. :(

I'm glad you're being proactive about finding people to surround yourself with who will hopefully be more supportive. We conceived after our first IUI (about 2 yrs into treatment), and now I'm currently 8w pregnant with a "natural" pregnancy, which is pretty much blowing our minds, and also making me feel a little "lost" in the ALi community. I look forward to following your journey!

Cyndi Schultz said...

I am just now seeing you're pregnant. Such good news. I'm sorry you didn't receive the support you deserved. Expanding our families is something all us women want on these twitter forums and we need to be happy for those who get to do just that- no matter how you got there.
Congratulations on the new addition!

SLESE1014 said...

I'm here from the conversation on Twitter....Had to read this post. As someone who struggled for 4 years and had to go through IVF, I'm appalled that anyone would say anything negative about someone who was lucky enough to get pregnant via IUI! We've all struggled. Am I a bit jealous of those who are lucky on their first try IUI? Heck yeah! But it doesn't in any way diminish the struggle those women and their partners have gone through to get to this point. Heck I even supported someone who made it to the one year mark, was officially diagnosed "infertile" went to the RE and confirmed she was pregnant. Her struggle was just as much as a struggle as mine. Mine may was different, but the road is still the same.

I'm so sorry you received such hurtful comments. I was super careful with my first pregnancy to not offend anyone. But I gave up with this pregnancy. #2 was an FET from my fresh IVF cycle (#1 baby). I've shared pregnancy tests, ultrasound pics, and thought I haven't posted it, I did actually take a belly pic. This is your space and Twitter is your place to share your thoughts and feelings. You have every right to have fears and concerns or to complain about not having the "perfect" pregnancy. Pregnancy is physically challenging as well as all the emotions that go along with it.

I wish everyone could be supportive. Even when I was still in the trenches and others got pregnant, I followed, and supported. I guess because like you I thought when my day came I would get the same. And for the most part I think I did.

This is a wonderful post and a great reminder to all of us on both sides to be kind to each other. We've all struggled, we've all suffered, and we're all in this to help each other out. Sending hugs....and you've just gained another follower :) Even if I'm not an IUI mommy LOL

SLESE1014 said...

PS congrats on the pregnancy :) Here's hoping for a happy healthy full term baby in 30-32 weeks :)

Stevie said...

I cannot speak to what others have struggled with, and so maybe that should block me speaking at all. But what I CAN speak to is that prolonged pain and struggle can cause some to take on stuff that colors how they see and interact with others. I cannot imagine what some go through, and how wearing and difficult that must be. However, that doesn't necessarily negate the fact that sometimes, people just have their sh*t. You know what I mean?

You have been beyond thoughtful, caring, sensitive and compassionate towards others in the infertility world. I can FEEL how torn you are about wanting to celebrate your happiness and the pain that very same happiness causes others. But like others have said, people can take space if this causes them pain. They can unfollow or walk away for a bit. What's not justified, in my opinion -- and speaks to that sh*t I feel they struggle with -- is hurting someone because they have something you want. It's a human reaction, sure. But at the same time, everyone just wants to have a kid. Nobody is doing anything on purpose to hurt someone else. Struggling and being in pain does not justify lashing out when someone is cautiously experiencing such a joyful thing.

That's on them, not you.

A million congrats. I know how scary it is for you, because you speak so eloquently to it. You deserve happiness and joy, and to be able to enjoy the miracle growing in you. You deserve sympathy and empathy for your fears and anxieties, and support to help you through them. You aren't insensitive, or thoughtless, or selfish.

You're pregnant, and you should be able to be happy about it without feeling guilty.

Just my humble two cents. Again, I understand pain can make people do things they otherwise wouldn't. And I understand long-term pain can be such a struggle to adjust to and live with. But that doesn't mean you're responsible for it.

I'm sorry it's been tough, friend. I hope things get easier.


Simply Suzy said...

I still can't believe someone would say negative or hurtful things to you. Infertility is matter what you had to do to have a child.

Keep on speaking the truth! I'm always here to listen.


Simply Suzy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Simply Suzy said...

I still can't believe someone would say negative or hurtful things to you. Infertility is matter what you had to do to have a child.

Keep on speaking the truth! I'm always here to listen.


Amanda said...

I'm appalled at the treatment you've received. I understand some people are bitter and some with good reason, but no response at all to you're post? Ugh. And to get hateful with you in Twitter? Why???

I'm familiar with the guilt. It doesn't really go away. It's not so much guilt for me anymore, but a sadness that there's so much unfairness I'm the world.

To end on a positive note, CONGRATULATIONS! FX for an uneventful and healthy pregnancy!

Casey said...

Hey lady! I am sorry I wasn't there to read and support your previous blog post although I would love to read it! I see today on twitter you are dealing with #infertilityptsd with your current pregnancy. Sending you love through this. With my daughter I was grateful for every day I was pregnant and worried EVERY SINGLE DAY that all would not be okay. I know how you feel. Sorry you are getting grief from people. You are truly wonderful. I hope whatever community you turn to next you keep me a part of it. Sending love.

Lauren said...

I know you're not talking to me...but I don't remember seeing a post? And I subscribe to your blog???!! Anyway, I am so happy for you. I have seen several communique from you regarding this topic, and I think it's very sad you get this treatment. Please know that YOU aren't the one that hurt people; they are just upset with their situation. You have done nothing hurtful or mean-spirited. You were in the same boat they were once, and they should see your success as a reminder that they, too, might eventually have success as parents. I can totally see both sides, but I think it is great you are seeking out a better support group for your current situation. XOXO!!!

Lauren said...

Also, just read my comment...I didn't mean you aren't talking to me as in, "we aren't talking." I mean, I know this post wasn't aimed at me. Hehe. ;)

Heather said...


Rhe Christine said...

I wish I had seen the other stuff...I've been in a online fog lately. I don't know what it's like to go through the things you've been through. I know that because I haven't whenever I did get pregnant I tried to be as considerate as possible in regards to those that were struggling. But where does it stop? I mean if even someone who has struggled and known pain can't even celebrate a victory that's sad and probably more heartbreaking when you have shares your struggle with people that have shared in it too. I hope this doesn't cloud your joy. I think you are strong and amazing!

-CC said...

It is hard for me to really weigh in because I'm not a mom, I'm not struggling with fertility, I'm not in the shoes of you or those you speak of. BUT. I am your friend. And you are a wonderful person, a wonderful mom, and SO VERY deserving of all the happiness and congratulations and joy that come with expecting a new baby. I'm sad that those who are still struggling can't be happy for you, or at least understanding. However, you must always know that we are so thrilled for you and love you dearly. MAZEL TOV my friend! (Oh, and don't be tempted to hide or minimize your joy! This is a big, wonderful deal for you and your family- you have every right to be joyful and happy and shout about it from the rooftops! Just because others are struggling or suffering, doesn't mean you aren't entitled to your happiness! I promise!)

MrsV said...

Congratulations on your pregnancy.
I did see your post, but I didn't comment. I never do.
I found your blog when I miscarried, and for a brief time we were sharing a common pain (which is why I followed you), but despite sharing that pain I never have felt comfortable saying anything because I eventually conceived naturally, I was sitting on the fence between fertile and infertility and managed to fall on the opposite side. So I also understand how it feels to feel you don't belong despite sharing pain with someone. My personal thought is pain is pain, we all have our own journey.

Anyways, I'm sorry you did not receive the support you deserve, and also sorry you were subject to any hurtful comments. I wish you all the best with this pregnancy

Tsoniki said...

Yay a baby!

That is all anyone should think to say to you. I agree that a struggle is a struggle and we all have them. It is just mean to be rude or mean to you. Hope you are feeling better about things. (Ohh maybe no pregnancy feelings mean the baby is a girl!) :)

Audrey said...

It really bums me out that some members of the community that I'm a part of and that you're a part of and that we both have loved dearly would say things that hurt you so deeply. I can't WAIT to watch your belly grow and love you along the way, and you know I'm here for you always!

Anonymous said...

First of all, congrats on your pregnancy, and I hope you have a smooth, simple, calm 30ish weeks!

I can't believe that people said mean things to you. Well, that's not true. I can believe it. It's just sad.

MY IF history puts me in a very small group, and my experience is a lot different from others. Do I wish I had been able to conceive via Clomid, IUI or heck, even IVF? Of course I do. But that's not my reality. I can still be and am happy for others to succeed because isn't that the point of treatments? Yes, it hurts, but it's not their fault that it isn't as easy for me.

I just don't get how people can't offer a gracious, heartfelt "congratulations" and go cry and rage in private.

Being in NC too, I'm sad to find you only to see you are getting ready to move :-(

Esperanza said...

Wow. What an important and necessary post. This part especially spoke to 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."

I have been where you are many a time, though I was so lucky to get a lot of positive comments on my second pregnancy announcement. But being someone who has never undergone treatments (I just have my miscarriage and my recent DX of DOR and MFI) I am on an even lower rung on the ladder than you are. I have also given a lot of support but I've also been lucky enough to get it in spades as well. I don't know why. Maybe it's just luck? Maybe it's that I've been writing for almost four years? Maybe I'll never know why.

I do know that Twitter is NOT the place to get support though. At least not for me. I don't even go there anymore. I stick to my blog.

I would love to be a part of your circle of support. I look forward to following you from now on.

Congrats on your pregnancy. I hope it continues happily until you bring home a healthy baby.

Ms Future PharmD said...

First off, yay! Congrats! Visiting from PAIL. I hope you find the friendly support you need. It's hard being pregnant after infertility. Very hard. I get that, and we never got to treatments even, just losses and long waits between pregnancies. For me, it's been easier to focus not on the treatment part of things but instead on the parenting part and pregnancy, since that I do have in common. I think the pain before informs our experience of both but the different paths through the pain don't matter as much anymore. It gives us a nice common ground.

Amanda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amanda said...

This post is amazing and so, so true. As someone who "only" tried for 15 months and "only" did 4 rounds of Clomid and then took a break and got pregnant naturally, I have often felt like I haven't done enough to count in the IF community. But the pain I went through was a lot to me and that's why it is so important to support everyone in their journey, even if it ends up being shorter or "easier" than your own.

Congratulations on the pregnancy! I look forward to following your blog.

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