Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hurtful words

Someone in my family sent me an email today and it had some awfully hurtful stuff in it. I wish I had never been open and honest about our IVF and adoption stuff. If I could go back I think I'd keep my mouth shut and just say "we can't have kids" and leave it at that. And if people ask questions to just tell them "thats personal".

Unfortunately today was a prime example of why woman don't talk about their infertility. I just had a miscarriage and it's apparent that this person doesn't really understand how awful this has been for me. This has been the hardest thing I have ever been through.

Apparently the bitterness that is sometimes felt towards fertile woman is unacceptable. Granted yes it's not a very nice feeling...and even though I may come across that way to my closest family I'm always very very nice to my pregnant friends. I promise if you asked any of them they would tell you how kind I have been. Baby showers, gifts for their kids, asking them how they are feeling, listening about how tired they are, how much pain they are in ect ect.

I am not one to minimize other people's pain but it's obvious that this is how I come across to this person which really hurts my feelings. I am very kind to people. Yes I may vent in private but anger is normal. it's a part of the grieving process.

In the event that any of my readers don't know the stages of grief here they are: This web site lists them in general terms:

And this web site lists and describes them from an infertility point of view.

Both basically say the same thing but because I am suffering from infertility I'm going to list the one's from that site:

1. Shock and Denial
Shock provides an emotional disconnect from the events that have transpired. It is like a buffer that keeps you from the outside world. You are safe as long as you are in shock. You feel as though you can avoid the pain as long as your are in denial. If you have just experience pregnancy loss or got a medical diagnosis about infertility, you may experience disbelief. Other people won't know what to say or how to help. Be patient with yourself at this time.

2. Pain and Guilt
After the shock wears off, you are hit with excruciating pain. It's important that you feel this pain fully. If you don't embrace it now, it will come back. If you find that you are getting through the pain with drugs or alcohol, please seek a grief counseling. They are just a crutch to get through this very important step. Life can feel chaotic and out of control at this stage. You may feel guilty about things you did or said.

3. Anger and Bargaining
You may question "Why me?" or "What did I do to deserve this?" The answer is that there is nothing you did or could have done to change what happened. You may become angry and frustrated. You might lash out at those closest to you. You might feel anger and bitterness towards other pregnant women. You may become desperate trying to change things.

4. Depression
By this time you have realized what exactly you are missing. Well meaning friends and family may ask you to "Get on with things." or ask "Why aren't you over this yet?" The truth is you may never be 'over this.' They may think that it has been long enough and that it's time to get on with your life. Because of that, you may isolate yourself. You begin to put up walls and push people away to focus on the past. You feel like you won't be truly happy again.

5. The Upward Turn
Things start to become a little more stable now. You start to adjust to your new normal.

6. Reconstruction
You start to put the pieces of your life back together again.

7. Acceptance
You accept that your life turned the way that it did. You accept life without what you are missing, and you begin to move forward with some hope. It does not mean that you will be happy or that you are forgetting, but it means that you can accept it and start to figure out this new life you have created. You will never be that blissful, somewhat ignorant, carefree person that you were before, but you are a new YOU.

If, at any point in time, you feel that the grief is to much for you to bare please do not be afraid to get help. There are a number of qualified counselors and doctors in the area.There are numerous online support groups geared to infertility and pregnancy loss as well. If you do a simple search you will find one that meets your needs specifically.

Remember: We would not grieve so hard had we not loved so deeply.

Stage 1 for me was the day I found out that my baby was dead. I was laying on the table while the u/s tech was measuring my uterus. When she got to the point where she was looking for a heart beat I knew something was wrong. She put her hand on my knee and I just knew...but no sense of sadness. Just a feeling of utter shock and disbelief. NO this is not happening...not to me...not after all we have been through.

Then stage 2 quickly set in (and by quickly I mean stage 1 only lasted a few hours...heckI went right back to work after.-with my failed placement shock lasted month's. I didn't mourn the loss of our son for month's. I was in shock and went back to life as if nothing had happend. Month's later I fell appart)

Stage 2 lasted a week or's kind of a blur. All I did was cry. I can't tell you how many times I had to get up from my desk. I came home and was a total wreck. All I could do is lay in my husbands arms and cry and cry and cry.

Stage 4 kicked in for me next. Depressed isn't really a term I like to use. I have been chronically depressed before. I suppose for all intensive purposes I was severely depressed but only for a few days. My therapist calls it "in despair" vs depressed. I didn't want to do anything. I couldn't be alone. I wouldn't let my husband leave me alone in total fear of...well....let's not talk about that.

Stage 3 kicked in soon after that and I seem to be flopping between stage 3 and 4 at the moment. Anger, rage, why me? Why not someone who can get pregnant easily? If I could get pregnant on my own the grief would be easier to deal with...but combined with infertility it's just to much to take.

I seem to be morphing into stage 5 now. I feel a little bit more like "myself"...which brings me back to the email I got today. I love my family i really do but this email broke my heart. I can't even describe how much it hurt. I had to get up from my desk and call my sister in law and cry to her on the phone. My husband has been in denmark since Sunday on business so I don't have him to talk to or to comfort me this week. I'm grateful that my sister in law listened to me. She has been really supportive through this loss. She brought me and my husband dinner at least 2 times. And she did it with out asking because she knows me and she knows that asking for help is really hard....I really could use some compassion right now. Especially by my loved one's.

I know my family cares about me and how I'm doing but some times I wonder. Most of them have asked how I'm doing but some, not so much. I know they care. I know they love me and I know it's just who they are. But it really does hurt. It hurts a lot.

Anyhow, I could go on and on about this but I won't. I'm kind down in the dumps right now and I miss my husband so I'm going to bed.

You know the worst part? The guilt I felt when I was angry and jealous. Contrary to what some people obviously think I'm a really nice person. And when I'm angry, jealous or down right mean to people behind their back or think not nice things in my head I have an extremely high amount of guilt.

I really am trying to be a better person. trying to not be angry. I'm not really bitter these days. I used to be very very very bitter. And you know what...that's normal. It's not good to act on it but it's normal to feel that way. I would FEEL That way but I NEVER EVER acted on it. The worst thing I think I'd do is stop hanging out with my friends but I'd NEVER say anything to their face that would hurt their feelings. Not intentionally anyway.

Honestly given the fact that I just lost a baby I think I'm doing quite well and frankly so does my therapist. So folks, anger and bitterness is a NORMAL part of the grieving process and unfortunately for me if it's not one loss it's another type of loss. But such is life of an infertile.

And please don't misconstrue this post as a "pitty me". I'm not a pitty me kind of person. That's why I never ask for help. While on one hand I would like people to actually ask me how I'm doing when I go through a loss like this I don't expect someone to pitty me or to sound like my problems are worse then others. UGGG I'm so beyond frustrated and hurt. Today is the first time I've cried all week. I was on such a good streak too.


B said...

me again (sorry, I'm not stalking you :) ). My advice is to take care of yourself and not worry about heartless people, even if they are family members.

I know this blogger who went through 5 years of infertility. She recently wrote a post that I identified with. For me, one of the hardest parts of being infertile is being defined by infertility. You become this person who is tired, emotionally drained, bitter at times, angry, hurt, etc.. etc... Sometimes, I just want to feel like me again. I want to just find the me who isn't "infertile."

Maybe you can identify. The post is here:

Anyway, no one can understand the emotional, physical, spiritual, personal, and financial struggle of infertility until they go through it. I challenge anyone to be as strong as you.

Please know, you are an inspiration. Hang in there if you can. Also, I know you are probably not interested in hearing this, but I have had 3 REs now. I am so pleased with my new RE. He has found issues that the other two have completely ignored or failed to consider and I'd highly recommend him if you are interested in continuing with treatments. Check out Dr. Sher at SIRM Institute. I can't recommend him highly enough.

Amy said...

B-Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post. You just made my day. Thank you so much.

I have seen 4 RE's. The Re I'm seeing is Dr. Hummel from SDFC. Boy I wish I had found him years ago. He is the best doctor I have ever had. He listens to my requests and instead of saying "You don't need that" or "I don't believe in that" he actually does the tests I request. Dr. Hummel is having me have a laparocopy because apparently I have fibroids behind my uterus that was discovered when I went to the hospital. I'm also getting a 4th hysteroscopy done to check on my uterus and going on 3 weeks of antibiotics just prior to my FET to ensure I don't have any infections (I was DX with chronic endometritis years ago and it's pretty much impossible to get rid of-that also went un diagnosed till RE #3 who finally did a hysteroscopy and endo biopsy. RE #1 and #2 didn't do those. I did 3 IVF's with chronic endometritis-no wonder I didn't get pregnant)

DR. T at SIRM is fantastic. I almost did IVF #7 with him but I got laid off and my insurance ran out. I actually had a hysteroscopy local (per his request) and the doctor botched the surgery and diagnosed me with severe asherman's syndrome. I got a second opinion and my uterus was fine. The dr had gone behind my uterus and clipped away at muscle tissue. by the time I found out I didn't have it my ins had run out. Dr T was so nice about everything and basically said that solidifies him wanting his patients to go to NY for all the testing...and I have to admit I agree. Unfortunately there is no way I'm flying to california to get my hysteroscopy and lap done so I'm having my OB do it.

B said...

Oh my! I need to stop complaining. You have been through hell and back. Having a Dr. you trust and who is proactive makes this experience bearable. I hope your RE has next steps for you. The down time between treatments is the worst. I drive myself crazy and the anxiety grows.

Thanks for sharing your journey with us - I feel a kinship to anyone who is in this same boat and I just admire the strength you have to move forward. It helps me do the same. And we both know, it's just SO HARD.

Amy said...

Oh no worries about complaining. We all need to rant and get out our frustations.

Anonymous said...

I too have had a miscarriage and am dealing with infertility.
Unless someone has 'been there' they have no clue!
People can be mean and thoughtless.
Stay strong!
I know what 'it's' like.
Finally, your blog is so helpful!
Let's myself and others know we are not alone!
Do what is best for you!!!!!
Sometimes people just suck.