Tuesday, October 28, 2008

True Colors

I have been a pitiful reciprocal blogger lately. Sure I come spill to my heart's content, but my 'participation' in ICLW this month was lackluster at best. With 50 entries still waiting in my reader (mind you, I am signed up to follow at least as many blogs) I have some catching up to do. But if I'm not commenting, I am reading and keeping up with so many lives that along with the 27 kids on my counseling caseload, my head is starting to spin a bit! Of course, I am forever interested in others, so this is definitely not the worst thing in the world. And as always, I feel less alone with each visit.

I go for IUI #5 tomorrow morning. With the baby batter tucked safely away in my bra, I will cross the many different freeways the East San Francisco Bay has to offer and pray that the little guys in the tube I'm cradling will somehow find their way to my plump follies. I had a third that was right behind the other two in growth, but he/she doesn't look to be a taker. My expectations are low, but against my ever-loving will, my hope is high. I expect nothing less from the end of these next two weeks than a crushing defeat.

For someone who lives inside the IF closet, I do actually have quite a few people who know about our IF. But it's not the fact that we're infertile that I hide as much as how it effects me. This is my M.O.: the girl with a smile plastered on her face, even while standing in the middle of a snow storm. It was funny. The most empathetic thing I've heard in a long time came from my new boss yesterday. I hardly know this woman. I told her about our treatments and how I would be sure to make up the time here and there and her response was, "I'm not worried about that. I'm just worried that that must be so hard to deal with." Simple stuff, huh? Just a little acknowledgment of what I must be going through.

I don't often show my 'true colors' and am very good at standing an arm's length away and appearing unshakable. I wonder what I am missing out on because of this-the relationships and the support. Perhaps, in the near future, I'll get the courage to explain it all to someone outside of the IF world.


Lost in Space said...

Oh, Shelby, huge hugs. You describe this so well. It's like reading thoughts from my own head.

"I've tried to describe the pain of IF, but everything I say just sounds so over-dramatic and yet at the same time, so under-dramatic."

I think the best we can hope for is that they feel the pain in our words when the words don't come out the way we want.

I will be thinking good thoughts for you tomorrow as you take the "baby batter" (this one made me LOL) in to become the other half of your future baby. Much love to you.

Another Dreamer said...

Good luck with the IUI, I'll be thinking of you.

And I agree with you. When I talk to fertiles I sometimes feel like I'm being over dramatic, but really I feel I am being under dramatic. They just can not even begin to understand, it's so far from their lives.

And I also agree about the opening of a can of worms by keeping the blog private, the IF private. I'm pretty open about my IF, but sometimes I want to keep it separate. I think that if you did open up about it you may feel the need to censor yourself, as you said, and screw that. This blog is your place to go to let it out. Don't let anyone take that away from you.

Hugs hun. I hope, with you, that this IUI works.

'Murgdan' said...

I'm totally with you. My uber-fertile family would never understand. Only my youngest (pregnant again) sister even comes close with a, "I can't even imagine how hard that would be." At least she's honest.

And I am continually tempted to tell them about the blog, the appointments, the plans...but then I think of every flippant remark made thus far in the journey, and I really don't want to subject myself to any more of them. *sigh*

At least we have 'us'...this blogging community has given me sanity!

Nikki said...

As always, you got it absolutely bang on. I think a lot of us end up having that strong smiley face facade for our fertile family and friends, because - like you said it, it ends up sounding like an over dramatic whining about a "side note" in our lives, whereas it really isn't. It really is the center and focus of our lives, and they don't get it. It requires an unusually high emotional quotient to be a fertile person and get the feelings of an infertile.

I've given up and moved away from so many relationships because I did not find it meaningful to continue a "superficial" relationship, and I didn't see these people getting it enough to have a deeper relationship. Self preservation for me I think.

Good luck with the IUI today. I will be thinking of you and looking for your update. I'm getting ready to leave for my surgery, and I hope today is good for both of us. BTW - "baby batter" was awesome. Never heard it called that! LOL

Earl Gearl said...

I have the same problem with a friend of mine. They really just don't get it. After telling them what was going on, they still didn't get it so I finally gave them the address to my blog. They refuse to read it now because I'm too "open." They still don't get it and I don't even want to be around their fertile booties anymore. Infertility stinks and the only ones who truly understand that are other people dealing with infertility.

Good luck with your IUI.

I Believe in Miracles said...

I'm hopeful for this IUI for you!! Sending you lots of happy thoughts.

You perfectly describe the pain of IF. I was having a conversation with someone yesterday about why we haven't told a lot of people about IF and don't talk about it. It's hard. And especially hard for someone not going through it to understand. The best I've heard it described is like a single girl longing to be married. But now that we've moved to the IVF side, I haven't told anyone non-IF about it. I just don't think they'd understand and would probably be judgemental. Maybe they would surprise me, but that whole self-preservation thing is big. The journey is emotional enough without having to worry about other people's (who have no clue) input.


Martha said...

Here's a big (Hug), what a shame your friend can't empathize and just listen and acknowledge the toll this has taken and continues to take. I'm glad your boss is understanding. Best Wishes for your IUI and just everything! Here's another (Hug), I can be quite the Hugger.

Trace said...

My one best friend sort of understands because she and her husband have that thing that Monica and Chandler on Friends had (her stuff kills his stuff), but they got pregnant with Clomid and a few IUIs for the first child. They got pregnant with an IUI and injectibles for their second. My other best friend doesn't understand at all. She is very very fertile. All she said was that she knows she doesn't understand, but she's always available to listen.

Angie said...

Your words are exactly how I feel about those outside the IF circle. I never feel like I get the response I want - or need - from them. But then again, I do not know how to put what I am feeling into words. It seems impossible for me to do this with someone who is fertile.

Good luck with your IUI. I am two days ahead of you, my IUI was Monday. But again, I feel much the same as your regarding the outcome. Two follies and a low sperm count, things are not looking great for me. Hugs.

Hope2morrow said...

My thoughts are with you as you do your IUI. Fingers crossed for you and a heart full of hope to boot.

I'm so glad your boss was understanding. Seems liek the people we love the most are the ones that hurt us the most- I wish your family knew more of how you felt and could empathize.

At least you have us....

zsiványlány said...

It's tricky with friends, Shelby, I have found, and we have talked about this at dinner and the support group, you may recall. Sometimes I get pleasantly surprised by not even my closest friends' understanding reactions, and sometimes I get shocked by the silence, the "dropping the ball" non-reaction of my (supposedly) clsoe friends. I can't figure it out. The best explanation I've come up with is that I myself sometimes suprise myself in this difficult journey--how sad and upset I can be, how painful it can be, but also how I can recover and hope and regain some balance. I still can't understand why a friend can't say something sympathetic, like your boss, when I even openly acknowledge that this is for me a *difficult* experience to go through, or to ignore.

I will be sending you some fertile vibes (from north to the south) and will probably see you soon. Live it up on Halloween, I/we'll be here for you however things turn out.