Friday, April 18, 2008

Fertility is Not a Zero-Sum Game

So I really do know that fertility is not a zero-sum game. Your pregnancy or Jane’s or anybody else's does not actually have any impact on whether or not, or when, I’ll get pregnant. But what funny things infertility can do to your head, what with the waiting, the frustration, the envy, and yes, the jealousy. I have to confess that sometimes when I see a pregnant belly or hear about the pregnancy of a friend, coworker, acquaintance, celebrity, really anyone, it almost feels as though my chances for a successful pregnancy decrease. Stupid I know, but honestly it does sometimes feel that way. Of course, my emotions about other people’s pregnancies are affected by so many variables—how many children they already have, how close we are, and yes, how well I like or do not like the person. Ugh – it doesn’t make me sound like a very nice person does it? The really, really awful thing that I will admit here – sometimes, when I find out that someone is pregnant it makes me not like them very much. This is not true of good friends or other infertile gals (assuming I know who is infertile), but when it’s someone I’m not really close to or already wasn’t too fond of, then the feeling just pops up. I think it’s a lot like how I felt about the really popular kids back in school days. It was a lot easier to pretend that I didn’t like them, than to admit that I was just jealous and wanted what they had. Of course, the difference now is that I know full well how much I want what so many others seem to get so easily. But fertility is not a zero-sum game. Right?

Ok, I know that post seems like I must be all depressed right now, but I'm not. In fact, I feel ok, the sun is shining, the birds are singing and it's Friday! But I have been thinking a lot about how 3 years of infertility has affected me, my husband, our marriage and our family. Despite the number of times I've talked about losing weight, exercising, living life more "in the moment", none of the steps I've taken to do any of those things have stuck. So, I've been feeling stuck. Stuck in a hole I don't like, but without the will or motivation to climb out. Right now I'm not so much depressed as frustrated. Frustrated more with myself than anything. I know I need to take back control of a lot of the things in my life and I guess as I've been thinking about how best to really do that, I've also been thinking about how I've been affected by infertility. It's not the prettiest picture, but I suppose I need to really identify all the problems before I can go about solving them.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope everyone has a great weekend!

6 comments:

deanna said...

I totally get you on this. I remember hearing of a relative who was pregnant (who already had 2 children) and thinking, "SAVE SOME FOR THE REST OF US!"

Thinking of you, hon.

Jendeis said...

Amen, sister.

CAM said...

Thank you SO much for that post because I feel the same way so often and I feel very guilty about it...its just nice to see that I am not alone with these thoughts.
Infertility creates such a sense of hopelessness and loss of control so it makes sense that you want to take it back in other areas.
:)

the Babychaser: said...

You sum it up so well:

"Despite the number of times I've talked about losing weight, exercising, living life more "in the moment", none of the steps I've taken to do any of those things have stuck. So, I've been feeling stuck. Stuck in a hole I don't like, but without the will or motivation to climb out."

And isn't this what IF is all about? Three years I've been waiting for my lifestyle to change, waiting for my life to change, unable to make any progress or take any steps because maybe, at any moment, that change might come.

I hope that spring will win you over, and that you'll find some peace and pleasure in the renewing of life. I'm glad I found your blog.

Allison said...

Love your analogy of the popular kids. So true.

Anne D. said...

No one can entirely understand the impact of infertility unless they've been there. That's something I learned during our years of "trying." I realized that to an effortlessly fertile person, or one who had no interest in kids, I probably seemed obnoxiously self-absorbed, moody, and obsessed. Well, I was!

It was like a fulltime (or more) job: thinking about babies, going through the medical stuff, taking the meds or whatever, dreading the appearance of a period, dealing with the grief brought on by each period, mustering the energy to try again -- to risk the emotional pain. I honestly felt... possessed much of the time. I didn't really like myself during those years, but I was helpless to "snap out of it."

What a relief our adoptions were. At last I could focus (*had to* focus! lol) on the kids, not on me and my body and my sadness.

Wishing you the best.