Drawing the line

My Mom and I are really close. We talk almost every day. She knows all about my IF stuff and has been so supportive…calling me on monitoring days to hear how the appointment went, Googling studies and papers and sending me links, that kind of stuff. Most of the time I LOVE this support. My Mom is a good, good egg.

But sometimes, I just don’t want to talk about IF. It’s not really fair that I get to decide when to turn the switch on and off, and I know she can’t read my mind. So if she brings it up and I’m not in the mood, generally I will just say, “Eh, I don’t really want to talk about that today.” And that is that.

Yesterday was one of those days. I was in a pretty terrible mood. I was in the throes of an extremely frustrating and taking-much-too-long freelance assignment. I was hating my life. Annoyed that I keep accepting work outside of my 50-hour/week day job in order to keep us afloat as we sink more and more money into RE hooplah. Bummed that I wasn’t out enjoying my weekend and my life.

Unfortunately, my Mom called right as I was having a mini-meltdown of frustration/sadness/exhaustion/[insert any yucky emotion you can think of here]. She wanted to talk about my upcoming HSG (“nope, not in the mood!”), then she segued into a story about running into one of her neighbors at Costco. (I’ve known this neighbor since I was in kindergarten.) The neighbor was asking where all of my Mom’s kids were these days and whether she was a grandmother. My Mom said no, but that she knew hubs and I wanted to have kids soon. (She promises she didn’t say “a word about us having trouble.”) So the neighbor tells my Mom that I better get going STAT because it gets harder and harder to have kids every year. That she knows this because her own daughters started trying in their early thirties and it took them YEARS and lots invasive fertility treatments to get pregnant.

I kept trying to cut my Mom off. What part of this story did she think it would be good for me to hear? It just made me feel a) GUILTY that I waited until age 30 to discover I can’t get pregnant, b) SCARED that I will be living this nightmare for years and years like the neighbor’s poor daughters did, c) RESENTFUL that I’m not the uber-fertile like my Mom, who got knocked up five times and never once with a bit of difficulty (she loves to tell the story about how she got pregnant with me while on BC…gee, too bad I didn’t inherit those genes), d) ANNOYED at the thought of my Mom revealing private details of our journey…doesn’t it just seem WEIRD that the neighbor would suddenly begin gushing about her daughters’ infertility struggles at Costco???

Anyway. It was not cool. Tears suddenly began dropping down my cheeks and I got off the phone with her very abruptly. I have thought about it more since we talked and I know she had good intentions. To her, she was sharing a story of hope that IF treatments work. To me, it felt like a crushing reminder of how LONG this may take, and how much I regret waiting until hubs and I were both 110% ready for a baby to begin trying.

That regret manifests itself in so many painful ways…my aching heart, a lump in my throat, a nauseous stomach, insomnia, tears…I just want it to go the heck AWAY because there’s nothing, absolutely NOTHING, I can do about that now. Some days I feel pretty hopeful and okay, but other days (more than I’d like to admit) I feel like this depressed and bizarro version of the person I used to be. Pre-IF–Egg was way awesomer than current-Egg. 🙂 I feel more fragile, more scared, more sad to my core than I ever have, even more than I have in the toughest and darkest times of my life. And I’ve only done two cycles of treatment! GOOD LORD! It terrifies me…I don’t know if I’m strong enough to discover what else is waiting around the next corner.

I’ve decided it’s time to make this part of my life off limits: I don’t want to talk to my Mom about it. I don’t want to open up about it to any friends. I only want to talk about it with hubs and with you guys.

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25 Comments

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25 responses to “Drawing the line

  1. *hugs* I’m sorry your feeling sensitive. I agree with you in that she was just trying to make you feel better, but you weren’t in the mood to hear that. Do what you need to do to feel better about things. Good luck.

  2. Jin

    Your mom sounds like my mom. Only my mom does it through text messages and emails, lol. I know about the bizarro version thing. I often wonder (well, moreso this cycle than those in the past) if I’ll return to the person I was before all this once a baby arrives. No clue. And that’s scary.

  3. Zuly

    awwww my friend, its so hard to deal with IF for all of us. We just need to keep our head up and pray that God gives us a little miracle. Your mom is only trying to help. I get frustrated with my hubby because he doesn’t like me to read any blogs or to google anything about Infertility because I get so scared and sad. Here’s a big hug for you!!!! I hope you feel better tomorrow.

  4. I SO hear you about literally everything you just said. We’re all treading on shaky grounds so we’re bound to snap every once in awhile. But at the same time I don’t want people tip-toeing around my overly sensitive IF self, YET still get frustrated when people aren’t sensitive. It’s like lose lose I swear, which is why I agree the blogs are where its at…at least we all understand! Hoping you feel better soon!!!

  5. I’m so sorry to hear this, Egg. I hope things settle for you soon… It sounds like your mom has been a pillar of support for you and trys her best to be understanding. It’s possible that she will try her best to be understanding that you need a little break from discussing it. I hope so!

    We’ve not shared our IF issues with either of our families. I could never share any of this with my mother because discretion isn’t a word in her vocabulary. Put simply, I don’t trust her, and this is such an intimate matter that it would destroy me to have to deal with heartache of IF AND the heartache of one of my mom’s many issues… No thank you!

    Keeping it away from the family is sometimes very hard, but for now I think it’s a very wise move for me. I think it has preserved what little hope and sanity I still have left…

  6. JC

    Oh I’m sorry Egg! My Mom sounds similar, very good egg but sometimes tells stories like your Mom did and I’m like “what!?” I cut her a lot of slack sometimes b/c I know she means well. Ugh. I’m sorry I know that hurts.

    Try not to feel guilty about anything, there’s nothing you can do to change the past. I was very very angry for months (maybe a year) b/c I was ready but my hubby was not ready yet. Then when he was “kinda ready” and we started trying, later realizing we were IF, I was so mad at him and resented him so much. I was so mad he made me wait when we could’ve started earlier and made more segway then where we are at now. Then after a lot of time passed I realized that was not a good way to live and me being mad at him was not going to change a thing. (sorry didn’t mean for this to be about me). But I hope you don’t feel guilty, you’re doing the best you can do. Just keep telling yourself you’re trying the best you can and doing everything you can do. ((hugs))

  7. Awww, hon, I’m so sorry that you had such a rough day. It is perfectly reasonable to not want to talk about it sometimes– usually my conversations ended very quickly with my mom when she suggested that I “just relax.” AHHHH!!!

    I felt guilty that I waited so long to try to get pregnant, too. I’m 29 and Rob will be 41 in April– but we got married in Oct 2008 and waited less than six months to start trying, so really, I couldn’t have started much earlier.

    Try not to be too hard on yourself– you started trying when it was the right time for you to have a baby. I know that brings little comfort when you are ready now and the baby isn’t here yet, but know that you and Mr. Egg are going to be so prepared and so ready when baby Egg finally comes.

  8. Tarah

    Don’t beat yourself up! There are moments when it’s the last thing you want to talk about and then there are moments you feel like you can’t stop talking about it. At least that’s how I feel. I’m not as far in as you are but I do try to keep updates short and sweet with friends & family who ask. I have no new progress so there is nothing new to report anyway.

    I know you know your mom was trying to just be motherly but instead stuck foot into mouth. I have found having a blog really helps me keep my life balanced a bit more – I can spew online all I want and thus fixing my craving for needing to get things off my chest and overwhelm my DH and friends with info! haha.

    We’re always here for you – in tears and in happiness! 🙂

  9. We are here for whatever you need from us. Good days and bad!!! HUGS!!

  10. Al

    Oh, egg, I’m so so sorry. As supportive as our fertile mertile Moms try to be during this, there is just no way that they can possibly “get it” the way we need or want them to. Good for you for setting boundaries to protect yourself – have you thought about sending your Mom links to the resolve website (http://www.resolve.org/site/PageServer?pagename=lrn_ffaf_home0?) I sent my Mom them and she was grateful to have something to read to help her know how to talk to me. She’s been much better about talking to me about IF stuff since then.

    I know what you mean about becoming a much more fragile version of the person you used to be. It’s taken me a while to come to terms with it, but I think I’m a better version of the old me. Sure, I’m emotional and fragile at times, but I’m also stronger, more compassionate, and more understanding. I understand grief and heartache and I am amazed at my own strength at times. This journey has made me grow up and become a more complete person. At least that’s how I see things on a good day, one a bad day I see how hard I have to fight to be happy and how much harder I have to work to get what most people have no problem achieving.

    Big hugs to you. Take good care of yourself and know that we’re here for you to talk and we understand. You will get through this and you will get pregnant.

  11. Yuck, I’m so sorry. Those days happen to all of us. I’m certain your mom will get over it too, she sounds like a very understanding woman (who had a momentarily lapse of judgment in telling you that story!). Hang in there, lady.

  12. This is tough. Obviously you know that your mom meant well by telling you these things, but you never know how you are going to accept them. It all depends on your emotional state, and she caught you at a really bad time. Regardless, you should never feel guilty about anything. I’ll tell you what my husband tells me all of the time: This is NOT your fault. This is just the hand you were dealt. It sucks. It really, really sucks. But you are a strong person and you will fight your way through this.

    Would you be in any different situation or feeling any differently had you decided to have children earlier? What would be different? You would be younger, yes, but your emotions would probably still be the same. You would be living in a place where you didn’t want to raise children and you wouldn’t have as much money saved. There are trade-offs to everything, but in the end, things really wouldn’t be so different. If anything, you are more ready now than before to beat this thing head on.

    It’s weird how things happen the way they do and it’s hard not to question WHY they happen the way they do. I just don’t like to see you feeling guilty. You are doing everything you can do, and that’s all you can do.

    I hope that all made sense. (((hugs))) and love. We are all here for you–good days and bad.

  13. I think you’re doing the right thing by taking a break from talking about IF issues with your friends and your mom. Sometimes it feels like IF is consuming my life and I need to have some “away time” from it to re-energize myself. Hopefully this will work for you, too!

    And I totally know how you feel about feeling like you waited too long. I’m 34 and would like to have more than one, so I see my time slipping away quickly and I’m not exactly sure how that happened. One minute I was a carefree 20-something, the next thing I know I’m firmly mid-thirties. What?! But, the thing is, lots of women wait until their thirties to start trying and then have no problems getting knocked up… there was no way for us to know, so try not to beat yourself up too much over it!

  14. LTB

    ahhh…i totally understand. Sometimes you just DON’T want to talk about it and not in a “I don’t want to talk about it…but I really mean I do” kind of way! It must be hard for the “outsiders” who can’t read our minds! I’m keeping really quiet about this cycle, didn’t even tell my mom b/c I just really don’t even want to tempt her to cross my line! I also totally understand about feeling like we waited too long. It’s the 30’s….they suck! I know anyone in their 40’s will tell you that the 30’s rock…but not when you know your eggs are dwindling away! ahhh…the joys of an IFer!

    :)LTB

  15. Man does IF suck. It changes us in ways we never thought imaginable. You are still a Good Egg…even if you are feeling a little “rotten” right now. And of course your mom only had good intentions but a fertile can never really know what it feels like for us. If you want to keep everything private IRL that is your choice and I’m hoping that your mom is ok with that. It sounds like, since you two are so close, that she will be. Hang in there, dear.

  16. I read this last night but waited to comment. . . . mainly because the only thing I could think of was how much I understand. I truly understand every line of this post (sans the freelance assignment – writing is not my thing). In fact, your day sounds exactly like the last week in October 2009 for me. I wrote 2 posts – the first being on keeping silent about IF in part because I didn’t want to be asked about it by well-meaning family at a time when I didn’t want to talk about it. Honestly, there are times when it is all we want to talk about. Other times, we don’t want it touched with a 10 foot pole. It is unreasonable to expect others to know those boundaries so we do have to draw them ourselves (as arbitrary as it may seem) and create distances that, at the very least, keep us from seeming like emotionally unstable basket-cases that needs to be fitted for straitjackets. The other post (done the same week) was on “wasted time” and regretting waiting until I was 30 to TTC. No words, just understanding. This journey is filled with regret but looking back does us no good. I hope today was better and I hope tomorrow is even better.

  17. Oh Egg, I know your feelings SO well. I didn’t tell my mom or anyone about our struggles until a few months ago. I wouldn’t totally cut off your mom, but I get that a lack of true understanding is sometimes more hurtful than it is helpful.

    Your mama’s intentions are good, but I know how HARD it is to deal with your own disappointment and the disappointment of those who love you. I also totally understand how one day you want to talk about it and the next day you don’t. That is one of the great things about blogging!

  18. Girl, I totally feel you. My Mom is just as supportive as yours; in fact she goes to all my appts with me and reads books and does research too. She celebrates with me and cries with me. She was with me yesterday when I got the bad news (thank you by the way for the really kind comment!). We had a 2 hr drive home and we didn’t speak much at all. I wasn’t ready to talk about it and I just figured she understood that.

    Today, I spent the morning with her (an excuse to force myself out of bed) and again, we weren’t talking about it. Then she asked how I was doing. Of course I started crying, telling her that I feel like a disappointment to my parents and my DH. I explained how I feel like I don’t have anything to look forward to. She immediately started crying, she grabbed my hand and told me that she’s feeling a lot of the same emotions. I couldn’t understand how … it didn’t make sense to me. Then she explained that she feels like she must have exposed me to something as a child, that it must be her fault. I couldn’t believe my ears. It never occured to me that she would feel that way. I’m trying not to see this as something that affects not just me but also affects those around me.

    I have had several friends and family members calling me to find out how the appt went and I just don’t want to talk about it. My mom called my Grandma and told her that I didn’t get good news and to not call me b/c I’m not ready to talk about it yet. So far, she hasn’t called but I know it’s driving her crazy not knowing what’s going on. I need the outlet that my blog gives me but to explain everything to friends and family is just too difficult.

  19. I’m new to this whole blogging thing, and I have to say, it does have some advantages over real life. My friends and family who know are very supportive, but they do sometimes have to tolerate my moodiness and hyper-sensitivity. And while they’re all aware that IVF is happening “sometime soon”, I haven’t really let too many people (including my mom) know that “soon” was actually yesterday. It’s hard to get the right ratio of support and privacy.

  20. I’ve often considered handing out business cards that tell my infertility story so that I don’t have to bring up my child-bearing experience every time someone asks if I have kids.

    And, no matter how supportive and wonderful some of our moms can be throughout this crazy journey, there are many a day when they need to just shut up.

    While we were TTC, we finally got to a point where we didn’t tell anyone that we were going through a cycle. It helped not having to relate every estrogen or egg count to the masses or having to tell them when it didn’t work.

    Best wishes! We all have crappy infertile days – and you are allowed to more than your fair share. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

  21. I feel what you’re saying. My mom has gotten better and thankfully, since my brother has 2 girls she doesn’t get the grandkids questions. Still, she’s a planner like me and she likes to know what we’re doing – and I just don’t always want to talk about it. Many, many hugs to you!

  22. A

    Thanks for commenting on my blog! I have shared with my mom that we’re on this journey, but she is usually pretty good with letting me call the shots as far as if I want to bring it up or not. I don’t think she has ever brought it up on her own, and I am thankful for that. All of that being said, I think we need to be gentle with our hearts, and if sharing this with your mom is becoming stressful/sad/whatever, then I think it’s your prerogative to cut back on the conversations… (hug)!

  23. That is one of the hardest parts of IF – everyone’s good intentions and our resulting guilty/resentment.
    ((Hugs)) I personally rarely every talk about it with my family or friends for this very reason. I feel more comfortable with all these wonderful women online who have or are going through similar journeys.
    ICLW

  24. Amy

    I completely understand. I haven’t shared with any IRL friends or family that we are TTC. Most don’t even know of my PCOS and LPD diagnosis. I have just started joining PCOS support groups and reading blogs of people diagnosed with PCOS. I also started a blog just about my life with PCOS (but I haven’t had the guts to make it public yet). I really love all the on-line friends I’ve made and the support I have received from them.

  25. I’m sorry, girl! We women are so tough on ourselves. My husband and I got pregnant the same month we got married, and I regret not being more financially stable before we had our son. We live in an apartment and not a house, he’ll always have hand-me-down toys and clothes. But the truth of the matter is HE doesn’t care about any of that! He’s here and so loved by his parents, and that’s all that matters to him. And that’s all that will matter to your future child. Your child won’t care that you’re journey began at 30 or that it took 3 cycles of treatments for him to get here. Your child will only care that he’s here and that he’s loved and he will be SO loved!

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