Darth Vader

I’ve been working really hard on accepting my body and my personal path (cue the New Age chimes). Meditation CDs. Yoga. Deep breathing. Honestly, it’s not that I believe that any of these efforts will help me conceive. It’s to make this all feel less scary and sad. And because I can’t keep melting down into a puddle of despair all the time—it’s simply not fun.

And then, just when I think I’m getting a handle on myself, I totally lose control.

Over the weekend, hubs and I were en route to our anniversary dinner. We were talking about some construction work that’s being done in our six-flat apartment building this Fall. And in the course of conversation he dropped this lovely factoid, “Mary downstairs is due with another baby.” [Side note: I had suspected this for several months. However, since this gloriously fertile young woman is still carrying some baby weight from the boy she had a mere year and a half ago, I could divert my eyes in such a way as to fool myself that I was going crazy and just imagining things. Plus, she is a stay-at-home Mom and so our paths tend to cross only in the early hours of the morning, when I am sweaty and returning from a morning run, while she is settling her baby into his stroller and thus mercifully obstructing her stomach from my line of vision at the beginning of their morning walk.]

So, anyway. My response to  hubs was something along the lines of: “What the HEEEEECK, it’s so UNFAIR how easy it is for most people! I bet it’s a girl, too. UGH! Why can’t WE have that?” And then my eyes welled up with tears and I said something like, “Great, just great. I guess that means that STUPID baby stroller that’s been sitting in our lobby isn’t going ANYWHERE.”

[There may have been an embarrassing number of curse words peppered within my reaction. Also, I was pretty uncomfortable from IUI-day bloat and also feeling a tad hormonal. But there’s no excuse.]

Hubs just looked at me with his eyes wide and said, “Where did Yoda go? You’re like Darth Vader right now, you went to the dark side!”

[He later told me it was like that scene from Lord of the Rings, when the usually happy-go-lucky hobbit Bilbo Baggins suddenly growls and snaps for the Ring, while dark, stormy clouds billow behind him. Well then!]

This is one of the things I struggle with constantly: Jealousy. I’m envious when friends email their baby updates. I get a lump in my throat when the baby announcements and shower invitations arrive in my mail box. I feel weepy when a pregnant lady walks by. I don’t ever go on the minefield of Facebook because I can’t take the litany of ultrasound pics, belly shots, hospital images, etc. My chest tightens. I honestly feel a little tug in my heart every morning and evening when I see that baby stroller in our building lobby. And now there will a new infant in the building! And now I will not be able to even pretend to make eye contact with Mary or her pregnant belly when we run into each other.

[Big sigh.]

Lately (ahem, very lately), I’ve been doing better. When something baby/infertility-related upsets me, I take a deep breath and remind myself I am on MY OWN PATH. But Darth Vader is always lurking and threatening to make an appearance. It takes some seriously active positive/healthy/accepting thinking to not go to the dark side.

The good news is that I pulled myself together pretty quickly. Instead of turning into a sob-by mess and ruining our night, I wiped the tears from my eyes and settled into the drivers seat of the car and said: “Let’s talk about something else, okay?”

Zen zen zen zen.

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18 Comments

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18 responses to “Darth Vader

  1. Rose

    I go to the dark side quite often, and I agree it just ain’t healthy for us. I’m a labor and delivery nurse and I see pregnant women (and many of them) each and everyday. It can feel like torture some days, especially when I find out they are smokers or not happy about accidentally getting pregnant with their 5th child. But some days I’m just happy to be a part of their special day and I think to myself that someday that is going to be me. And I hope that it will soon be you too! Until it gets to be our turn, we wait. And I like your idea of following your own path. This is our life right now, and sometimes I forget all the great parts of it. Good job trying to keep a positive outlook, you’ll get there!

  2. Ok, the darth vadar thing totally made me giggle. Still, I absolutely get it. I’ve been there so many times. Sometimes, no matter how zen you are feeling, it doesn’t take much to bring out the dark side. You should have seen the absolute fit I threw when Jim & Pam got pregnant on The Office. Seriously. I think Ted thought I was going to eat him.

  3. Oh Eggie 😦 I understand. Darth Vader breathes his raspy breath in my ear, too. We reach these points of fragile equilibrium through hard fucking work, but we can only preserve them if the outside world cooperates, which it never does. I can’t tell you how many times I was in a phase of “I am growing, changing, I am part of the circle of life, embrace the dark and the light” only to turn into a vicious growling monster of jealousy at yet another announcement.

    Why can’t they just put us all in a cave away from the rest of the world until this horror is over? Or better yet, why can’t they put the pregnant ladies in the cave?

  4. Man, do I understand! It happens on a regular basis for me, too. And my husband tells me I get “ugly” when it happens. I try to remain zen like you, Egg, but sometimes it’s just so damn hard.I really hope this is our month. You and me.

  5. AL

    haha, love that your husband called it darth vader. You guys are so cute.

    And, yes, as calm as we all try to be it’s so easy to be blindsided and get thrown back over to that dark place by unexpected announcements. The important thing is you bounced back quickly and didn’t let it ruin your night.

  6. *hugs*

    don’t let it unnerve you that you stumbled on your zen path – life is full of stumbling blocks and you have the right to curse them when you hit them.

    You rebounded quickly though, knew the best course of action was a change of subject. You are awesome and amazing.

    Oh and Happy Anniversary! 🙂 I hope dinner was romantic and beautiful and tasty and you had a great time.

  7. Kate

    Hey there–Last week I was so buoyantly happy and all zen like because we were starting our cycle that I was convinced that *nothing* could get me down. Then, my uber-fertile friend told me she got pregnant again…the first month they tried…again (happened w/ her 1st daughter). I cried, I cursed, I picked fights with my husband. But, like you, I found that my response was lessened. That it didn’t result in me curling in the fetal position and crying for hours. So, let’s take that as progress. I think all we can do is ask ourselves to reduce the vicissitude of our emotions. I like your mantra, “I am on my own path.” Because you are. One day, you will have your child and another on the way.

  8. First, I’m so happy your IUI came off as planned, and that you’re having such a good experience with your new clinic. Way Better Fit! And as for the Dark Side, I pretty much live there, so I relate. It’s an awful place, but it also takes a lot of energy to maintain any other state. (At least, for me–and I’m not an athlete like your fine self!) I think it’s FANTASTIC when you can be in a more zen place, but if you lose it once in a while (over something that would probably have me in tears for an hour), nothing to blame yourself over.

  9. Jin

    The title made me laugh. But even the most Zen like person falls off the wagon every once in a while, so it’s ok! As long as you pick yourself up and get back on that Zen magic carpet.

    I’m afraid the jealousy doesn’t go away. 😦

  10. Compared to Darth Vader AND a hobbit. That’s pretty funny.

    Suppressing your feelings isn’t healthy either, so maybe feeling them and then letting them go is the thing to do.

    Here’s hoping you catch you break soon.

  11. Ummm can you send some zen and Yoda like behaviors to me? I can quickly morph into Darth Vader or Eeyore at the drop of a hat. I admire your ability to recognize these feelings and make an effort to change them. I am trying- well kind of….

  12. Ugh, I’m sorry. I think you did a really good job pulling yourself together. I suffer from extreme jealousy so I feel your pain. It really isn’t fair. I hope both of our turns comes soon.

  13. Jeez, it could have been me writing this post. The details vary a bit but honestly, are you in my head? From zen to tears to jealousy, it’s all there. Ugh.

  14. FCblacksheep

    Wow, yay to hubs on such a good analogy, and super yay to you for pulling it together. Yes, the dark side is never far away, and I would’ve reacted the exact same way. It totally sucks and you have every right to say so. But the important part is you didn’t let it break you, and you kept Darth’s appearance to a minimum. Good work Egg.

  15. CW

    Ok can I say I am over super fertile friends and super fertile women in general. Fortunately for me I have one very good friend who … ok … is not TTC BUT said to me in an undertone when listening to the good fortunes of another friend say “can’t they flippin wait till you have had one. Bitch”. So I say to you in undertones….i bet her baby will be ugly ;0 OMG did I just say that! keep your spirits up eggie!

  16. Ah, yes. Darth Vader. I know him well. The key, of course, as others have said, is not always suppressing Darth (unhealthy), but being able to embrace him and then move on. Which you were able to do! And I’m… still working on. Oh, well.

  17. Oh, Egg. It isn’t fair. And the fact that you have to combine the heartbreak of infertility with mood-altering drugs, pregnant neighbours, and early morning appointments only makes it worse. I hope those sperm are working some magic in your belly right now.

  18. Oh, I have definitely had those Darth Vader moments as well. When I found out our downstairs neighbor was pregnant with their second in less than two years, I started going in and out the other side of the building so I didn’t have to be bombarded with her stroller AND baby belly. Jealousy sucks. But it’s normal. And you have an awesome hubs to keep you in check 🙂

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