Has it come to this?

Friday, November 12, 2010

(I interrupt Food on Friday with more about the pregnancy (un)announcement. Check for a recipe this weekend!)

Mr. A and I had a pretty "lively" discussion last night given the most recent pregnancy "un"-announcement- "un" because she still hasn't told me. Here are some highlights:

Mr. A is focused on very good things we do have instead of the huge thing that we don't have. He cannot for the life of him understand what it means when I say that I'm happy for {whoever} that they're pregnant, but I'm sad for me. Why do I have to be sad for me, he wonders? We have a nice home, good savings, stable jobs, two great dogs, etc etc etc. I am very thankful for those things and for his constant reminder to put those things ahead of what we might not have.

He says he's going to make a recording for me to play that says "It is going to be alright. We can be happy anyways without kids." because he's tired of saying it over and over with apparent lack of results in my response.

He has been convincing himself for the last couple of years that it probably isn't going to happen (even though he also says that if it's going to happen, it will happen whenever it's supposed to) and he is to the point where he has accepted that and is ready to move on. I am definitely not there yet, but how many more years can I torture myself with the idea that it's possible?? I have started to curtail myself from saying things like "when we will wait for the bus with our kid..." or "what if our kid gets into trouble at school...." or "that's the baby's room..." because I feel like I'm just teasing myself with those kinds of thoughts now.

I have not finished grieving the idea of our biological child, so I don't feel ready to move to adoption. Mr. A thinks that the whole adoption process is plunking down a suitcase of $100's, and saying "call us when you get a baby". I have tried to tell him about all the work and emotional exploration involved and that it isn't an easy road either, and I am not ready to move to adoption until he is fully on board with all that we'll have to go through if we choose adoption. Not to mention, our families are not exactly open to adoption right now, either...

I feel in my heart that I should just keep in touch with my (college) friends who (are) have been supportive, but I don't want to be accused of pushing people away who haven't been (one of them has already pretty much admonished me for this), even though I feel like they don't want to include me in their lives anymore. It makes me so sad that I used to totally belong with them and now I don't.

I still place most, if not all, of the blame of infertility on myself. Maybe it was the training 3+ years ago for the 2 marathons, 3 half marathons, and other distance races that messed up my hormone levels. Maybe it was my unworthy behavior in college or my wavering confidence that God really is going to give us a family. I worry that I miss too many Sunday's at church. At the same time, I know in my head that if God gave out babies on the merit system, drug addicts wouldn't have 7 kids each. But also at the same time, I have to hope that God is pleased with how I try to live my life, and what about all that rewarding the faithful stuff in the Bible??

Especially after that letter about the mama-jama fertility drugs, we are not feeling like we have the emotional energy for another run through the ART gauntlet, much less that it would be a good use/safe risk of our finances. So that leaves us with doing nothing acupuncture. And wheatgrass. Still gulping the wheatgrass.

So anyway, long story short, maybe I should call the christian counseling place here for an appointment. I think Mr. A is growing weary of being the only sounding board, especially because even though he says {mostly} the right things, I don't think he sees enough of a change in me to be confident that he's making a difference (although of course he is). Because I think I'm to the point where I am just about to my limit of dealing with this crap, and it might be helpful to get some guidance on how to go from here.

I know a few of you have gone to at least a few sessions, and I'd love to hear your feedback on your session (did it help?), and suggestions about how to prepare myself for this huge admittance that I might not be dealing with this struggle as well as I think I am.

But really, I think I do a pretty good job of dealing with IF day to day, any other day except pregnancy (un)announcement days. Is that so unforgiveable?

PS. I have to get a preapproval from the mental health section of my insurance!! Is this going to be a huge red flag on my record if I do this?! Maybe I can just talk to my pastor...

Edited to Add: Mr. A is super ultimate amazingly supportive. He totally knows my longing for a baby, and when he says things like, "but look at what we have been blessed with", he does not mean to diminish my (or his) longing for a child. It's just his way of dealing with it- focus on the good not the bad. I think it is an excellent way to approach the things we feel we are missing in our lives, but I have not found it as "easy" as it appears to have been for him to really focus on those things, and not just "say" that.

We are both very honest with each other about everything, including our mutual lack of peace with adoption right now, and we respect each other's positions and reasons. And we did attend an info session in early 2008 that left us both very disappointed (I know every agency is different).

I just hope I didn't paint a picture like he just sits on the couch and says "get over it" when I am struggling with an (un)announcement. He is amazing, and I am so thankful for how he has led our family of 2 in the last 3 years of this struggle. I hope God will allow me the chance to make him a dad- he will be a great one!


lowfatlady said...

*hugs* I am sorry. I have no idea if it would be red flag or have any advice about it, but if you have someone you could talk to I would go for it. I was watching Guiliana and Bill and when Guiliana went to the therapist I was hanging on every word of the therapist hoping she would say something that related to what we were going through or that would help me.

Hillary said...

First of all, I just want to say I don't think it is a matter of dealing with this struggle well vs. not well - this is a grieving process. Granted, I'm sure there are healthier ways to grieve than others, but I don't think you are "failing" in your grieving. I think you are doing it in a very healthy way, and I think this is just really, really difficult and painful. And it is perfectly ok to struggle and need to reach out for support!!

I do think if we reach the end of the road with treatments I would go see a counselor. I have no tips about it since I have yet to go, but I think it would be helpful.

I have been struggling this week, too, with the feeling that it just doesn't "mean as much" to DH as it does to me. Logically I know that is ok - and probably a good thing for our sanity - but it feels extra isolating when the love of your life, your best friend, and the only person truly going through it with you just isn't as effected.

Praying for you, sweet friend. ((hugs))


Coco said...

Oh I am so sorry. Well, about therapy. I think that therapy is only as good as the therapist. I've had very good and very bad experiences. Overall, I think that therapy is an amazing blessing, and I think you could find a lot of healing and answers there. If you get in with a therapist, and it's not working or you leave feeling worse, then find a different therapist. Therapy works. Pastors are great, but they usually don't have enough training to really handle big things. And as for therapy being a red flag, I seriously doubt you need to worry about that. I've been to therapy many times, and it's never made the slightest difference to my insurance, even when changing insurance companies. I would really go and find a good therapist. Really. Even when you are doing "okay" therapy just clears your head and gives you tools to better deal with life. Good luck sweetie. *hugs*

AL said...

I have to second what Hilary said in her comment, there is no right way to grieve this loss and for some reason it seems that husbands just simply don't go through all the emotions that we do with it. They oversimplify the situation, deal with it once, and they're done. It doesn't work that way with us.

I think therapy can be a very helpful experience to talk to a third party that's not involved in the situation (if you find a great therapist). have you read the book Unsung lullabies?

On to adoption, and I know that you aren't ready to pursue it yet, but just in the interest of getting mr. a on the same page on what a process it is - do you think it might be helpful if the two of you went to to an informational session about the process? At least then you could have a meaningful conversation about it with him and maybe he might understand more where you're coming from?

Hugs to you, M.

Ann - Building a Nest said...

I hate to drag out this old excuse, but I think this is just different for men. Agreeing with Hilliary that it is so isolating. A lot of women have always dreamed of having babies – from the moment we held our first baby doll – even when we didn’t always understand it. In a lot of ways, it is one of our purposes. For men, they may have that dream, but usually isn’t as lifelong and it isn’t part of their makeup in the same way (and, therefore, the grieving process isn’t the same). Ask your husband: “How would you feel if you couldn’t provide for your family? If you were injured in some capacity and completely unable to work? Just no ability whatsoever to provide or contribute financially? You know I’d love you just the same, that you would still be a loving husband and capable of giving me all the emotional support in the world, that I’d rather have you than not have you no matter what, but how would it affect you personally & emotionally to not do something you always *assumed* you would be able to?” (This worked on my husband as far as understanding where I was coming from because we, too, had everything else. For whatever reason, this analogy went a long way to getting him to understand.) To me, the lack of fertility for women is much the same way. Part of our “providing for the family” is providing children and the inability to do so just makes us feel like less of a person even when all the other things in our lives are great and picture-perfect. We cannot do something we always assumed we would be able to. And, I’m sorry, but no one gets over a lifetime of dreams and assumptions in just a mere year or so. It’s a process and it hurts to see everyone around, who all had the same assumptions, have those assumptions turn into reality easily while you have no control.

Big hugs to you. We all understand where you are coming from.

Trisha said...

First I am so sorry about the friends and the announcement. Recently a couple at our church didn't tell us (but told everyone else) and it's not that I really cared but it just made it seem really awkward when we did find out (through facebook mind you). Anyways, I digress :)

You know our struggles and how we went through everything and where we are today. You do have to give yourself time, grieve if you will, and find out what's going to work for you---and just like how people get pregnant--it's different for all of us. I do think you have to work through those feelings though or you won't have a clear direction about what the next step is going to be. I also don't think God is trying to punish you for things you have or haven't done. I think He uses this time to mold us, to help us grow, and to trust more fully in Him.

As far as the counseling goes. We talked with a former pastor and close friends who we knew would give us sound advice, even if that meant hurting our feelings (ie not sugar coating it). Yes men do see things different than we do and I don't think they ever "fully" feel the same way we do about having children. But, I do believe you both have to recognize and acknowledge the other person's feelings/thoughts/directions.

I know your DH is great but he has to know how you feel and that your feelings are different from his. Especially since this is something that you desire so badly. I think it would be helpful for both of you to sit down with someone and talk about your feelings about all of this and where you want to be, the direction you feel is best for the both of you.

I'm praying hard for you!

Jessica said...

I thought about seeing a therapist that specifically deals with infertility patients because I tried to see a "regular" therapist and she just didn't understand or give me any great way to deal with with it. I hope you find someone you connect with that can give you some ideas on how to wrap your head around what you are having to deal with.

callmemama said...

I was bawling on my husband's shoulder not even 20 minutes ago and he told me, "you know you really can't let things build up and get to you like this". I just sobbed, "I can't help it!". To which he laughed out loud (scaring the bejeesus out of me, I might add) and said, "I know".
He is finally getting the fact that I know what the appropriate/healthy reaction SHOULD be and yet sometimes I just can't help my feelings.
Husbands want to fix our hurts and with infertility they just can't give us what we want...so they are there to keep us sane and help us appreciate the things we DO have. Without them, we'd be a sobbing mess on the floor most days! But no matter how thankful we are for what we already have, the grief we feel is so deep, so raw, and some days hits us so hard that it's almost impossible to keep it under control.
I think therapy wouldn't be a bad thing at all. I know I feel like I've been in therapy after an appt with Dr. Jen, so if I didn't have her I would have found somebody to talk to long ago.