Monday, December 7, 2009

Infertile on Infertile Violence

Or, When Good Infertiles Go Bad

My neighbor stopped by last week while we were putting up Christmas lights, for an impromptu doggy playdate (adorable...more later*). She asked how "life" (in air quotes) is going. So I told her.

....Random history lesson: she and I took a yoga class together last fall and after much prying, I finally told her we were trying albeit with great difficulty and an infertility diagnosis. She had also told me about a friend of hers, someone I see twice a year at neighborly parties, who is near 40 and has multiple male- and female-factor infertility diagnoses, also planning to use IVF to get pregnant....

Fastforward to last week's convo: "How's 'life'?" "Oh, well...not much to report. Nothing is working, not even IVF, so we're on a break until January and then we'll try again." "Oh, you know my friend ___? She just got pregnant. Second try with IVF. At her age, with her problems...who knew? I just cried and cried when she told me her test was positive. I am so happy for her."

What? Was someone talking just then? I either kind of blacked out in some sort of infertility rage, or I blocked it out so I could get-the-fuck-out-of-this-conversation, scanning my surroundings for any viable exit. I cannot explain my reaction, other than A) abject jealousy in the absence of offered empathy, B) PMS-fueled self-pity in the absence of offered decorum, and/or C) some alien rage that takes over me when I hear ANY pregnancy announcement (or see a movie on tv that involves someone like Katherine Heigl going through labor with full make-up, or Tina Fey magically getting pregnant after an untreatable infertility diagnosis, get the picture). I just cannot feel joy for other people when they get pregnant right now, even if they have suffered to get there as I still do. Cannot. I can fake it like a champ, but I can't feel it.

The neighbor's newly knocked-up friend will be at the neighborly Christmas party this weekend and I absolutely dread hearing about her pregnancy and watching her touch her belly and seeing her grin like an idiot when she has to explain why she can't have a drink. My objective for that evening will be to remain out of earshot, at least 15 yards away, and out of her line of sight at all times. I will have to summon all my infertility conversation-avoidance ninja training to pull this off. Wish me luck, grasshoppers.

This past week I questioned why I took time off, why I didn't plan for a December cycle. Just because, you know, at least cycling feels like progress. The wheels don't know the difference between chasing pavement and spinning. The break has been lovely overall, but now January cannot get here fast enough. I am fighting to keep my resolve to do this one more time with my own eggs. Donor egg cycling has been on my mind. Infertility is a royal mindfuck.

*My ladylike dog would NOT let her male dog sniff her butt. She very primly sat down every time. Then she chased him around and flipped him on his back a few times. Rawr.


Pundelina said...

"Ignore the insulting tongue. Duck the provoking blow. Run from the assault of the strong." There's some Kung-Fu wisdom for ninja-Jen.

I am a bit the same with the jealousy. And I'm not comfortable with jealousy and envy, I liketh them not. Good luck at the Christmas party.


hope4joy said...

Oh my. I am with you. I hate faking and try to avoid preggos at work and one REALLY annoying dad to be who insisted on telling me about possible baby names the week after IVF#1 failed. I am not happy about it but it is true. I feel for you. I hope it all goes well. If not you can always play dirty. Everytime she touches her belly take a sip of your cocktail really loudly and talk about how tasty it is.

bunny said...

Who knows--someone who will share another person's intimate details with you might very well share your intimate details with another person. Maybe she'll be super sensitive and nice and avoid you. A Christmas miracle! Your post also made me wonder if there are any helpful portrayals of IF in the movies. The only possibility I could think of was Children of Men...