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Silence is deafening

October 15, 2014

Since finding out on June 12th that I was pregnant again, very unexpectedly, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on how different this pregnancy is, compared to my last, nearly 4.5 years ago.

And it is different – in every single way.

This pregnancy wasn’t planned down to the second. It wasn’t paid for in blood, sweat, tears, money and injections.

It wasn’t cried over, prayed for in sleepless nights.

It wasn’t belabored in stirrups, counting follicles or blood draws.

This pregnancy was everything the last pregnancy was not.

It was created while drunk, on vacation, with my husband IN A BED. With no medical intervention.

This pregnancy was something I thought my body could not do.

…. And it was the pregnancy I had always wished to have. A surprise. Something my body created on its own.

My wish came true.

But it has been so different, in every single way.

My pregnancy with Kaitlin, once it was in place, was the most picturesque pregnancy I could have ever imagined. Never once did I throw up. Never once did I hate the changes my body was experiencing. I gained a “perfect’ 23 lbs. I had a “perfect” c=section delivery, just as I planned. My daughter was a great baby. It was all just as I had hoped – and it was so welcomed after a hellish conception.

There was something that wasn’t perfect with that pregnancy though  — it was WHO I became when I was pregnant 5 years ago.

Because I lived in the land of IF, I found immense guilt in being pregnant when so many of my friends were still struggling, saving the money for treatments or adoption. I felt guilty for finally crossing the finish line.

So I recently went back and read my blog posts on IF Crossroads from the time that I was pregnant. And there was one common theme that kept popping up post delivery. I promised myself that if I ever managed to get pregnant on my own again, I would not spend my time being guilty, worried about every word that comes out of my mouth and feeling as though I had to hide in the background.
I promised myself that I would enjoy the miracle. I promised myself that I would be as “normal” as I could be. I wouldn’t worry about everyone around me. I wouldn’t tip toe around the fact that I was growing a life.  I would remain compassionate and empathetic to those that were struggling but I wouldn’t let their sorrow temper my joy.

Funny how things are so different. I guess my plan didn’t include a difficult high risk pregnancy.

This time around I am not hiding my pregnancy. I’m not mincing every word for fear of offending someone. I’m honoring it in the way I feel honors me best. And yes, because it’s been a hellaciously difficult pregnancy, that honor has come in the form of complaints. It’s really REALLY hard to be gracious and grateful when you are hanging on to your body and sanity by a small thread. It’s hard to have gratitude when you can barely manage to consume 200 calories in one day and you vomit 50 (+) times in that same day. It’s hard to see the “big picture” when you feel like your body is trying to kill you so that it can hang on to sustain the life it is growing inside. All of that is some scary shit. And let me tell you – when you are going through some scary shit, the last thing you want is to be judged for your words.

When you are going through scary shit you want SUPPORT.

Sadly, I will say that support is not what I felt from a large portion of my friends and family.

Instead of being supported through what was one of the most difficult times of my life, I felt judged.

I felt judged because I “should know better” than to complain about a way-wanted baby. I felt judged because I would know better than anyone that there are millions of women that would give their left leg to be in my shoes. I felt judged everytime I complained, shed a tear or even mentioned feeling miserable. The general sentiment I felt was that I should just shut up and suffer in silence.  Essentially because I had the privilege of this miracle pregnancy that so many would die to have, I shouldn’t dare complain one nanosecond.

You might ask why I felt all of the above. How did I know I was being judged.

I guess the answer to that question is that I didn’t know for sure. But I can say that silence speaks volumes – especially in this community. As a community, the ALI’ers are a generally supportive bunch. We’ve dealt with our fair share of shit. We’ve commiserated each other through some horrific ordeals and sorrows. And we are not silent when someone is suffering. We are the first to reach out and support those people.

But I didn’t feel support – I felt silence. Deafening silence.

And you know what?

That’s okay.

I don’t judge those who judged me.

They haven’t walked a mile in my shoes to know what I experienced this summer.

I didn’t understand how debilitating HG could be until I had it. Just like I didn’t undestand how devastating IF could be until I was diagnosed.

So I don’t judge the silence. I’m here to extend an olive branch. I’m here to say this:

Lets support all of those who cross over to the other side of IF – no matter how they get there.

If you have a friend who decides to live childfree after IF – support her – she is struggling. Don’t leave her in silence.

If you have a friend who gets pregnant after treatment – support her – she is struggling. Don’t leave her in silence.

If you have a friend that is struggling after reaching pregnancy – via IVF/IUI or ART or even a blessed “natural” conception – support that friend. She is struggling. Don’t leave her in silence.

 

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 15, 2014 5:15 pm

    ((hugs)) I’ve definitely felt less connected this (surprise, natural, in a bed no effort or money spent) pregnancy. I don’t know if it’s because I dropped out of the IF/trying community myself thanks to the time/energy demands of parenting, or if those who were around at that time have moved on themselves or what. Maybe it’s because those time/energy demands cut back my blog posts, even now. I’m glad you’ve been around though – even if it’s mostly been through a different platform. 🙂

  2. October 17, 2014 2:46 pm

    Just found you on Mel’s blog – I liked your comment about the egg freezing. I’m sorry that you are dealing with a difficult pregnancy and that you feel judged by the community. It seems to be a common theme around here, and I’ve noticed that since I brought home baby #2 through adoption that my twitter feed has been fairly void of comments, likes, what have you. I’m feeling it too, and I think it’s because now that I have two kids and I am happily done with family building that somehow I don’t need support. Or most people are in a different place of looking to how they are going to get to #2 baby now that they have managed to get #1 baby. It’s always a weird transition I think.

    HG sounds horrifying.

  3. October 20, 2014 1:37 pm

    Hey Lady! I just thought to check your blog (still in denial that it’s Monday). It’s great to hear from you–I need to write more. I’m sorry that you’re having a rough time (HG and now back pain). Complain away, sister! If we can’t be honest in life, what can we be? Even though I’m MIA, I’m cheering for you. xoxo

  4. October 21, 2014 6:15 pm

    Hey – found you via microblog Mondays. Congratulations on baby #2! The pain sounds awful. I hope that you can find some kind of relief.

  5. October 24, 2014 7:55 pm

    Always thinking of you. ((hugs)) I can’t even imagine how difficult this pregnancy has been and how frustrating it must be to not feel that support. Know that I’m always here! Reading always, commenting whenever I manage to get to something with an actual keyboard… 🙂

  6. October 28, 2014 4:35 am

    I’m so sorry you’re having such a difficult pregnancy,it sounds absolutely awful. Pregnancy can be so incredibly difficult physically. I hope you turn a corner soon and second and third trimester has you feeling much better.

    Congratulations again! (I conceived my first drunk on vacation after IF and loss, and second was IVF. 🙂 )

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