Monday, October 02, 2006


Because it's Yom Kippur. But I can't sleep, and I have some shit that is bothering me. (Maybe I can refrain from swearing on this holiest of holy days.)

There are two items on today's "I need to talk about this" list. I will go in chronological order, rather than in order of "weighing my brain down to my toes".

I noted in my previous post my surprise of the lack of nosiness my parents displayed upon us mentioning the time needed for appointments. It seemed we had gotten off easy, for at least a while. Let me state that that while lasted a mere 22 hours.
The following night my parents came over again for dinner. (This time for a bbq, which they do often as they donated their ultra wonderful bbq to us when they moved to a condo.) Dinner was served and we weren't sitting for 2 minutes when my dad says: "I bet you were surprised that we didn't ask you any questions about your appointments. Let me know if this conversation makes you uncomfortable, and we don't have to have it." OMG, the return of the heart palpitations.
I have told you before how much I love my husband. Man, did I adore him at this moment. After only skipping a beat or two, he explained very succinctly that we are trying to have a baby, and it's not working so easily, so we are getting some help.
Ms. C: exhale.
My parents' reply (practically in unison): "Oh, we figured that months ago, and were wondering when you were going to tell us. Which didn't happen, so we figured we would ask."
That was pretty much the end of the discussion for the evening, except for my father joking about 50 too many times how I shouldn't be drinking wine, because I might be pregnant.
How do I feel about how this went? I'm glad you asked. Here is my list on the matter:
1. For some reason, I always imagined this conversation with me crying. I didn't do much speaking, so I stayed pretty calm.
2. The C's taking control over the conversation made it much easier for me too. He is so the greatest in the whole wide world.
3. Seeing as they pretty much already figured out what was going on, we didn't have to go into too many details.
4. "A mother knows her daughter," said my mother. She knew I was off the pill because my face was breaking out, and my chin was sprouting hairs galore (O, PCO symptoms, how I heart thee. One day I will write a post entirely dedicated to you.) Unfortunately, they may not know how long we have been trying, as these symptoms (which I had in my teens) only started reappearing after about 6 months off the pill.
5. Comments like "you shouldn't be drinking wine, you could be pregnant" show that my father doesn't really understand what is going on here. After about 5 more comments in this vein, I looked at him completely seriously and said: "Those comments are entirely inappropriate. Please stop. I am not pregnant."
6. They didn't ask what was wrong, and we didn't volunteer this info. They may think that we have no idea what treatment would be (as far as they know we are just getting medical help starting soon), and it was apparent that they have no idea how infertility (not that we used that word) can be dealt with. I think I'm ok with their lack of knowledge at this point, but what it means is that we will have to have more conversations in the future.
7. Leaving all this aside, they were almost as thrilled to hear it from our own mouths that we want to get pregnant (and give them more wonderful grandchildren!), than if we had actually told that we were pregnant. I was in shock. I always thought that they thought that we should wait for having a family (as sometimes I think they still see me as their baby.) That they are excited is exciting to me.

What we didn't talk about is how emotionally difficult and draining this has been on me so far. We didn't tell them that hearing announcements and progress reports of all their friends' children was very painful to me. Which brings me to thing number two that is so important to get off my chest that I am blogging on Yom Kippur.

Man, this is hard to write without me seeming like an awful person. Here is some background on the situation. My parents have these awesome best friends. I love them practically like they are my own parents. They are the kind of people of an older generation that you wish were your parents sometimes, you know what I mean? These super-duper friends have four sons, the oldest being the same age (within days) as me. Let’s call him Alfred.
Though our families lived on opposite ends of the continent, as we got older we visited with each other lots. I was close to Alfred by default; we were always being thrown together. The summer we were 14 we shared our first kiss. I pretty much see him as my first boyfriend, and though there were other guys in my life throughout my teen years, when ever we met up there was instant attraction. We experienced a number of other firsts together (he taught me to roll my first joint at 17…), so although in the long run it wasn’t destined to work out, he holds a special place in my heart.
In our 20s we moved on with our lives, emailing sporadically, and getting updates about each other from our parents. We met our respective partners, and talked about wedding plans. The C and I were engaged for five years, and I was ok with not being married (I really wanted to finish my master’s first), except, for some nagging reason, I felt the need to be married before Alfred. I don’t know why I felt so competitive about this. I remember telling a friend about this feeling, and she validated it, but still-weird. We did (finally) get married, a year before Alfred and his partner.
I’m not very good at writing suspenseful stories, so we know where this is going, right?
This summer my Alfred’s mom was here visiting and we were preparing dinner together. And she was going on and on about her son planning their family. A familiar thought popped into my head: omg, not before me, we have been waiting so much longer for this! Later in the summer Alfred was in town for a few days. We caught up, and laughed a lot as we usually do when together. It amazes me how well he and The C get along. And then the conversation turned to having kids. And how they were planning. And how if we wanted to start a family, well we should get going because we’re not getting any younger, and well, you know, it could take a few months.*
Anyways. Guess what news we received last night, via my parents (who you would think would be a bit sensitive to pregnancy announcements, now that some of our hardships are out in the open)? You’ve got it! Due in April.
I had anger, pain, resentment, (you name it) boiling in me all night. I am so upset. It’s not fair! I want this too! How come they can have what I can't? Why does it seem like for everyone else all they have to do it talk about getting pregnant and then they are? Why why why?
And as The C said to me: “Why can't you just be happy for them?”

*Please note that this is the second man to tell me how long it might take for us to conceive. The first being my friend’s husband after whose words this blog was named


~r said...

It's so hard to just be happy for someone else when their happiness is a reminder of what you've been trying to reach for so long.

I'm glad the discussion with your parents went relatively well. I hope it leads to easier discussions in the future, should you wish to share more information with them.

mandolyn said...

My parents sort of don't get it either. ("It" being the dreaded "infertility" word that only I manage to say out loud.) They are currently in a trying-to-fix-it mode, which puts me on edge constantly.

How I wish that it was all about what was and wasn't fair. Then at least it would make sense. It's so hard to go out in public and see people that have what you've been longing for, but it's even harder when it's someone you know. I hate living in fear of pregnancy news and birth announcements from SuperFertiles, but it is what it is. Outwardly, you can try to be happy for them all day long, but it doesn't quiet the fire that rages inside.

Hopeful Mother said...

I guess it's good that your parents already had an idea, and great that they are so excited for you.

It's just a bummer when we have to educate them on this (very embarassing) process/topic. It is never easy.

I love Mr. C. for taking the burden off your shoulders. My husband did that for me too when we had "the talk" with my parents. It kept me from crying.

Lut C. said...

I'm glad you coped well with the conversation with your parents, even though they made a number of faux pas.

Perhaps you can send them to these links:
Infertility etiquette
A guide to give to family

We've finally decided to tell my MIL and FIL, I'm pretty nervous about that.

My Reality said...

I am glad that the follow up conversation with your parents went ok.

As for Alfred, I have an Alfred too. I still see him on a regular basis, the situation of growing up together sounds rather familiar. My Alfred got married 2 years after we did, so I got the married first part in. His daughter just celebrated her first birthday. When I got the news that his wife was expecting, I didn't sleep for a couple of days. You have no idea how much I relate to you on this.

zhl said...

Of course Alfred had to get knocked up first. So sorry. That must have hurt, but Mr. C's comment must have been worst. You're already feeling bad that you're upset. Hope the day ends better.

aah0424 said...

Ugh, I hate it when husbands take that route! It is so hard to be happy for people when what they have is the one thing causing you so much pain. I am so sorry!

Anonymous said...

"Why can't you just be happy for them?"

A part of you IS happy for them. But the bigger part is hurting so much that it's hard to see it.

Cause. it's. just. not. fair. :(

I'm sorry MsC. I remember when I found out my friend was pregnant. I don't know how I survived that day. It wasn't because I wasn't happy for her, it's because I was so sad for myself.

flygirl said...

Oops. That anonymous was me.

Mary Ellen and Steve said...

I am sorry Ms. C. I think that we all have been there. It is hard to watch people get so easily what you have fought so hard for. I hope that it happens for the two of you very soon. Hugs.

Thalia said...

Those people who tell you to just be happy don't get how hard it hurts to not be able to just be happy for that other person. hang in there.

Karaoke Diva said...

Because you can't be happy for them when you are so damn unhappy for yourself. Trust me. I am in your shoes. I tell my pregnant friends I'm happy for them, but really I'm pissed at the unfairness of it all. I'm too overwhelmed by my own feelings of sadness and rage that I can't fit any happiness in right now.

sarielandshlomit said...

oh sweetie...don't be too hard on will be happy for them eventually...the pain is unreal sometimes, isn't it?! and when the c says stuff like that try to focus on all of his wonderful qualities!! (like being so straightforward and cool with your parents!!!) for your parents, i'm glad you've been 'outed'...that must be somewhat of a relief...and good that they are going to be (relatively!) cool abt medical appts...and i'm so THRILLED to hear about the c's sperm deets!!!! (and now i know waaaaaaaayyyyy too much about the c and his penis and what comes out of it...i think you know what i mean!)...
take heart, m'dear, your answers and your game plan are getting closer...and hey, you're a hell of a lot younger than me!!!! (meaning that old biological clock isn't ticking quite so ominously as mine!!!!!!!!)

sending you love, girl!

Jessie said...

I read this post and I completely sympathize. I don't know why with some friends, it DOES feel like a competition to get pregnant first. It's so hard to be happy for them even if they are your friends when you don't know when or IF it'll ever be you.