Friday, February 26, 2010

from my perspective

Well, the third baby boy was born early this morning! My friend Mandy gave birth to her first son, Elijah Glenn, at 4:41am. Charlie and I are so excited for our friends. It's a blessing for them, and they had trouble getting pregnant as well, so it's all good.

I don't know how you react to babies being around you. I'm normally okay with it. There used to be blogs that I read that were full of this cold bitterness directed towards pregnant women. Women who would get mad, angry and furious if someone shared that they were pregnant. It was like "how dare she?" get pregnant when I can't.

I don't have that view.

I don't see it like that.

What I know is that creating a family is easy for some and hard for others. What I know is that it's the luck of the draw. It's random.

I can't control my ovaries any more than the next girl. I mean, seriously, why should I be offended because a friend had a baby? Other people have just as much right to have babies as I do, and they shouldn't wait or hold off because my feelings might get hurt. My husband needs to be careful of my feelings, but I don't expect a casual friend at church to worry about it, or a coworker. The world doesn't stop because I am infertile.

Here's what I expect:
  • If you know me well, and love me, then take care letting me know about your pregnancy. Take me aside and tell me privately, or send me an email or tell me over the phone. Don't let me find out in some big crowd.
Um, that's it. I fully understand that pregnant women have a right to be happy about their pregnancies, their nurseries, their registries, their new carseats, diaper bags, bottles and baby showers. It's what we do in this country. We celebrate babies. Why should anyone have to hold in their joy? I do not want people to have to tiptoe around me. Sheesh.

I know my view is probably different than other IF women, and I respect what you may feel. They are your feelings. But God gave me a gift when he gave me this viewpoint: freedom. I am free to be happy about these births and babies and showers and all the trappings that come with it. He unwrapped this gift in my heart and has let it stay there. Yes, I still long for a child of my own, but until then I will cuddle up on these babies and shower them with attention.

It might be that you are sitting there reading this and wondering what I am smoking, and I get that. But ask yourself if being bitter is getting you anywhere. Do you feel better when people shy away from you or don't talk to you because they are afraid of your reaction? I don't. That makes me feel more nervous because I don't want to be avoided. Being open allows me to take part in the fun, and don't you want be included in the fun?

This might be too much to ask some of you, maybe those of you who have experienced a baby loss or miscarriage. I haven't ever been there, and so my perspective might be different from yours if that is the case. It may be more painful for you than I can realize, and if so, please know I don't mean to be disrespectful of that loss. I just know that I asked God to work in my heart and I think that anyone can ask the same.

Back to those blogs I read, the bitter ones. I gave some comments, encouraging the women to let some of the anger go, but eventually I stopped reading. My time out in blogland needs to be spent with women that are hopeful, like me. Yes, we all struggle. I do. If you look back a couple of posts, you'll see me struggling with the WHEN, and the COSTS. Adoption is overwhelming at times and we've all been there. But I don't want to introduce anymore anger into the situation, so I back off those blogs that are all anger all the time. Those blogs are a place for women to vent, but I don't need to take it in.

And, if I offended you, I'm sorry.


Chelsie said...

I just can't tell you how much I admire your attitude. I want to be like you. Thank you!

Chasing said...

Great perspective on things.

WheelbarrowRider said...

I am so glad you shared this. I started to think that this didn't exist and it saddened me. I am proud of you-it shows maturity and peace.

marge said...

Thankyou sooooo much for writing this. I was just talking about this to my husband. I would never be mad at a person for being able to adopt a child idlf we lost one of our foster placement kiddos. Why should women be mad at others who can biologically produce one?

Sew said...

I totally used to be like the girl you are referring too....Sure it's upsetting when your middle school friend never calls but does pick up the phone when she announces her pregnancy to you...Then apologizes for not being able to be fully supportive of the ordeal you are going through. It was kind of a slap in the face...An email or text would have sufficed.

Things like that urk me....But I don't have the overwhelming pain when I hear of another persons pregnancy, it doesn't represent my loss anymore the way it used to in the beginning....

But to clear things up, the maddness does not come from another who can biologically produce one, it comes from the reminder of the loss that IF'er feels...She feels like she lost out again and the grief sets in.

I guess we are also called to meet people where they are...There is a season for everything...Thankfully mine season of anger has come and gone...

I really am glad that you have been spared from ever having those feelings. Maybe spared isn't the right word....But the weight of that anger is hard to carry until at once you finally are tired of living with it! ;)

When people are kind enough to show you God's love in announcing pregnancy it makes the salt on the wound not salt. :) It's a bitter pill to swallow, but somebody has to do it! :)

I hope I don't sound like I'm lecturing or disagreeing with you... :) Just chatting! ;)

E said...

I have those bitter moments (if you haven't noticed already). And then I get over it. I don't think it's wrong to feel that way, but I agree that when it's constant, it can be troubling. Everyone deals with this journey differently. But there's something to be said for letting it out and blogs are a good place to do that. There are many times that I shy away from blogs that are what I think are really angry. But at the same time, I can understand it too.

I admire your positive attitude and honesty.

I gave you an award on my blog!

Beau said...

love your perspective! very refreshing. : )

Foster Family said...

So very proud of you are a strong woman and you are going to be a great mom very soon!

Frizzy and Bird said...

Sissy, I feel like you but it was a choice I made long before I knew I couldn't have children. I recalled watching my neighbor take joy from women she called her friends over and over again. She would be angry at them and treat them badly when they got pregnant as if they did it to spite her. I made a promise to myself while watching her that should I ever be in her shoes that I would not take other's joy away.

While going through our own infertility struggles friends of mine worried about telling me they were pregnant for the 2nd, 3rd or 4th time. They pulled me aside or called me on the phone and were always so relieved I was genuinely happy for them. I was!

The days that bothered and still bother me are when I learn of a mother who has thrown her baby in a trash can to die or other horrid stories on the news. That's when I become upset and wonder. GOD! WHY BLESS HER WITH A CHILD BUT NOT ME? WHAT IS THE LESSON or POINT IN THAT POOR BABY'S DEATH?

Thank you for your honesty, I know it's not always easy. We all have our crosses to carry.

Kelly said...

Hey there!
My spam is blocking all my blog comments on my email and I am just not seeing your comment from weeks ago!!!
Thanks for stopping by my blog! I am looking forward to reading yours!

Ann - Building a Nest said...

I completely understand and could not agree more.

A while back, I wrote a post to answer people’s questions on why I am not “out” with my friends on the IF front and this was a big part of it. I love my friends and their kids. I wouldn’t want them to shy away from me or not include me like they do or to worry needlessly on how to give me a pregnancy announcement. Their gains have nothing to do with my loss. (Now I know some think I’m strange for being so closed among friends/family and that is their opinion to have. Not everyone is an open book (I certainly have never been – that didn’t start with infertility)).

However, I understand the other side, too. In reading the different blogs, I think there are those that fall into the “pure bitterness” category and those that fall into the “grief” area. The ones you describe were terrible. Women are filled with bitterness towards “fertile” women and even great bitterness towards their husbands when there is male infertility factor or, heaven forbid, the husband was horribly ill on a “crucial” day. The bitterness was evident and in your face and unrelenting. But there are others where the blogger just had a bad day. They are trying to deal with acceptance and peace. I can think of one in particular that I read right around the time I started blogging and almost turned off completely because she was so down. I kept reading and started to see that it was truly grief she was experiencing. Her world was standing still and everyone else’s kept going. She wasn’t happy for others, but she wasn’t bitter towards them either. When I have been grief-stricken (and I know you have as well), I remember that feeling (albeit unfair) that when you are horribly depressed and filled with grief, the world should somehow share that feeling. I don’t know, it was just a turning point for me in my understanding of how this IF affects different women in different ways. (She’s now a happy former IFer!) So, no, I can’t read the bitter ones, but for the others that have a “fallen” moment or two, I’m there to listen/read. I may not understand their exact reaction or their exact feelings, but that’s okay. I understand the pain and that’s enough.

barbie said...

I absolutely agree! I've had IF for 11 years and now two failed adoptions, I get very frustrated but bitterness has no place in my life.....I am happy for friends who get pregnant though I do get frustrated when they take their fertility for granted...........

Mommy said...

I feel a little reserved in even commenting on this post. I have not walked in your shoes. I won't pretend to know the loss you have felt through this process. I just want you to know I am in awe of your attitude. I am so proud of you.


LenaBug said...

I used to be angry, but just at the fact that I can't get pregnant. It was (and still is) difficult to hear about yet another friend getting pregnant (especially the ones that are accidental, or who didn't want kids until they got pregnant), but I after almost three years, I am learning to just deal with it. The one place that it is SUPER HARD is Facebook. I have a dear friend who struggled for something like 1 1/2 years with infertility who is due in about two months. I am THRILLED for her, but I just can't read her posts on FB anymore - she updates almost hourly, and every single update is about her pregnancy or her is just too painful, even though I am happy for her. I agree with you, though - bitterness helps no one.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate this post - I feel the same way about other pregnant women. I really don't feel anger or bitterness toward them, but I do feel pain for myself, which is important to acknowledge. However, just like I don't covet other people's children, nor do I covet their pregnancies. I'm not sure if that makes sense? Anyway, thanks for thos post.

Laurie said...

Great prospective!! I do have to add to some of the comments as well, that it annoys me to no end to hear out of the blue after years have gone by that someone is pregnant. Like was my life, the joys and pain, not worth your effort until you wanted to brag about your good fortune? But as far as women having babies in general goes...I am with you girl. I would never wish barrenness on another soul, so why not rejoice when their children come home- whether through adoption or pregnancy. And i too must steer away from negative blogs that are always venting. It just doesn't do my spirit any good. Aren't personal diaries supposed to be reserved for that?

Cathy said...

The principle emotion for me during IF was sadness. I wasn't ever angry - a little bemused by the chicks at my church on their 7th kids, maybe, but not really "bitter." Maybe this is because I am the 9th of 9 kids. I LOVE big families.
EVERY child is a blessing. EVERY child is willed by God to exist. To direct anger at his or her existence is a serious sin, IMO.
Some folks get angry at mommy blogs. While I admit I'm not generally a fan of those (that's just not me), I keep one (well, it's my hubs' blog, really) because my family lives a thousand miles away at the closest, in Hawaii at the furthest.
My FAMILY wants to see my child. My daughter's first family wants to see her, too.
I blog about her mostly for them.
Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for writing that. I've wanted to for a long time, but I'm too chicken.

God bless.

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

I have never struggled with infertility but I have friends that have. I am so thankful for this perspective and know that it comes from a deep faith in God. Thank you for your honesty!