Infertility Can Be So Lonely
Now no-one's knocked upon my door
For a thousand years, or more...
So lonely, so lonely, so lonely
I feel lonely, I'm so lonely, I feel so low
Sometimes -- pretty often -- this is how I feel; like no one's knocked on my door (or called, or emailed) for more than a thousand years. Isolated, segregated and ignored because of infertility.
It's a constant surprise to me that loneliness has been one of my constant companions in our (almost) three year journey to get pregnant. You'd think this would be a time when friends and family would rally -- or at least give you a modicum of support. Just a "how are you doing?" Far from it.
In the first six months of trying, between thinking we would get pregnant "next month" and being hysterical because it wasn't happening, I found it easier not to talk. When "next month" became the next year, my emotional reserve was teetering on empty -- I needed to release my feelings. I made some murmurings, desperately hoping for some support. Probably inarticulate, my mess of thoughts and emotions had coagulated into a seething stew, and I doubt I was able to convey the devastation, frustration, and heartache that permeated my every day. Even so, eloquent or not, emotion is emotion and I know mine was palpable.
It hurt (hurts, still) that virtually all of the friends and family I told (which was pretty limited) never followed up. And I mean never. I guess if you don't want kids or have had them, especially if you didn't plan them or if you got pregnant easily, you don't have any concept of what it's like to want to be pregnant -- no, to ache to be pregnant. How can you know what it's like to feel broken? To feel a spasm in your core when you see a pregnant woman. To feel useless and alone. To have to face the hideous thought that you might never have your own children.
Maybe they don't care enough.
Maybe they don't know what to say.
Maybe they're too caught up in their minutia.
All of the above.
It's a perpetual puzzle to me.
We're closing in on three years of trying, and I need my friends and family around me. We have some tough decisions to make. And I just want to know they're there. Recently I decided to open up to a couple of people in a way that I never have before, hoping to get a bit of support. I have reached out in the past, a few times, but I made the assumption that my past murmurings were too vague.
This time I spelled it out. It's not pretty. But it's my reality. I don't love talking about my feelings -- facing some of those realities and all -- but it's not healthy to keep them pent up and, let's face it, what are friends for?
A big part of the issue is me not being able to accurately convey what I feel. Why is it so tough to talk about struggling to get pregnant?
It's hard to tell people I'm failing at something so monumental. Once a straight A student, always one. But more than that, this isn't just failing a history test -- this is failing to create a life, a living being -- our baby. Possibly a permanent failure. Ick.
It's hard to bare my soul. I let very few people close to me so opening myself up - something akin to slicing my heart open with a rusty butter knife -- to tell friends or family about the agony is something I don't do often.
It's painful. It's awkward. Facing realities, and all that. Feeling like you're a giant, whiney whiner ('cause you are). Talking about anger, hope failure, loss, jealousy, heartache, devastation.
I'm getting better at reaching out. I've forced myself to and that's a positive - learning that it's ok to talk about feelings, shock/horror. I'm lucky to have one or two pillars of support. It's a learning experience, so we'll see what's to come.
Lucie can also be found at blue.bell.beat