The PAIL Monthly Theme post for September is “Guilt and Grieving.” There are obviously a myriad of ways to comment on this topic – feel free to click on over and join in the discussion!
What did you lose? What do you grieve?
There’s plenty to consider when revisiting your personal grief and guilt over infertility and loss, but here are a few prompts to get you started:
- What was your vision of family building?
- What got lost– or, more accurately, what did IF and/or loss take away from you?
- Did your loss evolve over time into something else?
- How do you balance grief and guilt?
- How supportive were other people of your need to go through a grieving process? Did you feel like you could talk about it?
So it took me awhile to even try to start this post. Honestly? I wasn’t sure where to start…or if I had anything to write. I also didn’t want to come off as bragging, this is just…my reality.
*I didn’t like being pregnant for the most part (damn you morning sickness that was actually all day vomiting), but I had a fairly normal pregnancy and a healthy baby. Thank God.
*I had a birth experience I loved and I am honestly excited to hopefully experience that again.
*I have supportive friends and family members who were/are there for anything we need.
*I thankfully didn’t go through PPD, and I felt connected to Stells from the moment I pushed (and pulled!) her out.
Sure, the timing was delayed by a couple of years (which yes, at the time was absolute hell), but it turns out that it gave us time to buy a house and get into jobs we enjoyed more. If we had a child to support at the time, I don’t know if we would have had the courage to change.
Sure, it was expensive as hell to conceive (though our costs obviously don’t hold a candle to adoptive parents and IVFers)…but between our savings and my parents helping us out, we made it work, and it was worth every penny. Do I wish I could have conceived over a bottle of wine? You bet your ass I do. But I guess I’ve made peace with that not being our reality.
Sure, I’m bummed that Stella’s cousin is nearly two years older than her…but now his little brother is only 7 months younger, and Stella will be that much closer in age to any other cousins that come along, and that’s not such a bad thing!
Sure, my vision of family building used to include 3-4 kids, and now it only includes “hopefully two.” However, I don’t know if this is a function of the cost of TTC for us or just a natural evolution of realizing the cost of raising kids in general, so it’s not something I’m grieving necessarily. I’m actually excited about being able to travel more with my child(ren), since that is something I love doing.
However, as I wrote this, I realized…
I’m still petrified of doing something to jinx next time. By writing that, have I jinxed there being a next time? Is that what I’m grieving, the easy innocence and assumption that fertiles have that the “next time” is a given?
I still have issues reacting with unadulterated joy for friends who get and stay pregnant. I’m way better that I used to be, for sure, but I hate that there’s always a little niggle in the back of my head when I hear about a pregnancy…some shitty little part of me that grumbles, “did they have to try as hard as I did?” It’s not that I ever want anyone else to go through IF, I just want others to get how hard it was for us to go through IF.
So yep, that’s my guilt, that’s my grieving. I just want to be happy for others, and that is fucking hard.
Thank God I have you ladies to turn to.