It’s not all about me! Except that sometimes I want it to be.

downloadYou guys, in case you’ve forgotten, infertility really sucks.  It’s changed me.  It’s changed my personality.  And sometimes, I don’t like those changes.  At all.

In some ways, infertility has made me more compassionate and understanding.  It’s made me realize that we all have things going on that may not necessarily be known, but that affect us.  If someone is acting rude or absent minded or just seems a bit “off”, for the most part now I don’t take it personally and just realize that as I am going through an issue, he or she may also be facing something private.  Infertility has helped me give people the benefit of the doubt.

In other ways, it’s really turned me into a one upping bitch (I hate that term but there is really no other way to describe it!).  You see, at first I didn’t see the seriousness of my situation.  I told a couple friends about my diagnosis, but I still had so much false hope that things would work out and everything would be fine.  Just like many people who don’t have an intimate relationship with infertility, I thought, this is 2013 (at the time).  There are so many advances in fertility treatments!  I got this!  I was so naive.  I did to myself what so many people do to me now – minimized my situation.

Fast forward to almost three years of shots, scans, blood work, and procedures.  I have come to realize that no, I don’t got this.  I don’t got this at all.  Nevertheless, like many other diseases, infertility can’t be seen, which leads many people to think I live a charmed life.  I have a wonderful partner (soon to be husband!) and I have a good job.  I have time to devote to hobbies.  I look outwardly healthy.  What in the world must I know about problems!  My life is perfect!  People feel very free to let me know this, and often!

And here is where the bitchiness comes in.  At first, I would just kind of smile and say everyone has issues and no one lives a perfect life.  The more time has passed however, the harder it has become to just leave it at that.  I am tired of my problems being diminished.  I’m tired of people thinking because I am single and childless that whatever I have going on in my life is not important.  Being 36 years old, many people I know are parents.  I have gotten to the point where it feels like parents are the only group of people for which it is socially acceptable to complain.  People without kids, sorry!  Your problems pale in comparison!  I mean I get that parenting has got to be the toughest job second to none.  People need to vent.  I totally understand this.  But sorry parents, you don’t have the monopoly on problems.  Especially when you planned on having these children.  (side rant:  If a couple is not using any form or birth control and the woman falls pregnant, I consider that a planned pregnancy.  I have a friend who was absolutely gob smacked when she found out she was pregnant earlier this year, despite the fact that she never used any form of birth control.  No, that’s not how it works.  Be surprised when you’re not using protection and you DON’T fall pregnant.  That’s when you know you have an issue.)

And then the one upping starts.  If someone starts complaining to me, about their children or about anything really, I feel the need to interject with some complaint of my own, just to show that actually no, my life is NOT perfect.  Or if a friend who knows about my infertility complains about her shoe size going up after pregnancy, I feel the need to say well at least you have your child, I wouldn’t mind going up a shoe size or a dress size!  Yes, that actually happened.  It makes me feel absolutely monstrous.  Who am I?!

I realized that I was turning into a self pitying monster when I started planning my wedding.  I actually got to the point where even though this positive thing was going on I always felt the need to remind people of my infertility, as if to say I’m having a good time now but this boulder is still on my plate.  Which it is, and it is something that is always with me.  But why did I feel the need to MENTION it, and multiple times?!  I couldn’t go on like that.  It was awful!

Infertility was turning me into someone I didn’t like very much.  Now, I am trying to find a balance.  If someone asks me about having children or points out that I am getting a bit long in the tooth (thanks for noticing!), or how lucky I am that I don’t have any bratty kids, I am honest.  I don’t go into specifics, but I do say I have some fertility issues and children may not be a possibility for me.  However when people come to me with their own problems, I am keeping it about them.  I have always been a person that people would come to when they need to vent, and I want to continue being that person.  Of course I still have my moments of pity and I do stand up for myself more now than I used to, but I think that’s ok.  I’ve realized that although I’m powerless to my diagnosis, I do have power over my own actions.  Screw you infertility, although you are a complete asshole I don’t have to be one.

So to conclude – life is tough.  Instead of not enjoying good moments because of my condition, I am trying to enjoy the good moments EVEN MORE.  No one likes a one upper.  Especially not a bitchy one 😉

Why did you have those kids again??

So this my be viewed as a pretty negative post, but I am trying to use this blog to release my pent up feelings, negative or otherwise.  So here goes.

Parents complain a lot.  They complain about how little sleep they get.  They complain they don’t get alone time with their partners.  They complain that their kids are ALWAYS AROUND, and they can’t wait to have a “kid free” night.  Rationally I know this is normal.  However I am at a point that I need to protect my heart, and my heart is wounded when parents tell me I am so lucky to not have kids, or to not have kids because they are a pain in the ass.  Granted, they do not know my situation, but it’s still a fucking rude thing to say.  It makes me want to turn around to them and say if you hate kids so much, then why did you have so damn many of them?

This happens a lot with M’s friends.  M is from the Midwest which in his case means his friends all married pretty young and all have multiple children.  Growing up in the Northeast my whole life, my friends are pretty much like me (minus infertility).  Most are single, newly married, or divorced.  Most are childless, and the few friends that do have children have at maximum two.  Because of this, and especially now with my fertility diagnosis (side question #1–is it fertility issues or infertility issues?  I never know which phrase to use!), I do not have much in common with M’s friends.  They talk about their children all the time, and they complain about their children CONSTANTLY.  Again, it’s the complaining that really bugs me, especially now.  Luckily, M was able to find a job here in Jersey, but there was a point when we were considering moving to the Midwest and this was my biggest concern.  I have held my tongue on the few occasions we have all been together, but if I was living there full time I knew there would come a point I would snap.

Here in the Northeast this week is back to school week.  So now, not only do I have to be constantly confronted on Facebook with peers posting pictures of their newborn babies, pregnant bellies, toddlers doing toddler things, but I have to read about parents who just can’t effin WAIT for their kids to be back in school and out of their hair.  Really parents!?  Once again I know this is probably a normal parental reaction.  But for someone like me who would love nothing more than to have an annoying kid underfoot all summer long, it’s just plain ungrateful. Side question #2 – how do you handle social media?  Does it bug you?  I have thought of deleting my Facebook altogether, but I use it to keep in touch with relatives and friends that live overseas and in different states.  What are your thoughts on this?

I said in a previous post that this journey has made me both more patient and less understanding.  In a lot of ways, it has made me grateful for the things I do have.  It has also made me more patient when people act rude or standoffish.   In the back of my mind I realize maybe they are going through something, just as I am.  So I cut them some slack.  But on the other hand, I have less patience or tolerance when people make ridiculous comments, especially about children.  Recently a girlfriend of mine who had her first child in the spring was complaining to me about how her daughter doesn’t sleep through the night, she’s exhausted, and she and her husband have not slept in the same bed in a year.  Now this is the one and only person to whom I’ve told my entire story.  This is also a person who completely lost her mind because it took her a whopping 5 months to get pregnant.  Being that she actually knows my situation, I flat out told her that her complaints are valid, but please discuss them with her mommy friends, as I don’t feel sorry for her.  Her daughters baptism is on Sunday, and while M and I will be going to the church ceremony, we will not be attending the reception.  She completely understood, and I made sure to tell her I was not attending not because there would be multiple children there, but because I am really growing to dislike parents and their constant complaining.

I have come to the decision that if someone else tells me how lucky I am to not have children or starts to complain about their own situation, I am just going to politely say that we should all be grateful for the things we have in life, because everyone is fighting their own battles.  I’m not perfect.  I know if and when I have children I will also experience no sleep, crying babies at all hours, messy home, no free time, etc.  I know I will feel overwhelmed.  However I will have the ability to look back on all that I went through to have my child.  And that will make me so very grateful, no matter how messy my house is or if I can’t take a shower for two days.  I guess you could say at this point I would welcome all the complaining with open arms.

The last point I would like to make is one that I have wanted to say often, but never have–Everyone in this world has problems, including single or childless people.  It is just not socially acceptable to constantly complain about our problems like it is for parents.

Thanks for reading this rambling post.  It’s a bit harsh, but what can I say – this struggle we are going through is tough.  If we don’t protect our hearts, no one else will.