Sunday, March 29, 2009

Recovering Catholic infertile seeks peace of mind

Infertile guilt. It's there and has to be dealt with once an infertile gets pregnant. Combine it with the Catholic guilt I already carry around and it makes sense that I decided to seek out a therapist last year.

Infertile guilt is interesting. It is rooted in our sheer loathing of hearing easily impregnated, fertile women complain about how horrible their pregnancy is. We think about screaming at these women, responding with obscenities and even smacking these people. And all of these desires are completely legitimate. We as infertiles are in no position to have to be subjected to pregnancy complaints. We swear up and down, on a stack of Bibles, on our mothers' graves that we will a million years complain if we manage to get pregnant.

And many of us infertiles do eventually become pregnant ourselves. Hooray! We're shocked, stunned, can't believe it's finally happened. All of our hard work, extra stress and tears have finally gotten us to the finish line or at least to the point where we can see the finish line on the horizon. Our anxiety begins. Am I really pregnant? Is this too good to be true? How many sticks should I pee on before I let myself believe that I'm really truly pregnant? (Approximately 27.) Is this little bean going to stick? If I start to enjoy the fact that I'm pregnant and let my guard down, is something bad destined to happen? We try not to tempt fate or fail the universe in any way to ensure that the bean remains with us. We are understandably superstitious after having looked at so many single lines and having swallowed down the bitterness of failure for so many months before.

And it comes. We start to feel like complete shit. Welcome to pregnancy. We want to sleep all the time. In the hopes of finding some small sense of relief, we're wearing sea bands and sucking on ginger drops, gagging on ginger tea and drinking outrageous amounts of ginger ale all to no avail. On top of physically feeling like shit, we now emotionally feel like shit, too, because......that's right, we swore we'd never complain. We promised. We raised our right hands and declared it so many times when we listened to pregnant people bitch and complain about pregnancy, the one thing we desired the most. Those bitches. And here we are. Fighting the words that are about to come out of our mouths. Feeling like complete and total hypocrites and traitors to our infertile sisters.


It's out there. You can't take it back. You've officially complained. About the one thing you wanted most and worked so long for.

And you know what?

It's okay. Go look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that over and over and over again because it takes a long while to sink in and truly believe it. Some days I still have to go look in the mirror and say it again when my infertile guilt creeps back up.

Now I'm not saying you should call up all your infertile friends you've made up to this point and bitch every day about how awful you feel and how this pregnancy is so incredibly difficult. That is still inappropriate and those friends would still have permission to want to punch you in the face. You may have a few extremely close friends who are comfortable with listening but, for the most part, the majority of infertiles should not be subjected to your complaints unless they are also currently pregnant or have had kids.

But when it comes to all those easily impregnated, fertile bitches? It's on like Donkey Kong. Complain away. After all, you had one hell of a road to get to where you are, that few of them can begin to understand. So let go of the guilt and bitch when you need to.


kate said...

Standing ovation! Bravo! I love tbis post.

Anonymous said...

I have two close girlfriends who can relate to every word you say. Congrats on overcoming so much, and I think you have every right to complain about not feeling well - "morning" sickness is so debilitating! Some other tips for morning sickness: cumin, B6, small infrequent meals, avoid spicy foods, get fresh air, and Psi Bands are adjustable (may fit you better than what you currently have).

Anonymous said...

Well said. Pregnancy is far too much work to feel guilty about complaining.

~Hollie said...

HA! I so needed this. The guilt is definitely overwhelming sometimes. Is it okay to smile and puke at the same time?

Echloe said...

Yeah I try not to complain. But days like today when the heartburn is so bad I really need to vent. But in the end it is worth it right.

Stephanie said...

I definitely feel that guilt a lot lately. I know I am so blessed to have 2 healthy babies growing inside of me. But let's face it, I feel like a sack of shit most of the time. I can't even get up the stairs anymore without resting on every single step. I sit on the edge of the bed in the middle of the night and cry because I am so uncomfortable. But I feel like I can't complain about things to anyone b/c they will all think I am an ungrateful bitch. It's hard to work through that guilt and to feel ok about complaining. Thanks for the reminder that it isn't against the law to say things out loud sometimes.