By Lisa Manterfield
The other day I spoke to a friend who had just been sideswiped. Like me, she’s been off the “baby train” for several years and has truly come to terms with the fact that she won’t have children.
Then she had a birthday and found herself totally sideswiped, caught off-guard by her grief, and in the kitchen having a meltdown.
She’s not sure and neither was I. Maybe her birthday signified moving one step closer to menopause and the final loss of the possibility of motherhood. Maybe spending time with a friend’s son reminded her of the missing part of her life. Maybe she was feeling alone in her family-oriented community.
The point is that sometimes, even when we’re sure we have it together, even when we’ve done the grief work, even when we’ve cried an ocean and think there’s nothing left to resolve, sometimes we just get sideswiped.
Has this happened to you? What unexpected trigger has caught you off-guard?
Oh yes…. I am still early in the grief stages (one year ago in August) of the child door finally closing on me. – I knew Christmas would be difficult, but then I was an utter mess on New Years Eve. I was shocked and completely suprised. Spent the whole entire day crying (my husband was working a 14 hour shift). I think it was because I was always able to say 2009 will be my year to have a baby 2010 will be my year to have a baby, 2011 will be…. on and on and on and on I went except I knew that in 2015 that was no longer a possiblity. – And I cried, and I was surprised that the grief hit me so hard that day.
This has been my entire year so far (quit trying last August, and agreed to not continue in January). Each big date had been “maybe next year I’ll be pregnant on my birthday”, “maybe next year we’ll have a baby by Halloween”…. etc ad nauseum. This year it’s been closing that possibility off with each new date. My last big cry was our anniversary. I am hoping that with the second year of “dates” coming up, that it will lessen more and more. The first round of “no more next year’s” has been tough.
I did learn many many things though – for example, I will NOT be looking at Facebook on Halloween and will go out to a very fancy “no kids” type of restaurant. That way I am not sitting at home wallowing, and it will be a good distraction. 🙂
Yes!!! My husband and I have made it our new Halloween Tradition to go out for drinks and dinner and a beautiful bar!!! I’m looking forward it to since we had a nice time last year and it was empty. We made jokes about how we “rented out the place to have it just for ourselves”… It’s still sad, yes, but I’m trying to make new memories and traditions. ….. Hope u enjoy your dinner!!!
I saw an old picture of my husband holding my stepdaughter as a baby. We were going through boxes in preparation for moving. I looked at the pic and then him and started bawling.
Alison Wade says
Omg. Same here. Found ‘those’ photos, and their wedding album and lots more photos of bathing babies together/birthday parties/watching school plays etc. This was 12 years ago and I still see the images in my mind. I do not cry every day now, but it will always be difficult
Ditto. I find those photos excruciating, so upsetting 🙁
Yep. They are my Achilles’ heel.
This happened to me last week. I work in a salon as a nail tech. There is a woman who has been on and off with her boyfriend, she announced a couple weeks ago (right after her and the bf broke up) that she was pregnant. They got back together, and this week she decided that in the break room she would tell anyone who was in there to listen that she was 7 weeks, she threw up twice that morning, she heard the heartbeat, and she was so tired. I rolled my eyes, and plugged my ears with my music. I’m not sure what triggered my emotions that day, but I know that even though it’s been 10 years since my last fertility treatment, it never goes away… The feeling of what if, the jealousy, the pain, and the annoyed fact that this woman thinks having a baby with a man that is off and on is a good idea.
Last week I had a little melt down. I went to sign up with a health insurance policy. I was prepared for all the health questions… But didn’t consider it would cover infertility and miscarriage… Had to cover everything… The woman setting up my policy kept apologising…as she asked how many miscarriages, what treatments, how long since last miscarriage.. I ended up crying. Was awful…
I’m a runner and follow lots of running gear companies on social media, especially those focused on women. A few months ago, one of those companies that touts its own inclusivity of all women and the reasons they run posted a series of “inspirational” stories, one of which was about how training for marathons helped prepare a woman for successfully undergoing IVF treatments and giving birth.
I’ve trained for marathons and undergone IVF, and guess which one is easier? Which one that rewards you for what you put into it? Which one almost guarantees success if you stick with it? That night, I had a series of panic attacks and insomnia (another fun side effect of IVF failure) and decided I’d stand up for myself and post on their Facebook page that while good for that woman, infertility isn’t necessarily a challenge to overcome and with the high failure rates of IVF, that the post may be insensitive to women coming to terms with not having kids at all and the message is that they simply didn’t “train” hard enough.
Guess what? They deleted my post. This company, so convinced of their own supportiveness towards women, marginalized and ignored me as I was trying to make the point they were marginalizing and ignoring a decent chunk of society. In retrospect, I’ve realized they are geared towards affluent SAHM runner types with the disposable cash to purchase their frivolous products, but at the time it really hurt and opened up a lot of feelings I thought I’d overcome.
Wow. Good for you! Bad on them!
Am so glad you gave us a voice even though it was deleted. What a rubbish marketing campaign… Cashing in on the growing infertility market. Unbelievable!
I just saw a commercial from Spies Reiser, Denmark, (travel agencies) about how women who long for grandchildren can send their children and their partner, on an exercising-trip abroad and how it will be refunded in nine months with a grandchild.
I feel to tired to write to them, but I won’t use them when I travel…
Jane P says
Well done indeed Kasey – regardless of their response. I’m gradually pushing back against these types of posts but with the insensitivies we are up against its going to be a long haul to change views, particularly when so much money and profit is involved.