Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The "Others"

It is rare in a fairy tale for the princess or prince to meet other princesses or princes.  It is rarer still for the “others” to help the principal character in the story to achieve the “happily ever after.”  Usually there is antagonism and sabotage involved in the relationship.  Not so in my fairy tale.  I have met so many other princesses (and even a prince or two) who are helping me along my journey by inspiring, teaching and supporting me.

Last night I had my infertility support group.  There were only three of us there…the smallest showing by far.  One woman is just starting her journey and is dealing with the initial emotions that go along with an infertility diagnosis.  The other woman was on day 12 of her two week wait, and started spotting during support group.  She had tried to do her first IVF, but was converted to another IUI due to lack of response by her ovaries.  Prior to that, she had dealt with a miscarriage.  She is relatively new to the world of infertility, but she is struggling as her positive attitude tries to slip from her grip with each disappointment.  Then there was me…swinging wildly from hopeful to depressed, depending on the topic of conversation.

Last night we discussed how to avoid “what if’ing,” which we all do on a regular basis.  

I distract myself with lists and spreadsheets and planning. 

The newer IF’er has started a “bucket list” of sorts, filled with things she wants to do but won’t be able to do with a baby.  When she is between cycles, she checks one or two things off the list.  Sky diving is her next endeavor.

The intermediate IF’er approaches negative thoughts by putting a positive spin on everything…she really is the embodiment of Positive Polly and I adore her for it.  When she had a miscarriage, she thought “the baby would have been sick, so it just had to happen to save the baby from pain.”  When her cycle seemed to be slipping away last night, she said that perhaps this wasn’t the right time for her…that the perfect child for her wanted to come into her life during her next cycle.

All of us last night had ideas and strategies for coping that helped the rest.  And we all shared in each others pain.  As I listened to the new IF’er choke back tears while she explained that she never dreamed she would be sitting in an infertility clinic, I remembered feeling those emotions three years ago…in shock…but believing that all we needed was a little help to get pregnant.  I try to remind her that “a little help” is all it takes for the majority of IF’ers, but there are just some of us who have a longer journey. 

And then there was the pain of Positive Polly.  She didn’t let a single tear fall during support group, even though you could tell that she wanted to bolt out of the door from the beginning and just go cry it out at home.  I am NOT a hugger…but I hugged her when she left…and cried for her.  I tried to tell her that progesterone can do funny things and maybe this isn’t what she thinks it is, but as she said “We know our bodies.  We know when it is a period.”  I am still praying she is wrong….

I’m excited by my cycle…excited at the prospect of being pregnant.  But something occurred to me last night.  I don’t want to stop supporting my IF friends.  I don’t want to stop sharing in their pain…or offering advice.  I know that many of them won’t be able to stay friends with me when I get pregnant.  I get it and accept that.  But I want to remain a part of their story.  I want to give back, and that will never change, no matter what the outcome of this cycle.


Christina said...

It is amazing how many different coping mechanisms are out there and how they work (or don't work) for different people.

I think your plan/desire is great! There is great comfort in supporting and helping others going through IF. I'm proud of you for wanting to continue to do so!

Oh and you still have a little Positive Polly in you! "when I get pregnant"

Endo_Life said...

I wish I had a local group I could go to. I have one for endo and it really does help. Sometimes all a person needs is a hug from someone who truly understands.

Michelle said...

I also went to a support group for the first time last night. I was so nervous beforehand but am so glad that I went. I think it will really help to have the support of others who understand and be able provide support also. I agree, I think you should always support your IF friends even if you are successful, because you will always have that understanding.

New Year Mum said...

So great that you have a support group to attend... must be a huge help. After going through so much together, I'm sure you'll be able to stay friends with them or find a way to support them along their journey. You're a very thoughtful and compassionate person... and great that you use the words "when I get pregnant" :)) xoxo

Sandy said...

That's great that you have a support group to attend. It is amazing how everyone handles things so differently. Normally I'm positive but this cycle is filled with ups and downs. I hope you get your miracle baby soon!