Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Princess and the Pea

In the story, The Princess and the Pea, the princess is tested to determine whether she is truly royalty.  Unbeknownst to her, a pea is placed underneath a stack of mattresses that she is given to sleep on.  The princess is so dainty that she gets a terrible night’s sleep because of the tiny pea…proving that she is a true princess.

I have a pea under my mattress, too…although not literally.  I feel restless and tired throughout the day, pretty much every day now.  I’ve been blaming it on the medication I’m taking this cycle, and that is certainly part of the problem.  But I think it is more than that, too.  I think there is something small, something I am not even conscious of, bugging me, and it is draining me of my energy.

Tonight I went to see my counselor for the first time since seeing my sister and dealing with her situation last weekend.  As usual, he forced me to “sit with my feelings,” instead of running from them or distracting myself.  When he asked “What do you feel,” my answer was surprisingly quick…I feel sadness.  I am getting more and more certain that this cycle is “the one” – my happily ever after.  And yet, the further I get into the cycle, the more I feel this weight of sadness hanging across my shoulders.  I’ve tried really hard to identify where the feeling is coming from, but so far, I just don’t have an answer.

Here are my latest theories:

  1. I am sad because I know that my pregnancy is going to cause people I care about a lot of pain.  I’ve been on the other end of pregnancy announcements and they hurt…no matter what.  I don’t want to hurt my friends.

  1. I am mourning the potential loss of my current identity as an infertile.  I know that probably sounds bizarre.  After all, I’ve been working so hard to get off the journey of infertility and on the road to motherhood.  But I identify with the infertile label now, and my life has revolved around IVF cycles and temperature charting and support groups for three years.  When that is gone, will I feel empty or lost?  I know that I’ll be pregnant, but what if I can’t adjust to that label?  Can you be a pregnant infertile? 

  1. I realize that I truly am a mother without a child, but there are many women out there who are not mothers, even though they have children.  I am sad for those children…especially my niece and nephew.  And, unfortunately, my mother falls into this category to some degree, too.  So, in a sense, I am sad for myself…for not having a real childhood or the mother I envision myself being some day.  I know I shouldn’t judge, especially when I don’t know how hard motherhood is…but I can’t help it.  It just makes me sad that so many children will never experience the love that every one of us “infertiles” is filled with.

Those are the best “pea” theories I have.  Don’t get me wrong…I’m not moping around all day in a depression while the most exciting fertility cycle of my life marches on.  But sometimes, when I am alone and it is quiet, I can’t help but feel that there is a proverbial pea in my subconscious.  It is distracting and obnoxious, and it is keeping me from fully enjoying what is going on around me.  Unfortunately, I haven’t proven myself to be dainty royalty…so no one is removing the pea for me.  I’m just going to have to dig it out from under the layers myself, or learn to live with it right where it is.


China Doll said...

I think any major change in our lives comes with mixed feelings.. there is grief and sadness about what we are leaving behind, as well as excitement and joy about what is to come... xx

My New Normal said...

You can absolutely be a pregnant infertile. Being pregnant doesn't take away any of those experiences or feelings. I cherished my pregnancy so much more because it had taken so much to get there.