Friday, January 5, 2007

The elephant in the room

I can't say that time heals all wounds, but it's amazing how much better I feel today than I did a few days ago. I'm still sad, but it no longer feels like a crisis. It just is what it is. I'm expecting to feel even better tomorrow, because I'm going to Hawaii. We planned this trip several months ago. My parents were going to Hawaii, and said that they wanted to buy us plane tickets to join them as a holiday gift. They didn't have to offer that twice! However, given my dad's health problems, I wasn't sure that the trip was actually going to happen. Well, as it turns out, his doctor said that he'd need at least a week to review the results of my dad's latest tests before his surgery, so he told them to go ahead and go. So, my parents are already there, and we'll be joining them tomorrow. I can't tell you what a godsend this trip feels like right now. Not only will I get some time away from my "normal" life to think happy thoughts, but I'll also get to spend some quality time with my dad before his surgery.

Two unwelcome, but appreciated bonuses of NOT being pregnant: 1) I don't have to try to figure out how to take syringes and bottles of progesterone-in-oil onto the plane (the flight is long enough that I'd need to shoot up in mid-journey), and 2) I'll be able to have a nice fluffy tropical drink when I get there.

In other news, I had the most interesting conversation with a friend the other day about my infertility. It was all part of my "being a better friend" program for 2007. I have been kind of upset with one of my best friends because she never asks about how treatments are going, how I'm feeling, or anything relating to my infertility. I get these email messages (she's in New York, so with the time difference phone calls are hard) full of chatter about her baby, work, our friends' news, her family drama, etc., but my infertility has been the elephant in the room that nobody talks about. She never even asked me how my IVF cycle was going. I have usually just tried to ignore things like this, and ended up pulling away from people who don't offer me the support that I need. However, this is a good friend, whom I love, so rather than taking the easy road, I told her how I was feeling. The results were shocking. It turns out that she hadn't been asking because she thought I didn't want to talk about it with her, since she has a child. She said that she has the hardest time knowing what to say when all that she's really thinking about is how I'm doing, and what's going on, but that she had been afraid that it would bother me if she asked, so she was trying to let me take the lead. She even said that she noticed that I talk about it with her less than I did before her daughter was born, and that it hurt her feelings, but that she was trying to be understanding! Meanwhile, I felt like the fact that she never brought it up meant that she didn't care, or found talking about it too unpleasant to be worth it. It honestly had never occurred to me that fertile people might think that it's rude to ask, given that I told them about my situation in the first place. I HATE it when people who don't know (and therefore by definition are NOT among my close friends) ask if I want kids, but I have always figured that by telling people about my struggle, I am also inviting them to share it with me. I had noticed that most of my friends were very supportive before they had their own kids, but that as soon as the kids are born, everything changes, and had attributed that to a combination of survivor's guilt and (understandable) self-absorbedness on their part. It had never occurred to me that they might be trying to be sensitive to my feelings. So now, I'm wondering how many other friends I've misjudged. I also wonder if I'm unusual in that I LIKE it when my friends ask me how things are going. Thoughts about infertility occupy at least 25% of my brain at any given moment (I realize that I need to work on that), so being able to discuss it is SUCH a relief. Now I'm realizing that I really need to tell my friends this. So, I've learned my first major life lesson of 2007. Not bad in only five days.

I don't plan to post from Hawaii, but will be back on January 15th, hopefully with a smile on my face, and a butt free of needle tracks. See you then!

6 comments:

Cheryl said...

I had wondered about that, but never mentioned it. So I guess I'm just as guilty of the oversite. I'm just really glad that you both were able to clear it up and get back to being close again. I'm sure it has made a huge impact of closeness and a big relief that you both are indeed great friends and can and will share your lives together... egads I sound soppy today (sniff sniff) I just love happy endings!

Carol said...

your trip to hawaii sounds great, and just the break you need.

that's a very interesting conversation with your friend, and something I never really would have thought about either. I'm so glad you worked it out though.

Sorry about your BFN. Have fun on the beach!

ava said...

That's really interesting...and good that you talked about it. Infertility is such a hard topic to talk about but I find it interesting that people have so many feelings about whether they should ask us, etc. If we had some other medical condition I wonder if people would feel so worried about asking?

Hope you have a great time in Hawaii and enjoy your fluffy tropical drink!

Stephanie said...

I hope you have a wonderful trip. i too like to talk about my IF to all my friends. I don't keep it from anyone...I have a huge need to talk about it.

Marie-Baguette said...

Have a wonderful trip to Hawaii, rest, get drunk, and come back to us all tanned and happy!

Marie-Baguette said...

Thank you so much for your comments on my blog and your support. I am hoping you are having a great vacation with your family.