Sunday, July 17, 2005

now is the moment of my discontent

Yesterday we went to a housewarming party for NPF (Newly Pregnant Friend) and her husband, who bought a house 4 months ago, and got pregnant the next month. Perfect timing, isn’t it?

NPF is just past her first trimester, and just barely showing. And showing it off - she’s very slender, and she was wearing fitted clothing. (I’m never going to look that good pregnant - it’s just not my body type.) It’s not that she was flaunting it, and she seems appropriately appreciative of having reached the 12 week milestone (except she said 3 months - I had forgotten that normal people talk about pregnancy in months, not weeks). And they haven’t done anything to the “guest room” yet, which is good because that would have been entirely too much for me to handle. As it was, I did pretty well. I asked how she was doing, and followed up on some things she said. We talked about the birth center and the midwives she’s planning to use. (The same ones I’d always thought I’d use.) We discussed her yoga class (right now she and her hubby are taking one together, but she has to skip about half the stuff ). I suggested that she enroll in a prenatal yoga class in her new area, both for the obvious yoga reasons, and because they don’t really know anyone in their area yet. And of course we toured their house (I’d been there before they moved in to help paint, so it was nice to see how far it’s come).

Even though things went really well, and I held it together nicely and didn’t even have a complete breakdown in the car on the way home as I’d expected and feared, the whole thing was a bit depressing. I’m not sure if I can put this into words, but I’m going to try, so bear with me.

J and I have been married for almost 5 years. NPF and her hubby have been married for a year and a half. (I shot their wedding video, and J brought and ran their sound system.) We’ve been in our house for over two years, they’ve been in for about 4 months. (We referred them to our realtor.) We’ve got half-finished projects everywhere, and their house is finished. (I helped them paint.) We’ve been trying to get pregnant for a year and a half, and they’re pregnant right now. (I used to confide in her.) I’m 4 years into my grad program, and struggling with whether this is really what I want to be doing. She left the same program after two years, and has a job she’s enjoying. It’s not that I want their life, it’s just that it seems like things are going so well for them on all fronts, and are so incredibly challenging for us in all the same areas. (And most are things we’ve helped them - in some small way - achieve.)

I think looking at their seemingly-perfect lives makes me all the more dissatisfied with what my life (and our life together) looks like. I love J and I love our house, but I wish we could finish our projects and have the house feel ready for company - we used to love to entertain, and we never even had a housewarming party in this house. I considered taking a leave of absense from my grad program, but I have a (hopefully) fantastic on-campus job opportunity next year that depends on my being a grad student in good standing. And then there’s the fucking pregnancy. (And fucking is right - I’m a bit sick, and I not-so-jokingly mentioned to J that it was a good thing that we have an IUI planned for this cycle, since the chances of our feeling much like having sex every other day are pretty slim. And other people get to just have sex and get pregnant. Fuck.)

The part of me that used to want to be a therapist has stepped back and pointed out that it’s not really about them, it’s about my dissatisfaction with my own life. And I can see that. But the rest of me is just jealous. Which makes me sad. And makes me feel like I’ve lost a friend, through no fault of my own. And in some ways, I feel like I’ve lost myself - if I can see that I’m dissatisfied with my life, shouldn’t I do something to change it? Right now, I’m just spending energy on the pregnancy thing as if that’s going to solve all my problems. I think part of me thinks it will - it would allow me to take a leave of absence from school without it being about my confusion over my professional future. It might motivate us to finish our projects. It would enable me to ask for help when I need it, to justify being taken care of, to allow me to say no to things. And that’s just sad. None of that really has anything to do with the pregnancy I so desperately crave. It’s just an excuse. And now I like a bit of a loser. If I can see all that, why can’t I just do something about it? And yet I can’t. All I can do is write a ridiculously long and rambling post about it. Really effective, no? (On the plus side, I could be paying money for a therapist to tell me what I just said, so I guess I just saved $150 bucks or whatever it would have cost.)


  1. Sorry this is so tough. I felt the same way. I hated my job but felt that if I could just get pregnant I could quit. I had to let it go and just quit. I've had to make a real effort not to live life around TTC, but just to live life. It's really really hard though.

  2. I totally understand what you're saying. And stupid me did have to pay a therapist to point out that I had a million plans and things that I wanted to do and envisioned myself doing but I wouldn't give myself permission to do them unless I had a baby to justify it. In her words, I didn't find my needs important enough to make them a priority without the excuse of a baby. It kind of pissed me off but, in my case, she was totally right.

    I think that's one of the hardest things about infertility--trying to decide what to do with your life if that imagined child isn't there yet. Or maybe won't be there ever. It's so much harder than just "going with the flow" as things happen for you.

    Sorry for the post hijacking. As I said, I understand and hugs to you.

  3. Cass... sorry you're feeling so shitty right now. Been there and done that. Actually still pretty much there and doing that!

    We're here for all your theraputic needs... And I hope we actually help sometimes :)

  4. It's hard, when you feel like a "grown-up" in so many respects, to be assailed by this infertility-related jealousy. For me, I feel like I've outgrown most childish feelings and impulses, but that nasty jealousy just creeps back in, making me feel about 7.

    And it's hard, so hard, to try to make life plans or changes when you are living month-to-month.

    Good luck to you, sweetie--I'm rooting for you SO much!

  5. I understand exactly how you feel. I haven't seen my friend's baby at all and he's 2 months old now. We were friends for 28 years, since kindergarten. I simply can't be around her, as everything seemingly comes so easily for her.

    I wish I could give you a big hug right now. We could sit and mope together for a while, then eat a lot of ice cream.

    Sorry things are tough right now,


  6. Cass, sweetheart, I am so sorry. That feeling of losing ground and losing time is like a fist pressing inexorably on your gut.

    Like Kate, I wish I could give you a big, infertile hug right now.


    p.s. We haven't finished our house projects and we've lived there five and a half years. Otherwise, we would have invited you over!