This weekend was an emotional roller coaster! It started with a phone call into the doctor to schedule the laparoscopic endometriosis surgery, then a pregnancy announcement by close friends that caused me to dissolve into public tears, followed by a day of complete depression and not getting off the couch, finally tearing myself off the couch and putting on a brave smile for a 30th birthday party Saturday night, and waking up feeling optimistic on a very sunny, Mother’s Day Sunday that ended with two open conversations where we acknowledged our reproductive challenges.
At my lastOBvisit, I left with two options on how to proceed. The first was to start Clomid after my next period and see if that was what I needed to get my ovaries jump started or to go forward with the laparoscopic endometriosis surgery. I had told my husband before the appointment that I was ready for the surgery if the doctor suggested it, but somehow having him put that option out on the table freaked me out. It took me a few days to come to terms with the reality that endometriosis might be a health issue actually affecting me. I knew logically that this had been suggested at earlier appointments, I had reported this fact to several people, but I didn’t realize until this week that I didn’t really believe it. I was still holding out hope that all these unsuccessful attempts at getting pregnant were isolated events that could each be explained away. My initial reservations to not doing the surgery came from worrying that I’d be embarrassed after the surgery when the doctor did not find anything and being exactly where we started only with a new sizable medical bill (although still a fraction of what IVF would be). A couple of days later, a close friend sent updates to her blog with pictures of her darling baby girl. After the cute baby pictures and some surfing online to convince myself that yes, I do exhibit some classic endometriosis symptoms, I decided my husband was right, why was I hesitating, just go for it! So I called up on Friday and scheduled the surgery for the beginning of June.
That evening, we had low-key BBQ plans with three couples who are our close friends. My husband had taken the day off to finish constructing our ambitious veggie garden and was very cranky from the day of manual labor. I have a major deadline approaching at work with not enough support and hours to successfully finish. I had spent most of the day, locked in a conference room red-lining drawings with my mind occasionally wandering into my pity party causing me to tear up a bit. Up until this weekend, I had only really lost it and cried once. My typical M.O. is to have my eyes swell a bit but push back all the feelings before the waterworks really get turned on. Needless to say, I was not in the best place walking into that BBQ.
We had just arrived at the party and I was unpacking my grocery bag to begin chopping up some veggies to barbeque when the new mom-to-be walked into the kitchen and someone offered her a beer and she responded, “No, not tonight. Well… actually I won’t be able to have one until next January!” I had been looking down at the cutting board and the real meaning of her words began to sink in. My mind began racing, hadn’t she just told me that she started her period last month? Was that last month?
I looked up and saw that she was looking directly at me, waiting for my reaction. Well she got one, I almost immediately started welling up and getting that little lip quiver thing. I pulled it together for a minute and walked over and gave her a hug. She whispered in my ear – I’m so sorry! I was really starting to cry and my husband noticed that I was not taking the news well and leaned over and whispered in my ear, “step out – go to the bathroom.” Luckily, because everyone else was so – I was able to sneak away without anyone noticing. Although at that moment, it felt like everyone knew.
The new mom-to-be and her husband were some of the few people whom we had told about our situation. They had also confided in us that they had just started trying to conceive. She had always declared before starting to try that she just knew she would have difficulties because she had ovarian cysts. For this reason, I too was expecting it to take her a little while. I had also always figured that when they did conceive that I’d be able to figure it out because she would not have mentioned anything about her period that month. I was completely unprepared emotionally for this announcement. Their wedding had been during our second month of trying and now here they were pregnant on their second month trying and we were still waiting!
The rest of the night was not very enjoyable as there was almost non-stop baby talk as the BBQ hosts have a 2 month old too. Luckily, the night ended earlier than I expected and I was able to go home and completely crumple.
In the car, I pretty much dissolved into a teary-eyed mess. I was sad about our situation and upset at the way she told us. I never imagined that she would tell me in a group setting if she got pregnant before I did. I totally understand that she wanted the fun of getting to make the big announcement, but it felt insensitive to not give us a heads up beforehand. I was mad that I wasn’t able to be happy for them, because I am, but naturally a pregnancy announcement just highlights your sadness. I had read a few blogs previously that suggested emailing is the best way to announce a pregnancy to friends who are having difficulties. I have to admit, I now totally agree. Being able to process the information in your own way before having to speak to the couple, allows you to be in a place where you can genuinely express your happiness. It just takes a little time to wade past your own feelings.
I cried myself to sleep that night, woke up with my eyes crusted shut as I had also forgotten to take out my contacts. I pulled myself out of bed and ran a few errands with my husband – while periodically crying again. Luckily, he had plans to go watch local horse races with his family in honor of the Derbyat noon and I was able to sit by myself and cope. I sat on the couch doing nothing but feeling sorry for myself for a bit and then started to blog. Amazingly, diving into the memories of this process and my feelings help me snap out of it and did not push me further into the sadness abyss.
Earlier in the day, I was prepared to pull a total prima donna move and not show up to the 30th birthday party that evening. But I managed to get up off the couch, get the shower, put on makeup and go and have a fairly enjoyable time. It helped to think about the friend I was showing up for – it was a birthday party for her new boyfriend. She is a great girl, who always shows up for all the showers, bachelorette parties, weddings, couple centric dinners even though she was single, wanted not to be and the constant couple-dome of her social life could be upsetting. I figured that if she was always there for her friends that I could put on my brave face and show up too now that it was her turn.
On Sunday I woke up feeling great, almost as if nothing had happened at all. I had a productive day working outside in the sun in the yard and garden. I was genuinely enjoying life and not worried about baby things. It was great! My giant dose of crying and moping had worked.
The events of the weekend had also slightly shifted my husband’s view on being honest with those around us about our pregnancy struggles. We agreed that we should tell the BBQ hosts from Friday. My tears probably did not go without notice and I hate the thought of friends knowing that something is wrong, but not being able to acknowledge it because we haven’t acknowledged it.
Then on Mother’s Day, I found my husband having a side bar conversation with his cousin. She and her husband are very open about what they went through to conceive their first child – 7 miscarriages, multiple IUI and IVF procedures. It turns out that she also has the MTHFR mutation. I was so happy to see that my husband was opening up to someone about this. I would prefer to be completely open with everyone, but have been staying private because he felt strongly about it. I’m glad to see that his view is slowing shifting. Our conversation was cut short, but hopefully I can talk to her again soon about all this! They are a great story to focus on – tons of roadblocks and heartbreak, but now they have three amazing kids. She reassured me that all this will be worth it in the end!