Denied at the Door

Again I am here doing what I need to do.

Again I am apologizing.

Apologizing for feelings hurt. For insensitivity. For selfishness.

I am sorry to those who left supportive comments on yesterday’s first post. I’m sorry that my second post didn’t acknowledge those comments. I’m sorry that by focusing on what I perceived as negativity and misunderstanding in some comments I disrespected the empathy expressed in others. I’m sure that wasn’t the first time I did such a thing and it surely won’t be the last. I do apologize for any disrespect I showed you. That was not my intent. I know my words can not undo what I did but I hope they can help.

And I want people to know that I took what they said to me to heart. It saddens me greatly to think that people might not want to comment here for fear of what I might say about them or their comment either directly or indirectly. I guess I’m good at speaking the truth but not very good at hearing it. And that is a pretty shitty way to be. It’s also shitty to be angry and defensive and belligerent. I really need to work on all this stuff. I need to take things better. If I’m going to write about stuff that provokes thought I have to be ready to read responses that provoke my own thoughts. At least that is how I want to be.

And now, with that said, yet another post brought to you by… ISOLATION.

I know. It’s a thrilling theme, right? Who knows, maybe it will continue all week long, exacerbated by my shitty responses to people’s comments. (That was not meant to be facetious, I really do feel I responded poorly yesterday to people’s comments).

Actually, this post is mostly in response to Tio’s comment on my last post which I’ll paste here so as to save you the trouble of clicking over to it. (Though I’d love the page views that would tally. ๐Ÿ˜‰

E, do you think there will be some measure of relief for you if/when you reach the point of actively undergoing ART? Obviously you hope youโ€™ll get pregnant before that (I hope you do too!), but when I read your last two posts and put myself in your shoes I thought that in some ways Iโ€™d be relieved to reach the point of ART. Partly because then Iโ€™d โ€œbelongโ€ and partly because I would be able to justify to myself (and maybe to others) why the TTC process was so difficult. I was just wondering if you feel a bit like that too.

This comment really hit home for me. Really helped some things fall into place.

Because I think the truth is, there will be some relief if we reach the one year mark, not just because we’ll be eligible (if that is the proper term) for treatments but because I will actually, in the most basic of ways, belong to this community.

I think there is a part of me that is afraid if I get pregnant in the next few months, it will erase all the struggle it took to get here. Like if I get pregnant before a year is over, those nine or ten or eleven months of waiting and wondering and hurting and struggling will become null and void. And while I will be so happy and relieved to be pregnant, I don’t know if I’m ready to walk away from these months without being able to recognize them, without having them validating in some way.

And it will be hard to once again feel like I don’t really belong in this community, like waiting in line for an exclusive club and then right when you get to the door, being denied entrance.

Boo hoo! You must all be thinking. She’s sad she might not get entrance into the club NO ONE WANTS TO JOIN! And I think it totally makes sense to think I’m crazy for recognizing a desire inside of myself to belong to this community. Maybe I am crazy. (Actually, haven’t we pretty much concluded that I am mentally unwell?) But when you don’t belong to the only other organized “club” out there, sometimes even the club with the shitty qualifications is better than milling around with the leftovers who have no system for even recognizing each other, let alone providing support.

The truth is, this community means SO MUCH TO ME, it’s hard to spend so much time here when I feel, in my very core, like an impostor and a fraud. When I’m constantly worried that my presence will cause other people pain, that my words of sympathy or encouragement are not worth of their struggles.

So yeah, I think part of me worries that I’ll get pregnant in these next months and not only will I fail to meet the membership requirements a second time (though I guess my first attempt really doesn’t even come close since I did get pregnant in the middle of those eleven months of trying), but it will be expected of me to walk away from these months of trying with nary a psychic scar to carry with me. I don’t know if I’m ready for people to expect me to walk away from these months like that. And I’m not saying people specifically in this community will expect that, but anyone, anywhere, especially in real life.

Heck, even my PARTNER won’t have patience with my need to process this experience; getting pregnant in the next three months will just prove him right, that there isn’t anything wrong, that it’s just shitty luck and that I’m crazy for thinking otherwise.

I’ve mentioned that Mi.Vida thinks I’m nuts for worry about this stuff right? Talk about isolation. Not even my partner understands how hard this is and he’s supposed to be experiencing it with me.

So yeah, I’m in a weird place where I’m desperate to get pregnant and simultaneous kind of afraid to, where I want to move forward with treatments but am scared of what they entail both emotionally and financially (I’m actually terrified that we won’t be able to afford them at all, especially after buying the house). So yeah, it’s a weird place to be and I guess I’m just trying to process that… in the most ungraceful way I know how, of course. ๐Ÿ˜‰


9 responses

  1. You really are in a difficult place. Isolation sucks. Looking forward to meeting you in person though in a few weeks! I’ll e-mail deets as I figure out my schedule ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I remember when I first started blogging, I was so excited to get all the support. And I was surprised by how often people got it wrong. Like they focused on one part of my post that wasn’t the main idea, or found something funny I didn’t mean to be humorous, or offered advice that just wasn’t helpful. It happens, especially when we’re communicating electronically.

    You are right, you are saying things that provoke people and make them think, and that’s why so many people like reading this blog (hey, I wasn’t even brave enough to put my thoughts in a public comment, let alone post about something that’s been on my mind a lot too). But most of these people really do mean to be helpful and supportive, even if they sometimes get it wrong. I’m not saying to cut us all some slack for our sakes. I’m just saying, FOR YOU, it would be great to try to remember the support people are trying to give you. People do not need to be in your exact situation to understand some component of it.

  3. A lot of what I’ve been reading in your posts over the last few days reminds me *so* much of what I was feeling when I first started my blog, that I didn’t have an official infertility diagnosis (though I had PCOS, albeit very well-managed, so I guess technically I had a bit more of an “in” than someone with no reproductive diagnoses…), and that I was worried that I’d achieve a pregnancy on my own, that I’d lose my IF street cred (as it were…).

    I didn’t respond to your initial post in this last three, because in all honesty, it had been 14 hours since you’d posted it when I was able to read it, and in the intervening hours, you’d already moved on to the next assessment, and I wasn’t sure whether my comments would have been appropriate. (Actually, I find that often with your posts– I love that you write a lot, but at times, I can’t keep up with the conversation, because by the time I get around to making the time to do my blog thing, you’ve often moved on to either a resolution to whatever specific issue, or a different topic altogether. No criticism intended, just a poor excuse as to why I don’t jump into the conversation more often– I’m always late to the party!)


    I can relate so much to the feelings of do-I/don’t-I belong. The answer from the community has always been, “If you think you belong, you probably do.” And I can appreciate that. But I would be lying if I didn’t say that I felt so incredibly validated once I got an actual diagnosis, in part because, yes, I had a diagnosis room that I now belonged in, but also because there was a clear path forward– IVF/ICSI, and don’t waste your time with anything else, said the doctor. I felt I could finally relate to the “big” guys who were dealing with serious infertility and who were seriously trying. I wasn’t just humping and hoping– I was actually involving serious science in an effort with serious, calculated results, which for us, would have an actual chance of working.

    I spent a long time in that limbo before diagnosis. And when I go back and read the archives of my blog, I cringe at some of the things I wrote. There are things that I didn’t get back then that I do now, and I know my more experienced IF readers back then would have wanted to smack me sometimes. I’m certainly not saying that this is the case with you (at all– you are far and away more thoughtful than I am, especially as I was in my earlier days of blogging back in ’07!), but I am simply relating that it’s common to feel as though you might not fully share the IF experience without dealing with treatments.

    Now, having said all of that, I want to point out something which I think is very important: This is not the infertility community to which you belong. This is a community of bloggers who deal with Adoption, Loss, and Infertility. And I have NO place talking about loss. I have no idea. I’ve probably said some very insensitive things in my life regarding early pregnancy loss. I can’t pretend to understand what it’s like because I’ve never experienced it. I’ve experienced the fear of a statistically-fragile early pregnancy, which is something that many people who have dealt with pregnancy loss have also dealt with, but we simply haven’t had the same path. It doesn’t mean I don’t belong, but it does mean that I can’t necessarily claim membership to this corner of the ALI blog-world.

    Maybe that’s your solution– you rely on your very real connection to the loss community and focus less on your lack of “real” infertility.

    As for honoring the length of time that you’ve been trying and what this means for you, no one can tell you what is right and wrong for you to feel. I will say that I think it depends on the individual– I have a friend who miscarried at 14 wks and then again at 10 weeks, and she wasn’t the slightest bit concerned. I would have been flipping out after the first and demanding a meeting with an RE, but she just felt that her doctor’s assessment of “within the range of normal” (3 or less miscarriages) was adequate for her. For some people, the 12 month “within the range of normal” TTC time period is adequate, and that worrying before that range of time is up isn’t valid, but that doesn’t mean that some people (perhaps people like you who have experienced a loss) might not worry that as you edge toward the end of that 12 months, that something else might not be going on. Given your history, I think feeling that bit of panic is perfectly valid. For some it may not be– and some may judge those who “panic” before they’ve given themselves those full 12 months– but this is YOUR life and YOUR experience, not theirs.

    Anyhow, before this comment runs on any longer, just know that I’ve been on both sides of this IF divide (the pre-diagnosed and the post), and I can respect your struggle to find a space for yourself. It’s hard. I hope like hell you never have to use treatments to conceive, but I can certainly understand a feeling of relief that might happen if you *did* determine that treatments might be necessary.

  4. I get it – I felt a tiny bit of relief in this community when I went from two miscarriages to three since three fits the definition of IF but two is just shit luck. And I can imagine that needing treatment would be validating of your concerns as well, even though obviously everyone would prefer not to need treatment.

  5. Just catching up here, and the comment I leave won’t be nearly long or thoughtful enough, but what I think is this: that some people care about your “credentials,” and will tear you down if you’re lucky enough not to “fit.” But I also think that there are those of us out there who are not interested in credentials. Who care about support. Who think that having difficulty building a family means you belong here, because we can understand some aspect of the pain.

    And you need never apologize for trying to express how you feel. Not here.

    • Totally agree. Yes, infertility is a diagnosis and it has a specific definition, but I take part in this community to get support from, and give it to, people who understand how crappy this situation feels. To me, “credentials” don’t matter.

  6. I started blogging for real after IVF #1 failed. Which means I’ve always been this infertile – so I can’t tell you what it feels like to not belong. I kind of see it from the other side; we’re so infertile that we kind of don’t belong to this community either, you know?

    Which is lame.

    But when I feel like that, it’s really reflective of how I am feeling in terms of my own insecurity.

    If I were my therapist (trust me, I’m not, my therapist has a new baby!), I’d ask you why you feel so insecure within this community when you’re clearly someone who contributes, who posts thoughtful entries, who rallies around other bloggers and offers love and support. It strikes me that you play the IF Pain Olympics as self-punishment.

    Like I said, I’m no therapist. And I may have had some anesthesia today which makes me loopy. ๐Ÿ™‚

    But I really hate the idea that someone has to really BE infertile and do treatments to feel like they’re a part of the community. And I try not to live that way myself. Because I remember, in a lot of ways, those months of Death March Sex and fear that something was really, really wrong with us, but not having the data to tell us for sure.

    Anyway. Thinking of you. I don’t believe you have anything to apologize for.


  7. I haven’t had a chance to comment on the previous two posts yet, but I’ve read them. You belong. First of all, you belong because you have so much empathy & compassion that we wish more people IRL had. I claim them for the community. Thank you! Secondly and more importantly, infertility and loss is as much a state of mind as it is a physical reality. And you have it. You get it. It doesn’t really matter whether you have to proceed to treatment or get a BFP next cycle. You get it and you have been unfailingly supportive. As far as the isolation goes, more and more I realize how isolated each of us are individually. Sure, our realities may overlap but you don’t really know how I feel or what my experience is like and vice versa. I think we’re all walking our paths alone.

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