Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Kids Having Kids

You see them everywhere:  the young fertiles.  It stings.  Why them and not me?  Recently, it got personal for me.  I found out the kids I used to babysit are now having kids.  How is that possible?  Didn't time freeze when they were 10?

I recently discovered that a former babysitting client works in my husband's department.  I grew up and babysat two states away and don't often run into people from that life.  Small world.

My husband found out this kid is married and has a child, which is perfectly reasonable and expected given that he's in his late 20's.  It kinda blew my mind, though.  I met (re-met?) him and his wife and new baby at a party at my husband's department and had my mind blown even more.

I'm supposed to have children before the kids I babysat have them, obviously.  Sure, life's not fair and everyone faces different battles, but it's so easy to get caught up in self pity sometimes.  Something releases within me a bit when I admit to myself that it's just not fair, go cry in the bathroom at work, and move on. 

I'm finding myself dwelling in pity-party land a lot lately, though.  The holidays are tough and I'm angry that I have a surgery coming up soon—removal of a uterine septum and a polyp.  Last New Year's, I was preparing for my laparoscopy.  This New Year's will be one day after my septum/polyp resection and I'll probably be on painkillers instead of champagne. 

We hope to be cleared to try again after I heal from the surgery.  My repeated pregnancy loss panel came back normal, which my doctor said bodes well for us.  I'm trying to feel good about that but secretly wishing we had a more definitive answer for our losses.  If they'd found something treatable, something other than the septum that may or may not be a problem, we'd fix it and get our baby.  I know in reality it's not that easy but the inconclusive diagnoses are so scary in their own way. 

I'm happy to be taking part in my second ICLW.  Welcome to my blog! 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Is My Grief Making You Uncomfortable?

I'm someone who wants to be asked about my miscarriages.  Ask me how I'm doing, tell me you're sorry—just acknowledge it.

On Thanksgiving Day, I saw many relatives I hadn't spoken to since my last miscarriage.  I'd initially told them about the pregnancy at 5 weeks because I couldn't contain myself when they were visiting at the time.  At 5 weeks, it was all smiles and congratulations.  Last week, 2 months after the miscarriage, it was radio silence.

I get it.  I don't know what to say to people who are grieving, either.  It's uncomfortable and awkward and there's always a possibility that they'll start crying.  Even with women who are going through losses similar to mine, I can't manage much beyond "I'm so sorry" or "You're in my thoughts." 

However, going through these losses has shown me just how much I want people to say something, even if it's the "wrong" thing (you know, like "At least you won't be pregnant during the summer!")  Yes, by saying something to me, you could make my eyes glisten or even cause a tear to fall.  It's ok.  You didn't cause me to be sad.  I'm already sad enough on my own.  I'm just touched and appreciative that you took a moment to brave a little awkwardness to show that you cared.

Once I figured this out about myself, I thought I had it all figured out.  Talking about grief = good, ignoring it = bad.  I decided to put this into practice when others were grieving—asking them how they were (at the appropriate time, of course), following up a few weeks later, etc. 

One day, I was talking about this topic with my husband and he rained on my parade.  To my surprise, he said that if he experienced a difficult loss, he would not want someone to acknowledge it, at least in person.  It would call too many emotions to the surface for him and he'd be irritated.

I get the impression that most women who have experienced miscarriage or infant loss (or another type of loss) want to be asked about it.  How do you feel about it?  What about your husband/partner?