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Sunday, November 3, 2013

How things change

When DH and I were dating, we spent many weekends at the county home of our dear friend, about 45 minutes from where we live. We got engaged there, too. There were frequent shindigs, stomping through the woods with out friends, watching meteor showers and enjoying all manner of delicious food and adult beverages. After our friend and his then girlfriend split and he got together with a single mom, the dynamic in this little Shangri-la changed dramatically. No longer was it just adult couples and singles whooping it up. Instead there were childrens' prying eyes that needed to be shielded from the debauchery. Then there were friends of that child, now it's families with their children, ranging from infants to teens. I miss the old days. Every year, near the country home there is a fair that takes place "in town," a few miles away. Every year our friend invites friends to come by, have some oysters, chili, cornbread, and other deliciousness... including drinks and a bonfire, and often culminating in a haunted hayride on dirt roads and over the old wooden "troll" bridge. This year was no different and people were invited to stop by. But this year, much like the last several,was a completely different affair. My, how things change. We arrived early to help, as we often do. The next people to arrive were a young couple with a one year old. Cue change in conversation... "uh oh, dirty paci... I found a mom group... yeah we are always busy with this guy... oh how cute..." Blah, blah, blah... baby, baby, baby.... Gag! After that came some other couples, one with two young girls... maybe three and five years old. That did it, I walked into the kitchen and couldn't take it.. "when mine was that age"... "it's been so long since I had a little one like that"... "who's the dirtiest boy!?!". I walked out to the porch to watch the game... there was only more child related conversation. And the tears came. Ms. Mommy came back outside and I went back in. DH took one look... "you ok?" What I was screaming on the inside was "OK!? Everybody here is going on and on about their kids and I'm facing a hysterectomy! How in the pluperfect hell could I be ok?!" But all I said was, "No." We piddled around a bit longer, then bowed out and headed home. I hate that I get so sad and angry at others' good fortune, but I do. It should have been me. I wish it had. But it wasn't and it never will be.

9 comments:

  1. That's the WORST. So many friends have gone by the wayside because they're lives revolve around their children (rightly so) and our lives are void of children. It just doesn't work. It also sucks because even if I meet childless couples or people, they are usually so young (physically and/mentally) that I have nothing in common with them. The last thing I want to be doing these days is going out to a bar and partying. It's like no man's land. (((Hugs))) it's sad that we can't just create a commune of mature, child free couples. I'd love to have someone to drink wine and relax with!

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  2. That's the reason why I avoid gatherings where I know parents will be there. It's a sad life but we have to live it

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  3. Thank you both. Yes Dipitie S. It's not that I begrudge anyone for gushing over their kid(s). Certainly if I were so blessed, I would gush too. I just wish I didn't feel so excluded and angry and saddened by my not having what they do. It was much easier when the gathering were childfree, as were much of the guests.

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  4. ****Hugs**** totally getting you. I raged inward while watching my cousins playing with their toddlers and babies, knowing the hysterectomy coming up in two months, putting an end to the dream. I can't promise you that the pain will end, but I can promise.. in your own way, the pain can be managed to a degree that you wouldn't notice but for a bit. That's what I have been told by other women who had gone the same path as you and me, and I'm starting to notice now and then, they're right about that.

    **hugs**

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    1. Thanks Wolfers!!! Yes, it does seem to be getting a bit easier. Certainly, I don't suffer in the same way I did 5 or 6 years ago. But there are days and situations in which the reality of it all is still very sharp and very painful. But I continue to plug along... to sit with the pain, recognize it for what it is and try very, very hard to be strong

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  5. (((HUGS))) Some days are really tougher than others. I'm glad that you and hubby decided to just go back home. It's very normal to feel sad and angry - just continue being kind to yourself. You're only human. I find that what helps me is not hating the feelings that may seem "negative" (sadness or hatred or jealousy or anger), but to accept them as they are without putting labels on myself or hating myself because I have those feelings - my hope is that by embracing those feelings, I'm then able to be more sensitive toward others whenever they have those feelings.

    I'm actually a bit scared about how my friendship with a certain friend would change after her baby is born - because she and some other friends have been sending group emails for years and years (some of them are mothers already) and with the birth of this baby, that means there'll be more mothers in the group and she's already warned us that she's gonna send plenty of baby pics because she's bought a new digicam. We shall see how it goes...but yeah, one thing that infertility affects is definitely friendship. I find that it's easier to be friends with some mommy friends, but it's not that easy to be friends with others. I guess what also helps is that I live far away from them, so I don't really interact with them in real life.

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  6. My friend is 6 weeks pregnant now and posts all day every day for these 6 weeks on facebook about the pregnancy. I've decided I am now going to post pics of sushi and alcoholic drinks every time she posts.

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  7. Thank you both!
    I love it Anonymous! A little passive-aggressive but harmless! ;)

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  8. The things you were feeling are totally valid. It's frustrating and depressing to experience anger at your friends and yourself. It sucks, you can't control it, but it does fade. My wife & I are coming up on 5 years since her hysterectomy. It's still a little painful to hear people talk about their kids. I still haven't figured out a way to change the subject in a group of parents. When possible I simply excuse myself from the conversation and walk away.

    We saw an infertility therapist for three years. Two to help us cope with the grief, loss and mourn then another year because she was great and to help us reorient our lives.

    Although the strength of our relationship carried us, it took the help of the therapist, kind family and trusted friends. Without them, mourning the miscarriages and internalizing our situation would have been impossibly arduous. Letting go of a lifetime of desires and expectations while trying to redefine and reorient yourself is not easy.

    We have our own sparse blog, but much of the raw emotions are there. The first post after her hysterectomy is here

    http://blog.deanandadie.net/2009/06/once-upon-a-time-there-was-a-girl/

    For a while we felt we were the-couple-that-can't-conceive. Now we find ways to take joy in each other, our careers, hobbies and the people around us. It's still not easy, but we are truly happy.

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