Monday, November 26, 2007

Finding the Humor

I have come to the realization that the fertile population is completely and utterly oblivious to what people living in the IF/Pregnancy loss world are feeling. It is like we are living in some sort of parallel universe – each existing side by side, but never really in the same place. Maybe more like living with a constant two-way mirror. As an IF’er I can see through but the fertiles can not see me. I can be empathetic to their sorrows and pains but I don’t feel the same in return. For a long time now this has made me angry, furious even. Many a time I have wanted to reply to their comments or conversations with mean, hurtful remarks, to help them understand how they make me feel so often. I was however raised not to be mean and hurtful to another person, so I do my best not to be.
I noticed today though that it is becoming something other than anger for me now, something almost comical. I am no longer amazed by how ignorant our world can be. I have become desensitized to the ignorance. Like a child watching too many violent movies and not viewing violence as something out of the ordinary, so too I am now. After numerous hurtful comments I no longer feel shocked by things that people can say or do.
I received an email from a well meaning relative the other day asking where we were in our trying to conceive journey, and whether we’ve made any further decisions about what steps we’re going to take. By steps she means whether we’re any closer to deciding on moving toward adoption rather than continuing fertility treatments. She doesn’t really believe in fertility treatments, because of her religious beliefs. She won’t say it directly but it’s clear if you know her. Plus her son and daughter in law adopted from Kazakhstan a few years ago (after two failed IVF attempts). The thing is J and I have researched adoption and it just is not going to be do-able for us. We simply do not have the financial means to do it. Of course we could adopt from the foster care system but that is not something we want to do. I admire people who do, but it is just not us. Selfish? Maybe. But I want an infant, and that is nearly impossible through the foster care system, as we learned at our one and only adoption seminar. What this relative doesn’t understand is that we have used all of our financial resources on treatment, we don’t have any more and probably would not qualify for loans, and also we don’t have the liberty to take off of work for 4-7 weeks for travel to complete an adoption. At one point we thought maybe we could swing the cost of a China adoption but with the new net worth requirements we’re no longer in the running for that. Now I know she means well, and is genuinely interested and prays for us all the time. But I don’t know how to respond to the questions from people anymore. Everyone around us sees us banging our head against the figurative wall. I think they must think we are crazy to continue on each month. But J and I feel at this point it’s our only choice - it’s better than nothing. It’s made me laugh at what other people must think of us.
Another thing that made me chuckle today was when I arrived at work and found out that my co-worker K’s daughter had gone into labor. She’s expecting her 2nd child - she’s 19 and now has two children by her past two boyfriends. Apparently both “accidents”. She lives at home with her parents too. Now, my feelings on how we might need some better sex education in schools today is another story but I certainly don’t want to hear about her labor details. How my other co-workers could think I’d be interested in that after what we’ve been through is beyond me. I walked into the lunch room to get some coffee and was told, among other things, that M is at the hospital, her water broke 3 weeks early, she just waiting now, nothing too much happening, not dilated fully yet, should be soon. Um…and you think I care why? The comical part is that people think that a year after losing a baby is enough time to get excited about pregnancy again. What they don’t realize is that each conversation like that makes me wonder how my pregnancy would have been had I made it that far, makes me think about how old my baby would have been today, makes me sad that J and I will spend another holiday without a child in our home, and makes me wonder why our fertility treatment cycles are not working.
I don’t really understand ignorance. I mean I understand that fertile people have never had to face the things I have so they couldn't possibly understand. What I don’t understand is how people, some of whom I’m close too, can not take the time to educate themselves on the subject, even if just as a way of better supporting their friend, family member, or co-worker. I probably never will understand it, so I will just continue to laugh and try to find the humor in it all.


Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

The fertile world can be frustrating enough and it makes it even harder when those closest to you don't get it and don't make any attempt to get it. I completely understand. HUGS!

Pamela Jeanne said...

Wow. I truly admire your ability to find humor where I only see red. Try as I might I can't get beyond the blatant insensitivity in order to forgive or laugh off their ignorance -- especially if they knew a loss had occurred. I have much to learn from you.