Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Some perspective

Yesterday I threw myself a little pity party because some things in my life haven't exactly gone as planned. I've been feeling sorry for myself because of the challenges I've had to deal with. I was pissed at the world for being so unfair.

This morning I got the news on FB that a former co-worker unexpectedly passed away yesterday.  She was only 42 years old. In reality, I guess it wasn't completely unexpected - she was a diabetic since childhood and had been dealing with congestive heart failure for the last few years. Despite these medical issues,  her passing still caught everyone by surprise. She seemed to be doing fine. I worked with her on a movie about 8 years ago. I have kept in touch with her only through FB. We would chat online occasionally, but we didn't hang out socially. I actually just saw her for the first time in 8 years a few months ago when I brought her in to interview for a job on the current movie I'm working on. She was one of those people that puts everything on FB. It was like a running tally of her thoughts and daily activities. She posted so many times a day I considered blocking her at one point. Then I realized how positive her posts always were so I decided to keep them. She did not have an easy life with her health problems, especially since she didn't have health insurance. She was always broke because she hadn't found her success in the movie industry yet. But, she was always so positive and giving. She was so optimistic about the future. She was always so thankful for her friends and the people in her life. She even recently started a group on FB dedicated to posting only good news. She was so tired of politics and bad news, she just wanted to make a happy space for people. She was always letting people know if they felt alone or needed to talk that she was there for them. I admired her positive take on life. I envied it.

Despite really only knowing her through her FB posts, I cried when I read the news. Reading all the things her friends and family are posting on her wall really puts things into perspective. She seemed to have such a positive influence on people's lives - even people she only knew online and never met in person. She didn't sit around and feel sorry for herself. She just lived her life the way she wanted to.

I've been in a little bit of shock all day. She was my age. Just shows how life can change in an instant. It's terrifying. It seems silly to keep dwelling on the past and the things I can't change. I know I can't magically change the way my mind works because I really am a natural born pessimist, but it makes me want to try harder to really appreciate the things I do have and stop worrying about the things I don't.

Monday, December 15, 2014

It still stings

I never thought that having a baby and making it to the other side of infertility would magically wipe away all the years of pain, frustration and disappointment. I did think that pregnancy announcements would stop being painful and that they might even become a source of happiness like they are for most people. Well, that hasn't really been the case. Pregnancy announcements still have a little sting. Granted, it's not as bad as it used to be, but it's still there. Some don't bother me and others are harder to take. SH and I will often make snarky comments when we are alone about how nice it must be for said couple to be having a free baby. Us, bitter? No way.

When our neighbors told us they were having a baby, I have to admit that happiness for them was not the first thing I felt.  It took me longer than it should have to squeak out a congratulations. I'm not proud. Then she told me she was only 7 weeks and that was like a punch to the gut. We are friendly with them and occasionally hang out socially, but we are not close enough to warrant getting a 7 week pregnancy announcement (they were not telling everyone at that point). I think it bothered me because of the naive confidence they have as fertiles. I envied that blissful ignorance. It also stung a little more because I actually expected she might have trouble getting pregnant. She is 35 and I know sometime in the last couple years she had surgery to look for endometriosis, so obviously she was having some problems. I also think, based on casual things she has said over the last few years, that she wasn't on birth control. She wasn't trying to get pregnant, but she also wasn't preventing it. The fact that she didn't have an accidental pregnancy just led me to think there was a slight possibility she would have problems. Don't get me wrong, I didn't want her to have any problems, but I felt strangely comforted to know I might know someone else with infertility and not feel so alone. I think that's why her pregnancy announcement only a couple months after her wedding hit me so hard.

Cut to Saturday afternoon. We are now about a week away from her due date and we run into them as we are leaving. She said she started having contractions that morning so it could be in the next day or two. As of Sunday afternoon, she was still having contractions but hadn't gone to the hospital yet. When I looked outside, I could see her walking slowly up and down the block with her sister. She was clearly in labor. That hit me even harder than the initial announcement. I have realized over the last year that there is a new layer to my infertility induced jealousy. It's the jealousy of women who get to their due dates and go into labor. Jealousy of getting to hold and bond with your baby in your hospital room. Even jealousy of going through labor. It's so weird to me that I have two kids and I have no idea what labor feels like. It still makes me so sad when I think about my birth story. And every time I hear a birth announcement it just reminds me of what we went through and the experience we didn't have. The most important thing is that I have two healthy, happy beautiful babies, but I can't seem to get past how they got here.

Our neighbors are a very nice couple and I wish them nothing but the best, but SH and I are having such a hard time being giving. We've offered our help and now we are leaving it up to them to ask for it when they need it. But, I know from experience how hard it is to ask for help when you are in the middle of newborn sleep deprivation. We should be better than that. We should do for them what we wished others had done for us.  They are having a girl so I have been giving them our old clothes, but I can't bring myself to give them anything else. It's almost like we don't want to help them because they had it to easy.  I actually can't believe I'm admitting that. It's horrible. Thank god this blog is anonymous.

I hate that I feel this way. I feel ungrateful. And guilty. I won, right? I kicked infertility's ass. So why am I still struggling with it?  Why can't I move on?