Monday, August 25, 2008

Hitting the Soft Spot

I think I have pretty good coping skills. That statement would send DH and my close friends into fits of laughter, but I think I get along okay, generally speaking. Dealing with IF causes you to develop a sort of personal armor that you wear around to help you deflect well-intentioned, yet hurtful or just oblivious comments that come your way, as well as the 50-million ads and other baby references that invade your brain on a daily basis. That said, that armor doesn't provide complete protection. There are still soft spots where news and words can pierce you, causing almost a physical reaction of shock, pain, and disappointment.

One of my biggest soft spots is the "we weren't even trying" pregnancy announcement. You just never know when your day can be thrown into a tailspin: my moment came this morning with a reply to an email I sent to a friend on another matter, a "by the way, we're pregnant" sort of an announcement. She does know what we're going through, so perhaps this was her way of being sensitive (I appreciate that people really don't know how to handle these kinds of situations -- truly, there's no card for this occasion). They weren't trying, but they are thankful and excited.

DH's reaction to this sort of announcement is that I'm allowed to cry for 5 minutes, then I need to go be happy for my friend. Since I'm at work, the first part of that formula really couldn't happen, but maybe it just forced me to push on through to happy. As DH says, it's not like they stole our baby or something :) Since I found out my friend's news today via email, I was able to collect myself and then send back an email with lots of exclamation points and all caps excitement -- they will be wonderful parents. Of course, it's also beautiful to see people be able to conceive without the pain and stress that so many of us are going through, but I didn't think it was appropriate to share that with her, as I'm sure you guys understand.

Maybe I'm getting a little extra armor for the soft spot? I doubt it. More likely is that I'm experiencing the power of friends and family praying, not only that we will be successful in our upcoming IVF cycle, but also that we will be able to find joy in that journey.

I pray that you will find joy, too.


nh said...

Well done for coping! I think it's one of those things we develop on the way - an ability to cope!


I Believe in Miracles said...

What a great post. A friend said to me the other day - because you've waited so long for our little one, the opportunity to pray and wait expectantly for your miracle is much more than anyone who just conceives by accident. It was nice to think of it that way.

I just found out a couple people are pregnant, it always takes a minute for me to stop the jealously and be happy for them.

I pray this upcoming IVF provides you with tremendous joy and a little miracle.


Elize said...

It always hurts when someone announces a pregnancy, I think that part of IF will never change! Well done on coping so well!

MamaSoon said...

i totally get you. and i think i have the same armor.

Do you ever find that there is comfort also found when you can be truly joyful for another? That this joy also completes the armor in a sense. Kinda like reflective armor. You reflect happiness and it protects you?

Leslie Laine said...

Love your post today - I completely identify. You did a great job today and you should be terribly proud of yourself! It's so difficult for me to be genuinely be happy for other people who get pregnant so easily, but I've found that having such wonderful confidantes in the blog world has really helped. I love feeling so understood for the first time in this experience.

Good for you - sounds like you're really growing spiritually from all of this!

Katie said...

ICLW visitor. I will pray for you as you continue on your journey with IVF. But I understand about the armor. I'm waiting for the day that mine can come down.

Alex and Jill said...

I think it's funny when people say, 'we weren't even trying.' If you aren't using protection of some sort, that would be trying in my book. LOL

I'm so proud of you...whenever I hear that someone is pregnant, there is that immediate knife in my stomach feeling but how I handle it is so important and you handled this news from your friend beautifully!

Bravo!! :)


Amber said...

I've had many (too too many) of those announcements lately. My armor allows me to share in their excitement and fears, but underneath I'm always bruised.

(Here from ICLW)

My name is Andy. said...

I got hit with this same thing from a good friend last week who announced that she is expecting. These were always my go-to people, the ones that had chosen to be childless, always wanted to be the aunt and carry gum, never wanted to be a Mom.

Of course I'm very happy for them, but man , that was a blow!

Good luck in your journey!

CappyPrincess said...

Maybe the armor for that soft spot is the love and support of your family and friends?

And I think it's only natural to have those pangs of personal emotion when you find out that others are achieving (especially those that achieve it easily) that which you struggle to mightly with.

sarah said...

I have been there is sometimes hard to remember that someone elses baby has nothing to do with our desire for a baby...good job on coping!

Courtney said...

I couldn't have said it better myself...I can't stand it when people send out mass emails talking about how "surprised" they are. Why do they feel the need to even tell people that? And why are fertile people who have sex surprised when they get pregnant?? We are the only ones who should be surprised when we finally see two lines!

Happy Not-So-Newlywed said...

Great post. I am so glad that your armor seems to be pretty thick. I don't think I'm there yet. Well, I take that back. I happy for the fertile person in the moment, but then later when I have time to think about it the resentment comes up: "They both smoke, why should they get pregnant and we don't? They don't even get along very well, why should they get pregnant and we don't?" Pretty ugly thoughts but I'm just being honest!

In other news, here's hoping IVF is successful for both of us!!

Dee.. said...

yes yes, the armor always come in useful and like you, I have a few soft spots. Once the soft spots are tickled, I will put on a mask as a backup and act all happy for my friends. Actually, I do feel happy for them. VERY HAPPY, like you said, they don't have to go through the pain like us IF. I just become sad for myself, that's all. So, news like that get me down for a while. Maybe half a day. But I learnt to find other joy. I i will keep coming back and will not let life knock me out. You'll get better as times go back.