I’ve always been really bad at remembering dates. I don’t know anyone’s birthday besides my own and G’s, and I’ve even had to check the date of my own anniversary once or twice. I’ve never remembered my expected due dates, in fact I probably didn’t even calculate them after the first or second pregnancy. It’s convenient, because I can’t imagine how hard those days would be to get through if I did remember them, so maybe it’s a form of a protective mechanism.
Instead of expected due dates, what I do remember is that it’s been a year since the last time I got pregnant, not counting the chemical pregnancies earlier this summer. It’s been a year since I was pregnant and not yet bleeding, so that I thought there might be a chance it would actually lead to a baby. A year since I had that feeling of a little secret that no one knew about, a private reason to hope that things might still work out in this piece of crap situation after all.
A year ago, during and after my 4th miscarriage, I was struggling to function for a number of reasons. I got very little sleep at night, I’d lay awake anxiously ruminating on what would happen after I graduated. Would I manage to get a job of any sort, would it be enough to feel like I hadn’t let down my advisors and committee? Would I have to figure out how to cope in a brand new job where I was terrified of being found out as a complete idiot and fraud? And most importantly, would I ever have a successful pregnancy (don’t even get me started on the anxiety I had worrying that both those things might happen at the same time)? I’d lay awake for most of the night, but when the morning came I wouldn’t have any energy or motivation to lift myself out of bed and face the day. The fear and effort of it all just felt like too much to bear.
Over the last year, I finished writing and defended a PhD, traveled to Europe for 11 days, got a new job that I really enjoy, and spent lots of time with a man that I love excessively. By all accounts it should have been a great year. But I can’t help but think that I’ve made no progress whatsoever. I still feel like I’m treading water, like everything I’ve been through has been pointless because I’m still lost in the void between ‘couple’ and ‘family’.
I’m no longer depressed; I get out of bed and function as a human being (almost) every day. I’ve recovered from the grief of the losses, and I rarely feel the same level of anxiety I felt then. But infertility does not pass through so easily. It’s not a brief or temporary pain. It is with me just as much now as ever, if in a different form.
My pain now surfaces in the form of anger. I’m just so angry all the damn time. I find myself screaming ‘F*** YOU’ (usually in my head, but sometimes out loud) at my tv when a commercial about babies comes on. I scream at facebook, I scream out the car window at moms pushing strollers (usually in my head in that case :)). I mutter ‘stupid bitch’ under my breath when I walk past pregnant women. I can barely stand to be in the room when G talks to his sister or mom on the phone, I have so much irrational anger towards them. I’m not proud of this, it’s not a pretty look on anyone, but it is what it is.
There are things that help: writing things down in this blog, reading all of your heartfelt posts and feeling like I’m not alone here, grumbling with G instead of alone when someone announces a pregnancy, going to support group meetings. But nothing has lessened the anger and pain, and it is not improving with time. I just don’t see myself moving on and getting past this with time. If I don’t have a successful pregnancy soon, this is all I have to look forward to for the forseeable future. Another year from now, I could still be in the same place, waiting at the end of the baby line, and I will still be feeling this same way. How am I (or any of us) supposed to keep moving forward, knowing that it’s not improving? How are we supposed to put one foot in front of the other when it all seems so pointless? It’s just so unfair, and all I can manage to do about it is scream obscenities at my tv.