November 23, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Posted in Heartbreak, Mythical #2, NaBloPoMo | 1 Comment

I’m thankful that yesterday turned around; with every mile I ran, I could feel the stress melting away. I got home, showered, and we headed to dinner with the family.

Charlie has a close cousin who, for blog purposes, I’m going to call Betty. I’m not sure that I’ve posted about her before. Betty is a couple years older than us and still single. And when we were trying for Lucky, at family events, we’d get drunk and hang out and smoke cigarettes.

There were a few times I’d unburden myself to her about how awful infertility was. I stopped, though, when one time she responded, honestly, without any anger or rancour: Serenity, at least you have a chance for a family.

She’s turning 40 in January. And is still single. And has decided to try for a baby on her own.

The problem? She’s close to 40.

Three IUIs didn’t work. And this summer, just after our failed fresh cycle, she told me that she was doing her first IVF cycle. I tried to be as supportive as I could, but all I could say was, I hope, for your sake, it works for you.

I emailed and texted her a few times, offering my support, but I never heard from her. Until September, when she emailed my SIL and I that her IVF cycle had worked, but her pregnancy hadn’t been viable. I emailed her again, but never heard anything.

A few weeks ago, the weekend I had the first bout of spotting, I got an email from her telling me that she had decided it would be therapeutic for her to host a baby shower for her future SIL: the one who confessed to me, after a race in May, that they had “been trying for 5 months and it was awful.” The one who got pregnant the next cycle.

And Betty’s email to me said, I can’t do this unless you are there.

I never responded. Because, really, how could I tell her? I go to baby showers for VERY few people in my life. And at that moment, I wasn’t certain I’d have the strength to go to this one. I was spotting, I was certain the pregnancy was over, and I didn’t know how I’d feel in December.

And if I’m being honest, I was angry, too. I felt like, if everything had gone well with her pregnancy, she wouldn’t have said anything until the Big Announcement, and therefore she didn’t deserve to hear MY good news either.

(I know. I’m kind of awful.)

Over the past few weeks I’ve felt stronger, though. And I figure that my relationship with Charlie’s family is so much more important than the short term Suck of my pain at not having a baby. So I emailed Betty a fairly terse email. I’ll be there. What can I bring?

I didn’t get an answer from her, and a week later I was worried that I had been too short and bitchy. So I emailed her again, apologizing for the terseness of my tone, but that I had gotten pregnant from a cycle and it also didn’t work out. And that I was sorry I wasn’t good support for her, because I know how alone I felt early on in our infertility, and if she needed anything to let me know.

I saw her yesterday at Thanksgiving, and she told me that she just got a BFN from a frozen cycle. And people kept asking her if she was excited to be an aunty, and how exciting it was that her brother and future sister in law were making her mother a grandmother! How wonderful! It was SO sweet of her to be hosting a baby shower for them, and wow, being an aunt was going to be WONDERFUL.

I listened to them gush, and her responses, and I was amazed at her strength. Because wow, that would have been my personal hell right there.

But then she looked at me with tears in her eyes, and asked me: How do I respond to that?

I said: Exactly the way you did.

And I hugged her; my heart was breaking on her behalf.

The holidays are so awful when you’re infertile.

And I came away yesterday feeling so thankful we didn’t have news to further break her heart.


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  1. I know this wasn’t the purpose of your post, but reading this and your Thanksgiving post makes me wish I had a closer relationship with my in-laws. I’ve always thought it was lucky that I didn’t have to deal with the stress of in-laws, but it is cool to see how you have a whole new family and new cousins you can relate to, even if it’s sometimes around unhappy things.

    (Actually, the day you wrote this was K’s cousin’s 30th birthday, and instead of just posting on his FB wall I actually found his number and had K call, so maybe you influenced me).

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