My best friend is named Kelly. She is smart, beautiful, funny, a former airline pilot, a talented artist, and a true joy to have in my life. She and I met because I worked with her husband. They didn't even know each other when I started working with him, but later they started dating and got married. Before they got married, she and I lived together in an apartment for a while.
She is also a little kooky. She tends to make things much harder than they should be, and she takes really strange approaches to certain tasks. But I don't care, that's part of why I love her so much. She keeps me entertained, I don't want her to change one bit. Plus, she'll tell me what she *really* thinks when I ask her (and sometimes when I don't).
Kelly and her hubby (also K) got engaged 5 months before me and Kevin. Kelly and K got married 6 months before us. Kevin still works at the same company where K (Kelly's hubby) and I did, so we all know each other very well. It's a wonderfully comfortable friendship that I treasure like gold.
Even before we got married, Kevin and I started TTC. Call it intuition or call it paranoia, but I just had a sense it wouldn't be easy. Kelly and K thought we were crazy to start working on kids so quickly, as they were enjoying their time traveling and going out on their boat. However, after Kevin and I had been trying for a year, they thought that maybe they should try too. Just in case it took a little while.
Kelly and I both feared that she would get pregnant before me. Whether it was luck or not, I did manage to get pregnant first. Kelly got pregnant 5 months later. Kelly and K's daughter is smart, funny and amazing. She has a fiery strong personality and a cold stare that could hurt even an apathetic 14 year old's feelings. She keeps them on her toes, and they do their best to be good parents to her. Our daughters play together like siblings -- loving each other one minute, beating the snot out of each other the next.
When Kelly and K's daughter was 2 months old, Kevin and I started TTC #2. Kelly and K thought we had lost our minds. As you can see from the info on my sidebar, that was over 2 years ago. We're still trying.
Last summer, after Kevin and I had been TTC for over a year, Kelly and K decided they should try again too. They admit that they can barely handle the daughter they've got, so we were all a little surprised. Plus, they were getting ready to buy a business and move from Maryland to Florida. Seemed like crazy timing, but oh well. I even said to her, point blank, "What am I supposed to do when you get pregnant before me?" I know that's a terribly selfish thing to say, but it's something I can freely say to my best friend. She said, "C'mon, we have to be in this together or it won't work."
She was right. She was always in it with me, always supportive, always willing to listen. She knew more about my cycles and RE appts and suspected symptoms than my own husband. When Kevin and I were undergoing our IUIs, she would call me as I was driving to the Doctor's office, then she'd call an hour later to see how my follicles looked. She worked incredibly hard to understand all the terminology, procedures, and drugs that I was working with. Perhaps part of her was using it as an opportunity to educate herself in case they had trouble conceiving #2. But probably not, because she stated repeatedly that they would "never be able to" do what Kevin and I were doing. She was truly just trying to support me.
So I shot myself up with drugs, gave dozens of vials of blood, and subjected myself to countless wanding sessions with the dildocam. Then the 1st IUI failed. And the 2nd. And the 3rd. She was crushed. I suspect that was for many reasons. First and foremost, it was because she knew how badly we wanted a baby and it hurt her to see us struggling so much. But also, I think she was scared that, as the months went on without a BFP for her, that they'd have to consider this route.
In December 2006, Kevin and I were at his parents' house for an early Christmas. I had brought my Lu.pron in a cooler and was busy bursting blood vessels all over my stomach injecting it. However, it was our first IVF and I was excited. Truthfully, I was alternately scared shitless and excited, it was nervewracking for sure. I was patiently awaiting the arrival of AF so that I could start the heavy duty stims in preparation for a retrieval.
I knew Kelly's AF was due to appear while we were visiting the in-laws, so we kept in contact every day. Out loud, I said all the right things. I said I wanted her to get pregnant, and I said that I was sorry it had been taking a few months. But inside, I'm not sure either of them were true. I didn't want her to get pregnant before me, and I wasn't all that sorry it was taking a while because misery loves company.
Imagine the ugly scene that followed when Kelly called me on my cell to tell me that she took an HPT and was pregnant. I was crushed. I have no idea what I said to her, but I'm fairly confident that it was appropriate (my Mom taught me well). The second we got off the phone, I ran up to the bedroom where we were staying, flung myself on the bed, and cried like a teenage girl who was just dumped at the Prom. I'm really not prone to dramatic displays like that, so everyone was a little alarmed. But we all got over it. The bummer is that the cycle we were gearing up for turned out to be a bust (I was over-suppressed by the Lu.pron), so that was yet another kick in the teeth.
The biggest bummer of all was that exactly 1 year earlier, in December 2005, we had learned of our first miscarriage just 1 day before boarding the plane to head to the in-laws for Christmas. So I was a wreck that year too. It's a miracle they still love me and that they still want us there for the Holidays.
Geez, what a long freaking post and I haven't even gotten to the point. Sorry.
Just before the 12 week mark in Kelly's pregnancy, we were going out to dinner with a group of girlfriends. Kelly was torn about whether to tell them she was expecting or not. She really wanted to get past the 1st trimester and the nuchal translucency testing before they told too many people. So she hemmed and hawed about it for a while.
I don't have to tell you guys how it feels to hear a pregnancy announcement. Like a hot fork in the eye, a sharp knife in the gut, a rusty nail through your foot. Bad, bad, bad, it feels bad. Therefore, when I was given the opportunity to know up front that a pregnancy announcement was going to be made, I decided to skip it. I asked her, "If you are going to tell everyone you are pregnant at dinner tomorrow night, please let me know. I'd like to create an excuse to show up late. As you know, I have a hard time with pregnancy announcements, and as soon as they are done gushing all over you -- rightfully so -- they will all look at me with those sad, pity-filled, puppy dog eyes. I would just rather avoid the whole thing."
At that, she said, "Oh, right. I hadn't even thought of that. Well, that settles it, I'm not going to tell them." Luckily, I know Kelly well. I knew she wouldn't be able to avoid telling. The minute she refused wine before dinner, they'd be on her like white on rice, and she can't lie for shit. So I did create a legitamite excuse for being late to dinner, and she did make her announcement before I got there. Everyone there got to fawn all over her without holding any of it in check to save my feelings. They got to talk about how great it is to have kids so close together (everyone in the group -- except me, of course -- has 2 children under 3 years old).
For about a week after that, Kelly was a little cold. When you talk to someone every day (sometimes multiple times a day), it's easy to pick up on uneasyness. I finally asked what was wrong, and she said, "When you asked me not to tell them about the baby while you were there, you made me feel guilty for being pregnant." I said I was sorry for making her feel bad.
But that's not true. That's EXACTLY how I want all pregnant people to feel. (Except people like us who struggle, they are grandfathered in to receive genuine joy.) For everyone who gets pregnant naturally, easily, quickly, by actually having sex with their husbands, I am angry. I want them to feel lucky and blessed. But I also want them to feel guilty because I can't get pregnant. I want them to slink around, to avoid rubbing their bellies, and to tell me that they are sorry 100 times a day that I am not pregnant yet. I really do want them to feel guilty.
It's an ugly thing to say, I know. It's not even rational, but it's true. I am surrounded by breeders -- that's what my sister calls people who get pregnant easily. Almost all of my friends are breeders. They have lapped me in the baby department, and it makes me so angry. Don't *even* get me started on the people who ACCIDENTALLY get pregnant. Worse yet is that while I'm desperate for them to feel guilty and terrible for me, I don't want one ounce of pity from them. Truly, they just can't win. Goodness knows I already covered this topic in a prior post, so I don't need to beat that horse to death anymore...
What are they doing that I am not? Are they better people than me? Is God mad at me? Why must I continually feel so left behind? So defective? So broken? Gee, you don't think that it's because, just maybe, I am evil and deranged and have the nerve to state on the world wide web that I want them to feel guilty? Nah, I'm sure that's not it.
Since all that drama (including another unsuccessful IUI), we've done 2 IVFs. When the first IVF actually worked, Kelly was beside herself because she was so happy. Now she could finally discuss pregnancy stuff with me and not worry about me melting down. We even went shopping for maternity clothes together (I didn't buy anything because, at just 6 weeks along, I wasn't nearly comfortable enough with the idea that this pregnancy would work -- rightfully so, it turns out). The day I called to tell her that we lost that baby and I was having a D&C, she was absolutely speechless. Mostly, I'm sure, because she felt sorry for us. But I have to imagine she felt sorry for herself too because now she was going to have to tiptoe around me with pregnancy nonsense all over again.
I didn't even tell her when we did the 2nd IVF. My big plan was to surprise her with the 6 week sonogram. Ha, that's hilarious. Instead, I could have told her about it with the message from my nurse explaining that my beta was negative. Oh, wait, I didn't get that message because I did my big F YOU to the IF universe and boycotted the beta entirely. Anyway, when I did tell her, she just took it in stride. As if I had said our freezer was on the fritz again. I think she's over all my IF drama and just doesn't even know what to do at this point. I truly don't blame her.
Kelly is now 34 weeks pregnant and expecting another girl. I'm still jealous every single day, and that makes me sad. The first time we went out somewhere and she was wearing maternity clothes, I cried in my car on the way home. Why can't I be happy for my best friend? She would be truly, completely thrilled for me. Why can't I do the same?
These are rhetorical questions, they don't really require answers. Infertility has turned me into a werewolf. One minute, I'm fine. The next minute, I've sprouted fangs and claws and have grown thick fur all over my face. It's just ugly and I don't like it. Plus, there's the whole hot fork in the eye, sharp knife in the gut, rusty nail in the foot pain to contend with. That really sucks.
Wow, what a bummer of a long post. Sorry for the novel. I guess I just needed to get that off my chest. I promise that my next post will be witty and funny -- even if I have to stock it with random jokes!