This is a thing I have learned about grief the hard way: that the paragraph above is really, really true and really, really inadequate. And that experience hurts more than can be described.
Today I had an office hysteroscopy, which is a fancy phrase for sticking a camera into your uterus. (I'm not sure why they need to add 'office' to this description. Where the hell else would you do this? It's not like there's a 'home' hysteroscopy, or 'workplace' hysteroscopy. Or 'shopping mall' hysteroscopy either, which would be, like, the worst Black Friday marketing ploy ever.)
Anyway - it went just fine. It's one of the last few tests I need updated so that I can apply for the shared risk program at my RE's office - the whole, 'buy two, get one free' IVF program. I had my bloodwork updated last week. My husband will be - you know, getting analyzed - tomorrow. It's all nice and neatly checked off my list of things to do, albeit a rather strange list for this time of year. "Christmas presents? Check. Turkey purchased? Check. Camera up hoo-ha and Male Donation to Small Plastic Cup? Check."
I felt good today. I felt like we're making progress again, like we're really heading someplace this time. I don't feel scared anymore of all the tests and the hoo-ha cameras and the needle pricks; we've done it before, and we can do it again. I was even getting excited.
You know where this is going, don't you? Right. So I got home and there was a card from my brother, the one who just told us a few months ago that they had been trying to get pregnant for a year. I love my brother. And his wife. Here is part of what they wrote:
"A few weeks ago we found out some amazing news. S is pregnant and will be 8 weeks on Thanksgiving...we know that you are completely happy for us and we also know that you both might have other feelings too and we wanted to give you a chance to process those before we see you on Sunday."
Sucker punch. Right to the gut.
Let me say, on the off chance that they ever find this blog (and for the sake of truth even if they don't) that I really, really appreciate the card. It really does help to have time to process. It was tremendously thoughtful of them and indeed, by the time I see them on Sunday, I will have worked through the following immediate reaction:
FUCK YOU, BOTH OF YOU AND YOUR IDIOT COMPLAINING ABOUT ONE GODDAMN YEAR OF TRYING TO GET PREGNANT, WHICH IS BARELY EVEN REAL INFERTILITY AND HOW DARE YOU THINK THAT YOU HAVE ANY FUCKING IDEA WHAT IT HAS BEEN LIKE TO BE DEALING WITH THIS FOR FOUR FUCKING YEARS AND, IN FACT, I AM NOT "COMPLETELY HAPPY FOR YOU,"I AM THE OPPOSITE AND I HATE YOU RIGHT NOW. SERIOUSLY.
Sorry about the yelling there.
I thought I was past this, this visceral hatred of hearing about other people's pregnancies. It's such a random thing: I can go months without having this reaction, hearing numerous pregnancy announcements and barely blinking an eye. I might succumb to the occasional inward eye-roll - another one bites the dust - but I'm fine. Most of the time. Really.
And then...I don't know what happens. Because I do love them. And I absolutely adore my niece, my other brother's child, and I know I will adore this child as well. Eventually.
I think maybe it's the - I don't know, the pretense that my sister-in-law was so angry and frustrated about their so-called 'infertility.' Let me say this: I get how hard it is not to be pregnant. I remember how frustrated I was that first year. In some ways, it was the hardest year, because I really did have hope every month, and so the crash each time was much, much more painful than it is now.
But we sort of bonded when they told us, over semen analysis tests and RE appointments and basal body temperature thermometers, and all the hysteria over getting your period again, and now I feel like that was just a cruel joke. Like I told all my secrets to someone who turned out to be a spy for the other side. An enemy, just pretending to be like me, just acting like they knew my pain, and then darting over the border to safety, leaving me behind.
I started out the day being hopeful that maybe, just maybe, we would really have a baby this time. And now I feel like I used to long ago - that it will never happen, that we'll be left behind in the dust of other people's strollers. Like we're alone. Again.
I hate this. I hate being here. I hate the fact that I hate my brother right now. I hate the fact that I have to lead a Thanksgiving Eve worship service tomorrow night, when 'thankful' is about the last fucking emotion I have right now.
"Things you can't learn in a counseling class? Check."