Tuesday, December 28, 2010

melt-down moments

I've been trying to post positive things lately...I want as much positivity as possible surrounding me as I start my first IVF cycle (which is still really weird for me to say).  Over Christmas, though, I had a few "melt-down moments."  I debated over whether to blog about them--they are over, and rehashing them does nothing.  But because blogging often helps me process and close the door on things that are bothering me, I decided to put these out there.  Feel free to stop reading now.

1. Christmas Eve Mass: We purposefully went to 6:00 mass rather than 4:00 mass, since 4:00 is usually children's mass.  There I was, kneeling quietly waiting to receive communion, when out of nowhere the contemporary band stopped playing and a children's choir began to sing.  For some reason this hit me like a ton of bricks...I started literally weeping in my seat.  Not my finest hour.

2. The Night Before Christmas: A's family has a tradition that they read this book every Christmas Eve.  Since the youngest is now 15 and there are no grandchildren, it seems a bit out of place to me and I did my best to avoid it, even going to bed first on Christmas Eve. As we sat at Christmas breakfast, however, out popped the book, and my father-in-law proceeded to read the entire thing.  The appearance of a children's book felt very insensitive.

3. Presents: Let me preface this by saying that this is going to sound petty and entitled.  I realize that our families are not obligated to chip in for our treatment in any way.  Because we really only need help with treatment costs, though, we asked that instead of presents our parents give us money to put towards IVF.  This was our way of letting them know that any help would be immensely appreciated.  On Christmas morning, we got $200.  This was very nice, and we are grateful.  But A's little sister got a new iMac...the 27" screen iMac...the $1800 iMac.  It pained me to see this excessive piece of technology sitting there knowing that my in-laws, who have the means to do more, had not even given us enough to cover 1/3 of our follistim.

4. Traditions: A's family is a bit obsessed with traditions.  One tradition is to draw numbers to decide the order of opening presents.  During the number drawing this year, his little sister said something to the effect of this is how we do it and this is how we will always do it no matter how many people are in the family.  This was a special sting...I know that they value their traditions, but they were able to create their own.  I worry that his family will try to impose their traditions on us, rather than giving us the space and freedom to forge our own way.

5. Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Finally, in one of the few conversations where it was acknowledged that we are dealing with fertility issues (I brought it up everytime), we were talking around how everyone has an opinion about IVF.  A's mom said "Just don't tell anybody you are doing it," to which I responded, "I should be able to tell everyone, and I should receive nothing but support."  She didn't really respond, which of course made me feel that she doesn't agree.  I hate feeling like his family wants us to hide this, like it's some dirty secret.  We don't ask cancer patients to wear a wig and hide their chemo.  Why am I supposed to hide this very serious medical condition?

Sorry that these sound so whiny, but thanks for listening bloggie friends.  Sometimes you just need to vent.


  1. Aww, I am so sorry that they were so insensitive. Nothing is worse than having to go through something as difficult as IVF and feel as though your family is ashamed of it.
    On a brighter note, I am so excited for you to start your IVF! What a geat way to start the New Year! I am crossing everything for you!

  2. I am sorry that was your experience. It is interesting to hear how people approach IVF and whether it is a 'secret' vs openly talking about it. We were somewhere in the middle. We didn't have an announcement but we didn't hide it. I felt it was too much stress to hide it and honestly, people would find out after if it did or didn't work so mine as well get support while going through it!! Hope it all works for you!!

  3. ugh, so sorry to hear all of this. I understand your need to vent. I am particularly troubled by the don't ask don't tell situation as if IVF is something to be embarrassed about.
    You deserve to get all the support humanly possible right now. Here to hold your hand through this cycle....

  4. I think all your 'complaints' (and I use this word loosely) sound very valid and some particularly hurtful.

    I agree that it helps to get it out and for me, helps to have a little bit of validation from the women here! So here you are - validation from me! You were right to feel pained and they were insensitive at best, cruel at worst. People can be assholes. In fact they often are.

    And then they are moments where they shock the hell out of you and someone you dont expect will be your next angel. I am hoping for that for you - 2011, you find your angel and your dreams all in the one year. xx

  5. That sounds like a really difficult Christmas. I'm a new reader, so forgive me if this should be obvious, but do you spend a lot of time with your in-laws or is it just around the holidays? Either way, maybe you could back off for a while and nurture relationships with people who will be more supportive and helpful in your IVF/IF journey. Just a thought . . .

  6. Hi, I am new to following your blog but undergoing similar challenges. I find that my family ignores my infertility issues. They never talk about it which hurts me alot. After I cam back from CCRM, my sister (who just had a baby) never called me to see how it went. She came over for Christmas dinner and it was never mentioned. She sent me a text message telling me that she was sorry she didn't ask but that we needed to catch up soon. That was 4 days ago. It hurts like hell and my way to retaliate is to shut them out. I don't plan on sharing much if anything at all. This is now a private journey that I share with my DH and my fellow IVF sisters :) Feel free to read my blog at http://wishingforthegiftoflife.blogspot.com/

  7. Sorry friend. You just never know when something is going to be painful. Things pop up everyday that never used to bother you, but now the reminder is everywhere. You don't have a baby.
    I am worried sometimes about not being accepted also. My hubby family is catholic and I have not told his parents personally about our struggle and the possiblility that we may be looking at IVF. I am nervous and I don't feel like I should have to be.
    I hope things get better for all of us.


  8. Ugh. How did you come out on the other end of that Christmas? I would have collapsed.

  9. Thanks for sharing your meltdown moments - we all have them. I hate the don't ask, don't tell thing. At least you made it through, and I have great hopes for you that next Christmas will be very different for you.

  10. I can particularly relate to #3/Presents. Not so much the fertility bent, but just the gift exchange disparity each year. I get money from my parents, which yes, I know I should be thankful for. My sister, however, gets between 3-4X the amount in presents that I receive in $...TVs, computers, exercise equipment...and more. Yes I'm 42, and I know that sounds pathetic. But it's still annoying.