Sunday, July 29, 2007

A little self pick-me-up

I have only recently returned home after a backpacking trip with friends. There was beautiful scenery, good companionship and even Harry Potter (it was a short hike in and well worth bringing the book). It was a nice few days. Of course, I never stopped thinking about ttc. I take that back - there were a few moments when I was able to be wholly present: swimming in the lake, watching the trees blow in the wind, taking in the view one evening.

Yet, the vast majority of moments involved thinking about the upcoming cycle. Mostly it was hopeful, I am happy to say. I counted the days until the next cycle begins. I dreamed about this cycle working. "Maybe I will be pregnant this winter." "Maybe we will have some embryos to freeze this time." I imagined reading Harry Potter to our children. I was feeling very good about the odds this cycle - the benefits of using a younger woman's eggs. Yes, it is a little bit sad that our child won't have my eyes, but to have a baby! It will be worth it. It will be so worth it.

Then I arrived home and checked the mail. The bill for the upcoming cycle arrived. The first paragraph read, " . . . scheduled for in vitro fertilization with donor egg in the September 2007 series."

Suddenly I felt very different about everything. "How did I become her?", I thought. "How did I become someone who was incapable of creating a child with her own eggs? I don't want to be her. I can't be her!" I was so embarrassed. I panicked - thinking, "What if someone finds out?!"

Well, of course someone will find out. Or more accurately, everyone already knows. My friends, family, and co-workers all know. My internet community knows. There is no secret here. Why do I still feel shame? Why do I feel like there must be something inherently wrong with me? I feel like I have committed some horrible crime and am being marched in front of the camera with a subtitle reading: Kami - suspected of failing to produce viable embryos.

I don't have an answer to those questions, but I can tell you what I am doing about it. First of all, I am posting this in a blatant call for support and understanding. I am also reminding myself that there really is no shame in infertility. After all, that is one of the reasons I started this blog - to play my small part in helping to remove the stigma of infertility. And I am going to make a list of the reasons I am not a failure and there is no reason to be ashamed:
  • I have made the best choices I could at each step of this journey. It's not my fault it has come to this.
  • I have kept going after multiple losses, set backs and growing debt.
  • Brad and I have pulled together instead of apart during this journey.
  • I continue to move forward with donor eggs even though, at times, I am scared or sad or ashamed.
  • I choose to be content with who I am and peaceful in our choice to keep trying to have a baby.
  • I am not ashamed.
  • Someday (I hope!) I will proudly tell our children what we were willing to do to bring them into this world.
  • I am proud of Brad and I for being able to make such hard unconventional decisions than most to start a family. (Added after the suggestion from Inconceivable)
Well, I feel better already. I needed a little self pick-me-up. Thanks for listening.

8 comments:

Lori said...

Oh, {{{{Kami}}}}.

Your list is fabulous.

Instead of stigma, you deserve a bottle of expensive Atta Girl champagne.

But you'll have to drink it before September :-)

Inconceivable said...

I am glad that you had a fun mini vacation. I am sad that your inner peace is teetering. On your list add Being proud of yourself (and your husband)for being able to make such hard unconventional decisions than most to start a family - I am proud to be a reader of your blog! Continue On, stay the course - Farah

Meg said...

I hope you start to feel better about your decision. You should not be ashamed - be proud that you are an incredibly strong woman.

SULLY said...

HUGS!

I just have a question...would you feel the same way if you adopted a child who was already here? I try to view this as the same...only better because you get to grow your little one under your heart!

Good luck!!!

Irish Girl said...

You say you don't want to be "that" woman, but I ask, who is that woman? The one who bravely endured years of defeat only to keep pushing onward towards her goals? The one who is strong enough to be open and honest with her loved ones about the challenges she has faced? The one who strengthened her marriage in the face of adversity? The one who will make an absolutely wonderful mother to a lucky baby?

You say you don't want to be "that" woman ... but, friend, most would love to be "that" woman! Stand proud, Kami! I admire what you're doing and how you are doing it.

Leah said...

Once again you wrote down tons of stuff that's currently in my own head! "Shame" is such a weird word to use when describing feelings about DE, but I know *exactly* what you mean.

Consider yourself the recipient of enormous amounts of support and understanding from me. I admire you -- for your strength, your perserverance, and for the lengths that you are willing to travel to bring a baby into your lives. You deserve a Mother of the Year award already. I'm serious.

Pamela Jeanne said...

Sorry to be late in offering my support here! You are in altogether new territory so moments of panic are more than likely to occur and usually when you least expect it. You're also reconciling some very intense ideas and emotions: happiness, uncertainty, anticipation, joy, longing, sadness, anxiety, relief, peace, awkwardness and hope, just to name a few!

Your list is excellent and I applaud you for taking a deep breath to compile it.

Also this statement really caught me: "There were a few moments when I was able to be wholly present."

I can't tell you how infrequently I've been "wholly present" of late and it was a big reminder to me to be more conscious of it. Wishing you well as you continue along your exciting new path.

Jill said...

I'm finally catching up on your posts... I'm sorry you're feeling this way.. did you ever get a chance to talk to my friend with the twins from donor embryos?