Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pain Olympics

This is one of those heavy topics I talked about earlier this week. I just want to say upfront that this post is not meant, in any way, shape or form, to upset or offend anyone. In fact, my purpose is to validate others and what they have gone through. So here goes...

Almost a year ago, right after I started IVF and had been dealing with IF for 1.5 years already I was on a thread on IVFC. I believe it was some sort of cycle buddy thread, but can't remember for certain. One of the gals on there had also been ttc #2. We were among a great group of woman who were ttc #1. Well, the other poster ttc #2 wrote on the thread to me "don't you think it is harder when you already have a child and are going through IF because you just want your child not to be an only child." I was FLOORED! I couldn't not even respond or acknowledge this statement. I just thought it was so rude for her to compare our situation to the other situations and to openly play the Pain Olympics in a place that should have the utmost sincerity and empathy for our fellow IF friends. Even though our IF has been a very painful journey for DH and I, I would never say that! Can you imagine how these poor woman ttc #1 felt?

I know I have talked about how sad that I am that L is an only child on my blog many times. And I know that a lot of my readers are ttc #1. I also know that they continue to read my blog and have never made me feel bad for the things I have written on my blog. Every time I write a post that involves me talking about L I always think about how others will feel reading my blog. It is hard for me to find a happy medium that both appeals to my readers and stays true to who I am and who I have in my life. I never want to feel guilty for having L, but many times I do- through no fault of anyone else, it's just who I am because I can feel and understand the pain of others.

The IF journey has so many fine lines that run through it. Even though I have L, my emotions, as well as so many other infertiles, are so similar. I can say that wholeheartedly I think of my fellow IF friends daily. Not just every once in a while, but a lot. I so wish that we could all have complete families and that we did not have to endure this struggle. Even though we all have different IF journeys I really try to be supportive of others in their own struggle. I try to put myself in their shoes as I read their blogs or posts and imagine how they are feeling, regardless of where their IF journey has led them.

As much as I hate the Pain Olympics, it seems like they do pop up here and there. When I find out that someone who has been through more IF h*ll than you can imagine, or any kind of IF for that matter, I think about how much they deserve to be pregnant. But then when someone announces her pregnancy without experiencing any IF I think about how it isn't fair that she got pregnant so easily. And why is that? Because if I wouldn't wish IF on anyone (well, okay, there might be one or two people in this world that I would personally wish this on- just being honest), why is it so easy to compare my IF journey to their journey?? I mean, my situation has nothing at all to do with their situation. Is it because I just want a child so badly that it is a sharp reminder of what I don't have? Or is it because I am jealous of the joy they will experience in having a child?

People tell me to be thankful for what I have. I am thankful for what I have. I tell DH that I am the most thankful gal on this earth for having my DH and L, but that I just want to be thankful for someone else too. And having L does not dim my want for having another child. I used to want four children, now I will also consider myself thankful to have two children.

So, I guess the thing I am trying to say is that for those of you who read my blog, I sincerely thank you for reading. I know that my posts are not all fun for you to read. No matter what journey you have embarked on to create your family, I am right here by your side cheering you on. Even though I have L, the basic IF emotions for all infertiles are the same. I have felt them with you right by your side and tried to put myself in each of your shoes. I also thank you for your non-judgemental, non-critical support of me and my IF journey and for recognizing that we are all on our own IF journey. I am so glad that I have met such wonderful women whose spirit, thoughtfulness, sensitivity and support has been amazing. Without you, I would be a puddle on the floor every day, not just some days:)


Jill M. said...

Stay true to yourself and do not for one moment feel guilty for for already having a child. We are all at different locations on a path through life and just because you may be further down the path than someone else does not mean your pain should be discounted. IF sucks, for all, no matter what stage. Great post!

Tom and Margit said...

Kris-I hear you on all of this. I do get mad, upset, annoyed, when I hear people who "tried" one time and wow, I am pregnant. It just irks me that some have to suffer SO much and people who just want to try, boom get pregnant. i am right there with you.
And that comment was rude. I sometimes feel guilty now on our IVF board having Isabella. I know that is ridiculous, because I have been at the starting point, with no child, but I want SO badly for all of my IF friends to have a baby to hold. The pain olympics are hard!
I am thankful everyday for what I have and I know you are too!
You are amazing :)