Friday, July 9, 2010

Bitter, party of one. . . .

If I had a dollar for every time in the past few months I have felt bitter that other people I know are parents while I am not, MM and I could go out for a nice dinner.  Some mornings, when I check Fac.ebo.ok and see yet another pregnancy announcement, or ultrasound photo of a fetus, or baby picture, I want to post "Why do some people get to make babies at will while others are denied this basic function?" or something like that.  (Bitterness level varies day to day, so the tone of what I would write varies, too.)

Yes, I know that parenthood is not all lollipops and rainbows, and yes, I know that life as we know it would change dramatically if/when we become parents.  Knowing these things does not prevent me from wanting to experience motherhood myself.  I have had 39+ years of freedom to be selfish.  I am more than ready to make the sacrifices necessary to be a parent.  Truth be told, I've been ready for years, even before meeting MM.

I am also bitter that I have to consider things such as donor egg IVF, which I wrote about in my latest post.  I know I should be grateful that such a procedure is even able to help us become parents (even though at a very high cost), and on some level I probably am or will be, but at the moment, I am more bitter that our desire to have a baby of our own has led us to have to consider such alternatives.

[Oh, and to the commenter on the last post who pointed out that it was clear I am a lawyer from my analysis of the pros and cons. . . . actually, I thought things through in the same type of logical fashion before I was a lawyer.  I guess it's true what a friend once told me: real lawyers are born, not educated.]

I am bitter that our only chances at parenthood will be the result of spending tens of thousands of dollars and will not involve fun, passionate sex.  I am bitter than my body, which has already failed me in a way by its tendency to be overweight, despite my efforts to make it otherwise, has now failed to carry out its most basic biological function: to procreate.

I am bitter about the toll infertility has already taken on me. . . . the thousands of dollars we've spent, the focus and energy it has stolen from other activities in my life which were/are meaningful to me, the way it has shaken my confidence in myself and tested my faith in the ideas that hard work will be rewarded and that there is a benevolent God.  I'm bitter about the fact that I can no longer be wholeheartedly happy for anyone I know who gets pregnant unless I know that she has struggled with infertility or loss first.  I am bitter that others' lives seem to be moving forward while we are stuck, stagnant.

Bitter is not me.  I am not an envious person by nature.  While I am no Pollyanna and have had my moments of pessimism, I have usually been confident in my ability to affect positive change in my life.  And prior to this, my efforts have usually been rewarded.

At this point, I'm not sure how to stop being bitter.  I have dealt with the disappointment and heartache of infertility for so long that I'm not sure even getting (miraculously) pregnant would bring me back to my old self.  (Although, I'd love to find out. . . . )

For now, I think the best I can do is focus on other things at which there is more of a chance I will be successful.  Focus on my career, focus on (once again) losing weight, focus on doing the things I enjoy and being grateful for the many good things already in my life: my marriage, my family, my dogs, my friends, my general health.

On that note. . . . I am off to my job interview.  Time to put on a happy face.


  1. Knock em dead. Yes, it sounds like you were a born thinker!!!

  2. I am 100% with you on this. I am not by nature a bitter person, but IF is making me so. A friend was complaining about her (IVF) baby's lack of sleep. My (internal) response? "Cry me an effing river! How dare you complain!"

  3. I have and still do feel a degree of bitterness. Even though we've made the choice to do DE, I still get those twinges of bitterness and anger and likely will for the rest of my life...albeit hopefully on a lesser scale if we're successful. I know it's part of the process. But when we first started to think about DE, bitterness was at its worst. I still sometimes get jealous of women who struggle with IF that are undergoing IVF with their own eggs?!! How crazy is that? But once I accepted DE, I can say it's gotten much better. I just hope I can stay in this state for a while because I don't like being bitter...not at all. It's just not me.

    But thanks for the honest post. Hope your interview went well!

  4. Bitterness is to be expected with IF, but it still sucks. I'm not a bitter person by nature, but I've become one over the last two years. I don't want to be this, so I try to do my best and focus on other, happier things. It's all that keeps me going. Best of luck with the interview. I can't wait to hear how it goes.

  5. I often feel bitter too. I am SO bitter that my younger sister conceived on her first try, while I possibly need both donor eggs and a gestational carrier! I think bitterness comes with IF, but don't let it control your life (this is something I need to work on).

    I really hope the interview goes well and you have a great new job to focus your attention on! Fingers crossed.

  6. I've been so surprised how it changed me, too. I was always one who doesn't equate happiness in my own life with what's happening with others' lives. I was single while my younger brother and all his friends were meeting that special one and getting married, and I felt happy at each and every wedding. And I was even content when they starting having their first, then second, then third kids. Even when we first started IF treatments, I was ok with baby showers and birth announcements. But somehow, slowly, it started to sting. Then it started to really cause a strong pang of jealousy and hurt. It shocked me the first time I realized that was what I was feeling. It just snuck up on me, changed me.

  7. Being bitter in these circumstances is normal. After 6 failed DE IVF, I feel bitter too but also scared, shocked, fragile, useless...I think of how the past 4 years have been all about "how to get pregnant" while around us friends have breezed through the process of starting families, built their dream house, got new jobs, travelled all over the world, taken up hobbies....lived life to the full, that is, while I feel that I am stuck in a rut. My greatest fear? Becoming an object of pity to those who know this misplaced pride, but that's the way I feel. I never thought I would envy people and yet that's what I am doing today. I even envy animals I see on TV that have their offspring by their side. That's how bad it is on certain days...But then my mother calls me and says how precious I am to her, how I was the one who helped her to live and laugh again after my dad died of cancer, and my husband takes me in his arms and says how much he loves me. And then I force myself to make a list of the things that I have going for me and tell myself that there are people worse off than me.Accept that there will be bad days, but fight to stay optimistic. The present and the future are what matter.


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