Sometimes there's so much to say, I can't find the heart to sit down and write about it. Last weekend was that kind of weekend. We had dinner with friends on Saturday night in the neighborhood and then met for lunch with my BIL and SIL and nieces on Sunday at their country club.
I was dreading the family visit all weekend. My mother-in-law had called the day before and told me that she had lunch with J (the BIL) that Saturday and that he had asked if "there were any babies yet" for Sloper and LG. My MIL responded by telling him he needs to speak with us to learn about how things are going, and he said, "They didn't have another miscarriage, did they?" in a worried one of voice. Again she told him to talk to us about what's going on, but that we're "struggling."
My MIL brought this story to me like it was some amazing evidence of how deeply my BIL and SIL care about us. "See?" she said. "He's thinking about you. I know they want you to have kids."
Yeah, I kind of figured that already. Obviously they want their kids to have cousins, and LG and I are the only way they're getting any. And they're not evil. I know they don't wish us ill.
But hearing that he made what basically amounted to small-talk chit-chat at lunch about our problems (over a year later!) isn't evidence of some extreme compassion and sympathy. I'm not angry that she told me this, but it also doesn't change that I think their reaction to our situation has royally sucked. It doesn't change the fact that I think they are incapable of having real, human connection with us on this point, or that they don't put their own events, needs, and desires over our incredibly deep sorrow. As I said to my MIL, "I don't know what I'm supposed to do with this information." Go out of my way to inform them and make them comfortable with this? Um, no.
So I was not feeling super charitable about this lunch visit and was wondering why we were making the effort to head out to Suburblandia and see them. And yet, it was fine. I held the 8-month-old niece, who is very sweet and smiley, and I saw that she has the blue eyes neither of her parents do (eyes like mine) and managed only a twinge of sadness. Our three-year-old niece was sweet and funny and very cuddly once she got over some initial shyness. LG and his brother disappeared to another part of the club for a while (a sports bar, it turned out, where they could watch some football) and I thought that maybe J was going to bring up the last year and ask how things were going. But he didn't. And LG thought that maybe S (my SIL) was asking me how things have been. But she wasn't.
Still, for all my dread of these situations, I'm very good at getting in and getting out with minimal fuss and distress. And if I wasn't my usual bright and sparkly self, if I was a little more quiet and subdued than usual, I don't think it was extreme enough for anyone but me to notice.
So Sunday was alright, despite my worries. But Saturday...
We had dinner with, among others, our Queens friends and their one-year-old son. These are the friends whose son was born the day we had our first bad ultrasound with the m&m. They are the friends who miscarried their first pregnancy almost exactly two years before we did, then tried to conceive for over a year before finally hitting the jackpot with an IUI. We are very close to them, and while we don't talk about IF and loss frequently, there's a current of understanding that flows through all our interactions and helps make things comfortable.
I noticed at dinner that Queens Wife wasn't drinking, and my radar went up. But Queens Husband was, so I thought that perhaps they designated a "Sober Sister" (as it were) to watch their little boy and drive home.
But as we peeled off from the rest of our party and walked them to their car a few blocks away, they confirmed my suspicions. They were twelve-weeks pregnant, unexpectedly but quite happily. They were due in June, just like her first pregnancy and mine.
I didn't feel that sharp spike of jealousy in the gut the way I usually do. We hugged them both and asked some questions and told them how happy we were. And in that moment, I truly was. Something raw and pointy lay underneath that happiness, but I pushed it far down. Lawyer Guy and I left them at their car and walked home to our apartment, and the night was very crisp and clear, and we both talked of other things and knew we were thinking the same thing, and it felt good to be together, whatever the circumstances.
I didn't let myself think much more about our friends' pregnancy the rest of the weekend. And then Monday morning, Queens Husband texted LG. They just had their NT scan. The results were not good--the baby's skull didn't form right. They had to terminate.
We both cried for them and ordered a basket of food to be delivered to their house and texted and e-mailed and offered to help them with anything they needed. She had the procedure yesterday and tomorrow they leave for Thanksgiving in New England.
As much as I may have felt jealous and a little sad when they told me their pregnancy news, I am devastated that this is the result. It seems so unfair--that they've had to undergo two very different but equally traumatizing losses, and even their beautiful, hard-won son doesn't make up for that. I find myself wondering why this kind of suffering has to be concentrated on the same people over and over again. Why can't it be one miscarriage per customer, no exceptions, and no more than one for everybody? Why can't it be lost pregnancy or IF, never both? I know the world doesn't work that way, and I'm sure people with ordinary, loss-free fertility would be horrified to think I'm "wishing miscarriages" and problems on them. But wouldn't life be easier to navigate if we could all share this burden?
Like losing a parent--it happens at different (more or less tragic) times for different people, but if you live long enough, your parents will die. I think we have tremendous sympathy for those whose parents die because of this sense that it will be us facing the same thing one day. But reproductive troubles aren't like that, so they're easier to dismiss or ignore. It's horrible to wish they were more universal, and yet I do. Hey, I'm surviving them, so Ms. Fertile Franny can too.
I'm rambling now because there's no real ending point to this. Lost pregnancies suck. Infertility sucks. Lack of sympathy sucks. Having to trudge on when you just want to scream sucks.
This all sucks.
I'm back, and it's hopefully not a once-off!!
7 months ago