Monday, October 20, 2008

A completely unexpected moment of compassion

First, I just have to say thank you for all your thoughtful comments. I truly appreciate your advice and experiences. So it seems we all have one of those friends. I'll keep you updated on the situation but it looks like I do need to try to explain things to her (not going into too much detail). If she can't understand that I can't be there for her right now then perhaps it is time to break things off.

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I had lunch with a friend yesterday (I know, halt the presses. I did something SOCIAL for no reason other than to SOCIALIZE!)

This friend is fertile. The kind of fertile where she had a 2nd baby much earlier than she would have wanted and it was hard. I can completely see how having a baby when you aren't ready for one can be very difficult. I've been somewhat hesitant to totally get into all my infertility but she does know we have had difficulties. She's been nothing but cool. No stupid advice, no flaunting her fertility, just sympathy and well stated questions.

I have never been jealous of her family or her fertility. I have never not wanted to hold her babies. I have never cringed at the thought of getting together with her.

She's Native just like me: mixed blood, professional, looks white, totally down with Native causes, lives as much of the culture as possible being married to a non-native and living in suburbia.

At lunch I was telling her how this IVF will likely be our last. I was hopeful it would work. I told her what I have been telling other people: That with this IVF I had some tricks up my sleeve and it was costing substantially more but our odds were pretty favorable.

She has a friend who is a bit younger than me (about 36) and has been trying for 2 years. I've met her once or twice over the years.

She is dragging her feet on starting any treatment. Not sure if it's her or her husband who is the dragger. I am pretty upfront about the need to be aggressive. Ditch your OB (who "specializes" in infertility) and RUN to an RE. If you are having trouble at 36 it ain't going to get any easier at 39. I gave my friend my FSH run-down as an example.


As we were leaving she was telling me how she uses me as an example of a success story of infertility. I kept saying that I wasn't. She kept saying, "Yes your are. You had Piccolina and you were late 30's. And you'll probably have another so you are a success story. I tell my friend about you all the time". It was difficult to hear that.

I don't feel successful. Yes, I do have one child but for my next child (if I am so lucky) I am using donor eggs. Using me as an example of a "success" is just like Nancy Grace cryptically telling women in the 40's, "There is hope" but not admitting donor eggs or IVF for that matter. It's the WRONG thing to tell women. It's the opposite of what I want people to get from my experience. I don't want to be the reason someone puts off IVF becasue Peeveme got pregnant at 38. It feels fraudulent to be called a "success" without an *.

And so I told her. I told her not to tell her friend that I'm a success becasue it sends the wrong message. It says you can wait and still have a baby. I told her the only reason I have confidence that I will be successful is becasue I'm using donor eggs. I was not telling anyone... not my parents, no friends, not my in-laws, nobody. I should not be used as a success story. If anything, I am a cautionary tale. I'm not telling anyone because people can be very judgmental and I don't want to compromise the privacy of my children and I'd appreciate if she'd take it to her grave or else I'd put her in an early one (we Indian chicks are tough).

And then she did the craziest thing. She hugged me and whispered, "I would never judge you". And then I cried like a big -fat -girl.

13 comments:

soapchick said...

She sounds like a great friend! I'm glad you were able to trust her to open up. I'm extremely open about DE, to the point where I attract by-the-book-Catholics who pass judgment on me....but I don't care. I probably need to be more selective with whom I share.

nancy said...

She sounds like a wonderful friend.

luna said...

very sweet friend. this one I like.

I am also a cautionary tale to many of my younger friends. never wanted to be the poster child for infertility. but there it is.

Frenchie said...

Wow. Now that's the kind of friendship you need.

Andrea said...

That was really cool of her. I feel like you-I don't want to tell anyone except maybe our parents if we use donor eggs. I don't care if people judge me, but I certainly don't want my children judged from the moment of their birth.

bleu said...

Feeling takes guts, so you cried like a brave awesome woman in my book.

Great friend1! Great you for voicing your truth!!

Kate said...

You had me laughing and crying with this post. I had to laugh (a painful laugh) when I looked at your FSH levels. I like to wallow in my own pity when I think that, at the age of 28, my highest FSH tested was 80. Ha. Beat that. (See, I'm wallowing here). I cried at your story about telling your friend about DE. I know how you feel. She sounds like a good friend.

Shelli said...

I wish I had a friend like that.
You are very lucky.

Chelle said...

I'm with everyone.. What a wonderful friend. I wish I had a friend like that. How wonderful that must have made you feel.

That's what you needed.

Joonie said...

You are such a wonderful and brave person. Your honesty is commendable. I don't know if I would have had the courage to speak up to dispel falsehoods in the IF arena. And clearly you're friend is a keeper too.

sara said...

Sounds like she is a great friend and I'm glad you were able to share that moment with her. Thanks for all of your kinds words - you are too sweet :-)

jodie38 said...

Oh, my God I love that story! I teared up at the hug - a friend like that, everyone needs. I'm very lucky to have 2 friends I've told everything to, and they don't make me feel broken. They're rare, and I wish all of us had at least one.
Yeah, I'm the cautionary tale for all of my friends and family. I've only heard it admitted once, but it hurt much more than I thought it would.
So many things can be helped by just one sincere hug....

Hang in there....

Knock Me Up said...

That is one good friend. I'm so happy you have her.