Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Guilty... and it isn't my fault!

I have become increasingly aware of the guilt that comes with Infertility. I feel guilty every single day for various reasons. Isn't it enough that I have to go through all the stuff that comes with the title? I can just see someone "upstairs" saying "Oh, let's make all this heartache worthwhile and dump a boat load of other crap on her too. It can be a well rounded learning experience."

Here are some things I've been guilty about lately...

1. I feel guilty for all the crazy mood swings I put my husband, family, and coworkers through on a day to day basis.

2. I feel guilty for not revelling in the joy of a new birth in our church, at work, or even in our family. It is truly a miracle for them and I hate that I feel so bitter and grumpy about their happiness.

3. I feel guilty for failing myself. I feel like I should have done more or prayed more or been more. Maybe if I had worked harder or if I did more for others or... something....

4. I feel guilty for the pain that my husband has to go through month after month only to be followed up with some seriously grumpy days from his wife.

5. I feel guilty for thinking that I would be a better mom than some women I see in passing. I see them in grocery stores and I think "If I had a child I would sooo not allow that to happen!" Truth be told? I don't know what I would do. Maybe that mom is having a really bad day and the child missed his nap or something. Maybe that mom is a single young mom doing the best she can which leads to number 6...

6. I feel guilty for being so angry at teenage or very young mothers. I understand that they should have been more responsible, but honestly isn't having your childhood ripped from you punishment enough without the added criticism and knowing glares from people like me?

7. I feel guilty for my lack of patience with other children on bad days when my bitterness runneth over. Sometimes the only way I can cope with having children frolicking in my presence is to make myself think I don't like what they are doing or convince myself they are driving me nuts.

8. I feel guilty for my questioning if all this is really worth it sometimes. I usually have this thought at a very weak moment and then of course I get a toothless smile from one of my seven year olds at school and a hug just because they are happy to see me and I immediately feel a flood of guilt.

9. I feel guilty that I turn down my friends invitations to go do things and I have isolated myself more or less over the years because the pain of seeing friends with babies hurts too much. I have let many many good friends slip to the wayside because I just can't bear the questions and glances and I hate that some of them have children and I don't.

10. Lastly I feel guilty for a very odd reason. This one takes a bit to explain so please bear with me....

I always heard as a child that sometimes people die so new souls can come to earth. I have heard that babies pick their families and I have heard that there are children in heaven waiting for us sort of like waiting for their turn. The latter of the two don't bother me too bad but the first one eats at me a lot lately.

I am terrified to become pregnant right now. My grandfather (mom's dad) is in failing health. He has been for many years but he keeps fighting on and he's such a wonderful man and I love him so much. Last night my grandmother (dad's side) had what we think was a stroke. It terrified me. I've had this in the pit of my stomach terror lately that one of them will get sick and die just so I can selfishly bring a baby into the world.

Now before I get a lot of "I can't believe you would think that!" or "How morbid and horrible you are!" thoughts let me say. This is only a manifestation of my trying to explain my infertility. I know we all have questioned why and even wondered what force of nature would have to change in order for things to line up and a baby fall in our arms.

One of the bizarre fearful rationalizations that I have come up with in the bottom of the bottom of my heartache is that maybe my heart and family is just full right now and in order to have another I will have to wait for one to leave. It is silly maybe but it is no less terrifying.

Last night as I heard my tearful mother on the other line explaining to me that no one knew what would happen at that point as they had also found pneumonia on top of the stroke and she was not doing very well, the bottom of my stomach lurched and I felt like I was going to be sick. I sobbed for hours. I wept bitterly pleading with God that this was not the case. At that time I felt it beyond irony that my just done hsg coincided with the wonderful throes of upcoming ovulation and the fear of losing a loved one. This morning my mother assured me that my grandmother is much better and in fact they have questions as to whether she really had a stroke or if her oxygen levels just got way too low because she has been stubbornly trying to prove she doesn't need her oxygen.

I'm not sure how to overcome this fear and pain that I feel about my grandparents to whom I am very very close, tiring and moving on to make way for the new. I have struggled for a while with it and after last night the fear has gripped me in a new way. I want my grandparents to see their first great grandchild and it breaks my heart to think otherwise.

I feel so guilty that I want a child so bad despite the thought of losing a loved one and I feel guilty for thinking such horrid and outlandish thoughts.

I'm going to go and look for a way out of this tunnel of guilt now....

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