Tuesday, January 13, 2009

You're gonna love this one!

My sister called me yesterday at work via my mom's cell phone with a message to call her back. I shrugged indifference and waited until lunch. Then I nearly lost my lunch.

My sister is a senior in college. She is a home body and a dreamer. She majored in drama and she lives up to her full potential most of the time if you know what I mean! Just before Christmas she started talking about this guy she was dating. She lives two hours away when at school and this guy lives almost exactly between home and school so over the break they went out several times. She came in one night and nonchalantly mentioned that she had broken it off with this guy. I just let it go at the time because I know that she is truly in love with another guy here and is only dating to try and move on or prove a point.

Then my sister started asking me grown up questions on the way home one night. I tried to pretend like it was no big deal, but seriously, could you please warn me before you alter the path of our relationship and sisterhood forever?!?! I gave her all the info I could and tried to be open and honest with her about everything. I also made a big point to warn her that as soon as I began to play hokey pokey on a regular basis, my pcos held up huge flaming red flags, and all hell broke loose. It was strange discussing my sex life with my little sister, but I moved on with an "Awww, she's growing up" and that was that.

Until I called her back. At school. With my mother standing a few feet away raising a questioning eyebrow my way.

She wanted me to go with her to buy a pregnancy test. She was late. I told her that it was normal for her body to fluctuate a bit but that we would go and get one so that she could have the peace of mind. On the way to the store last night I asked how late she was. I almost laughed. "Well, I'm almost a day late." I tried to be understanding and remember back when I was her age. At that point Hubby and I were actively trying but I was still very naive when it came to the hidden wonders of the female body.

"I just know that you have tried so hard and I figured it would be my luck to pop up pregnant on the first try."

This was the comment that sent my carefully controlled emotional stability hurtling through space. I think it passed Mars at one point. The idea of her becoming pregnant before me, with an unplanned baby that she had no way of caring for made me physically sick.

She kept saying to me "Arian, what will I do? I can't tell Mom. I can't keep it. There is no way I could take care of a baby right now. I have so many things I want to do."

I just laughed and trying to lighten the mood I said "Pfft, I got that covered. We'll take a vacation and when you give birth you can just give it to me and no one will ever know which of us was truly pregnant. Have any where you've always wanted to visit?"

She turned and said, "I would probably give it up for adoption, but I couldn't bear giving it to you and Hubby. It would just be weird."

I totally understand what she is saying and if I were in her shoes, I would feel the same way. But... That was a hideous thing to imagine. A mental image of her handing a strange couple her baby as Hubby and I held on to a negative pee stick brought tears to my eyes. It made me so angry. With her for being so foolish and naive. With myself for being so selfish and bitter. With my body for being so broken and hopeless.

I kept a lid on all of this. I wanted to be a big sister, not an infertile at the moment. We drove to my house and she took the test. I even let her use my little pee cup that I keep stashed on the off chance that I might make it to a testable point in my cycle. The test showed one line and I couldn't help studying it in the light just like I do mine searching for the faintest sign of pink. This is when she said "Well, are you sure it isn't too early? We did it almost a week ago."

I laughed hysterically at this. I couldn't handle it anymore. I took her into my bedroom, shut the door, and had a very long heart to heart about the inner workings of a female cycle. I made sure to explain that if you did the deed two days before your period was due, chances were, you weren't knocked up and if by some strange miracle you were, it certainly wouldn't show up on a pee stick for another week or so even in the best of circumstances. I also took time to "mother" her a bit and remind her that what she did wasn't exactly one of her smarter choices and that perhaps next time, she should rethink things. She also confided in me that he had pulled the plug long before he was finished. It made me laugh to remember Hubby and I panicking once before we were married because I caught a bug at work and started barfing a couple of weeks after a close call. We actually thought that we could make babies like that!

She called today to tell me that she had started.

I told her that I was glad I didn't have to hate her. I said it lightly and jokingly, but truthfully, I needed to say that out loud.

Last night I went to bed sad. I didn't like the feelings I had over something so serious and scary for my sister. It bothered me to realize I had become such a bitter and angry person because of this. I felt sad for Hubby and I. Most couples never lose that "innocence" when it comes to baby making. In the beginning, it was an adventure, our first adventure together as a family. Now, it is the source of our pain. When we begin to struggle within our marriage, infertility is the first closet we purge in our hearts, and most often we find somewhere in there is the hidden center of our frustration with each other. I feel like we have been robbed of so much joy that we could have shared, had this not been a constant companion in our every day life.

Infertility has become an infestation in our lives. It is like a roach that hides in the dark. When the lights are on, you might not notice it, but let it get dark and watch it scurry around carefree on any surface it chooses. It affects us financially and emotionally. It affects what we eat thanks to metformin and who we choose as friends. I have even noticed that the ups and downs in our friendships are closely related to the results of or timing of our cycle. It is a factor in our free time as we weigh the "adorable couple with baby stroller, sucking face as they walk by" factor of any activity. I don't even go to the bathroom the same anymore.

I hate this crap. I think we all need to acknowledge our pain. We should take more pride in our courage, strength, and patience. The shit we go through is hard and without each other via these blogs and the outlets we have carved out for ourselves, most of us would battle this alone without a place to feel accepted and understood.

Thanks for being my outlet.


Michelle said...

Amen to that!

Photogrl said...

Oh, man...I am SO sorry that you had to experience that.

Thank you for being honest in this post. The analogy between infertility and a roach is spot on.