Where do you go for support when you feel like you don't fit in anywhere?

I have friends who've gone through IVF, but are pregnant now - they've never had to struggle with low numbers or failed cycles. I have friends who have gone through losses, but have no fertility issues - so have conceived again quickly. I have friends who needed help falling pregnant with number one, but managed a natural conception for number two - and they have no idea what it's like to go through this for the second time in a row, for 1+ year, with no end in sight.

And then of course, I have friends that have never experienced any of these things - infertility, IVF, miscarriage, failed cycles... and they legitimately have no idea how to handle any of this. Or how to handle ME.

It's not something you just get over. Yes, talking to people can help - and we've done that, several times. If there was a way to just switch off and think about something else, don't you think we would have done that?

Suggesting we go on a holiday, or to leave things for a few months, or that taking a break might be a good idea... you have no idea how much that hurts. Do you think that if we jetted off on a holiday, things would get better? That I wouldn't spend that entire trip thinking about expanding our family? That I wouldn't be freaking out about the costs involved, costs that could be going towards more fertility treatment? That I wouldn't be watching Georgia playing on her own, and feeling disheartened that the age gap between babies is widening with every passing day?

Every day that we wait feels like a few months. I wish I was exaggerating. I blink and it's this time last year, when we had high hopes for baby #2, good vibes for our frosties, excitement at hopefully having a smoother time second go around. Somehow, it's been a year - and we have nothing to show for it but heartache.

The worst thing would have to be the comments about being grateful for Georgia. As if for one second I don't think of how lucky I am to have her. After the way our frozen transfers ended up, I feel like I need to personally thank the scientist who chose her embryo to transfer first. I don't know how I would keep going without her. But the implication that I should be happy with what I've got, and not be so sad about not conceiving a second child... well, that is totally unfair. Would you say that to a fertile person? Would you tell them to just be happy with what they've got, and to move on, or focus on other things?

I think for the most part I'm doing a pretty good job of putting on my happy face and getting on with things. Georgia won't ever know how much this hurt, because I will make SURE she doesn't see. Sometimes though, I need to be miserable. I need to cry. I can't fake a smile 24 hours a day. There are people out there who are also struggling to conceive - I'm not selfish enough to believe that I'm the only one going through this. I know. I just don't know where I fit in anymore.

I'm floundering around feeling completely lost. I'm trying not to lose total faith in this cycle, but already wishing the next few months away. The fact that March is coming up, our first little one's due date... that doesn't help.

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jess said...

We lost our first baby at 21 weeks. I can remember being desperate to be pregnant before our baby's due date. I wasn't. But in the end the due date came and went and it was just another day of sadness. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.

I can remember thinking about missed milestones. The dates flew by. I kept thinking I'm not going to have a baby by this Christmas now. I'm not going to have a baby this year now. I'm not going to have a baby by my birthday. It's hard.

I saw a counselor and her main recommendation was exercise and sunshine. She told me to get up every morning and go for a walk in the sunshine. She also told me to meditate. I found these things helped a little.

It's been five years since we lost our first child and I've now recovered from that time. I can look back on that period of my life and it's tinged with sadness and grief but nothing like it felt when I was going through it.

I really hope that you get your second baby soon. I really hope that in the future you too can look back on this time of your life and not feel the hurt. Be kind to yourself.

Becca said...

Yeah I don't really have any advice. Almost five years after deciding to try for a family and we are still childless. All of my support system has moved on to get pregnant. I feel alone a lot. So yeah, no advice. But I get it. I get the loneliness and inability to talk to someone who gets it. I'm really sorry hun.

Janet said...

Aside from a few details, I feel like I could have written jess' comment above...

After we lost Miller I tried to go to babyloss support groups, but the nearest one was super far away so that wasn't sustainable. I found my fellow loss mamas online and that helped. In person, I went to infertility support groups, and I think that was good. Hard but good. There wasn't really a place that fit both things (infertility + loss) but I almost felt I had more in common with the IF people in real life. Many of the loss people went on to have babies right away and that was hard for me.

Just take care of yourself and be gentle on yourself. Other people don't know what to say and some of them suck. They don't mean to suck usually...they just don't get it.

Do you do yoga? I suck at it but I found it to be so, so, so, so helpful for my sad/crazy brain.

doahleigh said...

I'm one of those people who can't quite relate. I've experienced loss, and I didn't get pregnant immediately with any of my pregnancies. I did have some minor medical intervention (Clomid), but nothing like what you've had to do. But I do know that one of the worst things people can do is deny you your feelings. Telling you to take a break or to take a holiday, or to focus on what you have, just shows that they have no idea what it's really like. There is no break. There is not one moment when this is not somewhere in your mind. And most of the time it dominates your life, you can't turn it off. A vacation just means you're obsessing about it another location. A break just means you're obsessing about it without taking action. And of course you appreciate what you have. What an insult to suggest you don't, or that you should just be happy with what you have, or that being grateful will erase your desires. I hear all the same things, so I can just imagine how much harder it is for you to hear.

I'm sorry this is all so hard. I wish for wonderful news really soon.

Patient Subfertility said...

What is it you want from my friends? In retrospect, I just needed someone to cry with me and hold my hand and maybe tell me it's going to be OK. I wish I had said, I need you to text me good luck at the doctor again. I didn't tell my friends what I needed because I didn't know.

I'm not sure it's so fair to them to expect so much from them when they don't know what you want. Maybe you don't either.

You don't need someone who has exactly your life experience to feel supported. You just need some better communication.

Emilie said...

I can't relate 100% either. I've experienced loss but it's not the same as what you've been going through. I do remember focusing on milestones and the first year was hard but after that point it got easier for me, I think because it wasn't something I was not trying for or wanted at the time. Even though it was accidental and happened very early on, it was tough to deal with. I cannot imagine going through what you're going through and my heart aches for you. I know it's easier said than done, but screw the people who think you should "go on vacation" - wtf are they even thinking? Maybe just let yourself feel what you feel and know that no matter what you feel, it's OK to feel it. Always thinking of you. xx

Kato Potato said...

I can only imagine how you feel and sure it is hard to do that because we haven't even started TTC, but I think people just wish they could take the pain and struggle away for you and they can't. Nobody can say anything that will really help and nobody can do anything and these struggles and losses suck so much.

I know it doesn't do much, but I will keep sending good juju your way and hope the future brightens some how. <3

Aly @ Breathe Gently said...

I am the least flexible person in the world. But I can definitely give it a go!

Aly said...

Thanks for weighing in Jess and I'm so sorry for your loss. I've been really scared of reaching that due date milestone. Still am. It helps to know how you got through it.

Aly said...

That alone feeling is really, really hard. I'm here anytime you need to talk.

Aly said...

I'm so sad hearing your journey too. This is a hell of a burden to carry. xxx

Aly said...

You nailed a lot of what I'm feeling in this comment. Thank you so much for helping me get it into words!

Aly said...

Thanks for your comment. I would like to think I'm not being 'unfair' to my friends for asking for support. Luckily for them, they've never had to experience these things before - and I wouldn't wish this on anyone. It's just unfortunate for me, since without understanding, they won't ever be able to relate. We all want/need different things to comfort us, yes - but needing generic support is not an unfair thing to wish for.

Aly said...

Love you, Em. xxx

Aly said...

So appreciate the good juju. xx

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