Lately, I have been finding it hard to move forward. I feel like I can’t get over IVF. I feel like I can’t move past infertility. I feel like the rest of my life hangs in the balance while I try valiantly to pretend like everything is okay. Some days are definitely better than others. It’s not all bad. I want to re-iterate that. It isn’t ALL bad. I just want to get back to living a full life rather than always feeling like something is missing or off or not right.
I don’t want to be that bitter woman. I don’t want to be that sad woman. I never wanted to be that woman who is defined by her reproductive capabilities. But, if some days I am bitter, sad, or defined by my infertility, then so be it. I need to forgive myself for that and stop suppressing my emotions. Having a tantrum about the unfairness of life may not be completely rational, but sometimes life is irrational. Our emotions don’t always fit into a neat little gift box. And I am (very, very) slowly learning that, because I am the queen of emotional suppression. As I pointed out in my last post, I talk up a storm about emotions on this blog, but this isn’t the real life me. The real life me is sitting in my doctor’s exam room putting on a jolly face to the point that even my doctor puts his hand on my shoulder and says, “Carly, sometimes I worry about you.” To which I reply, “Oh no, you shouldn’t worry!” Yeah, that happened. Why I was worried about upsetting my fertility doctor who sees plenty of not so jolly women per day is beyond me.
I feel like part of this process involves fully recognizing that IVF #1 failed. As strange as it may sound, I have not done that. I have not grieved. I have spent too much time looking ahead, trying to configure back up plans, and reaching for band aids to cover it all up. It’s exhausting to try and fake what you are really feeling. When you are pretending to be happy, but actually aren’t, it makes you feel hollow and empty inside. That emptiness is perhaps one of the loneliest feelings. I think I am doing everyone around me a favor by shielding my sadness, but actually, I know I am doing nothing but shortchanging myself. I really want to move forward. I think part of that process is letting my mind grieve. Actually, I know I need to do this.
Recently, L and I had a very deep discussion about a future option for our family. I was elated that we were both on the same page with the possibility of this exciting opportunity. However, I still recognize that I need to grieve for myself and IVF first. I told L that he needs to, too. He has been just as guarded and painfully stoic as well. On the outside we put on these brave faces, but behind that facade, it would take a pin prick to make us crumble.
Anyone else have some trouble with recognizing and being in sync with your emotional side? I am open to suggestions/stories/anything on how to work on this.