July 13, 2009

Marmaduke*

I recently read this short story on the impact of infertility on relationships and enjoyed it so much I just wanted to share it (thanks Rachel).

I've been feeling so grateful lately for where our particular infertility experience has taken us and this story just reinforced those feelings. I have no idea what my marriage would look like today if we hadn't been so lucky with Piper. Now that she is here, I'm pretty sure we would have found our way through if it hadn't worked a second time, but I still can't believe our good fortune. I do still struggle with survivor's guilt but not as much as I did before Piper. It is important to me now to appreciate what we have and focus my attention there. I never want to feel like I've forgotten the struggle or left less fortunate friends behind, but letting go of some of the unfairness and "why me?" must be a part of my natural evolution in this process, of the sort I hope we all eventually find our way to one way or another. That may sound either very Pollyanna or shallowly asinine depending on your level of cynicism (or clomid dosage), but I'm damn glad to find out there does seem to be room for evolution for infertiles with a wide range of experiences and outcomes. I can't imagine living trapped forever in the prison of all the terrible feelings that dominated the first several years of our infertile experience. My heart aches for my friends who are still there.

*one of the names meaning "lucky" suggested by my sister after IVF #1, although i have not seen that given as the name meaning elsewhere so i suspect she was just trying to trick me into using it

10 comments:

Lorraine said...

Yeah - Marmaduke is exactly the kind of name to try to get a sister to use, since nobody would ever really use it themselves...

I have a friend who is starting IVF after three months of trying naturally. She is in her late thirties and just wants to get on with it - and I think it can make a big difference not to go through the months of clomid and IUIs before moving to the "big guns". She seems optimistic and matter-of-fact about her chances and hasn't been mired down in the repetitive waiting and testing and wondering and the years of hating baby showers, etc. etc.

Of course, she's lucky to have insurance cover the costs, so it is a different experience for her anyway. But I so hope she can make it through without having to desensitize so much afterwards. It is important to move onto the business of being a parent, of appreciating good fortune as it comes, and putting an end to what infertility can keep taking.

I think it would be impossible to ever forget, to stop being sensitive to the struggle. And I think it makes us sensitive to other struggles, too. If I've gained anything from all of this, that is it.

Rachel Inbar said...

We have a story the kids like "Surprise, Surprise, Queen Loonia" and Marmaduke is the name of her pet killer whale :-)

About relationships and infertility - I think that when I was going through infertility I did what I was doing in the rest of my marriage, which was that I carried all the weight of it on my own. I'd see all the women come in with their husbands for the tests and I was on my own, except for the times he had to be there. Later, I wanted another baby and he didn't and it drove me out of my mind that he wasn't willing to try. I mean, it made me crazy for YEARS because I really wanted another baby.

That disagreement was definitely another strain on a marriage that never should have happened to begin with...

Furrow said...

This time feels entirely different, but I get glimpses of the old feelings now and again. What a horrid, horrid time. For the most part, I think I've put it behind me. But my marriage was actually made stronger through it all, I think, as sappy as that certainly does sound.

Red said...

I only know one couple IRL who have been open about their infertility (although they now have a daughter miraculously conceived naturally) and the experience actually seemed to bring them closer together. This sentiment seems to be echoed by many of the bloggers I read who have struggled.

Aunt Kate said...

Duuuuuuude...I SO didn't try to trick you!! The website really did say that! And if I thought there was any chance you'd use it, it would have been left unmentioned. Having said that, I think that Yumna would be a great name for #2. It means lucky. Look it up.

Lindsey said...

I'm glad about the evolution potential of infertiles, too. I'll never forget how it felt, but I'm so glad moving forward has allowed me to let go of most of it.

Marmaduke. Heheh. Love it.

KS said...

Thanks for sharing this story, Sarah, and your thoughts on the subject. Very eloquent, as always, and so very relatable.

mekate said...

thank god/goddess/all-that-is that evolution can occur and we can transition into new places of greater peace after wandering in this particular wilderness.
I love hearing the stories of what comes next, what comes after-- it helps me imagine it for myself. When I can let go of this to hold on to that-- emotional monkey bars or something.
as for relationships, never one of my strong points anyway, this experience has brought more tenderness between us but so much of it is about Me, my body, my belly, my shots, that it sometimes gets really lonely and feels one sided. BUT hey, at least he is totally into the outcome.

Thinking of you and Marmie.
Silly sister.
Kate

Grade A said...

It feels good to let go of the ickiness,and I think it's healthy. I just found some needles and suppositories and saline solution at the back of my closet and the flashbacks were awful. Wishing you the best with baby #2. Not so sure about Yumna-I kind of prefer Marmie...

mekate said...

Hi you,
just stopping in to say hello and hope all is going swimmingly. Hope Marmaduke is thriving and that you are free from unpleasant complexities.

Just wanted to say I am thinking of you!
warmly of course!
Kate