There's a lot of ugly that springs to life when dealing with infertility and/or recurrent loss. The thoughts, they creep in so slowly, so innocently sweet, that at first they practically go unnoticed. But then sometimes, those thoughts, they get too big and too loud. Before you know it, you've got a whole head swirling with ugly, seemingly overnight, before you've even had a chance to realize they've come to stay.
They go a little something like this...
She already has one child. It's my turn. I deserve a baby more than she does.
We would make a better family than them because we have more means to afford it. We deserve this more than them.
I would be a better Mom than that other girl because I'm older than she is and smarter. I deserve this more than she does.
I at least make good judgments in life and didn't get knocked up when I was single. I deserve this more than her.
That's really the dialogue we're having with ourselves every time we look at, say, a teenage mom with frustration and anger. Or the low income family with "too many" children. It sounds horrible to say out loud (or type, in this case) but if most of us are being honest, we've been there. We've succumbed to this new, bitter low. It's shameful and oh so easy.
I deserve this more than them because of x,y, or z.
When you strip it all away, I think it's mostly just an attempt to justify envy. But it's terrible and negative regardless. And I hate it. I think this is one of the hardest aspects of struggling with infertility. That slow disintegration of normal emotions. "Oh, you're expecting your second!?" Oh, that's um.... that's uh, great! I'm sooooo happy for you." Now quick, turn and run to the bathroom before anyone notices those alien tears that have sprung to your eyes from seemingly out of nowhere.
I said before that I think it's completely normal to feel envious when you're trying to achieve something so difficult. And whether you're religious or not definitely dictates some of your feelings toward the whole thing. Since I do believe in a higher power, I try to remind myself that it's not my call to make whether someone deserves a child more than I do, no matter how my circumstances appear in contrast to their own.
And if that doesn't work, than I like to play the what-if game. Not the happy what-ifs. Not the sadly optimistic ones that go a little something like this....
What if I hadn't had that first miscarriage? I would have a two year old by now.
No, no. I like to play the uglier version. It goes a little more something like this...
What if I hadn't had that first miscarriage? What if we had the baby but the stress of it all, at that time in our lives, was too great for us to handle? What if we ended up getting a divorce because of it?
What if I had to choose - a happy marriage or divorced with a child?
Maybe, just maybe, there's a plan for us all and all we really have to do is try to be patient.
I do think it's important to stop and analyze what it is you're actually saying to yourself in the privacy of your own mind. Are all of those negative thoughts about others really helping? Are you actually bolstering yourself up at all by trying to put yourself on a pedestal higher than others? Ask yourself...what does that even do for me at the end of the day except make me feel more envious, more bitter, more frustrated?
And so, I attempted something different.
...which I'll share with you tomorrow because this blog post is already getting waaaay too long. Stay tuned!