Friday, January 15, 2010

tamoxifen, pill 8: and now for the REAL psychosis

I think it may be time for a removal of all baby/pregnancy blogs from my blogroll. Sure, I feel all harsh and judgmental, and maybe it's the hormones. But I was catching up on my comments and read that one (quite pregnant) infertile is conducting an infertility retreat with her church, and I about lost it. (No secret who she is, conceivably she might read this. Not intended to be a secret.) I asked whether she had considered the effect this might have on some people attending, but that's not the phrasing that magically appeared in my head the second I read that. I about lost my mind. I know, rage, the hormone drugs, I got it. Way overreacting to things. But those things are still a provocation on some level. And I don't feel as though I can deal.

I'm not usually freaked out by pregnancy/baby stuff - usually bored or annoyed, nothing else. Not usually jealous or depressed. I don't know that I'm really depressed now, either; I just perceive the baby stuff as a social gaffe on a titanic scale, that I absolutely cannot smile and ignore ('cause I'm psycho. I covered that, right?). So I guess this is my same typical reaction, but on steroids. It comes out all different ways, in my head. Things to do with Before any former [?] infertile posts a single baby picture, she should be required to read every post she has ever written on the subject of others' baby news and how it affected her, and also If you're a few weeks pregnant and never comment on my blog, why do I keep reading under the illusion that you will deliver the baby and then spend lots of time following along with my life? Because I'M AN IDIOT.

Not pretty, right? I think I may need to be restrained before I start leaving these on other people's blogs.

Also, still-infertile-childless gals, y'all are complicit. (Not in my insanity, in the inadequate provocation that is serving as the catalyst for my insanity.) Normally my judgment would be too good to post this, but said judgment has taken a hiatus, so here goes: everyone has a "your pregnancy joy might cause me to die in agony at my computer" day some time. Some people have those days every day, and pretty much everyone has them at minimum regularly. So most of us bravely write something congratulatory, and those of us who are possessed by madness make it super over-the-top hysterically joyful.

And you know what makes the baby posts unbearable for me? Not the pictures (I want to see exactly one picture of each baby - maybe a new one each year. That is all that I need to satisfy my curiosity and be happy for the mother. After that it is baby picture por.n, and we all know [or so I thought] that infertiles do not do baby picture por.n). What bothers me is the seventeen million comments (from people who never commented so regularly before - what's with THAT?) and they're ALL ecstatic. If people could stop pretending that they're all super-joyful, implying that all other readers are the only ones who are childless and kinda not happy about that, we could stop being complicit in the poisoning of each other's peace of mind we all take part in every time this happens. (And in fairness, I do this too, which is only Exhibit Q or something in this post that I'm an idiot.)

'Cause the new momma is not going to take her baby back to the issuer if she fails to get dozens of comments saying that it's real pretty. Seriously, she's not. What she needs to do is solicit the email addresses of everyone who wants to be sent baby pictures, and limit herself to one post in five being about the baby. If that means she rarely posts, she can totally reverse the usual order of things and comment lots but not post, rather than including a cute message indicating that she'd love to reply to your comments (not read your blog. Just reply to your comments about her kid) but only if she has time...

If I get pregnant, that's what I'm going to do (hold me to this, people). I'll post mostly about non-baby-related matters, and if I can't, I'll comment as much as I can and post less. Or, if brain fever sets in and I can't help myself, I'll start a new blog for pictures that could never be really precious to anyone who is not related to me.

Bottom line: other people's joy pisses me off right now. There, that was appropriately psychotic, I think.


  1. Hi - first time to your blog, I linked over from fjiej. I am Elisabeth, coordinator of the Infertility Retreat. Nice to meet you. ;)

    You are obviously in the middle of a very painful moment/day/week/month/year/decade (fill in the blank). I am sorry. I KNOW how stinking awful IF is. I posted a comment on FJIEJ blog to you and I will post a smiliar one here.

    First let me say, I don't know you at all, I have read none of your blogs until this one. I hope we can be respectful and if now is not the time to start this dialoge, I can respect that.

    FJIEJ is my retreat coordinator. I could not have planned this retreat, named "The Hope Retreat: a day of support and healing for couples struggling with Infertility" without her. She is amazing. We both were in the TTC 4+ years before our miracle conceptions. I have been in the TTC camp for 2 years dealing with secondary IF.

    We discussed, what happens if either of us conceive. Do we not attend the retreat? Two thoughts - the feelings of IF NEVER leave. I can attest to that. The second thought is we want to promote health and healing. To not be able to look at a pg woman may not be healthy, though it is where most IF women might be "at".

    SO, given she has co-planned just about everything for this retreat and she has a miracle pg after 5 years - it is not appropriate for her to attend? Can others provide thoughts on this topic??

  2. Maybe I am just asking for it being that I have a son and have posted pics. But I will put my reasoning here regardless b/c (possibly naive) I think it is good to try to learn where each other is coming from and seem to think it will make a difference (even when all evidence points to the contrary- dh tells me time and time again, it ends up causing more problems, not less). I am glad you are sharing how you feel. Seriously. I truly care. But to say that other people aren't honestly happy for those IFers that get pregnant or finally adopt is absolutely false in most cases. We have nothing to gain by being fake happy. I personally go by the rule if I can't say something nice-then I don't and I don't figure anyone will notice. So when I speak, and am happy for someone, it is genuine. I can't speak for others, but in my own IF experience and all the gals I know that are IF, good or bad there seems to be an overwhelming tendency to judge. And as a result, we tend to decide who "deserves" to be pregnant and who doesn't. Not pretty, not proud of it, but it is common. So, former IF gals get a pass. When they are pregnant, I and many others are genuinely happy and congratulatory. And when we are still struggling, we see them as hope. So, they get a pass. They can have tickers, they can post pics, they can even conduct retreats on IF and speak on the topic. Because they get it. Just my two cents, for what they are worth. I hope you don't mind them, but if you did didn't want people to read and respond, then you wouldn't have a public blog where folks can comment. I really do hope you feel better soon-truely.

  3. You are too funny! Through this blog...I've discovered who really cares about what I have to say and who no longer does! I look at my blog this's what I want. It's what I read and what I am comfortable with. I now keep bloggers that get pg in a new category so if I feel like reading what is going on in their lives...I can..and then I keep a blog roll of those who I have a dialog with and who read my blog and let me know that. I've come across some Catho.lic women blogs that are all about family and I actually like them...they've never had IF but their thoughts, prayerful words,etc are touching and inspiring. I've included them in a different category. As I become a "seasoned" blogger...I'm discovering my own little support system. So...make this what you want it to be. I feel as if I've built a little relationship with some of my blog friends over the last year... I like that. And if my "friends" get pregnant..then I hope we can keep the friendship. I like your blog and will keep reading. I enjoy the comments you make on my blog. Thanks!

    And none of us will ever know how our words would change if we skipped over to the "otherside".

    From my own experience...most pg bloggers or new moms no longer read or comment on my blog. I'm on a completely different journey.

  4. Sorry hon. I have been there - thoughts are with you.

  5. Sorry about the rough time. It's hard for me to comment on some blogs of pregnant IF women since I don't have anything to add and it's hard to seem them moving forward, even though they had a rough journey getting there since I want to be moving forward too.

  6. Let it out. I can relate. You need to vent and that is ok. I know the point of my blog is so that I can let it out and maybe get some support in the meantime to help me get through (which to my dismay, doesn't happen as often as I wish it would, but I digress). If we can't be raw and honest with one another in this virtual forum, where can we? Hormones, medications, stress, depression, disappointment and, if we're able, the joys of pregnancy and adoption--my hope is to stick together through it all, though sometimes, it will be difficult.

    People may not appreciate me saying this and I really don't mean to hurt anyone, but I think it's valid to ask how having someone who is pregnant leading an IF retreat might effect the attendees. I realize the pain of IF is lifelong and I don't mean to minimize a retreat leader's personal pain and struggle or dedication to such an important ministry. I also agree that it's very much appropriate to consider that maybe it's not healthy if an infertile cannot look at a pregnant woman. All I can say is that if the retreat were offered to me and I knew it was primarily led by someone who was pregnant (even someone who struggles with IF), I would reconsider going. The fact is, though we share a common "heritage", we're currently in different places and, personally, that makes a difference to me. And I'm one of those people who genuinely is excited and happy for those infertiles who achieve pregnancy or adopt. In them I really do find my hope. But on a retreat? I want people who are in my same boat right now. I will say that it probably wouldn't bother me to have a pregnant woman give a talk and instill in me some hope, but leading the entire thing would be another story.

    Alright, that's long enough for one post...

  7. Oops. Sorry, I included my musings on the retreat in my post. You posted while I was typing my incredibly long comment...

  8. I am glad you are able to vent about your feelings and be so real. At times I couldn't even find the words.

    You are probably right about the meds causing some psychosis, I felt that way on letrozole for a year.

    I am not one to judge when women should or shouldn't get pregnant, I tend to be more internal and feel sorry for myself.

    As a FertilityCare practitioner I have been in the predicament of telling my IF clients that I am pregnant, and that has been hard. Luckily, I have had a good relationship with all of them and they are appreciative of my honesty and hopefulness for them.

    Like I said in my email to you, I never really shielded myself from pregnant women. I feel that the Lord had put suffering in my life for a reason and it made me a better person. I wish the same for you.

  9. Girl...I hear ya....all I can offer is:


  10. Pregnant women suck sometimes. The End.

  11. I'm with you, though, what's up with people being socially correct in all of the comments. Wouldn't it be more honest and a bit more fun to read if at least one would say "That's great for you, but makes me want a big ol' honking shot of something, because it sucks to not be you"? I'd read that person's blog.

    In the interest of honesty, I've declared tomorrow to be "The world can go stick it" day and am going out for a pedicure and a glass of wine. After a 48 hour period where the toilet backed up (raw sewage, thank you very much), the drier died, my brother in law's new girlfriend is a NARAL volunteer, and the gas man hit my daughter's dog with a pipe wrench.....I'm kinda done. Oh, and I forgot, the neighbor's kid puked in my entry way, so not only did I get to clean up the "not my kid" vomit, but my kids have all been exposed. I so deserve my break tomorrow.

    If you lived closer you could join me.

    On a happy note, I'm still offering up all the crap for you. As you can see, you get a lot of help this week. Still praying.

  12. You is for this reason why I like reading your blog so much and enjoy your comments on mine. I love the fact that you are so honest about what you are feeling and thinking. It lets me know that I am not the only one who things I am going crazy with all of this, and I don't feel quite as bad about some of my own thoughts and feelings. I hope you get some relief from your "temporary psychosis" soon. I am in the middle of a bout of it myself. At least we can find some comfort in the knowledge that we don't have to take these darn pills every day and some day we won't have to take them anymore at all.

  13. I understand where you're coming from. Don't know that I have the exact same feelings on things because I think it's pretty natural for an IF blog to become a baby blog and just evolve from there. And, in the end, it's up to us as readers to decide which blogs best suit us and which ones just need to be taken off our list. I don't know that it's exactly fair to expect people not to share their joy or to think that many of their readers wouldn't be interested in the information and pictures. People build friendships and are genuinely interested. I know that I have continued to follow many ladies as they have gotten pregnant and had their baby (and, in some cases, their second baby!) because I enjoy hearing their parenting stories...I enjoy seeing the babies...I like to read the ups and downs of gives me hope.

    That being said, this is one of the biggest reasons that I have maintained my IRL blog and my IF blog...I'm just not sure where the line will be for me in transitioning from an IF blog to a baby blog (that is, if we're ever able to have a healthy pregnancy after our loss). I feel like, personally, I might be one of those people whose IF blog goes by the wasteside...but who knows until that actually happens.

    I truly understand your bad day, and we are all entitled to them. Yesterday, I spent over an hour going through my blogroll and deleting the ones I don't read anymore (many of which are now pgcy blogs that I have nothing in common with anymore), and moving the ones that were in the "TTC" folder that have been blessed to be moved to the "Pregnant/Baby" folder. I was sad to see that I went from over 50 in the TTC folder to only about 11. (Clearly, I will be looking for some new blogs to read during this ICLW!) So there have been a whole lot of people that have graduated to the Prenant/Baby folder, but I guess that happens over 3 1/2 years of trying. I can't tell you how refreshed I felt after a nice big purge of the pregnancy blogs that I just didn't read. Or the baby blogs that tended to whine and annoy me in general. My advice is to delete them. If they're not helping you, entertaining you, or generally making your journey easier, then I say cut the ties.

    Thanks for the thoughtful post.

  14. Post whatever you want. It's your blog. Isn't that why most of us started these blogs? To complain about IF and find others who would listen and reassure us and support us when people we know IRL couldn't or wouldn't (or we wouldn't let them)?

  15. WRT Elisabeth and the retreat debate - I encourage anyone with thoughts on this subject to visit Elisabeth's blog or FJIEJ's and contribute them there (which is what I did).

  16. Misfit - another reason I really enjoy your blog (and the comments you leave on my blog) - you are real, honest, and I don't think there is much pretense (seriously your comment about Elkanah from this past weeks readings was hilarious!) I appreciate that. Am I that way? I would like to be, but I fail oh so often...I am way to big of a people pleaser - which has its own problems. Yuck! In the end, yes, I may have those same "your pregnancy joy contributes to my slow agony at my work computer", but my natural inclination is to fall into the camp (as you described) of trying to overcompensate, because of course if my 1st reaction isn't out right happiness, I think there is something wrong with me! (Yeah, I am scrupulous...Lord help me!) Of course, I do come around and am usually happy for the person, because I view it as a sign of hope - they waited, they suffered, they Hannah their prayer / perseverance was heard and hopefully that will happen to me as well. Now, it may not...and yes, my DH and I may never have children (well children here on earth that is)...and like everyone else in the same position, I will have to come to terms with that. I think for me it might be a bit easier, because of my history with cancer. I am not saying it makes it any less painful, but knowing that I had to undergo treatment to stay alive, but at the same time it may have compromised my ability to procreate, well, I didn't have much control over that. (Okay, I am so rambling...but I will chalk it up to my own psychosis - this past week's work trip, not getting home until after midnight last night, and the shock of the cold temps back here in MN) Thanks for listening/reading and thanks again for your blog.

  17. Here I am commenting again...after reading others comments...At this point on my own IF journey...Seeing a pg women does not give me hope of any kind that I will be pg. Unfortunately, I just have to find a place to be happy for them knowing I'll never wear pg shoes. I pray for that strength everyday..I guess there's a bigger part of me that truly believes I'll "parent" through teaching my future students. Just a thought I had to share!

  18. In general, I don't type a congratulations for somebody's pregnancy unless I mean it - and usually I only mean it for the people I've been following for a while and have some connection with (especially those women with endo), because I am truly HAPPY that they made it to the other side.
    Of course, I think I mentioned it at our last meeting, but there have been a couple bloggers that I was not exactly happy for and one in particular that I was angry at. She had an infertility blog even though they had only been trying for 6 months (after being on BCP) and got pregnant on their VERY FIRST CYCLE (she had PCOS and it took her 6 months after stopping the pill for her to ovulate) and had the nerve to post a video of herself and her husband taking the pregnancy test and crying and everything. I just don't seem to have a problem with infertiles getting pregnant - and the longer they've been trying, the happier I am! But, that's just me. And sometimes, on certain days of the month, I can't read anything at all about pregnancy, no matter whether it was an IF blog or not.
    I don't know what to say about the retreat, but I do know that I've thought about what I would do if I got pregnant and couldn't come to the IF meetings. What if I miscarried? I don't know, but sometimes I think infertile girls need support even after they've gotten pregnant.
    All that said, you are certainly one of the most honest bloggers I've read, and that's one of the reasons I've loved your blog. What you write on your blog, most of us have thought at one point or another and just didn't want to own up to. So, don't be discouraged from writing about what you're feeling, even if it makes some people uncomfortable!

  19. I, too, appreciate your honesty, and I hope I can contribute something to this conversation that is useful.
    This morning I had another IF Support group meeting at the Diocese, and 1 other couple stayed longer just to continue "chatting" about IF (isn't that how everyone wants to spend their Saturday, after all?) She is a blog lurker on all of our blogs, so she knows of all of these stories, etc.

    We were discussing the latest "new baby" stories, and how completely weird it was that neither of us felt the usual pangs of jealousy, avoidance, etc. whereas with other (even others on the blogs) we do get that way. I have even at one point made a blog post about my feelings of jealousy over 2 very dear friends of mine, not just blogging IFers, but girls I had met IRL at the BW weekend when they got pg/got matched for adoption. It stunk to have to admit it, but it was honest. And yes, I was not FILLED with joy for them. At that time, anyway.

    But today, talking to this other girl at the support group, I realized that we both felt very similarly about these stories of hope because, not only are we happy for these women we consider friends whether or not we have met them (we know most of the intimate details of their life), but because it gives US hope that all this CRAP currently going on in our lives will similarly end with a big, beautiful, holy ending. That truly does make me joyful!! To think that I cannot even FATHOM at this point why I'm a barren diseased whore AND cannot adopt... but that someday, I may be blessed beyond abundance and it may all make sense just as it has with many of the bloggers out there recently... it blows my mind. And maybe it's silly to get hope from stories that are not my own, but maybe it's silly NOT to. Maybe the whole point of us having found each other in the blog world is for that purpose. For God to show us, look - remain faithful, I will not desert you, and I promise I will provide for you.

    I'm sorry if that seems combative, I certainly don't mean it to be. I do honestly feel super joyful for a couple of the women out there whose stories ended so triumphantly... but I do readily admit that I ALSO still suffer from the "why not me" syndrome. I don't post that in my comments on their blog, because that's really not something they can answer(!) but I do speak about it on my own blog.

    And to continue with the honesty, I can say that I am scared of what will happen from here. Because while I remain joyful in this moment for others' recent successes, what happens from here is anyone's guess. Will I continue to read those blogs if I am still unable to get pg or adopt over the next year/s? Probably not. Not because I don't view these women as friends, but because a Mommy blog is really not something I can relate to. Even a Mommy who previously had IF, AIDS, cancer, 274 m/cs, and was in a coma for 14 years. A friend is a friend, and I'd remain friends with all those who ever were. But for blogs, I can only see myself really following blogs of people who are going through what I'm going through RIGHT NOW.

    So I definately hear you on that point.

  20. I do understand your point. But at some point I do not agree.

    If we can't be thankful for our own fellow IF then who can we be happy for? According to your post we are to find no happiness in other people's joy. And if we can't do that then we sure can't help them carry their cross when they are down.

    So it's defitily not a win win situation that I don't think is fruitful in anyway.

    To say that IF's, that would be me, that I can't be happy for other's great news and that our comments are over the top. Really is your own opinion. Because yes, even though my butt is IF, I am over come with joy. I'm not a liar and don't care to write fake comments on others blogs. That is a waste of time.

    To see God's hand at work in other peoples life is a great thing to be apart of.

    Maybe tamox isn't the right medication for you if it pushes you over the edge for so long. It might need to be adjusted! ;) I know my clomid and progesterone did when I went on a hormonal rage on my blog. :) hehehe

    I guess I just feel like there is more to this post, something else you are struggling with that is coming out in this way that is deeper? I don't know, but I guess I'm left a little unsure of the true issue at hand because it seems so over the top to me to lash out at those who were IF post baby pics on their blog and who were IF that are now pregnant? ??

  21. Several months after I first started obsessing over infertility blogs my husband asked, "Do any of these people ever have babies?" I was a little discouraged to answer: "not yet."

    Throughout the past two years, many have become pregnant, had babies and/or had succesful adoptions. I find that hopeful, and think it is particularly nice for those new to the IF blogosphere to know that childlessness is not always a life sentence.

    After getting to know some of these women through their heartfelt posts of IF, I enjoy seeing their happiness and baby pictures.

    Having said all that -- I can understand what you mean. I have plenty of days when I cannot look at people's baby pictures. So on those days, I don't.

    As for commenting: I only comment if I am truly happy for someone. But as it turns out, I have been. (although if someone started an 'infertility' blog after a couple months of trying and got pregnant the next day, I may not have the rejoicing in me.) I would attribute the relatively large number of rejoicing-at-baby comments (with exclamation points!!!) to the fact that it is just easier to find words to say "congratulations, so happy for you, beautiful baby!" than it is to find the words to respond to those really hard posts. I think that people, in general, are not sure how to respond to despair. Even those of us going through it ...? The standard replies seem to be "I'm praying for you," (and you know how that can drive some people nuts. example: single dad/disabled daughter.) It doesn't drive me nuts, but I only say it if I actually am prayign for someone --- and my prayer life is, unfortunately, not good enough to encompass ALL the bloggers. Maybe I should just incorporate more responses along the lines of "Friend, I hear you. This sucks. I am sorry."

    Thanks for sharing -- I always appreciate your forthrightness and honesty. (Is forthrightness a word?)