Thursday, August 20, 2009

"Happy" Birthday

Turned 40
"Happy birthday!" Yes, one expects these wishes on one's birthday. In fact, I'd be very disappointed if people didn't wish me a happy birthday. But the fact of the matter is: I am not happy. This day does not seem like a happy day to me. And I wish one person (okay, so my shrink seems to understand, although even she wished me a happy birthday -- actually a week early!), would acknowledge and help me talk about why is this not a happy day. I cannot believe that I am 40 and without children. It makes me so desperately sad. We should have a toddler running around the house. But no, our little ones keep dying in the womb. All our hopes and dreams....crushed. I feel the weight of sadness every day. While I know that women have children after 40, I also know that the chances diminish greatly...and after so many losses and failed treatments I fear the likelihood for me is next to nil. I am so sad it is unbearable. How will I deal with today's phone calls wishing me a "happy" birthday? With the "celebration" tonight with friends (and their children -- WTF was I thinking?!?!) and family? With my family coming up to visit this weekend to help me "celebrate"? I just want to bury myself in a deep hole and not come out.

No Substitution for a Mother
The loss of motherhood hit me hard yesterday when I received a birthday card from my mother in the mail. I received many cards. A sweet one from my aunt...and she even sent a second card and made it from my cat. So kind of her. Made me smile. I received a card from my mom (she's actually sent several) and in that card she a put a copy of the little slip that was put on my bed in the hospital room when I was born. Name, date, weight, length, time of birth, when "shown." Made me cry. My mom kept the original, a mother's need she said. So why does this upset me? Because I am afraid that I will never be the mother, only the aunt. It is not the same. A mother is special in a way that no one else can be. (Regardless of who is more supportive/present/etc.) I want to hold on to that little slip for my child. I fear, gravely fear, that I never will.

The M&Ms
With all of this, you'd think I had forgotten the M&Ms that were transferred a week ago. No, I haven't. I just have such little hope. If they are not dead already, they will die later. That is how it has been. I expect nothing different. I keep being told to be positive -- that being positive will not make the pain any greater on Tuesday when I get a negative beta. But I don't believe them. (Saw a therapist yesterday who will see me while my shrink is away and she was quite clear on this point -- in the end, I just said "Yes, that makes sense." while in my head I was thinking "Yeah, right.") I am too scared to be positive. But even with that fear, even I, the great pessimist, am sometimes struck with the affliction of hope. I rein that in as quickly as possible, lest it take over and set me up for a fall that I will never recover from.

Anyway, the M&Ms, if they are living, are now 9dpo. If G-d is smiling, they are nestling in...If not, then part of me will die with them too...


  1. I admit I did pause before posting anything in Facebook. I feel bad I didn't say more, but I was rushing to work. :/ Of course this isn't really a happy occassion for you, for several reasons. It should be.... but it's not.

    One birthday Den recieved a lovely card from his mother. The card was really nice, had a heartfelt verse printed in it about how wonderful a son is. Unfortunately this was pretty soon after we had lost Devin. Den could hardly read the card at the time. I did keep it, but it still bothers us both. The sentiment from his mother was genuine and very much appreciated..... but like you said, it hit way too close to home about what he should have and doesn't. It's a very hard thing.

    Umm, yeah. Sometimes being positive isn't that easy. Not even close. And why should you have to be? Would it be nice to feel positive and hopeful? Sure. I like feeling that way too. But some months it just doesn't happen, and I think the easiest thing for me is just to accept that I feel negative, it's not going to affect the outcome or how I feel about it, so eff it. So you feel negative. It's understandable. I think it's perfectly okay to feel that way.

  2. I'm so sorry that you're feeling weighed down with all of the sadness. It's such a hard place to be. I think birthdays (especially "milestone" birthdays) are really hard when you're dealing with infertility- kind of one more reminder of time that has passed. I know on my last birthday, every "happy birthday" just made me feel that much more alone, because I wasn't happy.
    I hope that your birthday "celebrations" leave you feeling supported, (at least somewhat) understood, and cared for - that it can be meaningful and special, even if it isn't happy.

  3. Thank you both for your wonderful support.

    I survived the day...massively sad and alone in the afternoon, but rallied in the evening. My DH was wonderfully supportive as were some of my friends. For only one person did I feel the need to abruptly end the conversation because what they were saying just felt so hurtful.

    Nat...I so understand the pain over Den's mom's card. It seems even harder as, just as my mom's gesture was, it was meant to be warm and thoughtful. Somehow it's easier to deal with an off-hand remark, rather than one that comes from the heart and hurts. I think of you often, Nat, for though our journeys are different there are so many similarities that I feel you often understand where I am coming from.

    Kittyquilt...Yes, I know what you mean about feeling more alone...So sorry that you have felt that way, too.