Monday, March 10, 2008

Magical Thinking and Parallel Lives

(This may wind up being two posts, but I wanted to get some ideas down.)


Often in the land of infertility...No, let me start again.

I can only speak for myself. While I know *rationally* that there is no zero-sum game (gain?) in baby making and childbearing, as an infertile woman, sometimes it feels like it. For me. When I hear that someone else is pregnant (or pregnant again), for some reason, it feels like "well, there goes my chance" along with "why couldn't it be me this time?" Like there are only so many pregnancies that can exist, so many live babies born at any given time, so if someone wins (BFP!) then someone else has to lose (BFN). I know (hope) that this is not the case, but I think the feeling is, for me, what leads to so much envy and resentment towards fertile women. Even as I write this, I think, Jeezus! Way to be neurotic.

When I got pregnant, I slowly shifted from reading infertility blogs to reading blogs of infertile women who succeeded in becoming pregnant and/or parenting living children. When I lost the boys, obviously, the pregnant/parenting blogs were too painful to read, so I went back to some of the infertility blogs I had been following. But a number of them had gotten pregnant in December and January, as I was losing my babies, they were discovering that they were pregnant. (Of *course* they were.) I just came across another yesterday who got her bfp 2 days after my water broke. There were maybe 3 or 4 of them at once, so obviously, my zero-sum thing doesn't work out, but god, those first few really felt like it.

And then my sister, with her twins. And my husband's adviser at school announced her pregnancy -- she's about a month or 6 weeks behind where we were. So I guess the zero-sum doesn't work, but my sick paranoid brain feels like it does. I know, there are pregnant women everywhere, and because I'm not anymore they seem more obvious.

And of the 4 women in my department who were pregnant, I was the one who lost my babies. How is it that I seem to beat the odds? Twins. All of our IF diagnoses. Recurrent losses. Spontaneous rupture of membranes and fetal demise. Loss of both twins after heartbeat, after normal amnio, but before viability. (Not to mention being left-handed, blue in a red state, a woman in a phd program, and losing my mom to a cancer so rare that Sl.oan Ke.ttering sees only 50 cases a year).

Waah, waah waah.

Okay, now I'm just whining. I'm sorry. I just feel like I keep falling on the wrong side of all of these statistics. Oh, and I slipped on the ice 2 weeks ago on my way to go teach my class (Mine was the only school open in the universe on this day) and broke a bone in my elbow.

One of my classmates jokes that I should go buy a lottery ticket, because my luck has to change at some point soon. Maybe he's right. I could probably win. Just look at the odds.

Do you ever feel like the deck is stacked against you? Or is it just the randomness of the universe? How do you deal when it feels like you have a great big bullseye on your head?



Anonymous said...

I know it is hard to try to stay positive....I have had a VERY hard year and you don't want to say "What else" because no matter how bad your circumstances, there are always things to be grateful for. I know it is hard and you are probably not in the frame of mind to want to hear positive thoughts...but know I am thinking of you and praying for peace.

meg said...

I have the big green bullseye on my head...for sure. I'm sick of all the bad luck, of everything. I just keep going, I guess. But I don't expect things to work out well for me (what an awful thing to admit to).

You have every right to feel like complaining, complain all you want to. It's your blog, and anyone reading it, will understand.

CLC said...

I haven't stopped playing the powerball since I lost my baby. I figure dumb luck can't always be bad, right?
And you are allowed to whine all you want. You've earned it. I don't even think of it as whining. It's natural to feel the way you do right now. I am no doctor, but I am pretty sure I am right, given that's how the rest of the deadbaby moms in the computer seem to think, myself include.

nancy said...

I wanted to tell you how I think in somehow the same way - but a little different. For me, it's during a treatment cycle and I see someone else I "know", doing the same treatment, get a BFP. For instance: my IUIs. During each IUI cycle, I would get to know the others doing IUI along with me. And since I know that IUIs isn't that great of a success rate, when I would see someone else end up with a BFP, I would immediately think my chances were just slimmed. The aspect of their IUI bfp means they beat the odds. So now the chances of ME beating the odds too, were even lower. So far, it's panned out for me. I've known so many to succeed in IUIs where all 4 of mine had failed. I know it's not an actual truth, but it sure feels like it at times.

Jendeis said...

Came over from the roundup. I wasn't going to comment, because I don't feel like I have anything significant to add, but did want to let you know that I came, I read, and I TOTALLY feel the same way.

I think you've captured it exactly. There's this whole adversarial paradigm where if someone gets BFP, you get BFN. If I come across IF blogs where the person turns out to be pregnant, I often say "f you" and click off. Then think, "what the hell is wrong with me? I should be happy for these women."

Just wanted to let you know that you are not alone in your feelings.

luna said...

hey STE, I thought I commented on this one already but I guess not. it's not whining when bad stuff keeps happening and you just need to talk about it. you know how very sorry I am. thinking of you. ~luna

ggop said...

I never thought of this way - it makes sense though. If only 1 in 5 couples makes it in a normal cycle assuming zero problems, and they announce they are successful then yeah what about the remaining three? :(