Friday, 14 March 2014

Ping pong and reactions of people closest to us

In a quiet game of ping pong.   That's where I am.  On one side of the table, daydreaming of all things baby, and on the other, in the blink of an eye, having flashbacks of our first and second pregnancies.  Wanting so badly for the ball to rest on the baby side, and for this to be the beginning of a happier chapter in our lives.

Excitement.  Trepidation.  Repeat.

This time around, there were many more people who knew what we were up to.  I made a conscious effort to tell more people because a) significant travel makes it difficult for us to keep a secret and b) I was scared of what another bad result might do to us.  I resigned that I'd need to give up some privacy to let in some support.

Now that we've been home a couple of weeks, people were asking us how things were going.   In those moments especially, like in many others,  I am reminded that the news we got could have gotten could be so much different.  We could be trying to pick ourselves up off the floor one more time.  Thinking about mustering the energy to answer the text or phone call.   I could be easily writing about our excruciating heartache and anger right now.

I decided that I didn't want to leave people hanging after we received our results.  I didn't want them to wonder and worry more than was necessary.  If they were in it for the bad, I wanted to share with them the good.  So, those who knew what was going on in Colorado, and called in to check in on us, got our honest answer.

I told them a version of, "It worked.  It's very early.  We're happy, anxious and scared.  Please keep this to yourself."

My aunt gave the best reaction, screaming for joy on the phone.   Her reaction was so much better  than even ours, which was just a quiet hug and a kiss, and a look between us knowing we've (kind of) been here before.

My mother,  in stark contrast, didn't say anything.  Zippo.  Just changed the subject to talk about something relatively unimportant.  It reminded of why we aren't close.  Her inability to connect and communicate has been very damaging to our relationship my entire life.

However, I know that if we were announcing a further along pregnancy, there would have been some excitement. Surely, there would have been something, coming to the surface for her when she thought of becoming a Grandmother for only a second time?   I wasn't looking for jump up and down and scream, but surely some expression of emotion would have been nice.  I find myself shaking my head in disappointment and sadness as I write this.

My father (my parents are divorced), also said nothing.  Almost to the point where I didn't know if he even understood what I told him.  He's usually a little bit more emotional than my mother.   But he too, had not much of a reaction.  Towards the end of the call, I asked him to tell only his fiancé.  He told me he'd keep us in his prayers, and that he was rooting for us.  I know his heart was with us.

My sister and two close friends, shared their joy and excitement with us when we told them.  I shared some of our insecurities and anxieties and they listened.   I felt like they understood.

That's what makes your reactions here extra special to me.  You get it.

I hesitated to even write this. I feel like I shouldn't have permission to complain or be scared.  We got what we wanted.  And for that, we are so, tremendously grateful.   For everyone still in the trenches, I know how badly you want the news we just got.

I'm left wondering when there might be a shift in all of this, if and when we might reach "normal" pregnancy territory, whatever that is?  Maybe our first ultrasound will change things?  Hearing a heart beat would be a milestone we've never reached.  Maybe that will be our turning point?


  1. I do hope that your u/s will be a nice turning point for you. I also understand your fear and don't be hesitant about having these feelings. After going through losses it is very hard to change your though process. I know this time I am very guarded and haven't told any of my real life friends or family, only my blog and infertility fb group. Fingers crossed for you and nothing but great positive thoughts coming your way!

  2. I totally get this. It's really weird how people view a pregnancy differently. I certainly see this in my own family. My husband was not excited for our first BFP... I think he'd have to see an ultrasound before he'd be excited. But oh, the people who acknowledge each step... Love them!

    Hoping your wait until the ultrasound is painless and fast! Sure hopeful you get to hear that heartbeat! THAT will surely be amazing!

  3. Maybe they are just scared too and don't want to let themselves get excited? I wish that I could have crawled into a few peoples heads when we announced our pregnancy. I can't wait to hear more after your ultrasound. Prayers!

  4. I hope there is a turning point for you. For me, it was 24 weeks. Even though everything had been OK and it was my husbands healthy sperm and the young donor egg, it took awhile. Now, at 27.5 weeks, I finally sometimes complain about feeling uncomfortable and talk about "when" (not if) the babies come, like a "normal" pregnant person

  5. CONGRATULATIONS!! Waahooo...!!
    No really I am in the exact same boat as you, What a good way to put it ping pong. I actually write about this on my blog in different ways as well. I have had such a hard time in my past 2 rounds that I am keeping this round to myself, my husband and my blog. What matters most is our health and our marriages! (I am currently injecting)
    Good luck I am following you!

  6. I agree with Mrs. Lost, the silence may be a protective barrier, not only for them but for you, if they share their excitement, they don't want you to feel like you've let them down if (and nothing will) something goes wrong. It's weird, the different emotions you can have all at once, and some people are better at processing them than others. I can't wait to see your pregnancy progress!

  7. Maybe your mom is just being cautious? I don't know. My mom was excited, but more for her finally getting to be a grandmother than for me. So i sort of get being disappointed by some reactions.
    As for when you will feel "normal"? I'm not sure I ever felt like a normal pregnant person. It gets better with each milestone...heartbeat, 2nd trimester, viability. Obviously, it's different for everyone and I hope this pregnancy goes smoothly and you are able to relax a little.

  8. I'm sorry. I understand the disappointment at (the lack of) some reactions. Hoping that your ultrasound goes smoothly, and that the people in your life start to be more excited for this little one that you fought so hard to have!

  9. I have been reading your blog for a while now. There are some similarities in our journeys, and when I saw your positive a few days ago, I was so happy for you. I had a day5 transfer a little after yours. We've gotten a few positive hpt's, and your analogy of the ping pong hits so close to home for me. Well put. I ping pong between hoping this is the pregnancy that actually lasts (please!) and accepting that it is so early so who knows. I think people don't know how to react fully after you've had several losses. Even on our second pregnancy, the reaction of many people was dull, and I attributed it to them thinking of the prior loss. I will be curious this go round how family reacts. We told them the beta date, so they are all waiting to hear, I guess.

    I think all of your feelings seem perfectly understandable and "normal." I hope you get to hear that heartbeat!

  10. Aack. That is hard. Especially the reactions from your parents. My last pregnancy, I told a friend, and her knee-jerk reaction (for which I don't blame her) was a look of deep concern, she touched my arm, and went: "Oh honey," like she'd heard the saddest news ever. Sigh. It's lonely territory! But I'm out here hoping you reach every single milestone and get the heartier and more heartfelt congrats. Your aunt rocks!

  11. I'm sorry your mom had such a disappointing reaction. You needed a more supportive voice at that time, and she wasn't able to do that. I'm glad your sister and friends have greater capacity to deeply listen and empathize.
    Pregnancy after infertility and loss was really hard for me. I don't think I ever fully believed in it until I held my baby in my arms after her birth. It got easier in the third trimester once I could feel her move reliably, but the fear was always there. I hope it doesn't take as long for you, but I just wanted to share my experience to say that it's ok if you still feel scared, even though you have the great fortune of being pregnant.


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