Well, sometime between December 4, 2013, (when we found out our second IVF cycle had failed) and today, I decided I would hide my true feelings about IVF and infertility as best as I could. The only person that I would let see how I really felt would be Todd. The reason I decided to do this was because I didn’t want people to look back at this time in my life and remember me as their sad/needy/selfish friend. Most of the time, this plan has worked for me. However, when you continue to fill a cup with water, at some point, it will overflow.
Every so often, I have a day like yesterday, and my cup overflowed. When I left work, I had a lot on my mind. I had kept it all in and showed my “everything is fine” face to my coworkers all day. Then, I got in the car, called Todd, and lost it. I was finally in my safe place to say how I really felt and what I really thought. However, I must have kept it all bottled-up for too long because I couldn’t control the sobs at all. In his best “I can’t fix this for her, but I can be there for her” way, Todd apologized that I was so sad and reassured me that he was there and loved me very much. (Our therapist would have been so proud of how he handled the situation.) Anyway, I let him go, so I could just cry it out.
I made it to boot camp and pulled myself together again…until approximately 17 minutes into my workout. I started to cry again but just a little. This fueled me to push harder because I was so frustrated that I was losing so much control of myself. After boot camp, I started to cry again during stretching, which caused me to actually lose my breath. Seriously, this was one of the worst cases of “I can’t hide my emotions forever, so I’m just going to cry it out now” that I had ever had.
After I cleaned up and changed clothes, I headed to meet the girls in my Infertile Myrtles [IM] group. (This is the support group that I wrote about starting. Well, we did it. Tulsa officially has an infertility support group. Woot woot!) On the way to IM, I didn’t even call Todd because I needed some more time to cry it out. I got over there, pulled myself together again, and went inside. One of the girls started updating us on her current status. Then, the attention turned to me. I started explaining to them that I was having a pretty rough afternoon, but I was just going to try not to cry the rest of the meeting. One of them said something about just letting it out, and I did. Tears, Kleenexes, a drippy nose…the only thing missing was my occasional snort from crying so hard.
For the first time since I had made a pact with myself to ride this infertility train out with a happy mask on my face, I let someone besides Todd console me. I told them the truth. I didn’t sugarcoat anything.
I cried. I talked. I didn’t worry about being judged.
They listened. They nodded their heads. They understood.
I’ve probably said it a dozen times. Infertility is one of those journeys that you can sympathize for, but you can never truly empathize for unless you go through it yourself.
I can still remember being at my adult dance class about 20 months ago when my friend came in and told me her fourth IUI cycle had been canceled. I remember her telling me how frustrated she was. I remember her slightly tearing up behind her happy mask. I still distinctly remember the feeling I had that I was so sorry she was going through this. I did what all of my good friends do and tried to understand.
However, I didn’t understand. I do, now. I wish I had been going through this with her. I would have been a better friend, a better listener. She has been there for me, though. She understands the pain. The Infertile Myrtles understand the pain.
So there, sitting in the nook in the back of a Target Starbucks, I cried. I talked. I was comforted.
I walked out of that store last night feeling, for the first time in 4 hours, that I had control of myself again. Starting this support group was one of the scariest and best decisions I have ever made. I am more grateful for these women than I will ever be able to put into words.
My cup runneth over – this time, it’s in a good way.
Since I haven’t been very consistent with my blogging, Infertile Myrtles has now met five times. Don’t worry, I won’t keep count forever. Our first week, there were five of us. Since then, our number has fluctuated because it’s hard for everyone to meet every single week. We have not added anyone else to the group, but I’m okay with that. I think it’s more intimate this way, and we are really getting to know each other more personally. If someone else does decide to attend, we will welcome them into our little family with open arms. At this point, we are still just using that time to talk. However, we have some plans for additional fun activities in the near future. I’ll blog more about those as they happen. I really am grateful for these four women. I think they’re so awesome and strong and inspiring.
I am pretty sure that I have shared some of Jessah’s blog entries before. However, this one really hit me hard when I read it. She always does an excellent job of putting my feelings into her words. J Thank you for your blog, Jessah. Thank you for putting a voice to a very isolating journey.http://www.dreamingofdimples.com/2014/05/we-do-need-this-day.html