Our Journey

2002 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #1

2003 1st consult with an RE, you know, just in case

2003 Got Married (at 37 (me) & 34 (DH) years old)

2003/2004 Naturally conceived pregnancies BFPs #1, #2, & #3 and miscarriages #1, #2, #3

2005 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #2

2005 IVF #1, BFN #1

2005 IUIs #1 and #2, just because, BFN #2 & #3

2005 FET from IVF #1, BFN #4

2006 Exploratory surgery to remove scar tissue from fibroid sugery #2

2006 IVF #2 (w PGD), BFP #4

2006 Emergency cerclage for IC @ 16w6d (5 months + 1 week of complete bed rest at home ensues)

2007 Our son is born @ 38w by scheduled c-section

2007 IVF #3 for baby #2, BFN #5

2007 IVF #4, BFP #5, miscarriage #4

2008 IVF #5, BFP #6, miscarriage #5

2008 IVF #6, BFP #7, miscarriage #6

2008 DE IVF #7, BFN #6

2009 DEFET #8, cancelled, embryos don't thaw

2010 Decide to adopt domestically

12.17.10 Profile is live with our agency

November 2011 Consult with RE re: donated embryo cycle

Early January 2012 Cleared to proceed with deFET

January 2012 Freeze our profile

1.20.12 deFET begins
2.12.12 eSET of one compacted morula
2.22.12 BFN

3.23.12 deFET #2 begins
4.14.12 transfer 3 embryos (1-8 cell, 1-5 cell, 1-4 cell)
4.22.12 + HPT
4.24.12 Beta #1 = 48.4
4.26.12 Beta #2 = 125.7
4.30.12 Beta #3 = 777.8
5.11.12 1st U/S - Singleton!
7.12.12 It's a Boy!
12.26.12 C-section: Baby G is born, 9#5oz, 20.5"

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Flailing

This is going to be another woe is me post so feel free to skip it if you’re not in the mood.

I will admit to being somewhat singularly focused on completing our family so that even if I could imagine caring for a newborn again (at my advanced maternal age), I could not quite imagine what our family dynamic would be or even my own lifestyle. There are so many factors at play: my older son is still somewhat of an only child; our decision to switch schools post kindergarten has severely impacted our ability to continue relationships with the select few kids he was building them with; the inflexibility of this baby is limiting my ability to just cart him around so that I can do activities with my older son; the estrangement from my parents/sister and advanced age of my local aunt/uncle is contributing to the growing isolation I feel (not in a way that I would look to mend fences as I know that is not possible in a way that would benefit me); my being unemployed for three years has completely disconnected me from my former colleagues; having children six years apart in age has made us outliers to the former group of MOMS club moms that I used to hang out with (who all have kids my older son’s age but who all, because they were in their fertile early 30,s had another child that’s going on 4 now and a couple have had #3 and one just had #4!); and, I am the only (save the latter mom of 4) stay at home mom that I know.

I feel like such an odd-ball failure. I tried, tried, tried to build relationships with the mothers of the kids in my son’s kindergarten class that he liked but to really no avail. Unless I forced planned the play date myself (which, honestly, with an infant, all play dates can’t be here), I never got anyone to reciprocate. These are moms, who, you might think would want to lend a helping hand, but, no. They were fine dropping their child here for me to watch, but none of them offered to have my son over. So, here we are, one week into the start of summer, and my older son had one play date (with a friend from former preschool). The saving grace is that he starts summer camp on Monday for six weeks, but, still, I feel ostracized. I need to figure out what to do differently at his new school so that we can forge reciprocal relationships with his new friends.

I am home all day, every week day, by myself. It is unhealthy for me not to have the camaraderie that socializing with mothers with infants would bring, but oh, at 47, where to start? My plan was to stay home with G until he was a year old (and during the next six months consider what line of work I could enter that would garner a high enough salary to justify me leaving him every day). The thought of sacrificing time with him to feed my professional soul makes my stomach and my heart hurt. Am I that mother? I say it like it is a bad thing when, in reality, all my working mom friends, regardless of how harried they sometimes feel, wouldn’t have it any other way. Or, would I be content staying at home if the dynamics were different? If not, there’s the whole switching careers thing at 47. Yeah.

I am a social includer. I meet people in all manner of ways and then bring them together. But, with all of my local friends working and me holed up in our house most days, how am I going to forge new mom relationships? I swear, last night on FB, there were four friends of mine who were all enjoying a Moms Night Out (one even went to Vegas and she has 3 kids, the youngest of which is one!). It made me so sad, so excluded, so much more isolated, so alone.

Lest you think I am a shut-in, I do try to get out with G every day (even if that just means running an errand). But that is no substitute for having actual meaningful adult conversation with someone I know and like.

In case you are worried about my mental and/or emotional health, my therapist is making a house call on Tuesday.

I know the sleep deprivation (the transition out of the swaddle and into his crib has been its own two week ordeal but yesterday the motor on the swing where he takes his daytime naps went out, so today, he is napping in his crib, in one, instead of two, hour increments) is it’s own demon.

It all adds up to make me feel like a loser. And, because I am so eternally grateful to have G, I feel even worse for feeling like a loser. I am usually such an in control planner. And, it’s not that I feel particularly out of control as much as I feel like new mom friendships have completely eluded me. I am on the fringe of every group I know, save my core, inner circle of friends, most of whom don’t live here.

Facebook is no substitute for in real life friendships, but thank g-d for my connections there. I feel closer to some of the women I have met through our shared struggle with infertility who I have never met in person than I do some real life friends.

I am struggling in ways I never thought I would be.

5 comments to Flailing

  • How have I not been reading your blog before? My daughter is now 2, and my son is 6 (RPL in between), and I run a working mom’s group and have tried to participate in other groups, but honestly, I have never belonged anywhere. I connect people, but I’m not PART of the group. If that makes any sense.

    It is so hard to be in a place where you don’t feel people *get* you … I wish I could come knock on your door and bring you a cup of tea!

  • I can completely relate to this post. I am a full-time working mom, but I work long shifts, and therefore have a lot of time at home with my daughter. And while I am incredibly grateful to have her, I often feel alone and bored when I’m not working. I feel awful saying that, but it’s the truth. The bottom line is that in adulthood, when people are out there busily living their lives, it’s really really hard to forge new connections. People these days just don’t seem to have time. I have some hope that when my daughter starts school in the fall, I will meet some new people, but I haven’t set the bar too high, because I know how tough it can be to connect. I also find it doesn’t help if you live in a small town, as I do, because many of the women nearby have lived here and have had friendships with the same people their whole lives. So yeah- our circumstances are different, but g-d knows, I get it!!!

    I do belong to several book clubs (3 in all!), and as a previous poster said, that has helped me connect with some new people, yet I still feel like a bit of an outsider. I’m not entirely sure what that’s about, except for the fact that I’m new in town. I often think that social media has really hampered our ability to connect in real life. I feel like I know my online friends better than those I manage to see every now and then IRL.

    Anyway- good luck at the new school, and with finding those meaningful friendships you crave. It’s tough. Hugs…

  • Claire pretty much said exactly what I would have. Meetup also has local groups that have nothing to do with childrearing and/or playdates if you wanted something beyond that: writing groups, running groups, book clubs, political discussion groups (if that’s your thing).

    And my question for you: Is the isolation you’re feeling (or felt last night, really) linked, somehow, to the estrangement from your parents? I ask because I feel as if every time you mention feeling isolated, the subject of the estrangement comes up. Is it possible you are unconsciously punishing yourself for the estrangement (with feelings of being a loser and/or even isolating yourself without knowing it)?

    I feel like finding playgroups and other mom friends is a little like dating, which I loathe myself. But expanding your options might help, at the very least, to find one or two people from which you might forge a connection.

    Hugs, sweetie. Hang in there.

    xoxo

  • Oh dear, I feel your pain, not in the Bill Clinton way, but I do really. It is so so hard, you are right there are things that make you different from other moms that are against you, but I really have faith that you can find some company somehow.
    Are there groups for new moms or moms and babies at your local park district, music class place, library, YMCA, child development center? I know that 6 months is young for those kinds of activities. What has worked for you in the past in forging these friendships?
    Has this feeling of isolation and always being the one to make the arrangements been a pattern and there is some missing piece to this? Maybe your therapist can help you with this? I have to say that I have felt this way too and I got lucky with the baby mamas I met ( and I really worked on cultivating those friendships and pulling people together like you do). Although there were some serious duds before I found the ones that stuck around. I think also people do a lot with their families and and that means they don’t feel the need to reach out to friends because they don’t have the same need for company that we do. That’s my experience too.
    I know I have said this before but Meet up dot com saved my sanity. And starting your own group could really be a good thing to do for yourself if there is nothing that suits you. I know it puts you in the same role as being the organizer and leader, but maybe you could do it with the understanding of rotating hosts.
    You aren’t a loser by any stretch of the imagination but you find yourself suddenly without a support system that is available to you. It really sucks.
    Can you have hubby take over once in a while when he gets home from work so you can go out with your working gal pals?
    It really sucks when our friends IRL are not as available as the ones URL I know:( Big hugs, my friend. I hope you can find your way and I really hope you can find a way to feel good about what you are doing and not go back to work until you really feel you want to. You are a great mama, you know!

  • M

    I hope the therapist can help. Sleep deprivation is killer, but she may be able to give you some thoughts on if it could be something besides that too.

    Is there any kind of Early Childhood group to join? It probably won’t lead to lasting friendships but it might help you find some in-person commiseration.

    I don’t have school age children yet, but in hearing your descriptions of your older son’s school environment, I wouldn’t be so quick to change anything. It sounds to me that you were in a group of women that singularly wouldn’t have been problematic, but turned into a wall that seemed to feed on itself, isolating everyone in the process. I’m glad you have a chance to start over and find your tribe (a cliche, but true anyway).

    I’ve found some acquaintances locally but it took 2 years of therapy and several attempts to even find someone that wasn’t openly condescending. I’m still not comfortable discussing my recurrent losses with them, but I have teached a comfort level enough on other things to find a connection. I know there’s support out there for you. Until you reach it and beyond that point, we will all be here for you.

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