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"



When Things Make Me Feel Bad About Myself

Tomorrow is my mother’s birthday. Growing up, my mom made it a big deal that we celebrate her birthday and their wedding anniversary. She would actually get angry if we forgot their anniversary. I remember when I was in college her berating me for not acknowledging their anniversary and wondering why it was such a big deal to her. I mean, wedding anniversaries are mostly to be celebrated by the couple, right? Sure, if others were at the wedding and think to say ‘Happy Anniversary’, great, but why was it up to me to remember their anniversary. It was one other way she could point to how I failed her, what an unloving daughter I was.

We’ve been estranged for almost two years. And, it is precisely this time of year that gives me the most angst. It starts with my mom’s birthday, then extends through Halloween, my dad’s birthday in November, then Thanksgiving, and Christmas. These are all events that would otherwise, in a normal, functioning family, be celebrated together. And, undoubtedly, I will be put in a position to decide how we are going to celebrate the holidays while having to bob and weave invitations to participate in gatherings that will include my parents, sister, and her family.

I was raised with so many *shoulds* in terms of being a good daughter that they are ingrained in my behaviors and very hard to change. So, when I’m faced with not doing something I’ve been taught I should do, it makes me feel bad about myself. For instance, as a ‘loving’ daughter I should acknowledge my mother’s birthday tomorrow. Because we are estranged, I won’t. It would be wholly disingenuous to do so and would be perceived as an olive branch or an invitation into my life. But, on the eve of her birthday knowing that I won’t be sending a card, dropping by for a visit, or even posting to her FB wall, makes me feel like the hateful, ungrateful daughter that she’s painted me as. It gives me angst to do nothing but more angst to consider doing anything.

Adding to my angst is that my aunt’s (my uncle’s (my mother’s brother) wife) sister passed away somewhat suddenly and the service will be Saturday afternoon. My uncle and aunt are the only family we see and of course I want to lend my support by going to the service. Yet, that stresses me out as I’m sure my parents and my sister (and possible her whole family) will be there, too. I’ve become such an enigma (I’ve seen my mother twice this year, my father once, and my sister once) that I don’t want my being there to be a distraction and I certainly don’t want to engage them. I’ve been mulling over how I can both do the right thing yet not put myself in their path. I’m thinking I can arrive just on time or late-ish to the service and leave right on time or early-ish from it. And, as much as I’d like to be able to go to my aunt’s house for the dinner following, I just can’t (I mean, I could have my husband and sons meet me there and hope there is diffusion of responsibility because others will be there, but I also don’t want to confuse my older son who doesn’t even ask about his grandparents. And, they’ve only seen the baby once and why start the charade? Ugh).

Oh, so much machinating. I hate the way this makes me feel about myself. I wish I’d come to a do as I please place with all this. That would free me of a lot of the guilt that I feel for not sending birthday wishes to my mother and would allow me to attend to the service and dinner because I want to instead of not attending because I simply can’t deal with my crazy parents (and the way they remind me that our current state is all.my.fault) and don’t want to subject my sons to them.

Just re-reading this makes me shake my head. I bear so much responsibility for the situation we’re in while everyone (my mom, dad, sister) point to me as the culprit. Maybe I’d be better served just doing as I please, going to the service, being civil toward them if the situation presents itself, going to the dinner because I would like us to (although that would also require me to explain that J, someone that my son doesn’t know, died and that’s what the event is all about). All the cousins would be there which is its own mixed bag.

I wish I didn’t scrutinize every move; my therapist would call it my being a hamster on a wheel. Even though I can’t say that I like things the way they are, I do know they aren’t going to be different, at least in terms of my parents perceptions and treatment of me. I just wish it didn’t have to impinge upon how I live my life when things like holidays or life events are concerned. But I guess that’s the essence of estrangement.

9 comments to When Things Make Me Feel Bad About Myself

  • Mel

    I am so sorry that you’re in this situation. It’s awful; especially because they’re people you can’t fully avoid without losing out on a lot of other people to boot. Sending a lot of good thoughts for the weekend and getting past her birthday.

  • I am squarely with Lori here.

    And I am similar, as you know. My therapist has told me whenever we discuss my own mother issues that I have gotten stuck in childhood development. I am taking responsibility for my mother’s happiness: if I had been a different, more compliant child, then she would have been happy.

    My freedom, ironically, has come from the realization that nothing I can do will make my mother happy. I have spent years of my life trying to be someone different and it hasn’t worked. My mother is deeply insecure and unhappy, and there is nothing I can do to help her.

    For me, I suffer as it relates to my mother because I want my mother to acknowledge that I am a good person who is worthy of being loved. But, see – she never will. (And honestly, if she did, I wouldn’t believe her, either. Such is our relationship.)

    So somehow I need to accept MYSELF as a good person, worthy of love.

    I feel like you are in the same situation, even moreso with your mother. Getting off the hamster wheel is only possible if you let go to the attachment of needing validation from your mother that you are worthy of being loved.

    You ARE worthy of being loved, you know. The fact that your mother withheld her love from you unless you were perfect is a result of HER baggage and issues. Don’t take her problems on as yours. You are amazing, and strong, and loving, and a good human being.


  • Tireegal

    This sucks!!!! You have been the scapegoat / identified patient if this family for way too long! What kinds of qualifications did adoptive parents to be need when you were adopted? I’m just sick that someone like your mother was allowed to adopt you and make your life so miserable. Ugh. I do t know what to suggest you do. I guess I want today, do what you would do if none of this were an issue. But it is an issue. Bottom line is: your mother failed you on so many levels and then trained you to think it was all your fault. It’s a catch 22. Please get off that hamster wheel if you can. It’s not a place you deserve to be. Hugs, my friend.

  • Good grief, you poor woman! I am sorry you are suffering so much with all of this right now. So much of what you mention with the family dynamics and the complications of every course of action is familiar to me. I always try to remember that it’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation no matter what. So do what feels right for YOU.

  • M

    Thinking of you. Lori’s advice is exactly spot on.

  • eb

    I agree with the PP. Your character shines through. Hugs.

  • I think Lori nailed it. I certainly couldn’t have said it better. I think the fact that you feel guilt over this, in spite of her treatment of you over the years, is a huge testament to your character. You are a good person. Don’t let her make you feel otherwise. Thinking of you.

  • You said: “as a ‘loving’ daughter I should acknowledge my mother’s birthday.”

    How about this? As a loving mother, she should not have piled guilt and shame onto the child she was privileged to parent.

    I’m a bit angry about this on your behalf, that your mother used you to meet her own ego needs. She’s the grown up and you were the child. She’s supposed to shield you from feelings of guilt and shame, not be the source of them.

    I will be thinking about you this weekend. I hope things go well for you and your boys.

  • I can relate to the estrangement issues and the feeling it is your fault because your whole family constantly tells you that. It is hard and I feel for you. If I were in your shoes I would go the the service and maybe the dinner either alone or with just my husband (if I had a babysitter available). If I went to just the service I would make a point to invite some of my relatives (cousins?) over to my house while they were in town so we could visit without the presence of my estranged family members. Try to remember – though it is hard – this-is-not-your-fault! *HUGS*

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