Sunday, January 3, 2010

An Essay on Crying

“I have to stop crying on the way to work,” I think. This has become a weekly occurrence. This isn’t like me. I am not an angst filled late teenager/early twenty year old anymore. I’m no longer saddled with high interest credit card debt and wondering how I will make the rent. I don’t have to wonder anymore if he likes me or if he will call or if I slept with him too soon and I’ve lost his respect.

I’m in my early thirties. I’m successful professionally. I’m in a wonderful marriage. I drive a brand new car that will be paid off in less than a year. I’ve been to Europe. I’ve been to Asia. I have a very blessed life. I shouldn’t be crying. I haven’t cried with this sort of regularity for a decade.

This stretch of road through the flood plain that was saved from suburban sprawl due to its topographical undesirableness is too quiet, too straight. I don’t have to concentrate on the other cars. I don’t have to watch for pedestrians. I only have to keep the steering wheel straight and my speed under the limit; this road is a speed trap dream for cops. I only have to drive and think. It doesn’t matter if I tune the radio to morning DJ banter, NPR, or the seventies-eighties-nineties music station I am fond of, the thoughts come.

Of course crying on the way to work is much more preferable to crying at work. And as cries go, this is a pretty good one. There are tears, but no sobbing today, no cursing, no snotty nose blown into a fast food napkin. I won’t have to sit in the parking lot at work today and wait for my eyes to look less puffy, less red...which only works if you can stop crying. I won’t have to dash in the back door and into the nearest bathroom to splash cool water on my face to try and reduce the redness in my fair skin...which only works if you can stop crying. And there are days when I can’t stop crying.

I’m sorry to say that there have been days that I have cried at my desk. There have been days that multiple coworkers have asked me if I am OK. There have been days at work when I have done nothing but surf the Internet waiting for an appropriate time to leave. Days wasted Googling words like cyst, lupron, inhibin B. Days spent sending questions into the cyber universe like, “What are my chances of having another miscarriage? What are early pregnancy symptoms? Will I be able to adopt if my husband is in his forties?” I’m sorry to say that there are days I haven’t been able to make it to work at all.

No, today’s cry is a good one, only tears. Pretty tears like in a movie romance where the boy tries to drive the girl away by pretending he doesn’t care and she gets a hurt look on her face and a couple tears escape attractively from her professionally coal smudged eyes. He looks back and realizes she is crying and wipes away the tears, reaches out to her, and makes it all better with a Hollywood kiss. There is no one here to make it all better, but at least I can wipe away the tears, go into work and about my day with no one being the wiser.

I suppose this is how cancer patients feel. Powerless. Yes, there are treatments. Treatments with related odds, sixty percent success rate, forty five percent success rate, fifteen percent success rate. However, no one really knows why some treatments work and others don’t. No one knows why treatments that should work, fail. No one knows why sometimes those with the most dire cases recover and those with the most favorable prognosis, remain ill. Do cancer patients look at me, my health, with bitterness; the same way I look at pregnant bellies?

I’m sick of being infertile. In the car I think, “OK, I get it. I think I fully understand this life experience now. I’m ready to move on.” But it’s not that easy. This isn’t a designer handbag that I can save for and purchase. This is outside of my control. There is nothing I can do, but exist with this, and cry.

40 comments:

KuKd Chick said...

God, I'm sorry. This is a sad, simple post that tells it like it is. It sounds like yes - you have a blessed life in lots of ways. But that doesn't take away the thing that's missing and causing you anguish. ((Hugs)), friend.

MelissaP05 said...

Beatifully written! I'm sorry that things haven't been going so well and that you've been crying more often. I understand about crying at your desk, I've done it many a times at school, except I run into the restroom and cry like I'm back in high school again. It truly sucks. I've also thought about the cancer scenario. I think of being an IFer as a cancer patient being in a room with other cancer patients watching each one of them get better, while you're wondering why not me? I hope you feel better soon.

Tracey said...

I have been RIGHT THERE, girl! I know you feel like you shouldn't be crying over this, but I feel like finally this is something to cry about. All that other petty crap was a total waste of tears. Inferility has changed to trajectory of your entire life. It's truly a grieving process regardless of how it turns out. For 30-something years we've assumed that our life was going to include becoming preganant and having children. That's not happening in the way that we've always imagined and it sucks. And it deserves some tears if anything does. But, seriously, why does crying have to make one look so horribly ugly? For me, it takes a good hour or more to recover and look like a normal person again. Ugh... Sounds like you had a god cry, though. Those are quite useful...

Bluebird said...

Beautiful.

JB said...

I wish it were possible to keep infertility bottled up while the rest of life goes on around us, but alas, it pokes its jabby little finger into everything. Pile on the exogenous hormones and it just gets more intense. I so feel how you feel. And am so sorry because I also know how much it hurts. Sometimes a big cry makes it hurt more, but sometimes it helps a little. Hope it helps.

Mad Hatter said...

Amen. I hope beyond hope that one day your tears will be of joy at being pregnant and having a healthy baby.
Love,
Maddy

Karen Siddiqi said...

So true. Last week I started again for the millionth time and I'm glad to say this was the first time there were no tears. I got watery-eyed ONE time and blinked them away - but no tears. It felt good and bad all at once.

ASP said...

Had one of these days yesterday after, yet again, another pregnancy announcement in our inner circle. That's 2 in the past 2 months. I know that we're moving forward with adoption but it doesn't make it any easier that I have to hear about these pregnancies--even if both of them tried for over a year to get pregnant. I'm happy for them but sad for us. I only wish it was us making the announcement. So unfair.

Thanks for a post that most of us trying for a baby can relate to. Hugs.

Kate said...

So sorry that everything's so rough for you. A good cry can be therapeutic, but it's awful when it just keeps going and going.
I sure hope things turn the corner for you soon.

Amber said...

This reminds me of a patient I had in clinic one day who was so upset because she was very overweight after having her 2 kids. She went on to tell me I wouldn't understand because I'm thin and pretty, etc. I guess we can always be jealous of someone else. Sometimes I have to remember that no one has everything.

Carrie said...

I couldn't have said it better myself...and I'm also tired of crying...tired of being infertilie, and tired of the pregnant bellies. Thanks for sharing...

tishi said...

Yes, thanks for sharing, this was a lovely post and
really expressed what many are feeling! I know we are all grateful for our blessings, but some moments on somedays, its hard to remember!

Bean stalk ballads said...

Can you see that what you have written struck a chord with so many of us "criers" out there?
We cheer along because like you, we cry in our cars, the toilet and scramble for a macdonalds napkin to try and make ourselves presentable.

See? Your not alone.

Nicole said...

What a beautiful, honest, completely open post. Megan--I am so sorry you are in this place right now. I feel I can relate to your words, as I spent many drives in tears over the past three years. I hope that you will continue to find the strength each day to move in this space, even though it is so much harder to do than to say. Know that we're here with you, and we love you--puffy eyes, snot and all.

Many hugs!
~nicole

huckle said...

I think there are a lot of us car or toilets-at-work criers. My only tips are to switch to waterproof mascara and tell people at work that you have bad hay fever today, thus the red eyes/nose.

I hope your dreams come true.

lifebytheday said...

Just sending a HUG your way. I completely know how you feel...I actually LOST it during the nativity reenactment at church on Christmas Eve. I think sometimes we just have to give ourselves a free pass to feel how we feel...

XOXO,
Jeannine

Kate said...

Your post touched me very deeply. While it doesn't change what you are going through, perhaps it helps to know that many have gone through a similar place. I am also hoping that soon your tears of sorrow will become tears of joy.

serenity said...

I know that place.

I too hope your tears of sorrow become tears of joy. Soon.

Much love to you.

xxx

IF Optimist, then... said...

Your words are extraordinary. Heartfelt and raw. Hoping the tears are a thing of the past very very soon. Hugs.

KZ said...

Thank you for sharing. I have had all the same feelings and can relate. Powerless.

areyoukiddingme said...

I'm sorry, Megan. I hope the you've shed almost all the tears you need to in this life.

the misfit said...

This is so true. I know I don't cry weekly or maybe even monthly any more - so I believe I'm over it - but when I do it's like the world is ending and everyone I love has died. Awful. Sometimes I like to think that our tears make us real, in a way that those who don't care so much can never be.

latebloomer13 said...

I'm so sorry that you are hurting so badly. Today was my meltdown day...the first of many, I'm sure. I hope your tears of pain become tears of joy sooner rather than later.

Peaches said...

I'm so sorry that you are hurting- in your car, at your desk, wherever...I get it, and for that I am sorry.
(p.s. and silly me, I thought I was the only one who cried in the car...)

Bec said...

I am totally with you here on so many levels. Thanks for posting this, at least I know I'm not alone.

Jenn said...

Ahhh, you hit the nail on the head with this one. I can identify with every sentence. I've tried to avoid the whole crying in the car thing lately and just cry in the shower instead. The water washes away my tears and then DH doesn't have to suffer through yet another emotional break down. Praying for you and your next cycle.

Where's My Stork? said...

*hugs*

That was a really well written post. I totally understand what you are going through. Hang in there!

Rebecca said...

I'm living it with you. 2010 has me seriously depressed already, with a visit from AF. And I always get the puffy eyes and red face since I'm fair skinned, too. I try to cry when my DH isn't home, but then he comes home earlier than expected and we're both left with me not looking him in the eye so he can't see my red face and him not wanting to see my red face.

Even the sleeping pills don't work as well as I thought they would. But I try not to use them too often.

I absolutely feel like infertility is on a parallel with cancer in the level of grief and stress it causes. And if we had a cancer diagnosis, our friends would be lined up in the street carrying pies and casseroles to our front doors. If God forbid our DH should pass away - ditto. But with infertility, it's the silent battle. A battle for life and death of the heart.

Meg. said...

There's nothing else I can say that you havrn't already beautifully and poignantly expressed. Just wanted to send you truckloads of *hugs*.

I know the whole crying-in-the-car-and-at-work routine all too well.

I pray that your hope-o-meter will soon rise and that those tears of sadness will be replaced with tears of joy.

Bookerson said...

I am sorry and I understand. Infertility can rob you of the ability to see all the good around you. It sucks.

I truly hope you find the path that works for you, ivf, donor egg or adoption.

My path took me to donor egg, and my sadness was replaced with tears of joy.


You are not alone.

womb for improvement said...

Do you remember when you cried and someone could make it all better? Its rubbish that there is no one who can come and sort it all out.

Elisabeth said...

Hello!

My name is Elisabeth, and I am an infertility / repeated pregnancy loss "veteran". You can read a little bit about me and my experiences in my blog: drhousewife.blogspot.com . I am completing a PhD in Counseling Psychology, and my dissertation is focused upon the impact of infertility on marriage. I believe strongly that there is a need for better support services for men and women who are undergoing IF diagnosis and treatment, and my hope is that this study will aid in the development of such services.

I am contacting you after stumbling across your blog. I am recruiting participants for my study, and wanted to invite you and your husband to take part. All that would be involved would be the completion of an online survey, that would take approximately 20 minutes. All couples who complete the surveys will receive a voucher good for a pair of free movie tickets at a Regal Cinemas.

Please let me know if you are interested by emailing me at UTInfertilityResearch@gmail.com . I have included the criteria for participation below.

Feel free to pass information along to anyone you know who might be interested in contributing to this study.

Best of luck to you!
Elisabeth


Member of a married, heterosexual couple
Both you and your spouse are between the ages of 20 – 45
You do not have any biological or adopted children living in your home
You are not currently pregnant
Either you, your spouse, or both has received an infertility diagnosis
You have received treatment for infertility in the past six months, or plan to do so in the next six months
Both you and your partner are willing to participate & have access to the internet

kdactyl said...

Okay...I read this post yesterday...but I felt your pain so much that I just could not comment then...it reminded me too much of my own time in the car a couple years ago. And strangely...even now that is where I do most of my uninterrupted thinking. The commute to work can often be quite a journey everyday. You are an amazing woman with an amazing spirit. You have undergone more than I had to to get our son...but the pattern is the same...quick pregnancy at the start of trying and then a loss...followed by several failed treatments. It can really, really impact your life. I think you handle it so well and your words took me back to that place and reminded me not just of the feelings I had then, but of how freaking grateful I need to be everyday for the child I got out of all of it and how nothing should be taken for granted. You are permantently on my prayer list that this next treatment is the ONE!

kd

wheresmy2lines said...

I understand. Thank you for your honest writing.

hopeonastick said...

I completely understand what you are saying. In fact, just this weekend, I was telling my DH that I know I was supposed to go through this phase. But I'm done and I want to move on. There isn't anything I can do to control this and this is driving my up the wall of despair

Eggs said...

You're a great writer. I feel your pain, like it's mine... I'm so sorry you (any woman) has to experience this.

lastchanceivf said...

The worst is when the tears come at an unexpected time. After our fifth failed IVF I thought I was coping fairly well...and then somehow the mental image of someone else's pregant belly blog pics popped into my head and I just crumpled to the floor in a heap of tears and snot. Our stories had been similar and there I sat, wondering why her and not me? It's all such a crapshoot and it really does a number on us, doesn't it?
Just saying I know how you feel. I know that doesn't help one iota, but I do get it.

mekate said...

beautiful
and brilliant
and
I am so, so sorry.
I am also sorry that I understand.
I hate the cataclysmic tsunamis of IF, but I hate the erosion too, the erosion of what we hoped expected planned wished for work toward imagined...
thinking of you
no matter what year it is.
Kate

babydreaming said...

I've been following your blog for awhile now, though I've never commented. This post just really hit me, and I find myself fighting back my OWN tears as I read it. Beautiful post. Thank you for telling it like it is.

Amanda

ana said...

Wow, you said so beautifully what I think is in a lot of our hearts. Even the staring at the internet until its time to go home part. I thought that was just me.

I know it doesn't help much, but you are not alone in those feelings.

Thank you.

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