One of the challenges infertile couples and individuals face is being surrounded by people they know who either get pregnant or have babies. Since our diagnosis last year there have been two people we know that have gotten pregnant and given birth to their first child. One was someone I grew up with and the other is a friend I used to work with. I’ve written about this friend before. Most recently was back in November when I came out to her about our infertility.
Let me give you all some background on my relationship with her. I worked with her for almost two years. People talk about how they have work wives/husbands describing relationships they have with co-workers they are close with. For me she was my work sister. The reason I say that is that I worked under her on all of her accounts and she was a mentor to me. I learned so much from working with her. Professionally I have the utmost respect for her. I would recommend her for any job because I know she would excel no matter where she worked. I do have some guilt for not telling her when I was leaving that company but I couldn’t with the position she was in at the time. No matter what she had said, I was going to take the job offer I had. I think she knew and understood it too. She ended up leaving that company four months later. Two years after that decision, I don’t regret that decision one bit because the job I have now has finally given me the opportunity to advance my career that I had been looking for. Personally we are good friends. K (my wife) gets along with her and I get along with her husband. They are just great people to know and be friends with.
Anyways back to the point of this post. As I wrote in November, she gave birth to her son in mid September. Last night we texted back and forth about a former co-worker. We got into how each of our families were doing. She sent me a picture of her son who is adorable. The picture didn’t upset me as much as it would have a year ago or even six months ago. Then she asked about how we were doing and I opened up a bit more admitting that I spent 7 months in therapy last year. She was very empathetic. At the end of the conversation she invited my wife and I to visit them sometime in February. Back in November we talked about getting some of our co workers together for a happy hour. Getting all of them together is near impossible, plus her and her husband had dinner up here at our house almost two years ago and we owe it to them to visit.
K thinks it’s a great idea as she said she would like to “squish the monkey” (their son is adorable). I think it’s a great opportunity for me to take the next step in my infertility coping process. I need to confront my sadness head on if K and I are ever able to pursue some type of parenthood. There is no way I could ever be an effective secure parent if I never can manage my sadness. Plus it would be great to see them. It’s been too long since we’ve seen them.
Six months ago, heck even three months ago I don’t think I’d ever think of taking this step. If the visit ends up triggering sadness and grief, so be it. But I’m not going to know unless I try. Having K there with me will help, knowing that I am never going at this alone. We are in this together forever. I am looking forward to taking this big step forward in learning to cope with the grief that infertility has had on my life. I have in other choice here. I have to work through this and not let it consume my life.
A close friend of ours had a baby at the end of November, and on New Year’s Day, I couldn’t even hold her. I had to leave the rooms a couple times, and my husband didn’t hold her either. You should be proud of yourself! This is a HUGE deal!
Well we haven’t done it yet. I first have to go through it, see how I handle it and then I can say whether I am proud of myself.
This is a great step! Be very proud of yourself! I got so much better at all this too, and followed the same motivation you had: “There is no way I could ever be an effective secure parent if I never can manage my sadness”. I had read somewhere the story of this girl who had been adopted but changed channel every time there was a baby in a movie because she was scared it could hurt their parents. It made me realize I couldn’t carry on like that.
I still have a lot to improve but I’m so much better than at the beginning..
Well done and good luck!
I totally agree. That’s not fair to the child to have to protect their parents. It needs to always be the other way around.
you sound like a brave man. hope it goes well. but don’t feel bad about yourself if it doesn’t; its likely to be a process.
Thanks K. I appreciate it.