Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Thoughts

I was a bit unfair in my recent FAQ post. I posted all the snarky questions (some of which I'm sure weren't intended in a snarky way, but I'm all hyper-sensitive right now, so there you have it), but I gave absolutely no credit to the overwhelming support that I've received from much of the infertility blogging world. My friends inside the computer are the best people on the planet.

Mel has been especially helpful, as has Marie-Baguette. I've gotten amazingly supportive comments and emails from most of you. Kirby offered to help in anyway possible, even if it meant driving down to Baltimore to meet me. December Baby cracks me up with her comments. Thalia, who has enough to worry about on her own already, has given me some much needed support. Vanessa who is dealing with her own shock at the moment, has still popped in to send me her thoughts. Countless others have popped in out of the woodwork to check in and see how things are going. I wish I could name every single one of you, because honestly, all of you who comment on this blog are awesome. You're articulate, supportive, thoughtful, understanding, and unbelievably wonderful. If I didn't single you out, it's not because you're not awesome, it's because my hands are starting to hurt from all the typing. You all rock my world.

So you see, it really was unfair of me to focus only on the snarky and to ignore all the love and support I've gotten. Still, I think it's telling that at the time what stuck with me was the snarky stuff. I think it's because I was carrying around a lot of guilt. By all rights, I should be ecstatic. I should be thrilled beyond thrilled to have hit the infertility lottery. In a lot of ways I am. But it would be lying if I ignored the fact that I'm still utterly terrified. I've now got three strong beating hearts inside of me. That's a lot of responsibility. I don't know how we're going to handle it financially, emotionally, or physically. I don't know where we're going to squeeze them into our house. I can't figure out how on earth to deal with something as simple as childcare, because no matter how expensive childcare will be, it will still be less than my salary, so we can't afford for me not to work. Who wants to take care of triplets? Can you imagine?

And then I remember that I'm getting ahead of myself. I remember my friend who got pregnant a week after I did last summer, only she was pregnant with triplets. I had a miscarriage at 12 weeks. Two weeks later, when she was 13 weeks, she lost two of hers and she's due with a singleton next month. Am I ever going to be able to breathe in this pregnancy? Will I ever feel safe? Will I ever stop wondering if walking up that flight of stairs will mean the demise of my future children? Will I ever make it out of the house again? Will I be able to push a triple stroller? How will we deal with the hospital bill? How much of it will insurance cover?

Will we lose our foster son? Will a court side with his mother, who hasn't seen him in 11 months and 4 days, if we end up with triplets? Will they assume that we're now too busy to love our gorgeous boy? I can't imagine life without J. He was supposed to be with us for a year and then either go back to his mother or be adopted by us. Two and a half years later, nothing has changed. I am his mother. I am the one who stays up late with him. I am the one who worries about what he's eating. I am the one who comforts him when he throws up (admittedly, S is the one who actually cleans up the vomit, because, well, ew!). I am the one who feeds him and hugs him and tucks him in and sings to him and wakes up with him poking me. (None of this is meant to take away from the astounding amount that S does... S is a much better parent than I am) But what if we have triplets and some judge decides we simply can't take care of three infants plus J?

It sounds, in my blog, as though I'm walking around in a constant state of terror, but I'm not. This is where I go to vent it all out, but generally, I'm okay. I take a lot of deep breaths. I'm eating a lot of saltines (because seriously? It's what I can keep down now). I'm looking at each step individually. This is how I stay sane-ish.

Next steps:
4/2: Appointment with Perinatologist
4/3-4/10: Pesach, so can't think too much about the triplet factor anyway.
4/12: Appointment with my OB

Probably we'll tell our mothers about this here pregnancy by the end of April. I begrudgingly admit, I probably can't avoid mentioning the triplet part. When we thought we were having twins, S and I had agreed not to tell anyone but my father that there was more than one. But with triplets, I doubt we can avoid mentioning it. It's okay. I just don't want to tell anyone too soon. My father knows because I needed parental advice the day I found out there were three and he's great at objective advice even in completely screwy circumstances.

But see... the last time I was pregnant, I told my mother immediately, because we thought it wasn't real... we thought I was miscarrying. And so I missed her mother's funeral because my doctor didn't want me getting on a plane that week. So I had to tell her. And I was pregnant for three whole months. I was well past the scary part. I was well past the point of worrying whether I would make it all the way to April. No one expected me to miscarry. No one. But when I called my mom from the hospital to tell her what had happened, she sighed and said, "Oh sweetie, I thought that might happen." Nothing could have made me angrier at that moment. Nothing. She knew nothing of the kind. The doctors were shocked! We were all shocked! But she's got to act like she knew all along, which is crap. I had a perfectly perfect ultrasound of a healthy baby five days before. There is no way she "knew" or "thought" it might happen. And if she was sitting around worried it might happen, then she was projecting her own BS onto me, which is so not okay. (My mother had at least 8 miscarriages, most of which were very early, one of which was around three months.... very sad, yes, but also no reason to believe I'll have the same experience... my mother had NO problem GETTING pregnant, only a problem STAYING pregnant. Our circumstances are very different) I just can't bear to have her saying something stupid like that again if something should happen to this pregnancy. And that's why I can't tell her. She won't even know she's being hurtful. That's the worst part.

Two other irritating things and then I'll wrap up this embarrassingly long post. If you make it to the end, I'll give you a cookie. But you'll have to come get it.

The two things that really piss me off when people say them are these:
1. Well, at least you'll be done having kids after triplets!
2. Oh my gosh, triplets... are they natural/spontaneous/fertility-induced?

Let's start with #1: Maybe I won't be done! Maybe I didn't want to have just one pregnancy and poof! be done! Maybe I want a dozen kids (I don't, but still, I could!). Maybe I don't want to think about the fact that I'll be done after that, long before I'd planned on being done. Maybe I don't want to be reminded that I won't get to see my seven-year old interact with my 2 year old interacting with my newborn, like some women get to see. Maybe I don't know whether all three will even make it and then maybe I'll be even less likely to be done with the whole shebang. Maybe it's cruel to act like this is something that can be brushed off like that.

And number 2. Boy that one ticks me off badly. First of all, ALL children are natural. And who the hell cares if they're fertility-induced or spontaneous? Does it really make a difference? Is it really any of your business? Worse is the implication that if they were fertility-induced it was my own, irresponsible fault, but if they were spontaneous, well, they're a gift from God and how beautiful that I got such a surprise!

I swear I'm not this cranky in real life. You don't have to believe me, but I really am a rather pleasant person in real life. Anywhozit, enough whining. Thank you all for being awesome.

8 comments:

The Town Criers said...

I think the only way to get through this is to go with what you know now. And I know this is the pot offering the kettle advice since I am up every single night worrying about things that might or might not happen in the future. Everything you listed are potential problems that might need to be dealt with or that will need to be dealt with--but take it one day at a time.

People have always made me cranky with the instant family remarks when they've seen our twins. We're obviously not finished building our family, but people somehow think you must be done once you have multiples. Luckily, I hang out with many parents of multiples who have gone back and conceived or adopted again and continued to build their families. But the rest of the world who thinks they can determine our family's completion based on a single pregnancy?

The stuff with your mum is terrible. And if you have any fears that she won't be 100% (or your MIL) supportive, wait. You don't need the stress right now.

And thanks for the shout out :-) You know anything you need with this and we're just down the street. Okay. So it's a long street, but still.

Anonymous said...

What a great post. So much is going on that is terrifying or irritating or worrisome, and you are handling it all really well.

Do you want not to work? The cost of childcare might be less than your salary, but there are other financial costs involved in the comparison. Take your after-tax salary, add to it any benefits you get through work that you need and wouldn't receive through your husband's job, and subtract from that not only the cost of childcare but also expenses such as those of: commuting (which if by car could include not only gas and maintenance but also higher insurance rates), purchasing and cleaning of work apparel, time-saving conveniences (such as ready-made food or housecleaners), and the additional taxes taken from your husband's income because of the higher total income.

Do you have an advocate you can consult about the situation with your foster son? You might be comforted by a clearer picture of the reality of the scenario, and you might get advice about whether and how to be pro-active.

I vote for not telling your mother until at least 14 weeks.

Insensitive, all-knowing comments make me cranky too.

decemberbaby said...

I made it to the end. Where's my cookie?!

Ugh, that question about whether or not multiples are "natural" really pisses me off. It's like, "well, my babies were made from 100% natural human sperm and egg. What were YOURS made from?" Give me a break.

Multiples are only an instant family if that's what you want. I personally want four kids, and will laugh in the face of anyone who tells me that if I had multiples I'd be done. As for missing out on watching your older kids interact with your younger kids... you would be missing out on that. But then again, most parents don't get to see their kids enjoying full-time in-house playmates who are at the same developmental level.

So glad I crack you up... hope I can keep doing it in the trying months to come!

Bella said...

You aren't 100% elated because you are SMART! It may not be the breezy, fun way to go, but thinking about everything too much is so acceptible and understandable.

I decided not to tell that I am carrying twins, but people are definitely suspicious. This might be because of a)a couple of rounds of modified bedrest, and b) I'm way bigger than last time, 5 years ago. I imagine triplets would be even harder to um,conceal.

InfertileMadWoman said...

I just wanted to let you know that you are my new Hero!! LOL but honestly, I adopted my son from the fostercare system, and I get people telling me everyday that it isn't fair to him that we are doing IVF, but I know they are just stupid!!

Hang in there girl, you can do this!!!!

kirby said...

Okie dokie. First off, I would prefer milk chocolate chip and I'm coming to collect around Shavuot. :) Thanks for the mention. I feel like a celeb.

Next up: WTF? First of all, you are your foster child's mom. If you were a biological mom preggo with trips, no one would consider taking him away, so it's completely ridiculous that it would go that way now.

Not to mention: Isn't it fair for him to have some younger siblings? Wouldn't that just about rock for him?

People are cruel. I wish I had better help, but I don't. Be the strong, amazing woman you clearly are and I know you'll persevere.

twistedovaries said...

I think the bare fact that you're thanking people for support means you should have a medal. You have so much going on it's unreal. If you feel like you're being a little "it's all horrible, what am I going to do?" then go with it-triplets? Worries about losing your foster son? That ever present fear we have about miscarrying? Yeah. They weigh in and capture the mind, as in IF land, we always worry about the worst.

I think we need to put together a list of the comments we're receiving, having multiples. I've had a few myself, and don't they (along with the hormones and the fears) make you want to slap people? And I'm a pacifist!

I completely and utterly support you should you need it. I think we should take to virtual drinking.

Malky B. said...

About your moms comment after the miscarriage - it could be that she was just worried that it would happen since it had happened to her so many times. You know that grandparents tend to blame their genes for causing the miscarriage and in her case she was so prone to it that it was probably a big fear of hers. Try to cut her some slack. I'm sure she wants the best for you.