Green Eyed

This post is an attempt to work through some issues with infertility that I am still (yes, still) dealing with.  I guess you could call it a New Year’s Resolution, but I’m working on letting go of all of this…

I’m jealous that you got what I so desperately wanted without blinking an eye.  I’m jealous that without even trying, you created a miracle.  That you didn’t have surgery or hormone injections.  That you didn’t have blood work and ultrasounds every other day.  That it didn’t cost you thousands of dollars.  I’m jealous.

I’m jealous that your pregnancy was so easy and lovely.  I’m jealous that you went to Zumba while I could barely walk up the stairs.  That you didn’t have constant, nerve-wracking, high-risk monitoring.  That you didn’t have gestational diabetes and could eat whatever you wanted.  That you didn’t have preterm labor and non-stop contractions for over a month.  I’m jealous.

I’m jealous that you had the birth you wanted.  I’m jealous that you got to follow through with the birth plan you pictured in your head, the plan you planned for.  That you didn’t have to have major surgery in order to give birth.  That you got to be an active participant in bringing your child into this world.  I’m jealous.

I’m jealous that you got to take your baby home with you.  I’m jealous that the first time you held your baby was right after you gave birth.  That you got to change diapers without nurses standing over you.  That you never had to leave your baby behind.  That you aren’t still paying the medical bills.  I’m jealous.

I’m jealous that you get to nurse your baby.  I’m jealous that you never have to worry about supply.  That your nipples aren’t cracked and bloody.  That you don’t spend half your day hooked up to a breast pump.  That breastfeeding means baby snuggles and not hard plastic.  I’m jealous.

Mostly, though, I’m jealous that you’ll get to do this all again.  That when you put away your baby clothes, you are saving them for next time.  That it will be such a simple decision to try again.  That you’ll be successful at building your family.

I’m jealous.

Comments

  1. Oh, Er. I feel the same way. Well, not exactly since I haven’t gotten to the birth plan and breastfeeding issues yet (which I’m sure I will because, hey, why would my body ever work like it’s supposed to?), but you know what I mean. I have blinding jealousy on a regular basis. So bad that I want to scream. Scream that these people just don’t get how lucky they are. How everything was just handed to them. How it’s not even a question whether they’ll get pregnant again. And I really hate them for that. I don’t want to, but I do. And this jealousy/hatred has definitely ruined some friendships for me, I just cant even look at these people anymore.

    So sorry. Hope you find peace 🙁

  2. I don’t know if I have infertility or not because Erik and I haven’t started trying for children. But I do have a chronic illness that affects my ability to carry a child so I really relate to all of this. My condition makes it dangerous to carry a child. I basically have gestational diabetes before I’m even pregnant, but more so because I don’t even make any insulin. My baby could get too large easily and I could have to deliver by C-section or be induced. And then there’s just the constant worry that all those things that you can’t control but are trying *so hard to control* are hurting the baby. It’s nerve-wracking and scary and I’m not even doing it yet. I have to get my body “baby ready” way before I’m even ready to have kids, because that’s how complicated a pregnancy with diabetes is. So I empathize, differently than what you went through, but I definitely get the jealousy. I’m jealous that I can’t just decide to get pregnant. I have to plan and plot and get my doctor’s permission. I need permission to have kids. Ugh. I wish things weren’t so complicated. I’m not going to give some half-hearted “oh but you’re so lucky…” speech, because I get the jealousy. I definitely get it.

  3. I can’t even begin to relate, but I know there are things in my family history that are hereditary that make me afraid I won’t be able to have the picture-perfect pregnancy when the time comes.

    I’m sorry I don’t have any words to help. So…

    Hug.

  4. I think owning your emotions about this stuff will help in the long run. I know I can’t relate to most of what you’re feeling but that’s part of what helped my feelings about my c-section fade.

    You’ll take however long it takes to deal with these emotions and feelings. As it should be. Hugs lady.

  5. I’m jealous of all the people I know that have gotten “surprise” pregnant lately around me… I would give my left arm for a “surprise”. Any time they complain about it, I want to smack them…

  6. Good for you for saying how you feel “out loud” (well, virtually out loud, close enough). My own parenting PTSD was definitely breastfeeding. After I “failed,” I couldn’t talk about it AT ALL. I couldn’t read messages from newer moms on my twin-club listserv, all asking about breastfeeding, without practically having heart palpitations and re-living my anxiety about all of it. And don’t get me started on people who had great supply but JUST STOPPED because they didn’t want to bother anymore. Oh, it made me nuts.

    I don’t think that pang of jealousy will ever completely go away. But when you deal with it, like you are, I think the sharp edges of it start to soften, and you can start to work your way towards a certain kind of acceptance.

  7. A beautiful and courageous post, darling. Love you.

  8. I feel like I need to post something similar. I am so god damn bitter lately about everyone who is pregnant or who has their babies. I’m even bitter about the people who have “left me behind” (don’t take that personally, it’s just a general feeling I have that I can’t seem to shake). And I HATE myself for feeling that way. I don’t want to feel like that this year. I just want to live my life and be okay. But when did being okay become so damn difficult?

    Thanks for being real, Erin, and for posting this. <3

  9. Twinmamateb says:

    Most infertiles I know share your bitterness. It softens with time- ie I am still jealous of those still adding to their family, but at the same time, a baby? With 2 yr old twins? WTH am I thinking?

    Sometimes I think we have it better, b/c we will enjoy every moment, every milestone, that much more because we KNOW it’s the only time we will go through it.

    Love your life for what it is now, not for what it could be or should be. Infertility has taught me that.

  10. *Heavy Sigh* Yes.

  11. I’m glad you shared this post. Not that this even begins to compare with what you went/are still going through, but I just found out today that another friend is getting married and the other is pregnant. And I’m jealous. I think we all struggle with this, and given what you went/are still going through regarding infertility, I think you are very brave! Hugs and prayers.

  12. Erin, I hate that this has all been so hard for you.

    I’ve always been a ridiculously jealous person, from envying my sister’s ability to attract guys to wishing I were as skinny as the other girls in college. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve *thankfully* been rid of the raging jealousy plague.

    Since we’re confessing jealousies, can I tell you that I sometimes cried when I found out friends were having girls while I was pregnant? And even now, I still feel a little sad when I find out someone is having a girl. It’s so, so, SO silly and ridiculous, but I always dreamed of having lots of girls…

    Anyway, I so appreciate the honest blogging that you do about fertility struggles. It really opens my eyes, as I’m sure it does to many others. When friends casually mention that they are going to get pregnant next February, I feel cautious for them, wanting them to know it doesn’t always come so easy. I can only imagine what you must feel as a survivor of infertility. xoxo

  13. This post touched me deeply, though I am far away from even trying to get pregnant. I know what it’s like to feel this way, though, and I’m sorry. I wish I could hug you.

  14. Thank you. I can’t really say any more than that right now. Just thank you.

  15. I’m so sorry, Erin. For what it’s worth, I really admire the way you’ve faced everything with so much courage, grace, and honesty.

  16. This is such an honest post. Thank you.

  17. Hugs. Hugs. Hugs. Hugs.
    And thank you for continuing to share these thoughts and posts with us.

  18. Hugs. Thanks for being honest. I can definitely relate, esp to the family building jealousy – I dream that I might get to be pregnant again but I have no idea if I’ll get lucky enough to do this again. And I can only imagine on the birthing / breastfeeding issues. <3

  19. Jennifer Bishop says:

    WOW!!! Amazing post and perfectly describes how I am feeling (minus the babies part as I have not been that lucky yet.) My very best friend, maid of honor at my wedding, is pregnant after IVF. I am horribly jealous and can barely talk with her. I have such guilt about these feeling I have especially since she has had 3 miscarriages and SO deserves to be pregnant. I am ecstatic for her but so jealous…

    My thoughts are with you and your future healing over these very intense, emotional issues.

  20. Theresa Dalbey says:

    Ok…I could have written that myself…almost EVERY WORD! It’s been three years since I went through all that and I’m still jealous and bitter about it. You never really get over that struggle, and everything that you went through, and how easy it is for other people around you. I am receiving daily pregnancy announcements on facebook and I am shocked by how each announcement makes my stomach turn to the point of where I want to throw up. Why can’t I ever have an unexpected pregnancy – a “surprise” baby? Why can’t I ever announce a pregnancy and not have everyone know that we were trying for years and losing babies in the meantime? I would love to be able to “make a baby” with my husband and have the excitement of lying in bed and thinking, “we could have just made a baby.” But, NO, I have to be in a doctors office having a nurse with semen that has been washed and inserted into a syringe place it directly into my uterus, while my husband is at work miles away. It sucks Erin, I’m totally with you. Even though you have your beautiful miracles, the feelings never truly go away. I’m sorry….

  21. Thank you for being so honest Erin – and I’m sending you lots of virtual hugs!

  22. I cannot tell you how much this struck a chord with me. Being a IF who is preparing for IVF, I keep getting these feelings every time someone around me gets pregnant or has a baby. I know I shouldn’t be jealous and instead be happy, but it’s so damn hard. IF is one of those things that you can’t prepare yourself for and no one outside of it can understand.

  23. Erin, this was incredibly brave and honest. Keeping you in my prayers <3

  24. Good for you being so honest. And while you are fighting the green eyed monster, I will help you work through it by gossiping during lunch!

  25. Erin, it’s wonderful that you have shared this post. It is very helpful to read someone else who understands.
    I have been struggling with my own jealousy about those who just give birth and take their babies home. Those early weeks of my babies lives were scary, and controlled by others. I cry when I think about how breastfeeding could have been so different. If not for the NICU, my babies not being able to go directly to my breast, my pumping struggles, latching struggles. And then I feel horrible for feeling jealous when I am so blessed with these babies.
    And don’t even get me started on those with awesome milk supply who just stop nursing, who don’t appreciate how fortunate they are. Jealousy.
    Thank you for sharing.

  26. lots and lots and lots of hugs

  27. I’m sorry that your pregnancy and birthing experience weren’t what you wanted. I think a lot of women (myself, included) find themselves coming to terms with a pregnancy/birth journey that wasn’t what we expected/wanted/hoped for/dreamed of. Hopefully, though, once you’ve allowed yourself a chance to grieve the lost experience, you will find nuggets of wonderful things from the experience you had … the most important, being two beautiful girls who will forever be grateful for the experience you had.

  28. Jealousy understood – and yet do you wonder who is jealous of you? Women who despite years of expensive infertility treatments, will never experience pregnancy and child birth? Whose breasts will never supply milk? Who will never feel a baby’s kick? Who will never look into their child’s faces and see their own biology?

    I don’t mean this as a condemning post at all — just another perspective 🙂 You have two beautiful girls, so while the cost may have been higher than others have paid… your reward is much higher than many others will ever see.

  29. I hear you, Erin. I hear you. xoxo

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