Saturday, February 12, 2011

Enjoying Others' Joy

Forgive me for adding another musing before moving on to the fertility doc.  That said, those of you familiar with Fertility Centers of Illinois (FCI) may also be familiar with Pulling Down the Moon.  I mention it because JK started going to a yoga group there near to the time we began treatment at FCI.

For a long time, JK was saddened or angered by other pregnancies while we remained infertile.  And she sometimes had reason.  For example, there was that time at O'Hare Airport when we were in a long line at security and in danger of missing our flight.  The TSA person saw a pregnant woman behind us and escorted her to the front of the line.

Women that have trouble getting pregnant or carrying to full term can not help but see how pregnant women get special rights.  This adds resentment on top of the whole infertility resentment and can quickly turn to vitriol.

Wannabe Dads - it is normal, even human, for your Wannabe Moms to feel this way.  But I don't believe it's healthy, and I didn't believe it was healthy for JK.  On some days, JK would come home and rant about all of the pregnant women in her office.  She even ranted about someone that was not yet pregnant, saying, "If she gets pregnant before I do, I'm gonna put a bullet in my head."

People believe in so many different things: the heart, the soul, inner balance, chi, yin/yang, and some Jungian concept that is completely over my head.  They all amount to the same thing, and infertility rips them apart.  Have you ever heard people express crazy as "unbalanced"?  I suspect that infertility takes a Wannabe Mom so far away from her center that she is crazy.

Fine, whatever.  Once we have a baby she'll be ok.  Right?


Or so I believe.

What if it's impossible (or unlikely) that a Wannabe Mom can become a mommy unless the hole is healed; the balance re-established?  What if a Wannabe Mom needs to be whole inside and out before she can journey to the other side?

So, when JK became negative toward others' good news, I told her that she was hurting herself.  I felt strongly that she would need to learn to enjoy others' joy.  She simply couldn't.

Her yoga instructor at the health club suggested Pulling Down the Moon.  Knowing her need, the cost of the class seemed like nothing to me.  So she ended up in a small group of women (eight, I think?) for a class that was part yoga and larger part counseling and discussion.  JK soon discovered that there were much worse infertility journeys than our three miscarriages.

As she got to know these women and their stories, her attitudes changed.  She got to like them, of course (they are still in touch).  More importantly, she decided for the first time that she could be happy if one of her yoga classmates became fertile.  I could see her finally able to experience joy in the joy of others.

When I saw JK incessantly reading the hundreds of infertility blogs out there, I worried that she was doing herself harm.  I figured this was a pity-party, misery-loves-company kind of thing.  Now I see differently.

The search on the infertility blogosphere is a search for hope.  It's a search for laughter amid despair, healing amid the broken, life amid barrenness, clarity amid confusion, joy amid sadness.  I get it now.

Next time really will talk about the fertility doc!


  1. I can completely agree with how your wife felt about other women getting pregnant first, etc. I've said similar things to my husband, many times.

    Thanks for the comment this morning - it's the best comment I've ever had, hands down!

  2. Great blog! Love to hear your thoughts about infertility from a male perspective. You rock!

  3. So refreshing to see a male perspective on things:) My husband and I are days away from meeting our little man...We went through IF for 5yrs...then after first IVF we became pregnant but lost it very early:( Then all within in a year we lost 3 other pregnancies...Total of 4...After number 4 our Regular OB suggested Immune Issues and that is when we discovered Dr. Kwak Kim who happens to be in Vernon Hills IL and we founds lots of unknown issues...And now after her guidance/treatments along with Regular Ob/High Risk Dr. we are now 38wks and 3days and being induced this Thursday:) Ive just starting skimming your blog so not sure if you have already explored this or not but wanted to put it out there...We are two and half hours south of Chicago from a small town but were so lucky to find Dr.Kwak...If you have any questions feel free to ask..Best Wishes!!!

  4. So true, so true...

    Loving your blog so far! Thanks for the male perspective.


  5. Must say that I totally sympathize with your wife's perspective on other pregnant women. It hurts like a SOB - like nothing else I've ever felt - and I learned quickly to do whatever possible to protect myself from the pain.

  6. my wife had a book club that I called "Fertility Club" because every time she went, someone new was pregnant and that's all they'd talk about... but I couldn't talk her out of going because these were her friends, and yet her friends were making her crazy...

  7. This is exactly how I feel! "The search on the infertility blogosphere is a search for hope. It's a search for laughter amid despair, healing amid the broken, life amid barrenness, clarity amid confusion, joy amid sadness. I get it now." Sooo true!