Copyright infringement aside, if I was going to actually write an advice column about all of this, I would probably call it that.
I’m not even just referring to the inhuman feelings of Hulk-like anger from hormones that leave Hubby begging me to remember that “it’s not real. It’s just hormones.” Sometimes we call the beast by name (e.g., “I’m on 450 of gonal-f are you sure you didn’t want to rephrase that”) Other times I’m on so many at once, we pick the one most likely, like the one I’m actually allergic to. I have to put ice on my injection site before I do it or I get itchy painful hives.
No. I’m not even talking about the temporary insanity of the actual cycle. I’m talking about the response to the overall fatigue of this process. I don’t respond to tiredness well. I remember early in our relationship, my mom warned Hubby that I am, have always been, and will always be cranky when overtired. Since young childhood, I would emotionally melt down and my mom would try to put me to bed and I would fight it. Usually she tricked me into laying in her lap where I would ultimately nod off. Hubby has gained her stealth powers and I usually get coaxed onto the couch where some hair smoothing knocks me out. Sometimes I think Hubby can read my emotions before I’ve even identified them. Given that I don’t do well with tiredness, I’m not well suited for this marathon.
The most exhausting part of infertility and pregnancy loss is the pretending to be ok.
I had dinner with a girlfriend tonight that I’ve known for 15 or so years and whom I haven’t actually seen in a very long time. That is kind of a trend for me as of late. Short of people who will continue to text me until I respond and who drive plan making (and actually hold me to it), I’m kind of missing in action. Of course we all grow up and the original group of us finds ourselves at somewhat different places in our lives, but it’s really more than that for me. I’m still very much broken, but yet I feel some obligation to handle it gracefully, which is absolutely draining. Perseverance and faith in the face of adversity are praiseworthy so it can be isolating to grieve. I feel like Debbie Downer, like everyone’s day is great and I’m going to ruin it by showing my brokenness.
My only hope and best “Dear Crabby” advice is to find at least one person who can read your mind. Someone who knows your poker face sucks and knows it’s exhausting to have to explain why you look lost. So they ask, you make up an excuse about being in “a mood” or you’re tired and they know you mean “…of pretending” and they accept it and move on. Just know that there’s no point in pretending with them. They’ve called you out. They are the ones that you tell “I’m ok” and they call your bluff with “No you’re not”. These people are special and they can pop up in pretty unexpected places.