I’m not sure if its just me, but the over riding emotion surrounding my infertility is guilt. And its not just me who feels guilty, guilt seems to affect everyone who knows us and loves us.
For me personally, I feel guilty because our infertility is my “fault”. I know everyone will say that it isn’t my fault, and I know there is nothing I could have done to prevent my infertility, but the fact remains that its my body that has caused our infertility all along. I mean I had the partial uterine septum, I had the uterine variocele (sp?), I had the blocked fallopian tube that was leaking toxins into my uterus. So yes, I feel guilty. I feel guilty that my body caused our babies to die, I feel guilty that my body caused all my IVF”s to fail. I feel guilty that my body has created so much heart ache for W and I. I feel guilty that W has had to go through this because of my body. GUILT!
I know W feels guilty because he can’t take the pain and heartache away, I know he feels guilty because somehow he believes he has to be this He-Man who can provide for all of my needs, including having an endless supply of money available for me to go on countless rounds of IVF. I know he feels guilty every time he sees me cry that he can’t take the hurt and pain away. I know that he feels guilty every time he see’s me have to endure yet another injection, blood test, invasive scan, PC Test, Egg Retrieval, Embryo Transfer, surgery, the list is endless.
I know my parents feel guilty, especially my Mother, for my fertility problems. I know none of this is her fault and yet she feels guilty knowing that a large portion of my fertility problems are related to the rather messy appendix operation I had as a child. I saw the tears in her eyes when I told her, after my last surgery, about the images the RE had shown us, of how they’d had to work to try and clean up my insides, of how the RE had asked me if I hadn’t lived with constant discomfort and pain on my lower right side, of how they’d had to cut away adhesion’s that had my insides all stuck to each other. My bowel, bladder and uterus were all pretty much glued to each other by these adhesion’s. My right tube, swollen to more than 5 times its natural size, which was drained and disconnected. All of this caused by my appendix surgery when I was 8 years old. There’s nothing she could have done to prevent any of this, the truth is, I was very sick, I was in terrible pain and my appendix needed to be removed and the surgery was performed as an emergency. But I know she feels guilty. I know she feels guilty every time I cry, every time she sees my tears, every time I loose another baby, she feels guilty. Which in turn makes me feel guilty because I love he so much I don’t want her to feel this way, I don’t want her to take on this responsibility and I would love to give her a grand child.
My friends and family members who get pregnant and have babies feel guilty because they know that their good fortune, their pregnancies and babies cause me pain. I see how they try to tone down their elation in an attempt to try and spare my feelings. I love them so much for that, I wish it could be different and that makes me feel guilty.
Then yesterday, on my post about Compromise, I got so much support from all of you and I’m so grateful for it, but there were two comments that stuck out in my mind. The first one was from Kirsty, she suggested that I read the book “The Secret” to unlock the power of positive thinking in myself and of “if I believe it I can become it”. Now the truth is I’ve had The Secret for a year sitting on my bedside table for a year now, I still have not brought myself to read it. And then yesterday, Glenda made a comment that read as follows:
Shit! My two cents worth…ignore Kirty’s suggestion (Kirsty, I am sure you mean well but what happens if things don’t work out, does it become our fault that we didn’t believe enough…in my experience you start getting into very complicated areas, ‘the secret’ should stay about wanting nice cars and house and not stuff like babies or cancer, the things that matter and that can stuff you up if they don’t happen).
My feeling, I get what you say. Screw the intellectual/esoteric stuff…its just lousy, unfair and crap and not right that one should have to deal with it!
And I think Glenda hit the nail on the head for me, I think she said exactly why I’ve been avoiding reading The Secret. I already have so much guilt over this, and what if, just what if the next round of treatment fails? I’m afraid that each treatment failure unloads a pile of guilt onto me in the first place. My thought process surrounding this issue goes like this:
If I believe it I become it. So does that mean that I didn’t believe enough that my previous rounds of treatment would work? What about the babies I’ve lost, did I not believe or want them enough? I can’t even bare to think like that, its too painful and hurts too much. So while I believe in the power of positive thinking and visualizing what we want, I also believe that there are outside factors that also play a role in the outcomes. My previous IVF’s were always doomed to fail, it didn’t matter how much I loved those babies, how much I wanted a positive result, the simple fact of the matter is that my insides were so messed up that there was no way a baby could survive in that kind of environment.
Kirsty, please don’t take this post has a slap in the face, because I by no means mean it that way. Its just that there are some things in life that positive thinking and believing in with all our hearts, can’t be changed.
So yes, I’m still hoping and believing in a miracle, but if the IVF fails, I just don’t want to pile a whole new type of guilt onto myself. I live with enough guilt already.