I had a thought today that might explain some of why adoption has felt “harder” to me than ART did.*
Even though the average person doesn’t “get” how painful infertility is, they can “get” that going through IVF sucks (or IUI or what have you.) Everyone can gasp at the horror of having a foot long needle stuck through your vagina into your pelvic cavity (egg retrieval in case anyone reading hasn’t reached that point.) Nobody likes injections, much less giving yourself three of them a day. People can “get” some of that.
With adoption, this capacity to put themselves in your shoes is a bit different. What little empathy and or sympathy I was getting for enduring ART went away . . . only to be replaced by excitement.
It really threw me. People were no longer sorry for us they were excited for us. Trouble is, from where I stand there is nothing tangible to be excited about. There are still no guarantees. My arms are still empty and my heart still aches. But now, my aching heart has to face excited faces instead of sympathetic ones . . . and my look of exhaustion and my lack of giddy joy really seems to puzzle them.
I find it hard to face people these days. I dread the questions, the eager inquiries about “any news??!!” . . . “have you heard??” . . .
I just want to say: “Do you SEE a (freak’in) baby?? Huh? Do you?”
(can you imagnie the reaction??)
Don’t people realize that if/when we get that baby, we’ll announce it.
But I don’t want to lose the few IRL friends I have left, nor do I want to get myself locked up in one of those big hospitals surrounded by a huge green lawn. (AKA the nut house.)
I’ve actually avoided social situations in order not to have to deal with this whole aspect. And it’s getting lonely. I’ve tried going anyway, and answering their questions honestly, (and sanely) with explanations of how we are hopeful but it’s still really hard right now. That there are no guarantees and a lot of anxiety involved in the process. Etc., etc., blah . . . blah . . . blah.
Their eyes glaze over and the conversation drifts to a safer topic.
I just don’t have the patience for it. Or the stomach.
So I stay home or at least stay quite when I go out. I nod and smile and scream inside. Their ignorance pains me. I feel envy. I want to be that ignorant again too. I want my reasons for knowing better to have just been a bad dream.
I want to wake up to my baby’s cries instead of my own tears.
*In addition to the (as perceived by me) differences between infertility treatment and adoption as family building “options,” there is the factor of time and age added to my story. I’ve been at this TOO long no matter what order you want to put the efforts in and I am nearing an age when doors to motherhood slam shut. Both those factors seriously color my views. So, theses are only my views from my perspective. Writing is not really my strong suite, so I may not always express what I mean in ways people can understand.
I can promise you that I never mean to say that my journey through hell trumps anyone else’s. We all measure out pain with a very unique and individual yardstick.