Monday, 16 March 2009

More crazy behaviour

I'm not, as my nana would say, in the best of fettles at the moment.

A colleague and my best friend from university have just announced pregnancies - in my mate's case, it's her second.

I have done the gracious congratulations and I am happy for her, inasmuch as you can apply the word "happy" to a situation that makes you feel like you are being stabbed repeatedly in the throat with an ice pick.

I don't mean to sound like a bad friend - and in fact, it is worth saying that she is an exceptionally good one to me, because she broke the news as she knew I'd prefer her to, in an email which ended with her saying that I wasn't to feel pressured to send my congrats and that she'd understand if I needed some time before getting in touch.

Unfortunately, I read the email shortly after arriving at work one morning, and had to repair to the toilets to cry for twenty minutes before being able to control myself, but she wasn't to know that. The thoughtfulness of allowing me the privacy and reflection time afforded by an email was an extremely graceful gesture on her part. After all, she has nothing to be sorry for. This literally is just the way the cookie crumbles.

No, one of the things that makes me sad is that these circumstances have inevitably meant we've grown apart a bit. I still love her dearly and deeply, but we don't see enough of each other and try as we both might to empathise with the other, there's a slight lack of understanding between us now that can't be helped by either of us.

I can't really fathom her frustrations with the tiredness and difficulty of motherhood any more than she can imagine what it's like to yearn for pregnancy so badly that it physically hurts.

Before all this we always shared everything and went through lots of life-changing experiences together, not least preparing for our weddings, which were less than a year apart. I remember us traipsing round what felt like every wedding dress shop in Scotland and northern England, having an unseemly amount of fun. We both assumed that sharing baby stuff and all that went with it would naturally follow. But it feels like things have worked out very differently for me than they have for her.

Anyway, there was that, and then a day or two later a colleague made her announcement. She's not a colleague I know well enough that she knows about my situation, so she broke the news with chipper joy and I didn't know how to make my face make the right shapes and my mouth form the right words.

I think she was puzzled by my frosty reaction and I've agonised over whether to email her and explain myself, but have decided against it in the end. I'm sick and tired of feeling like I have to make excuses, as if I'm some irksome toddler, for a situation beyond my control that I hate, hate, hate and never wished for.

But the thing that has vexed me more than anything else of late was the remarks made by a TV presenter last Friday night, which saw the screening of the UK's biennial charity telethon Comic Relief.

The woman in question - the culprit - was Davina McCall, a woman who found fame presenting the braindead shitfest that is Big Brother. She has three children, or twelve, or eighty-seven - I can never remember as she appears to be pregnant every time she graces the screen. I'm amazed they haven't televised her squirting one out during the annual Big Brother bonanza. After all, it must be like shelling peas by now.

Anyway. Davina was presenting a link about children - babies, mostly - in Africa dying of diseases like malaria and AIDS. It was deeply, deeply upsetting television. After the film ended, up pops fucking Davina with: "This call goes out to all the mothers out there. It takes a mother to understand the suffering of these children. Come on, mums, we're all in the same boat..."

It went on and on, and I started to feel like something was crawling up my spine and setting each vertebrae on fire as it went. Because what the fuck? So because I'm barren I'm not entitled or expected to feel any sympathy at the sight of a baby dying in agony? How DARE she?

This sort of idiocy is voiced quite often, though. It's amazing, the stupidity of people. It always happens when some sort of dreadful crime is reported - a child's murder or sexual assault, say - you get these muppets showing up in TV news footage uttering ridiculous statements like "Speaking as a parent..." as if to imply that everyone without children must be sat at home silently applauding the criminal. It's sheer nonsense. It's insensitive and just basically ignorant.

I ought to pause for breath. I'm hammering the shit out of this keyboard.

My period appears to be on its way. I'm on day 37 and actually got a bit hopeful last week that our Parisian love-in might have borne fruit. I bought a two-pack of pregnancy tests in Boots after a lunchtime "craving" sent me in search of a vanilla bean smoothie, and did one of them that night, which allowed me to retain some hope by attributing the negative result to the weak evening wee brew.

By yesterday morning, still with no symptoms when really I should have sore boobs and brown drizzle by now, I did another one and got into a complete fury when it was negative. I actually managed to snap it into three pieces, sustaining minor cuts to my hand in the process.

It's coming to something when you think that a single pink line in a plastic window looks smug.

My plan is to give Clomid a whirl when my period eventually does descend. It can't hurt, and I clearly haven't ovulated since this cycle has grown to epic lengths and those tend to be anovulatory.

I just hope they don't grill me too much about my emotional wellbeing when I present myself at the clinic. I'm too near tears on this most of the time to be able to lie convincingly. And while I very much think I should explore the avenue of infertility counselling, I don't particularly want to stall the process any further by making the clinic think I need to be psychoanalysed before commencing medication.

It's just as well they can't see me in my own time, mind you. I do the strangest things. If the destructiveness with the pregnancy test above isn't odd enough, try this for size as a parting shot: I had a bath an hour or so ago. Standing up to dry myself gives me a full frontal view in my bathroom mirror. I stood there and sang the following in a crazy falsetto to my lower abdomen whilst whacking it with the towel: "Look at you, you pathetic piece of shit that doesn't work."

Now that's not right.


Punky said...

Well, with the weather getting nicer here (here being the US midwest), I've noticed neighbors actually coming out for walks or enjoying the sunshine. And I see that THREE of them are pregnant. I am utterly dismayed. One of them already has 3 children. This sucks. I need a warm cookie and a glass of milk.

Sorry to hear about your recent "she's pregnant too!!" discoveries. Its especially hard at work b/c you have to see this person waddle around the office all day.

And again, your post gave me that "yesss...I'm not the only one out there who thinks like this!". I may even start a blog after reading yours. It helps to just vent, scream and not be judged for the shitty things we feel.

queenpheebs said...

lmao . i hit myself alot to lol wen im tellin myself off lol haa

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Anonymous said...

Totally get it. A stupid collegue had the cheek to inform me to my face that I was a kid myself till I have a kid. And he isn't older than me mind. And I was 29 at that point, not some spring chicken.