Monday, May 4, 2009

The green-eyed monster

"O! beware, my lord, of jealousy; it is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on." 
- Iago, from Shakespeare's Othello
Othello is one of my favorite of Shakespeare's plays. It has all the juicy aspects of a good drama; love, jealousy, deceit, betrayal, manipulation, an interracial couple in the 1600s(!), and one of the greatest villains - Iago. For those who never read the play, in a nutshell, Othello the moor of Venice is married to Desdemona and has a trusted high ranking soldier named Iago. When Othello promotes a younger officer Cassio and not Iago, Iago is furious and sets a course of lies, back stabbing, and manipulation to convince Othello that Desdemona is betraying him with Cassio. Othello then kills Desdemona only to find out that he had fallen for Iago's lies. Othello doesn't kill Iago and instead leaves him to suffer the rest of his life in pain for what he has done. But as expected with Shakespearean tragedy, Othello kills himself before they can take him into custody. 

The reason I bring this all up is that I am jealous. I've been green jealous of so many things during this infertility journey. Not all the time, but it's reared it's ugly head. It's hit the range from reasonable to irrational. Here's my jealousy list:

1) I am jealous of every single woman who can get pregnant naturally.

2) I am jealous of women who got pregnant on their first IUI or  IVF.

3) I am jealous of women who didn't have an ectopic.

4) I am jealous of women who truly don't want kids. I wish I could take a pill and make this desire go away.

5) I am jealous of women who don't have to use a surrogate or donor egg.

6) I am jealous of women who got a diagnosis and were able to then fix something that was causing infertility.

7) I am jealous of women who join online buddy groups and graduate to the pregnancy boards.

8) I am jealous of my sister who had 3 kids without a blink of an eye.

9) I am jealous of my friends who can plan play dates and not blood draws and shots.

10) I am jealous of youth and fertility.

But who am I-  Othello or Iago? In many ways I see infertility as my Iago - manipulative, disloyal, and destructive. I am the proud Othello that is just a victim of this deceit. I've been part of a web of lies around me telling me IVF would work, that anything would work, and that has made me a jealous maniac. But on the other hand, part of me might be Iago. I was denied something I feel I deserve, something I expected. I am pissed that the Cassios of the world got what I wanted. I might have gotten so enraged to go on a rampage of destructive behavior to seek revenge. 

All this is to say that jealousy is pretty poisonous. The latest, but brief, bout with the green-eyed monster happened yesterday when I was told my egg donor has 40 follicles. Yes, you did not read that wrong - 40. Of course my first concern was that they are overstimulating her, but I was assured her estrogen levels are good and so they are happy with where she is. After that relief, for a very brief spell, I was jealous of my donor's youth. My 37 year old body can barely eek out 6 good eggs and this 26 year old can just pound the suckers out. If I didn't already know that my eggs were sub par, this certainly hit the nail on the head.

What can I say, I am human. I am going to have jealous thoughts. But, unlike Iago, they don't last long and I certainly don't act on them besides avoiding pregnant women. However, the tale of Othello is an eloquent reminder that the green-eyed monster will not only eat you, it will mock you. So unless I want to have a Shakespearean end, I have mastered the quick recovery from these jealous moments. Very soon after letting the 40 follicles sink in, I was quite elated. We might finally have enough eggs to make a baby. 


Duck said...

Tabi! This is it, time for us to become parents and then the hell with all those infertiles. Yeah, I'm jealous of those that do one IVF and get knocked up, or 2 or 3, but, all with their own uterus, it's a hard drama isn't it?
Orthello is my favorite too (oh can I be jealous that you have 40 eggies to work with?:)..

Melanie said...

What separates you from others is that you're honest about it. There's no shame in admitting that the "why does everyone else get so easily what I so desperately want" situation is a bitch to deal with. Yes, a hundred times yes, it makes no sense that crack whores get knocked up and we have to spend tens and tens of thousands to even get the possibility of pregnancy. And the farther down the path you go, the harder it is to visualize success. Hang in Tabi. Hang in.

DAVs said...

I am jealous too. Of everyone and everything you listed. But you're right, we're just human.
I hate it but it's what means I'm still alive--the feelings. Otherwise I'd be worried I was just a zombie walking through life.
Big hugs and wishing it was easier.

Sue said...

I feel that way sometimes too, but I just remind myself that lots of other people have things I'll never have - it's not just the eggs or the free DIY baby-making at home. Forty follicles isn't an abnormal amount for a young woman. I hope this donor and her eggs are able to bring you the baby you've wanted for so long.

Anonymous said...

I truly hope your baby is among the 40.

Shinejil said...

I hear you. Even though I am now in the position I used to envy so intensely, I STILL feel jealous of those who had it easier, never had an ectopic or m/c, never lost a twin, never faced the fear many of we IF gals do.

The green beast is a slavedriver, even when the object of envy is to your benefit (as your donor's prolific cycle will hopefully be).

Jaymee said...

the jealousy is just part of the package. acknowlaging it and moving on is healthy. can't wait to hear your results.

JellyBelly said...

i'm a jealous monster right now.

my favourite is the fertile that decides after years of not wanting children that, in fact they do and then get pregnant instantly. i've wanted to be a mom since i could remember and i'm nowhere being near a mother.


i'm so impressed with 40 eggies! that's awesome!

the Babychaser: said...

I, too, am jealous of youth. More often, and more intensely, than I care to admit. And I wonder how much of that is IF-related or just how I would be anyway.

That being said, this is GREAT news! Don't think of them as her follicles, because they're YOURS now. 40 follicles to work with. This really could be it.

(Of course, if you're like me, "This really could be it" is the type of comment--after being made the fool so many times--to completely freak you out. So I take it back.)

luna said...

I think y ou are shakespeare -- creating art out of tragedy, and even comic relief too...

it's natural to be jealous of that which comes so easy to others. the truth shall set you free.

Andie said...

I have all those jealousies too.

Wonderful news on the donor.

Another wonderful post Tabi.