Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Straight from the heart

In one of my favorite Woody Allen movies, Hannah and Her Sisters, his character says, "The heart is a resilient little muscle." I can't even begin to articulate how true this is, but I will try. How many times has my heart been broken, punched, and almost annihilated? How many times did I long for a prescription for heartache? How many times did I think my heart might actually die? It's hard to even imagine that I climbed my way out of those basement moments and can live to see this tiny little heartbeat flutter. We have reached a point in this pregnancy I never got to with my eggs and my body - the heartbeat. Last week I traveled out to see A. and to witness the 2nd ultrasound and there it was - a tiny little flicker. Today was the 3rd ultrasound at 8 weeks and amazingly it is still blinking on that screen, stronger than ever. Shit, that is cool.

But I have to admit, in the past couple weeks letting this all sink in (that I actually might have a baby in January 2010), I did have a spell of emotional disorientation. What I mean by this is that I am elated by the success of this pregnancy. It's a long awaited dream and we are so blessed. But on the other hand, using donor egg and a surrogate leaves you still feeling detached during a pregnancy in ways I never wanted to be and have worried won't go away. All these great milestones of a pregnancy are wonderful but I am watching them as a spectator. I am not feeling it in my body nor am I wondering if this child will look like me. Part of the joy of telling people is somewhat daunted by the fact that I then have to explain we are using a surrogate and then toil over who is worthy of knowing about the donor egg. It makes these very simple joyous announcements not quite the same. In some ways, out of solidarity to myself and other women who have suffered through this, I feel like baby showers and announcements and mass emails are counter to myself. Why would I do things that other people have done that have hurt me so much? Will I ever send one of those Christmas cards with my kid on it? Right now, I don't think so. Will I put a photo of my baby as my facebook picture? Never. But what does this all mean? Am I robbing myself of joys and having a chip on my shoulder or perhaps this experience has just made it feel better not contradicting myself by doing annoying things fertile people do around me? It's all loaded with this baggage that I have to sift through and make sense of before this child is born so there isn't an iota of weirdness this child could feel from me. My heart has to be resilient as I watch this new beating heart. It's tough. It can't be a simple ending to a very complicated story.

I was trying to think about how this blog will evolve now that things are swinging in the right direction. I don't really need to report every pregnancy milestone to you all, though I know you would be excited for me. How can a blog named "The Art of Being Infertile" be talking about pregnancy? But then I realized, I am still infertile. By extension I am not, but technically I am. I've come to accept that my infertility will not be physically cured and therefore I still think there is an "art" to handling this. I realized that my situation is quite unusual and probably worth still writing about. As much as I would like to ride off into the sunset and feel like all will be normal and happy now, I know I have a crazy unique future that will have it's own twists and turns. 

So I begin this next chapter by standing up and saying, "My name is T.A.B.I. and I am an infertile. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would get another woman pregnant."


Infertile In the City said...

Hi TABI, yes, knocking up another woman, is strange, it is weird, and it is not something that is mainstream.

But being a mother, is perfectly normal, this little baby will need you, your love, your care.

But I agree, it is hard, even with sucess there is that feeling, and I get feeling removed (which is why WHEN we cycle again with another surrogate I will do the lactation inducation). yeah sure, it is nice that the baby will get some breast milk, but, really it is about me, my desire to experience the things that fertiles experience.

I would love for you to continue to blog, but, blog as much, or as little as you feel like.
Regardless - you always have an "ear"...

Mrs.X said...

A heartfelt congratulations from me. You have worked so hard and so long for this and you are finally getting to enjoy the fruits, even if they are in someone else's basket.

Andie said...

Congratulations, Tabi! Wonderful, wonderful, news.

JellyBelly said...

regardless of where your baby is growing, it is your baby. i'm so excited for your tabi! congrats!

Shinejil said...

I think your perspective and how you think about and cope with the various emotions that will come up during this pregnancy and beyond would be very helpful to IFers in general, not only the ones who are pursuing some of the same paths as you.

So basically, what I'm saying is PLEASE keep blogging!

I'm glad everything is going well.

Meg Rufael said...

TABI I have been lurking on your blog for a few posts and this one really inspired me to respond. My deepest congrats to you on your healthy growing baby!!

Firstly this post exemplifies what you still have to offer to the IF community. You’re expression of feeling detached, struggling with how you will proceed emotionally and socially, is honest and honest emotion is always helpful to others on the IF journey.

As far as the question of Christmas cards, baby shower etc. As a woman who struggles with IF hoping to get PG, I know I will do those things. The hope of getting to share my sheer joy at having a child, is one of the things that keeps me going. I in no way feel hypocritical in this plan. I feel I will have earned it and then some. A friend of mine recently told me that her IF friend became pregnant and felt she shouldn’t complain about sickness, or exhaustion, after all she wanted this so badly. Hogwash I say!. We have shed blood and tears for the right to a little normalcy. You can share sensitively. We’ve already all been deprived. There is no use in further deprivation. We should all be our better empathetic selves for what we’ve been through, no question. But also get to experience those aspects we want to, of the fertile journey when we find ourselves on some version of that road. I hope you honor yourself in your celebration. I for one will continue to tune in. 

Caba said...

Wonderful news!

I still consider myself infertile. And sometimes I feel weird saying that, since I do have kids, and I'm being a gestational carrier for my sister. But at the end of the day, I can not get pregnant without the help of doctors and some intense medical intervention (IVF/ICSI).

But, I understand how you are feeling, because I hear it from my sister. She is worried that she will not be as bonded since she isn't physically carrying her babies. And I don't know how to make that fear go away ... but I truly believe that once your baby (and it IS your baby!) is in your arms, how he or she got there won't matter a lick!

Paz said...

I still feel like an infertile and yet I have a 2.5 year old. How he got here doesn't even matter anymore, now I am a mom. I do mom things, playdates, beg him to sleep after the 5th waking of the night, enjoy slobbery kisses, and do a lot of caring for. hard work, and nothing I have ever enjoyed more.

When you get there, you'll see. The. Backstory. Just. Won't. Matter.

Melanie said...

A heartbeat. Sigh. No question, it's the most amazing sound in the world. I related so much to your post. It's such a struggle to reconcile infertility with a pregnancy. Like you, I'm very sensitive about what I say, how I blog, remembering too too well the heartbreak it took to get here. I do think you can couple the mystery and magic and joy of impending parenthood with sensitivity of where you've come from and with others who are still fighting the hard fight. But, the joy should never take second place because, at least in my experience, it's been the most unimaginable life changing joy I've ever experienced. Allow yourself that.