The day finally came. I got a babysitter and headed off to my appointment. I met with a Clinical Social Worker with a specialty in infertility. Sadly, she is one of us. She got pregnant 4 times but couldn't carry to term.
I met with her for two reasons. First to make sure that I was okay and second to get advice on what to say. We talked about a couple of things. I told her my story. You know, ten years of infertility, failure to respond to IVF, 1000 needles, and ultimately two boys through donor ovum.
We talked about my issues. How for a long time I wanted to be perfect and there are still stray pieces of that idea hanging around. Which, of course, involves punishing myself for things that I cannot control. I sometimes feel ashamed that I was unable to get pregnant without help. She suggested that I might need to work on forgiving my body for failing. I cried a bit.
I have so many blessings. I am at the good side of the infertility journey. I have my kids. I love them. I know them. I would not trade them for biological children. She said something very interesting and something that struck me as absolutely true. She said that I will never get over my infertility completely. Although I got my kids, I still didn't get the journey that I wanted. It is natural to be sad about it occasionally. I am not disrespecting what I have when I am sad about what I lost. This was big for me. I somehow thought that I needed to rise above this experience and be totally at peace with it. It is a relief to realize that my grief is normal and not an issue. I have a wound. I need to accept that I was wounded, and I don't have to pretend it will ever totally heal.
She had a lot of advice about telling. She also said that we shouldn't gather the herd and make a big announcement. The information comes as it comes.
She talked about how it is my attitude that will determine how my children react. If I am crying and freaking out then the kids will think that it is strange and upsetting information. I need to be okay with the truth of it. But, it is also okay to be sad that it went that way.
When we talk about it, it should be a body part talk and not a genetics talk. You pick your opportunity, such as an outing to a zoo, you see some babies and then say "Do you know how that happened." or "That baby is so cute. Do you know how babies start off?" Keep it short, just one or two sentences. She suggested...
"Babies come from an egg from the Mommy and seed from the Daddy. Mommy's egg was broken so we got an egg from another lady. We used her egg and Daddy's seed."
Just a short and simple thing. You pause and see if they want more information. If they don't ask for more, then you don't tell more. You repeat this a few times on different occasions, here or there. You do it naturally when the subject comes up. It is part of the truth of our lives.
Interestingly we also discussed the frozen embryos. When we get done with the "telling", I am going to go back to discuss with her what to do with them.
I had a strong reaction to this meeting. I thought that it went very well, but afterwards I did some crying and screaming in the car. I had not done that for ages. It was like old home week to be back there. You know there with all of that upset and turmoil. My mind has been filled with all this negative shit again. I had moved to a place of relative peace. This "telling" has been hanging over my head for a long time. I guess that I had been stuffing down my emotions. I need to make space for what I am feeling.
We decided the my DH would do the first "telling". He could be calmer about it.
I will blog more about the telling later.