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(Wednesday, July 03, 2014)
Often the best source of solace and comfort for infertile couples is another infertile patient - someone who has "been there, done that". I am fortunate that I am privileged to be a doctor to an expert IVF patient, from whom I learn so much.
Here's an email she sent recently to another patient who had reached out to her after reading her blog.
You write so beautifully. It would be nice if you write a blog, it will help many.
Yes, it was a very hard time. Losing our twins have changed the way we view life. Seeing the death of our most precious children and not able to do anything about it has taught many harsh realities of life. Although I have recovered a lot, still the fear of uncertainty is haunting me many a times. But V, time heals many things, so hopefully we are getting better and trying hard to face life with the same enthusiasm. We spent 6 months in India, the sun and the love of our relatives has helped us a lot. I want to believe that this suffering will make me better, but sometimes too much of hard time can make a person hard as a rock so that nothing grows on it (no positive emotions too!) I just pray God that he doesn't take me in that situation.
V, so many women get pregnant every day. Getting pregnant is such a natural thing which is unfortunately denied to us. We are humans and it is very natural to feel hurt when we hear that someone close to us is pregnant. Have you watched children? When there are two children and when you ignore one child and give a chocolate to the other, how will the neglected child feel? The first reaction would be sorrow, a feeling of hurt (the child cries), when the crying is over there will be anger, then it turns as jealousy, then the child might fight with the other child for the chocolate, at the end it might even hit the other child and try to take away the chocolate by force. Children are not corrupted by anything (they do not know good or bad), they just reflect the basic human mentality. We are grown ups, that's true, but we are humans. There is nothing to feel guilty about how you feel about our friend’s pregnancy. This doesn't mean we are mean. We are not intending any harm to them. We just feel sorry for ourselves.
Now the question is how long and how far we can nurture this feeling? For me it is important to kill it in the beginning so that I feel comfortable and good about myself. I am not a child who has no control over his emotions. I know the consequences of negative emotions. If I grow it, it is going to affect me as well as the friendship. Above all, it is will make me feel bad about myself.
How do I deal with the pregnancy of a friend? Nowadays it has become much easier. Might be I am much more mature than I was before. In the beginning when all our friends start getting pregnant, I used to ask my husband, whether it hurts. He used to give a very funny reply - when I am not responsible for that pregnancy why should I worry:) But nowadays I know it hurts him more. I tell him, every life is different and this is our life. If we do not have children and if we have to fight hard for that, there must be a reason for it. At least we have the money to take such costly treatments. There are so many who cannot afford treatment. More than everything, there so many other horrible sufferings in this world, we are spared of that. So we should be thankful for that.
I don't lie that I don't get hurt. But only for a moment (my inability hurts), then I do try to be genuinely happy for my friend. Since I have undergone so much to have a child, I know what a blessing it is. Instead of being sorry for myself, it is better to be happy for the pregnant woman. In that way I feel proud and good about myself. I appreciate myself :)
Once I was talking with my sister who has two cute boys, she is a gynecologist too. I was telling how great motherhood is. She replied, even pigs give birth to so many children. I was dumbfounded by her reply. But when you think, other than motherhood, it takes much more to be a woman, to be a human. Our society has hyped motherhood out of proportion. I don't think there is something to feel inferior if our reproductive system is defective. Only when we feel defective, we get easily affected by others pregnancy news. Just believe that your turn will come, even if it doesn't there are so many other ways to become a mom. Crying alone doesn't make anyone a mom, caring does ! I sincerely wish, when you meet your friend you don't feel inferior or lose your real self and confidence. Hope what I wrote helps you in some way, I am not sure though :)
You can email Manju at firstname.lastname@example.org
Her blog is at www.myselfishgenes.blogspot.com