Friday, August 28, 2009

Don't I Deserve a Freaking Band-Aid?

Went to LabCorp for my monthly P+7 draw today. Of course, it's more of a formality these days, since my levels have never been in the danger zone. Plus, if I have a late P4 decline, the P+7 doesn't help me much, anyway. (I'm on prometrium and endometrin to combat that possibility, though.)

Anyway, the tech was not having a good day. Phones were ringing off the hook, computers were crashing, and she was apologizing like crazy as she rushed around the office, juggling 3 patients at a time while her colleague was on lunch break. She had a hard time getting a vein in my left arm, tried 2 different spots, and finally moved to the right and got it on the first shot. I told her not to worry about it, it seemed like a crazy day. Then she put the usual strip of masking tape over a cotton ball on my right arm, to match the 1 already on my left arm. Seriously?? Don't I deserve a REAL freaking band-aid after about 100 of these blood draws??

I'm also in need of an emotional band-aid lately. Here's the deal. (I'll start at the beginning.):

SIL called me and left a message last Sat. night, asking me to call back. This was the day after she found out she was indeed miscarrying. She expressed concern because she was not bleeding at all, but they were still telling her she was m/cing (all very reminiscent of a blighted ovum- coupled with the fact that no fetal pole was detected and the hCG levels were rising but very slowly, I am pretty sure this is what she's experiencing). She prefaced her message, however, with this sweet little statement:

"I know you know a lot of women who've been through this, and that you work with women who've experienced this, so I thought you'd be good to talk to..."

Nice. No mention of what I MYSELF have been through, and experienced, over the past THREE YEARS. Of course not. Because, as I had always suspected, she will now always think that her "fertility problem" was much more serious than ours.

But I did the Christian thing, and I sent her a lengthy email with advice on where she can turn for support (online forums, message boards, etc. for miscarriage), as well as advice on how a) she didn't do anything in her pregnancy to cause this, and there was nothing she could have done to prevent it, b) she should not worry that she will not be able to carry to term in the future, because unfortunately m/c is very common, and c) that from what I've gathered about her specific situation, it sounded like a blighted ovum, and that the process of waiting is the most grueling part of the process with b.o's. I advised her that often Drs will offer a D&C if they know for sure it is a b.o., but that she wouldn't want to do that unless they definitely knew there was no heartbeat AND the hCG levels had already started to decrease on their own. But I warned her that the #s may continue to rise, even up to the 10th, 11th, 12th week.

She responded (surprisingly) with a very courteous email, saying, "You've given me more info. than my entire midwives' group. Thank you."

This was Monday. Tuesday was my insane travel-back-and-forth-from-NYC-to-Chicago day. FIL came with DH to pick me up from the airport, and then we called MIL to meet us out for dinner. Both FIL and MIL knew what I was doing in Chicago.

So, we're at dinner, and MIL starts talking about SIL. "I hear you emailed SIL?" "Oh, yeah, I tried to give her as much info as I could. I hope it helped." And now, you may want to sit down for what comes next. "Well, at the ultrasound on Friday, I was telling her, 'You know who would be good to be here with you during the ultrasound is TCIE.' She looked at me funny, and I KNOW I've told her before that you were taking sonography classes, but you know SIL, if the sentence doesn't have her name or her boyfriend's name in it, she doesn't really hear it!!"

I was speechless.


Exactly WHAT about that situation does my MIL think I would enjoy?? Watching a miscarriage occuring right before my very eyes on the screen? Observing the purposely-planned pregnancy of a SIL who couldn't stand the thought that maybe we were close to becoming parents and the limelight may be momentarily ripped away from her? (If you think I'm exaggerating, go back and read this post.) Or seeing the overly-blessed womb of an abortion-supporting woman who took the morning-after-pill twice, used an IUD for years, and still was able to get pregnant when she wanted to?

Just which one of those scenarios would seem APPEALING to a very pro-life woman who has gone through three years of some of the most invasive fertility treatments available, three years of excruciating heartache, three years of dying hope, three years of incessant prayer?? I can say with certainty that being at that ultrasound is THE. LAST. PLACE. I would ever want to be.

It hit me at that moment. My MIL just doesn't get it. She absolutely cannot relate to me. And maybe it's in part due to the way I handle myself. I never break down, or show my heartache, in front of them. I don't often bring up my treatments, or talk about things openly with her unless she asks (but she never asks. Instead she talks about my niece, SIL's daughter whom she babysits every day).

I wasn't able to express myself like this to her in the moment. Instead, I think I just nodded and went back to my french onion soup, wishing the bowl were bigger so I could drown myself in it.

Then yesterday I get a call from DH as I'm heading home from acupunture. He asks me, "What's the name of the sonography place where "Mr. X" works?" (The place where I'll be doing my clinical hours starting next week.) Without thinking why he's asking me, I tell him. Then I ask why, and he says, "My mom wanted me to ask you. SIL wants to go to him for another ultrasound."

Are. You. Shitting. Me.

So now, she has successfully managed to infiltrate every aspect of my life. Now, instead of happily beginning my externship next week, I will be expecting SIL to walk in the door any minute, and I'll need to sit in the room and observe (or, but only if God has NO MERCY WHATSOEVER, be asked to scan her myself). OK, so I don't own the imaging center, but if you're so concerned that your 5 other ultrasounds are not right, then it's time to go to a DOCTOR!! A sonographer can't tell you definitively that you're miscarrying, anyway- - only the Dr can give the diagnosis. WHY is this HAPPENING!!!!!

I bet you thought it was over, huh? Oh no. One last little gem I can't leave out. We share a laundry room with the ILs. As I was folding clothes out of the dryer last night, MIL came in to put a load in the washer. She asks, "Did you talk to SIL today?"
"Um, no..."
"Oh. Well, her hormones are still up."
"Yeah, sometimes it takes a long time," I answered abruptly and then walked out.

Then I broke down. Do I need to tattoo something on my forehead that says, "PLEASE do not talk to me about SILs pregnancy-slash-miscarriage, as it is EXTREMELY upsetting, and I do NOT have any more "professional FertilityCare Practitioner" information for you other than what I've already emailed her!!!!" I just cannot fathom how and why my MIL does certain things. With this whole situation, she has blatantly (though not purposefully) overshadowed the infertility struggle her son and I have been going through, while elevating her daughter's problem to great heights and expecting EVERYONE to occupy themselves with it.

Can I please have a band-aid now??


Life In Mazes said...

It will take a huge band-aid to cover up the bobo caused by your SIL's situation. While I would hold out asking God to spare this child, I pray that all of this could be used by God to change all of their hearts.
Sometimes people do not understand the pain we feel by not being able to have babies like we always dreamed. I am sorry you are hurting, some days are just so much than others.
That does stink about the ultrasound, though. I will be praying for you!

JellyBelly said...

I wish I could give you a band-aid the size of my house! You deserve it!

It is so obvious that your MIL is completely oblivious to what you and your DH have been going through. Has your husband talked to his parents about what you've gone through?

My mother constantly makes comments that show me that she has no understanding of what we've gone through for the past four years. Even now, post surgery, she still makes comments about other people's pregnancies and children.

And I can't forget that my parents too over TWO years to conceive me. She's completely forgotten any of the pain that she went through all those years ago. And yes, I'm an only child, and not by choice.

I think that your MIL comes from the same generation of women that my mother belongs to. She is so detached from her own feelings that she has no idea how her actions and reactions to other affect you.

I never show the hurt and disappointment of IF to my family and friends. I've only broken down once in front of my best friend. I don't even know if my husband fully understands the anguish I go through.

I'm praying for you. I wish I could hide you out in my house so I could spare you all of this!

Living Advent said...

You definitely deserve a real Band-Aid... brand name and all. I'm so sorry about all that you're going through. I would think that it is very appropriate to decline to be in the room when someone you know well comes in for an ultrasound. I know it's different, but as a counselor over the phone, I was not to council anyone that I knew well. It's just appropriate professional boundaries and I'd use it to the hilt in your situation. I'm still praying for you and your whole family in this situation.

Amy @ This Cross I Embrace said...

JB, I'd love to come hide out in your house! Was that a legitimate offer? :P

Kathryn said...

These are dark days when you dealing with this sort of thing. I have a similiar situation my ILs, but at least I have a state seperating us.

As to your comment on my blog...yeah, I was going to get the b/w in the next cycle, but now we are putting it off until 2010. I need to update my sidebar.

prayerfuljourney said...

Boy...sounds some certain members in your family need a good swift kick where the sun don't shine!...They are not only ignorant but not compassionate to what is going on in your own life. How would I handle it??? Avoidance. That's not the best way but c' much antagonizing can you be expected to take? I don't understand your MIL or SIL's rationale but whatever it need more than a need a drink and of course, prayer. God bless your heart for being strong and not ripping them a new one. :)

mrsblondies said...

I'm so sorry that you are having to deal with the crazy focus of your MIL on SIL's issues, when her son has been dealing with serious IF issues for a couple years. I wish I could send you a giant band-aid that would help.

Lisa and Jamie said...

I'm so sorry you've had to deal with all this. My mom's been doing the same thing (talking about my sister who is got pg on her honeymoon 2 1/2 months ago) I just had to tell her "Mom, I don't want to talk about Becky" and you know what..... she still does sometimes. People will never understand what we go through unless they go through IF themselves..... HUGS!!!