Thursday, April 17, 2008

But you're good people!

I did make it to the shower last Saturday, and it went as well as could be expected. My friend looks like she swallowed a basketball: she's all belly, damn her! So tiny otherwise. There were a few hard moments, but I got through them, and my friend would check on me every so often to make sure I was ok. She told me that she really appreciated that I was there. It's funny because it's not the gifts or the belly that bothered me; it's the overall sense of happiness and expectation as well as off-hand remarks. For example, my friend mentioned that she and her husband had noticed that pregnant women were everywhere on tv and they thought that was so funny. Well, I've noticed that too, and it's not very funny to me. And other little comments about how she's going to breast feed for as long as possible, remembering what it was like to get the "pregnant" on the digital, how she smiles when she passes the drug store where she bought her HPTs and how excited her husband is. Those comments were kicks in the gut. I know we've all been there.

Later on that evening, Husband went out with her husband and practically got into an argument over how surrogacy is definitely going to work for us and how we just need to remain positive, which brings me to the title of my post. I'm so tired of people telling us that surrogacy will work because we're good people. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. God knows I wish it did, though then I would be anxious about whether we would truly qualify as "good people." There are people I can think of who deserve that epithet more. What infertility has taught me is that life is not fair. Good behavior and acts do not equal being rewarded in kind with a good life. Karma never plays out like you wish it would. It's just a big crapshoot. Infertility has happened to us not because we're strong enough to handle it or because we are bad or less deserving or because it's part of some big grand lesson; it has happened just because it did. It's just the way the cookie crumbled. So believing that, it is incredibly irritating and frustrating to have friends and family think in such simple, black and white terms. There's absolutely, positively no guarantee that surrogacy will work, and that's just how it is. We're taking a gamble based on calculated risks and have determined that the odds of success are worth a try. Nothing more. And then how infuriating to have the befuddled friend, who has just had his belief system threatened by hearing that our status as "good" people has absolutely NO bearing on the outcome of this situation, preach to my husband how we need to remain positive. Fuck you! YOU have NO idea. And the funny thing is that my husband is the one who has the positive attitude. I'm the one who believes nothing will work. Ugh.

And then I vented about this to a slightly IF friend who has found success, J, and she told me that people mean well and are trying to help but don't know what to say. I appreciate the reminder since I tend to believe the worst of people lately, but I sort of felt like she was chastising me. Sort of like, "Geez, what more do you want from us? We're trying to figure out what to say to you and how to handle this situation and it's not good enough for you? How selfish!" Yeah, because it's about everyone else's feelings. Humph. Grumble, grumble, grumble.

New topic: I think I've mentioned before how I've always felt uncomfortable in my body like it wasn't meant to be mind. I'm clumsy, I don't move in it well, etc. Well, now I think the feeling is mutual and my body is rejecting ME. I got the results of my physical back yesterday, and my bad cholesterol and total cholesterol are slightly elevated (by about 14 points), freaking me out. They were normal last year. Ok, I eat honeydew melon and 1 piece of low-cal, high fiber whole wheat toast for breakfast. I eat carrots for a snack. I have a spinach salad with a little turkey and egg white with red wine vinegar and pears for lunch EVERY DAY. I work out on my treadmill for at least 30 minutes at least 3 times a week. I eat brown rice instead of white, whole wheat pasta instead of normal. Yeah, I'm not perfect: I have steak and a hamburger every two weeks or so and pork chops once a week. I like roasted new potatoes. I like pizza. But I try to watch what I eat.

So I guess my point is that I just feel like shaking my fist at my body or the sky and screaming, "What more do you want from me? Must I give up anything that tastes good and eat only raw broccoli?" And if my cholesterol is elevated at 30, what's it going to be like in 20 years? I feel like I've had my fun and now I will have to buckle down and become a vegetarian :-( I know I'm being melodramatic, but I have been the picture of health all my life, and once I turned 30, I swear I started falling apart! I do have to confess that I did disobey instructions and added a little cream to my coffee before the bloodtest (you are supposed to fast after midnight and have only black coffee, water or tea), so I wonder (hope?) if that skewed the results. I've also read that my antidepressant may cause high LDL, so maybe it's involved as well. Probably wishful thinking.


Sue said...

Sorry you're going through such a hard time and continue to feel let down by your body. You are a good friend for going to the shower. If only pregnancy could be merit based - you and your husband have more than earned it.

sara said...

Yuck, high cholesterol when you do everything right just sucks! I have to agree with you, sometimes the best way to see things is that sometimes it's just the way the cookie crumbles. Sometimes that makes the most sense for me, but it still leaves me feeling crappy. I truly wish I had a magic wand to make all right in the world, making people pregnant who should be, and making people happy who should be. But I definitely won't tell you that "you're a good person." Because that doesn't make me feel better ever either, and you've been through way more than me already. Anyways, sorry for the rambling...just wanted to send a hug over your way, and some magic cholesterol lowering brownies. They make hash brownies, why not ones that lower cholesterol?

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scarredbellybutton said...

Surely being "good people" would mean you weren't IF in the first place?

Everything totally goes to hell after 30.

I think the comment before mine is spam - I received the exact some one on my blog.

Kymberli said...

scarredbellybutton beat me to posting the thought: if was as black and white as good vs. bad, then it would only make sense that all good people would have absolutely no troubles conceiving.

And besides; if positive thinking was REALLY what guaranteed success, there wouldn't be a whole infertility blogosphere full of sad and angry thoughts just like this one.

I will be hoping that those calculated odds positively work in your favor.

niobe said...

And on the cholesterol thing, sometimes you can do everything right and, because of genetic factors, it stays high. Just another thing that's not fair and not your fault.

JJ said...

Mook is having the same frustrations with cholesterol--and since he's frustrated, Im frustrated=)
Glad you were able to go to your friends shower-it takes a lot of emotional energy to do it.
As Ive thought I stuck my foot in my mouth before when asking you about your feelings surrouding the surrogacy, I think its similar to IF in general when someone is trying to give you unsolicited ass-vice--like when we were told that IVF would DEFINITELY work for us...ummm yeah.
Anyway--just want you to know Im thinking of you--and we'll get the ball rolling on the next NC get together so we can all vent and let it out!

nutmeg96 said...

I admire you for going to the shower. I know what you mean about the side stuff being worse than the big belly and the baby stuff. And someone always wants to know when you're going to have kids. The insensitive comments can be really grating. But I know I made some of them myself before I joined the IF community, and for that, I cringe.

kate said...

I have had elevated (and now high) cholesterol my entire life. When I was 20, I went from being a vegetarian to being a vegan (for three months) because my cholesterol was elevated, just to see if it would help. And that time frame was the largest "spike" in my cholesterol levels that I have ever had.

Since then, I've pretty much disregarded dietary cholesterol (except that my diet in general is low in cholesterol and fat and high in fiber), and what I've found is that diet has almost no connection to my cholesterol levels.

I guess what I'm saying is that I hear you, totally. Don't beat yourself up if your diet doesn't seem to be reflected in your blood numbers. And I totally know what it feels like to find that there's a new way in which I'm broken. I feel you, and I'm sorry that you're dealing with this.

The good news is that if it isn't a fluke reading caused by your coffee cream, then there are tons of drugs out there that work very effectively for people in their 30s. And there are tons of natural things that effectively scrub cholesterol from your system that you can add to your diet without worrying about the side effects of pharmaceuticals. I mean, I'm sure you know all that, I'm just repeating it as someone who has dealt with this for a number of years (er, sometimes more effectively than others!).

Morgan said...

I have a friend who is a vegetarian, exercises every day, eats basically only organic food...she's just SO healthy, but her cholesterol is high, also.

She went to see a nutritionist, who recommended eating that butter and stuff that has plant sterols (the 'Smart Whatever' stuff with the green label. They have chocolate, too). It does something to lower cholesterol- replaces the bad cholesterol in your body or something.