The Pain Olympics.

I’ve read this term many times. It’s basically when people try to outdo each other on how shitty their situation is at the moment.

I’m guilty of it. I really am. Like many women in my situation, google has become my closest ally (and worst enemy really) in the war of infertility. I’ve found myself going down the rabbit hole of infertility message boards and blogs. I read about couples dealing with secondary infertility. I read about couples going through IUI, IVF, or TI (timed intercourse) in order to conceive.

And I am 100% guilty of occasionally being in a bad mood and reading some of these things and thinking, OH GOD SHUT UP, YOU HAVE NO FUCKING IDEA. Awful right? Like I’ll read someone’s long account of how heart breaking their IVF failure is, and how they don’t know how they’ll cope. And then there’s a mention of their already born child that will never know the joy of a sibling. And that’s when my brain shuts down. Enter the pain olympics. Who are these women complaining about the world ending because they can’t have a second child when I (and many many others) will never have one?!

The thing is, intellectually, I 100% support these people. Having the rug of your life plan pulled out from under you sucks. It’s life changing. If you spent your whole life planning 2 children to be told that would never happen, it’s got to be heartbreaking. But that little bitchy part of my brain still thinks, “Ugh. That’s not infertility.”

And I hate myself for it. Because it’s so petty. Pain is pain. Just because someone else has it better than me doesn’t mean they can’t be in a world of hurt. It’s like saying you can’t be happy because someone else out there has more of a reason to be happy. I know the fact that my husband and I still have a shot at having a baby that’s genetically ours puts us way ahead of So. Many. People. And someone probably reads my ramblings and says Ugh, she has no idea. I’m in no way so naive to think I have it worse than everyone else, trust me!

This comes up because I have a friend, a girl I’ve known since I was freaking 14 years old. We’re 31 now! She has PCOS and she and her husband tried for over a year before they got pregnant with their little girl, almost 2 years old now. They used clomid and had timed intercourse for 3 months to make it happen. And then when that little girl was 1.5? BAM. Surprise natural pregnancy with baby #2, due this September.

Anyway. This friend knows about our struggle and our failures. And she likes to say things like “I know how much this sucks” and “I know how hard this is” and “I understand exactly how y’all feel.” And the thing is…she really doesn’t. She got to have sex to have her baby! Like normal people! She never had to go through all the invasive exams, and injections, and the whole IVF shebang. And I hate that I have these thoughts, because she is one of the most loyal and wonderful women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. And she is being supportive the only way she knows how.

I don’t really have a point to all of these ramblings. I just hate that I have these thoughts sometimes during my low points. Because everyone is going through a journey that I’m not privy to and it’s not my place or anyone else’s to judge. But those stupid thoughts are still there. Just another thing to work on during our 90 day break. Improve myself, inside and out.

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12 thoughts on “The Pain Olympics.

  1. I do understand this, especially the secondary infertility frustration. The fact of the matter is, it is not the same as primary infertility – not even close – and once the lucky folks get to the other side with a child in their arms, they have to accept that they’re no longer in the same boat as the rest of us. You get to be frustrated and you don’t have to defend that, because it IS different. Once you’ve succeeded having a child, you’re in a different category. Not saying they’re not deserving of sympathy, but some of us never get that wish, and it’s not the same as those who have finally been able to give birth (or those who had a kid no problem then weep about not being able to give their kid a sibling…sigh…it’s not the same!) I wrote a post about it some months back, I think before you were following my blog, which you might appreciate: https://theecofeminist.com/2016/05/14/entry-66-two-plus-one/.

    You get to be upset, no matter if there are starving children or other horrendous things. You have the right to grieve. Hell yes you do.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you. 🙂 It’s always nice to hear that I’m not alone in my thoughts and that others find themselves thinking the same things sometimes. I love that post – it speaks to me so well and says so many things I often think and feel!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally feel you on this. It’s hard – period. It’s all consuming and fills our heads at every corner and taints every thought. I have a very close friend who suffers from secondary infertility and at the start of summer, we went through our first rounds of ivf days apart. My egg donor finished her cycle and we did a freeze all because my cycle was cancelled. She’s currently 10-11 weeks pregnant.

    I support her so much and am BEYOND happy for her (she went through 5 years of trying for their second) BUT I am unbelievably jealous. It’s so hard.

    I want nothing more than for her to see this pregnancy through to the end and have a healthy and beautiful baby…. But it doesn’t make my story any easier – it actually just makes it harder to deal when I fail again. This post hits so close to home for me – as I’m sure it does for so many other ladies out there.

    Love and strength to you. Xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is SO hard. I was a little worried hitting the publish button, I didn’t want to offend anyone!

      Supporting pregnant friends and parent friends is sometimes the worst. Because you just know they want to be supportive and that they are just trying to help in the only way they know how. As bad as it sounds, I’m happy to hear that I’m not the only one that struggles with dealing with jealous with my friends!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I often feel the things you are talking about here…I assume its from jealously when referring to secondary infertility… I understand that can’t be fun either but at this point I would give anything to have one baby. Anything beyond that will be a bonus.

    I even struggle to continue following blogs after they achieve pregnancy…. It’s too hard. It’s too much of a reminder of what you have been unable to achieve and don’t know if you ever will.

    Thank you so much for writing this so bluntly and honestly. Makes me feel less guilty for thinking the same things and also makes me feel a little less alone.

    I am totally suffering with “what if it never works” mentality right now. And it is hard and I am trying to keep a firm grasp on being positive and yet realistic. Which at this point seems impossible.

    Big hugs and lots of love to you! Xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are definitely not alone. 🙂 And I’m glad to hear I’M not alone in my thoughts either! There’s a thin line between cautious optimism and realistic pessimism and I find myself walking it daily these days.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I get you. It’s so so hard and takes over so much of your brain. I try to remind myself that there are things we are not privy to, there are difficulties in others’ lives that are worse than mine, but yeah, it’s only natural. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh I feel you on this one! I have someone close to me who has 2 children, but is now divorced and just got into a new relationship. As she’s now in her 40s her only real option was IVF so, having seen everything I’ve gone through in the past 1+ years she has been picking my brain. At first I thought it was nice that she was experiencing some of the things that I have been but now I am freaking out that she’s going to get pregnant either before me or instead of me (I know these things are not affected by the other but sometimes it does feel like other people got to have “my baby”). She’s got some embryos in the freezer now and so she is technically ahead of me. It shouldn’t weigh on my mind, but it does. I also think I am a bad person for having these thoughts/feelings. I also really, REALLY get annoyed when she tries to tell me she understands what I’ve been going through. No luv, you really don’t. So great post. You are not alone!

    Like

  6. I totally agree about the secondary infertility. I can see how upsetting it is for people and I don’t want to take away from their struggles, but, it is still different to people who aren’t even able to have one baby and don’t know if we ever will.

    Like

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