Jane, a close friend of mine since college, is a mother of three. Her first child is already in her teens and through her second marriage, she has two kids, a three year old and 7 month old. These days, she is tied up.
I never thought she would be a motherly type, as she always appears to be demanding and career driven. After her 2nd child, she decided to quit her work and to devote her time to the family. I admire her for that. She knows what is important and when to do what in life.
After my baby loss, I was afraid of losing my friends too. Fortunately, most of them kept in touch, especially the close ones and the ones who know me for many years. She is one of them, kept calling to check if I have been taking care of myself. Few times she even offered to come from east coast to see me. Due to her responsibilities at home, I declined. But, I know she really meant to see her hopeless friend. I was very much touched by it. Not even my close relative offered to come.
One day, she called again, after almost two months of not hearing from her, “Jasmine. I am sorry… I have to tell you something… I hope you do not hate me for this.”
“What, dear?” I asked.
“I am pregnant again,” she said.
“That… that is, a, good, news.” I labored each word.
“This is so not fair,” She explained. “I think of you, wanting to having a child and go through so much trouble and many heartaches. I did not even plan for this. I got pregnant. This is so not fair. I feel guilty.”
Right there, not only was I relieved to hear the truth of her not calling, but also I appreciated her directness and sensitivity to her friend’s ordeal. I would feel the same way, if I were she. She said it as it is. Yes. It is unfair for me. Yes, I feel jealous. But, it is fair to her, as a fertile and wonderful mother. Through this turmoil, I have learned to stop comparing my misery to others’ fortunate events. It is not something I could control. Why making the comparison to make myself more miserable than it has already been.
“I am glad you told me. I know you are a good mother. There are so many children born every minute. I cannot feel upset and sorry for myself all the time. It would not have my Kevin back.” I held my tears back as I said it.
As for today, we discussed my future plan or lack of it. “You cannot go through IVF again. You need to live YOUR life,” said Jane.
I stumped. My life? What is my life? I do not know any more. I do not know who I am. For the last five years, I was either in IVF clinics, being pregnant, or back to the hospital losing my baby. After I gained enough strength to face the reality and rebuild my life, I was hit with job rejections. Like being slapped three times, left and right, from infertility, infant loss to jobless. How much more can one endure and for how long?
“I know,” I replied. “I am not prepared to do anything yet. I just want to get my job started. The baby stuff has been haunting me ever since Kevin passed away. I need to bring this to a closure at some point… But, not now. Right now, I need to SAVE myself.”
Yes, to save myself is the only thing I can do at this moment. There are so many ways to save oneself and everyone chooses a different path. Going right back to IVF could be one. But, the mere fact of thinking of needles and operation table gives me the chills down to my spine, not to mention the risk I put myself in. I need to take off my mind off it until I can face it again!