So I recently started making a list of blog topics to write about and this is one that I’ve really wanted to write about for a while. It’s also one of the more difficult because it involves revealing some things that I’m not proud of. So, one of the questions that I’ve had to ask myself a lot lately is who do I talk to about trying to conceive? This spans everything from how do I answer questions about having kids/wanting kids/trying for kids, telling people about my blog, or just telling people what’s going on. I have found if I tell people that we’ve been trying without success (especially without any detail because I don’t know them well enough) I hear some of the things on my do not say list. But what about the people I am close to?
I have a confession. I have not spoken to my mother or my sister about what’s going on. My mother knows that we’ve been trying, but that’s all. I haven’t even told my sister that much. Here are two women who should be the closest women in my life, who I love so very dearly, and who I want to talk to about all this. Yet I’m terrified of doing so. With my mom, it’s mostly because if I start talking to her about it I’m pretty sure she’s going to push me to talk to my sister. And things with my sister are complicated.
A little back-story: my husband and I got married less than five months after we met each other. We both knew very early on that this was it. We decided to get the legal marriage out of the way quickly due to many reasons related to his military career and the fact that I was an unemployed student living with my parents. So we had a courthouse wedding. We also knew that although my family is in the area and was able to come to the courthouse, his family was not. So we both wanted to have a second wedding later that was a celebration and a bringing of the two families together. What does this have to do with my sister? Well, the hubby and I met shortly after she got engaged to the man she’d been with for years and had already bought a house with and we were married several months before her wedding, with our Wedding 2.0, as we called it, coming a few months after hers. She felt that I stole her thunder a bit, although we specifically tried to plan things in a way that avoided taking anything away from her and her wedding. And then I made things worse at her wedding when I gave my toast. I won’t say what I said, but it retrospect it was careless and thoughtless and I understand why it hurt her. The LAST thing I wanted to do to my sister on her wedding day was cause her any pain.
A couple of months after her wedding she expressed that what I said hurt her. I apologized. Our relationship has not been the same since, at least not for me. I feel like I’m walking on eggshells around her much of the time. The issue of children makes this much more difficult for several reasons. As I’ve said, I haven’t always wanted to have children. My sister has. She once said she wanted a football team (to be fair she was dating a football player at the time). Just about as far back as I can remember my sister becoming a mother seemed an inevitability. My sister is about two years older than me. Any age related concerns I have, she must have as well. In addition, my sister has struggled with her weight for years. I’ve read enough about trying to conceive that I know that weight can greatly affect one’s ability to do so. I struggle with weight in my own way, but I’ve always been skinnier than my sister and weight has long been a topic we don’t really discuss.
So I don’t know how to discuss with her what’s been going on because I feel like if I get pregnant before her I will be taking something else away from her and I fear that if I even just tell her that I want to have kids it’s somehow going to hurt her. I know that really what I need to do is to just start the conversation, somehow. I really, desperately want to be able to talk to my sister about all this stuff. I just don’t know how to start this conversation. And I don’t want to make the rift between us any bigger. But not starting the conversation almost guarantees that it will get bigger.
I have found that since I started blogging I am generally more open with people in real life about what’s going on. Recently a woman I know who I’ve never quite clicked with was asking for advice for a friend of her’s who is in a similar situation to me. I told this woman I know about my blog and suggested the blogging community as a resource for support. This led to a conversation back and forth about things I never expected to talk to this woman about. It was nice but at the same time this conversation took place via Facebook but she and I aren’t actually even Facebook friends anymore.
The issue of telling people was brought up again for me today. The adoption forum I attended on base was a public forum. And a reporter from the base newspaper was there. They published an article about it on the front page of today’s paper. And I’m in the photo. I’m barely in it, you can only see part of my face and most people probably won’t know it’s me, yet I was not prepared for this. I didn’t realize she was taking any photos. I know that at a public event with a member of the press there is no expectation of privacy, yet I felt violated. The fact that I was there at all, much less the reasons behind it, was all so very private to me. I’m not ready to be totally public about it and I feel a bit like that was forced upon me today.
Talking about our difficulty conceiving has been a challenge for me in many ways. For most people, it’s simply none of their business. With others, I feel they simply would not understand. And then some are more complicated, like my sister. This is all part of why I’ve tried to keep this blog anonymous. I don’t post about it on Facebook, most people in my life don’t know it exists. I like it that way. I think.
In other news, my period is three days late but the home test is negative. I still have my appointment with my doctor on Monday. If my period hasn’t started by then he’ll probably order a blood test, but what I really want is that referral. Fingers crossed.