Wednesday, November 4, 2009

On Complaining

Edited to add: I realized in reading some of the comments that my post might have come across as a total indictment of infertiles complaining during pregnancy. I sincerely apologize if I offended anyone -- I mean heck, pregnancy IS hard, and so different from any other physical experience that it's hard to prepare. Upon reflection, I think my post was more about my particular relationship with this particular person, in which there are clearly other things going on. I probably should just have kept my thoughts to myself on this one. Apologies again.

Let me preface this post by saying that I know I can complain with the best of them -- this blog is certainly evidence of that (although I do try to keep it lighthearted -- the various indignities of pregnancy still seem more amusing to me than anything else). But I just need to get a little something off of my chest -- although of course NOTHING relating to my chest is little these days.

I have a friend -- actually more like an acquaintance -- who is pregnant with twins, and due around the same time as I am. She is one of those people that I don't know super-well, but we somehow discovered that we were both struggling with infertility, and bonded over that. She's done 7 IVF cycles, and had been trying for many, many years before that. Her last cycle was a sort of "Hail Mary" -- she knew it would be the last time, both for financial and emotional reasons, that she would try for a biological child. And it worked!

BUT. The complaining. Oh, the complaining. At first, it was because of the morning sickness. And to be fair, it was bad enough that she was on bedrest and fluids for a part of her first tri. But things have been going well since then -- the babies are healthy, she's mostly healthy (dealing with a mild case of gestational diabetes), and most importantly, she's having the babies she's waited so long for.

I want to be understanding. I want to be supportive. But sometimes I just want to throttle her. And the endless Facebook updates.....just for kicks this morning, I took a look at her news feed for the last few weeks, and she averages about 4 updates a day with NOTHING POSITIVE IN THEM. Nothing super-negative either, but just a lot of noise of the "oh, I'm so big and life's not fair" variety. I mean, really?

I guess I should simmer down and recognize that maybe she truly is having a hard time. Maybe she doesn't have a good support system and the complaints are her only outlet. I know her well enough to know that she's got a pretty solid network, so I don't really think this is the case, but I also don't really know her well enough to ask. I guess I'm just surprised after all she's been through to get to where she is, and the fact that she knew that a twin pregnancy was a possibility, that she's acting so completely surprised that there's some discomfort involved in this whole pregnancy thing. And that the joy isn't seeming to outweigh the discomfort.

So, bottom line -- I just don't know how to be there for her when I can't understand where she's coming from. And I'll probably just let it lie and try to ignore the negativity, because I'm all about avoiding the negativity in all aspects of my life right now.

And so concludes MY complaining for the day. ;)


Brittney said...

I hear ya. I've had a pretty uncomfortable pregnancy experience so far (with just a singleton), and am terrified of losing sight of how big this blessing truly is. I feel it's important to remind myself in those moments of discomfort of where I've been - all the years of struggling and pain I went through to conceive. Any pain is SO worth it for that beautiful child(ren) in the end...thank you for sharing this reminder. I completely agree!

Ashley said...

I complain all the time!! I had no idea pregnancy would be this painful. Also, I am so scared every minute that after this time and these treatments all of a sudden something terrible will happen. If I start really enjoying it I get scared that I will jinx myself and it will get taken away from me. Now that I've seen my babies on u/s, I am SO scared to lose them.

I also read a long article that after a woman who has gone through infertility feels guilt over complaining, but that after everything we've been through it's okay to act like a "normal" pregnant person. :) Can you tell I"ve been to therapy a lot?

Elle said...

Yeah, I hear you. Some people are just . . . that way. I feel like sometimes it's more just to have something to say than anything else.

And I think some people get so used to the "woe is me" mindset of infertility that they continue it even when they are in a better situation.

K said...

Admittedly, I have turned into the ultimate complainer. Seriously, I had no idea how difficult this would be. I am keeping my eye on the prize of course, but I feel most days like my body is going to fight this process as hard as it can the whole way. In some ways, it starts to make me second guess the tampering with mother nature, while still understanding that I asked for this punishment. How's that for the honest truth?

Nonetheless, your point is well taken. We asked for this and we have to deal with it.

Tracy said...

I completely understand where you are coming from! We all know someone like this. And right now, I'm pretty sure it's me.

I have turned into the ultimate complainer! I don't like posting because everything is a complete downer and even I don't want to read about it! I am totally grateful that I have made it this far but some days it's tough not to want to throw in the towel.

Once I come to grips with the fact that this baby is coming early (and I've got to get there like NOW), I'm sure I'll be able to enjoy everything a little more and hopefully I can add some cheer to my posts. :)

babyinterrupted said...

No worries - I read it as frustration with this particular person, which is exactly how I imagine I would feel.

Banana Pancakes said...

I don't think you were offensive at all! Granted I'm not far along enough to be really uncomfortable, but complaining is one thing, 4 updates a day on FB is quite another. Not really necessary in my book, but to each her own I suppose :)