Wherever you go, there you are

picassoFlorida. It is 9:20 a.m., we are at DH’s parents, and I slept three hours last night. We didn’t fall to sleep until 2—whispering into the night about how difficult it is to navigate his parents’ lack of social skills. I woke up at 5, and then lay awake in bed to the sound of DH’s snoring for a couple of hours until I asked him to go into the other room. Then tossed and turned in here alone and thought about the sad movie I watched on the plane about the woman dying of cancer (why, why did I watch that movie!). And thought about how I will feel and what I will do when the IVF treatment—the treatment I have not begun or even decided on—what I will do when it fails, because it will definitely fail. That’s all I can think: It will definitely, without question, fail.

And then what?

I told DH last night at 2 in the morning that I feel ashamed for having had four miscarriages. I feel defective. Like I’m not a full woman. “That’s just not true,” he said pleadingly, sorrowfully, sitting up in bed, squeezing my hand, but his voice seemed very far away, and his words had no impact on me.

Sometimes it gets like that. I’m in a cave. I’m far away. I’m lonely, I feel empty, I feel broken, useless, incomplete. No wonder I didn’t sleep well.

After being in bed not sleeping, feeling awful, the sun inevitably rising, the intense pain of my ovulation began. Great. It has been going on for an hour and is now at its peak as I type. I am thinking: “Is this a good egg? Are we missing our free pass out of this mess? Should I go into the other room and wake DH and bring him in here for sex? Why have I had CM like a teenager this month—is that because this is the egg?”

And then I think: “No, of course not, it’s a bad egg like all the rest. Let it go. Don’t have sex, because when you have sex, you get pregnant immediately, and pregnancy = miscarriage. And your body needs a break, a goddamned break, from miscarriage.”

I have been crying. My eyes are puffy from crying, lack of sleep, more crying, a new makeup remover I am trying, and possible allergy to their small, cute, insanely neurotic maltese, whom I can’t pet because he will bite me if I do.

DH’s parents are Korean and they are being very warm, kind, buyout, while somehow (as usual) making me feel invisible, although I know they don’t mean to. They ask me no questions about my life, and when I try to tell them something about myself, they say nothing in response. It is strange because I know they want to get to know me better. DH explains that they have always been like this. It’s a Korean thing. It’s difficult for me to contribute to the conversation or ask questions and be totally ignored—impossible not to feel silently offended—but it is also difficult for me to be quiet, because my nature is to be social. DH keeps congratulating me on how wonderfully I am handling them and he says my warmth toward them is all that really matters. Okay. I’ll try to focus on that.

It was difficult to listen to them talk about the other Korean children they know who have become doctors, important faculty at medical schools, about how these adult children are so famous and rich that they build homes for their parents to retire in. Meanwhile, of course, DH and I are currently being partially supported by his parents—DH’s father didn’t say this, but I’m sure that was the subtext. And now we are going to ask them for tens of thousands of dollars for IVF. Gah!

DH says that his entire childhood was one in which his parents compared him & his brother to the more successful Korean children in the neighborhood. What irks me is that if they want something to brag about, they have it—a loving, dedicated son who does incredible work with veterans suffering from PTSD, severe mental illness, substance abuse, and so on, at a VA hospital. He just got an A on his dissertation and encouragement to publish it. He will work in veterans hospitals for the rest of his life because he is one of those rare individuals who has found his passion, who loves what he does and is amazing at it. His patients love him. He saves lives. But DH says that he doesn’t think his parents believe that what he does—psychology—has a real effect on people’s lives. They don’t know much about it, don’t seem to care, maybe don’t believe in it, he says. But they probably think it is nice that he’s going to be called “Dr.,” he says.

There are photos all over the house of their one much-loved grandchild, DH’s brother’s daughter. She is a special soul: gorgeous, hilarious, smart, happy, loving. DH’s parents are of course crazy about her. They want her to have a sibling.

They want more grandkids, and I want to give them to them, but I can’t. What a stupid, stupid situation.

Dammit. Dammit! I’ve tried for a year! Why is my uterus a pinball machine?

I haven’t been doing so fabulous in the last week. Some sort of down-swing that I’m really getting tired of. I thought that coming to Florida would make me feel better, but as the adage would have it: Wherever you go, there you are. 

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