Infertility: Joy Killer

Up until recently, I had been doing a fairly good job of dealing with my bitter thoughts, acknowledging them and then letting them go. Lately, however, I’ve been having a hard time with the letting go part. As I’ve said before, I’m not proud of these thoughts, but I refuse to beat myself up over them. I know they are a normal part of infertility.

On Easter, my sister-in-law had her baby, a girl. She is their second child, third pregnancy (she lost her first). I mentioned in a past post that she had placenta previa and was worried about an early delivery via c-section. Fortunately, the placenta moved and she was able to have a vaginal birth, as planned. As far as I know, there were no complications. Mom and baby are healthy.

The news of the birth came via text message while M and I were two time zones away on vacation. We sent our congrats via text message, asked for details, and asked when would be a good time to call. Later that day, we talked to my brother-in-law and learned that her name is “C,” very, very similar to my grandmother’s name, which I’ve had my heart set on giving to my first daughter (should I be so lucky). Now, I’ve never “claimed” the name–that would be ridiculous–so it’s not as if she “stole” it. But it kind of feels that way. I really hope the name has meaning for her, beyond popularity or just liking it.

The thing is, I expected someone in my family to use the name by now (I’m one of the last grandkids to have children); in fact, every time someone has a girl, I hold my breath that they won’t use the name. Frankly, I’m surprised and disappointed that no one has. It’s a beautiful name, and my grandmother was the matriarch of our family. What better way to honor her memory than to keep her name alive. I know my mother and my aunts–her daughters–would love that.

M has already made the comment that it would be too confusing to have first cousins with nearly the exact same name (they will also share a last name) and he thinks we should take it off the list. I told him I disagreed, but I haven’t dug my heels in… yet. It may never even be an issue. I may never have a daughter. But, if I do, I will fight to name her after my grandmother. I’ll cry and play the infertility card if I have to. It won’t be my finest moment, but this is important to me.

My sister-in-law has been trying to FaceTime or Skype with us since the day C was born. I assume the reason is to “introduce” us to the baby, which would be fine, except that we’re planning to meet her in person on Saturday, less than a week after she was born. We’ve had these plans for at least a month (to celebrate my father-in-law’s birthday), so I’m not sure why she’s being so insistent. I know she’s happy and excited and wants to share–I would be, too!–but I wish she were more sensitive to how hard this is for me. It kind of feels like she’s shoving her fertility and success in my face. Yeah, I know, I’m a bitch for making it about me, and for expecting her to take her excitement down a notch for my benefit.

So, here I am, again trying to figure out what to do with these feelings of bitterness and jealousy, so that I don’t completely go off the rails on Saturday. Not only did they “lap” us in the kid department, they used the one name I had my heart set on for my own daughter. What hurts the most is knowing that I may never even have a chance to use it.

I hate that infertility has killed the joy I should have over the arrival of a new family member.

On top of all this, I’m coming to the end of another cycle, and this time I don’t need to push hope away. This time, I never had any to begin with. Which I guess I should be happy about, since that’s been my goal for quite some time. I just never expected it to feel so sad.

22 thoughts on “Infertility: Joy Killer

  1. Long time lurker. I relayed this to my hubby because I was upset for you and he is usually the voice of reason for me. This was his response to your situation 🙂 “They’re cousins, not siblings so they can have the same name. and anyway, you’re not naming the baby after the cousin, you’re naming baby after grandmother! Infertile moms get the last word with baby naming.”

    • “Infertile moms get the last word with baby naming.” Yes! We deserve that much, at least. Your husband is very, very wise. 🙂 Tell him I said THANKS!

  2. One of the worst aspects of the isolation that comes with infertility/loss for me has always been the fact that I now feel excluded (even if intentionally so by myself) from the joys and celebrations of others. I so hear ya. It hurts, and there’s no way around it. I think you’re being very wise though to let those bitter/angry/totally normal feelings out rather than trying to swallow them only to have them fester over time. I guess people who haven’t been through this will never understand how hard it is for us, or our need for distance at such times, but I think you’ll be more sane and more whole for it. Sending strength your way.

    • am dealing with the same issue for almost 3 years now .It is so hard to try to put a smile on your face while you are burning from the inside. yesterday, I heard that my sister ,who already has 2 beautiful daughters, is pregnant. you can imagine the way I felt …in fact I cried my eyes out .it is unsupportable and as you said infertility is killing the joy in my life

  3. “I hate that infertility has killed the joy I should have over the arrival of a new family member.”

    You aren’t alone in this, I’m right there with you! This weekend I’ll be visiting my sister-in-law and meeting my 3 week old niece for the first time. This weekend, when I start to feel alone in my feelings of bitterness, jealousy, sadness and guilt over feeling this way, I’ll think of you. In the meantime, I’ll be praying for our strength!

  4. What you are feeling is SO NORMAL. I know you know that, but I just have to say it. My sister lapped me twice in the time it took me to get pregnant – and told me that she was pregnant the day that I had my transfer (which resulted in a BFN). People just don’t think beyond themselves, and we can’t really expect them to because they have no idea what it’s like to be infertile. But it sure would be nice if they could at least TRY 😉

    Thinking of you!

    • Wouldn’t it be nice? I already told her we could chat tonight, so all I can do is hope for technical difficulties. I think it will be okay, though. Thank you!

  5. so hard, so shit, don’t feel guilty its natural to feel rubbish. Also, don’t be put off the baby name – my DH’s eldest 3 siblings have exactly the same names as their cousins and they were all born within a few years of each other! whilst 3 is a bit over the top, 1 will work just fine! x

  6. This is such a tough situation– wanting to be happy for others but wanting to feel OK ourselves at the same time. It always seems like, even if people KNOW what we’re going through and/or see us upset about something pregnancy/baby related, they completely forget a few days later. These fertiles would be really terrible infertiles 😉
    And I think the name is fair game. My brother has the same name as a younger cousin. You do what you want!!!

  7. I am so sorry for what you are going through. It sucks, and don’t feel bad about making it about you, we are allowed to think of ourselves sometimes! It’s not like you called her up and told her to change the name. You are just upset about it, and that is totally understandable. I was pregnant and we had come up with a name for the baby if it was a girl. I had a miscarriage. My younger sister got pregnant just before I miscarried. She and her husband could not agree on a name, but they had both liked the girl name that we had decided on if our baby was a girl. Sooooo, 7 months after my miscarriage and shortly before her baby was born, she begged me to use that name for her baby if it was a girl. I was extremely upset about it, but I said that she could. She was in tears because she and her husband didn’t both like any other name. My niece now has the name that we had chosen for our unborn child. UGH. I was in tears when I found out they had actually given her that name. I was just so upset, even though I was thrilled to have a new niece. But, now, 9 months later, when I see my niece, all I feel is love for her. I don’t get upset about the name anymore, although sometimes, I think about it. It is just such a slap in the face initially that sometimes, it just takes getting used to.

    Also, I think it would be totally fine to have cousins with the same or a similar name. If it is an issue, maybe there are nicknames that can be used when they are together. My sister has 2 nieces named Katherine who are first cousins to each other and one is called Katie and the other is called Katherine when they are together, and it has never been any sort of problem. They originally were going to call one Katherine Mae and the other one Katherine Ellen when they were together, but it was too much of a mouthful.

    • Thank you for sharing your story. I can only imagine how hard that was for you to hear another baby called by that name, so soon after your loss. It’s good to know that the pain/shock of it does wear off. I know I’ll love my niece to pieces, and even though I don’t care if my child has a similar name to her cousin, I know it will cause some waves in the family.

  8. Hi there – it’s my first time leaving a comment – just want to say that I love your blog. You seem to find the EXACT words to express how I feel!

  9. I say its your name to use even if their child has the same name or nearly the same. Using the name shows others just how much you have waited and longed for your own child and just how significant the name truly is to you.

    Ugh. . .the Skype thing sounds like hell to me! I’d never be able to keep it together for that.

    • I love all the name support!

      Fortunately, the Skype plan fell through. I met my niece this weekend, and instantly fell in love with her. No tears fell, but my eyes watered plenty.

  10. I say you earned that name and when the time comes you should use it if you want to without feeling any guilt about it… and I’m glad to hear the meeting was not as troubling as you thought it might be.

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