First off, I have to give Ben a big applause for his entry yesterday. I have re-read the last paragraph at least 3 times today and have simultaneously teared up and smiled to myself. He wrote another blog entry first but decided to go with the second one. I enjoyed the second one more, but there was much truth to be gleaned from the first.
One thing he mentioned in the first is how people can think they are doing something wrong, like praying wrong or not enough, when they don’t get what they want. Guess what. That’s the moment they are doing something wrong! He didn’t put it like that, of course. It was more about the goodness of God and how he doesn’t work that way.
It sparked in me the thoughts and feelings I have about all the blame that goes along with IVF. I am so grateful to have a spouse that has never made me feel an ounce of blame or pressure coming from his direction. I suppose some people might blame their spouse for infertility problems if there has been a definitive diagnosis. When your diagnosis is the very ambiguous “unexplained infertility” like ours is, it becomes easy to blame yourself. Even in typing it out I almost explained it as my diagnosis.
Neither blaming a spouse or yourself is going to help anything.
I think way back at the beginning of this blog, when I was talking about “pokes”, I said that sometimes the pokes from ourselves hurt the most. An IVFer will oftentimes feel like a failure as if making a baby is like baking a cake. I know I’ve nitpicked through everything I’ve ever done… or not done… and cursed myself for not being better, for not doing enough… or for over-doing it.
I’ve also run some of these things by doctors and all of them by my therapist. They all gave me a similar confused-look that Ben gave me the day I was sobbing on our bed but actually happy. After talking about it at some length, my therapist challenged me, though. He said:
Okay, what if it is your fault? What if you did all these things and they caused a problem? What will it change?
Either way, I am taking care of myself now. I do my best now. If I beat myself up about anything then I just feel worse, have a worse attitude toward others, and am probably making myself physically worse-off with my negativity. I set myself in a backward motion when I blame myself.
The truth is, it kills me to think of some person out there thinking they are to blame for not being able to get pregnant when conceiving is such a complicated, intricate… miracle. Both IVF doctors (the good and the ugly) have admitted to me that there are things that happen in conception that are out of their realm (eyeballs pointing to the sky). I don’t want any woman who has been through so much to ever feel at fault for something like this. Same as I wouldn’t want an abused child to feel at fault for what’s happened to him.
So, why have I typed out some form of “it’s probably not my fault” four times now and erased it each time? Even with a probably.
I never want to be the kind of person who doesn’t take responsibility for her actions. That’s why. But I’ve also got to learn to be the kind of person that forgives freely. The kind of person who moves forward instead of backwards. I just may have to go at a slower pace than some people.