Thursday, February 10, 2011

Reliving an infertility breakdown

Yesterday, I met one of my dearest friends in the world for lunch at our local historical society; it's also a lovely facility for a wedding reception.

My beautiful friend's soup was too spicy and she ran to the restroom to get a Kleenex. As I sat noshing on my quiche and watching her walk back from the hallway, a flasback of epic proportions washed over me.

Four years ago, we attended a wedding reception of a co-worker of my husband's at the same place. I was going through my first or second ovulation induction, doing two follistim shots a day. I had gained a few pounds, except that I really didn't notice it until I went to put on my dress for the wedding -- less than an hour before we had to leave. It spanned across my rear end with no wiggle room at all and I felt like a sausage in a casing, ready to burst at the seams. I rummaged through my closet and, with the help of one of those slimming, spandex, bike shorts contraptions and a dress that had always been a little loose, managed to make myself somewhat presentable.

We were having a nice time at the wedding and I was only mildly self-conscious about my dress. Darling husband reassured me that I looked great. Enter the bathroom mirror.

I went to the bathroom and when I came out to wash my hands I was horrified at how I looked in the mirror. My gut was sticking out in the dress and it was definitely too tight in the rear. I broke out in tears at the sight (and I'm sure all of those hormones didn't help either). Unfortunately, one of my husband's colleague's wives, came in at the height of my despair. Not wanting her to think that I was a complete freak show (notice I said "complete"), I divulged that I was doing fertility treatments which made me fat and moody. She empathized, gave me a hug, and wiped my tears. Still, I was mortified.

And, rounding out my top three infertility breakdowns:
- a rest stop in Northern Indiana where I also discovered that my rear end had filled out my skirt way too much for public display (and for my personal comfort - I couldn't sit down in it), and that I'd have to find an alternative outfit before meeting friends for dinner in Chicago that evening
- 90 minutes later, the same day, raging out of control in a Bloomingdale's dressing room, not only lamenting over how enormous my backside was, but also the ridiculous price of a skirt that I would probably never wear again (and I haven't); I'm pretty sure that the mother and daughter in the dressing room next to me ran out in their underwear for fear of what I might do next.

Of course, there are too many times to count when I have cried my eyes out in the comfort of my own home or car. Church is another big place for these outbursts.

Where's the worst/most public/unique place that you've had an infertility breakdown?


  1. My worst breakdown was probably at a friends baby showere where all her guests were pregnant except for me. I cried a bit then managed to get pretty drunk at a day time shower! Classy - yes I know!

  2. I am so sorry for you having to relive that memory! Those moments scar us deeply. The worst places I have had my breakdown is work (I am a guidance counselor at an elementary and JH school). UGH.

  3. Embassy Suites hotel - My hubby and I were there for a Couples Retreat our church was hosting. The whole weekend was filled with other couples talking about their children and how its hard to balance time with them and time for each other. The group was a small group, but we were definitely the odd couple out as we were the only couple present without children.

    The second day we had a session and the speaker addressed a question at me, "Jonelle, you and Michael have been married for 6 years, and don't have children..." Four years have past since that incident and to this day I can't remember the rest of the question or if I even answered it. I was just mortified that she started the question with stating 1) how long we'd been married and 2)that we didn't have children. She just clarified to everyone in the room how separate we were from everyone in attendance. I spent rest of the that session concentrating on not crying, but I could feel the beginnings of a serious panic attack. At the break I told Michael how I was feeling and he immediately swept me to our hotel room where I cried hysterically to the point where I didn't know if I wanted to cry or breath.

    This was the year I turned 30, started infertility treatments, and when the panic attacks started.

  4. I was at my grandfather's wake. A cousin of mine recently had a baby girl and her mother walked up to me, said she was sorry for the loss of my grandfather, and then said, "My daughter will be here with my beautiful granddaughter soon!" Like the whole point of getting together was not about greiving for my grandfather, but to see her bouncing baby graddaughter. This all happened less than a month after I miscarried. I had to stand in that room grieving for my grandfather and trying not to cry over the fact that my aunt was shoving her graddaughter in my face and using expressions like "isn't she beautiful?" and "you should get some practice holding her, because it's about time you two starting having little ones". It was the wrong place and the wrong time and I couldn't take it and had to walk out to get air, but ended up drowning in my own tears instead. No one knew about my miscarriage at the time because it was just bad timing to tell the family since we were at my grandpa's funeral, so I just told them it was crying over him.

  5. Most of my breakdowns were at home, with just my husband to witness. He got so he knew when in the cycle the hormones were peaking and he was extra special nice at those times. I had a serious breakdown at work about 6 weeks after my second miscarriage. I was crying under my desk with the door shut so no one would see because only a couple of people even knew I had been pregnant. My other semi-public breakdown also occurred after my miscarriage. It was at the RE's office during one of my appointments to check my blood, make sure the loss had been complete. I couldn't take coming in at the same hour they were doing monitoring appointments for all the patients cycling. It was just too hard to see all those people who still had hope, when I had none. That breakdown resulted in the doctor giving me the name of a shrink, thank you very much.

  6. Hi Lu,
    Catching up on some reading this morning...

    Where to begin? I thought as I contemplated answering this question. Maybe it's the copious amounts cold medicine that has made my brain fuzzy this morning, but it also occurred to me that perhaps I've done a really good job of forgetting, and for that I'm grateful.

    Wishing you and all who visit here some of that same peace...

  7. Technically, this happened after the stillbirth of our daughter, before we entered infertility treatment, but it was a doozy & the one that stands out:

  8. After three years of infertility treatments, I got pregnant with twins, but then I went into premature labor at 20 weeks and I lost both babies. Four months later, my husband and I were out buying a sofa. It happened to be two days before what would have been my due date. While we were waiting for some paperwork, the sofa saleslady started up some small talk and asked if we had any children. I immediately burst into tears in the middle of the store and blurted out that we had lost our twins. My husband had to take me home as an emotional wreck.

  9. I was asked by a cashier when I was due, a couple of weeks after I miscarried. It being my 9th miscarriage, I just said "I'm not pregnant anymore". Then she asked "Oh, and how's the baby?", which is when I croaked out "I miscarried", Insert awkward pause, before she asked "Is it windy outside?". I wanted to scream at her to just stop talking, but I managed to keep myself together until I walked out the shop into the full mall, and sat down and had a good cry. I am not that phased at crying in public anymore.. I used to come into work a day after I had the D&C because at least I wouldn't have to think about anything baby-related, and then I'd just sit in the office typing and crying. My colleagues were awesome.. they'd just let me be and make me tea at regular intervals. :)