Valentines 2015

Valentines 2015

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The "leaving others behind" guilt

I know we all have some feelings of guilt....being a parent is filled with guilt, right?

I swear that is one of the first things my mom told me after I gave birth to the girls. Her logic/wisdom went something like this: "From this point forward you are going to feel guilty about nearly everything you do or do not do for your children. You will question your decisions constantly. But the best thing you can do is make the decisions to the best of your ability at the time, and not look back or question it later." She was right. I have felt guilty about a lot of things! Some seemingly important, and some not so important.
- Some days I feel guilty that I have to work outside of the home to support my family instead of being able to stay home with my girls and raise them myself...
- Other days I feel guilty that I would actually prefer to work outside of the home to staying home with my crazy toddlers...=)
- Sometimes I feel guilty that as hard as I try, both girls don't get exact equal treatment...
- Often I feel guilty that on my day off with the girls I spend way more time managing them then I do enjoying them...

Sound familiar?

Then there is other, non-toddler related guilt...
- I feel guilty that sometimes I neglect my marriage in favor of spending more time with my children...
- I feel guilty that I have lost touch with several of my friends, especially non-mommy friends...and I don't have the time or energy at this point to work on re-establishing contact...
- I feel guilty that every once in a while I want to think about myself, a massage, shopping, and a pedicure, instead of spending time with my family....

But there is an infertility related guilt that has been eating away at me since I found out I was pregnant with baby #3...the "leaving others behind" guilt.
Let me explain.
Some of you had a long road with IF and fertility treatments on your path to parenthood and you will understand exactly where I am coming from with this. Others of you though didn't have to really try to start your family...getting pregnant and maintaining pregnancy wasn't difficult.
Way back in 2008 after we had tried unsuccessfully to get pregnant "the old fashioned way" for a couple years, we sought out the help of my OB. He decided to try clomid as a first line treatment for infertility. The day I started clomid I sought out support from the online IF (infertility) community. It was AMAZING to find this sort of support. Loads of people in the exact same boat and all with the same goal; to have a baby. I made a lot of close friends on these infertility boards. We went through everything together. We were there for each other through all of the failures, and through the joys as well (although admittedly there were way more failures than successes, and we went through years of treatments together - clomid, IUI's, IVF's). These girls have a piece of my heart forever...literally. I swear they could feel my pain and I could feel theirs...and I still can.

When IVF#2 worked for us and we were finally able to maintain a pregnancy (instead of miscarrying AGAIN) I felt relieved, yet incredibly guilty. What about my IF ladies???? I knew how much it hurt for someone to announce a pregnancy...I remember how much it hurt to hear people talk about (and especially complain about) being pregnant....I remember crying every time I got invited to a baby shower and trying desperately to come up with some excuse why I couldn't go. I never wanted to hurt people the way that I had been (unintentionally) hurt.

I have two people close to my heart that started trying to concieve very close to the same time we started trying to concieve, and who are still trying. They have both had multiple miscarriages and no live births.
When we got pregnant with the girls, I felt we "deserved" it. We had been through years of heartache and tears....maxed out credit cards, more tests on my lady bits than anyone should ever have to endure, hundreds of shots, piles of blood draws, multiple surgeries, probably 50 was my turn to have a successful pregnancy and a take home baby.

But this time?

We thought we were probably done having kiddos.
We were perfectly happy with our girls.
We had no intention of using our frozen embryos...I mean, we had considered MAYBE in 5 years trying a FET...but really, we were happy just the way we were. We spent so much time thinking that we may not be able to have any kids. We would have been thrilled to have just one. But two? And absolute blessing from God! How perfect!

But this? Baby #3? We weren't even trying....
Our girls are still little....
Why us?
Why now?
Why not Catherine? Why not Mo? Why not one of my friends that had decided to go the adoption route and has been patiently waiting for YEARS to get their baby? They have been waiting SO long. It is their turn. It broke my heart to post that I was pregnant. Literally. That's why it took me a while into my pregnancy to post. I didn't want to offend anyone. I didn't want to be THAT girl....
Yet that seems to be exactly what I am....
And I feel SO guilty...
Mommas with a "natural" pregnancy after infertility, or any pregnancy after infertility, is this normal? Anyone have any insight???

I know I don't like it one bit. I want to enjoy being pregnant. I want to show it proudly. Instead, I spend more time trying to hide it than anything, almost like I am ashamed. But I shouldn't be ashamed. I have nothing to be ashamed of. What am I doing wrong that is making me feel this way? Why can't I move on and live my own life?

So this is my guilt...sorry for the long and heavy post....I needed to say it though and get it has been eating away at me for months.

On a happier note, the girlies are cute as ever! 14 months is SUCH a fun age!! I love it! And they are loving this Christmas chaos...the tree, the presents, the sparkling lights...their eyes just light up. It's precious! I just want to bottle them up and store them for later! I love their innocence =)

A picture of Daddy and Livvy

A picture of Brianna

I love them so much!!

Anyway, I hope you all are well and are ready for a fabulous Christmas! I know we are!

Until next time-


  1. Oh Heavens! Don't feel guilty! When we were struggling, I always felt that if I couldn't at least *act* happy for other people, then I wasn't worth it as a friend. Life is unfair and on some level, we all understand that. Honestly, you deserve something easy for once. There are few enough easy things in life.

  2. Please don't feel guilty because you aren't guilty of anything. I think it is only natural to feel empathy for your friends and conterparts in infertility. But you should celebrate your new baby and your new pregnancy, enjoy every moment.

  3. Yay! Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog - I'm a new follower. :) Looks like we have a lot in common! Congrats!

  4. I feel you on a lot of levels. Let the guilt give way to gratitude. Interesting thing for me is I was the last of my IF pals in blogland to get pregnant. When I think of a lot of IF related things, the only thing I can do is recall the words of the serenity prayer

  5. I read your blog often but never respond. After reading this post I felt like I needed to send you a quick note and tell you not to feel guilty. You have been through a lot and I say you deserve it. It's not a matter of you throwing it in other peoples faces but that you are happy to have another addition to your family. Congrats!

  6. I love these comments.

    I was lucky. I THOUGHT I was going to have a rough road - but didn't.

    And I got pregnant again without clomid - unexpectedly. So I'm not in your shoes.... But I do love you and know you.... and for the past several weeks I've wanted to tell you::::::

    - You're missing it!!!! You're missing this!!!! Something amazing and totally unbelievable happened to you. And you're missing it! You've been given this blessing, this miracle. And while you have this great huge heart that is sympathetic and hurting for others who haven't the same gift (yet), you aren't seeing and celebrating this miracle that God gave you.

    You can be empathetic and feel compassion for your dear friends who are still struggling and at the same time show off your belly and feel so grateful and honored that God blessed you.

    These are HIS plans - not yours. I wish you could start feeling happy over those plans and not guilty. I think its time. Your pregnancy will pass you by and you'll look back and feel guilt you didn't enjoy it. You didn't enjoy this miracle.

    We may never even know the reasons why some struggle with IF and some don't. But everyone carries a cross. EVERYONE carries a cross. Instead of dwelling on negatives, I hope you can start celebrating your gifts.

  7. Look at those precious faces!! You're very BLESSED!

  8. Sheila is so smart. I am one of the lucky ones and am well aware of how lucky we are. That being said, would you want someone that it worked out for to feel guilty because it worked for them and not you that time? I have a feeling the answer is no, you would want them to enjoy it and cherish every moment of it. You are having this child because you and Si are supposed to.

  9. Oh my friend...I hear your pain and empathy and so will your friends who are still trying and I am POSITIVE they will be the first to tell you to STOP and HAPPY! I HAVE been one of the ones who has struggled and have felt "why not me?" when people got pregnant BUT after the initial selfish feelings left my mind I was ALWAYS REALLY HAPPY for the woman, my friends and I just knew that was meant to be for ME would be. What was meant for YOU...IS! And that my friend, is 2 beutiful girls and a bouncing, joyful baby on the way! xoxoxo

    Merry Christmas!

  10. I've never been pregnant naturally, but it happens after IVF to some of us and a beautiful happy unexpected is still beautiful. Nobody begrudges it.



Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!