Friday, November 02, 2007

A Halloween Horror Story

So, here I sit. It's November 2 and I'm at 'home' in Newfoundland with my family on a bit of a vacation. It was sorely needed, for both me and my family I think.

I sat at the kitchen table last night, talking to my mom, and her best friend for a few hours. This is a woman I've known since I was knee high to a grasshopper, whose children played with me and my sis when we were all children together, living on the same street. The topic turned, as it often does, to the 'kids' from the old neighborhood (yes, yes, I'm one of the gaggle of 'kids' included therein), and where they all are, who's doing what, who's working where, etc. La la la... work, husbands, problems... and the elephant in the room, children. Mom looks at me and says, "So tell Mrs. M. what you've been up to this year Gil." And I give her THE LOOK. Raising a brow, and sort of insinuating, "Do you really want me to tell what I've been up to this year Mom, or are you looking for something else here?"

I stammered. *insert shifty eyes here* I "ummed" and "errred" back and forth and then I finally said, "Well, this year has been a helluva year for me and hubby, so we indulged around August and took a vacation to Vegas to celebrate our anniversary." I thought: Okay, I'll leave it at that and see what comes of this convo. I pick up my mug of hot tea and Mom pokes me, "Tell her why it's been a helluva year. Not like you are getting divorced or anything. You just can't say it's been a helluva year and leave it at that."

I set down my mug and looked her square in the face and said, "Hubby and I have gone through our third year of infertility treatments. I dealt with a second miscarriage last year. We've spent over 9K and used donor sperm. And now, we're looking at IVF in Montreal at a cost of about 15K. That's been our year. The trip to Vegas was a sort of consolation prize."

Seriously, when Mom pulled out pics of Mrs. M's second (and latest) grandchild (who looks just like her mother, one of my childhood friends), I almost cried. I had to bury my face behind that huge mug of tea and try not to think about it.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE coming home and hearing about all of what's going on, how everyone is doing, where everyone is these days, etc. But knowing that our family seems to be the only one without grandchildren... it is so painful to deal with. Mom knows what we are going through, and although she understands the logistics of it, no one here really "gets" the psychological aspects of it. They cannot fathom what it's like for me. They do not know how hard it is to see those photos and hear about this one's new baby and that one's pregnancy, and oh they just had their third. Part of me cracks inside each time I hear that. I cannot get away.

It's the most difficult thing in the world to dress up for Halloween, and answer the door at my parents' home, loving the costumes the little kids are in... and wishing to God that I could go out Trick-or-Treating with my own daughter or son. I don't know if I will ever get that opportunity.

And there it goes again... the sound of my heart cracking.


Pam said...

Hello Stranger. Glad to see you're still around. :) I've been thinking about you. It's good you were able to get home for a visit, but I'm sorry people just don't get it. I think my mom had an epiphany last March when we were going on vacation together and I was talking about our financial holdup. She finally got it then just how hard it's been. I think you've got to live it to get it. In any case, other than your halloween, I hope the rest of your trip is relaxing and rejuvenating. Keep in touch.

CAM said...

Ugh...I am convinced that the only ones who really get how draining this all can be is all of us! It is such torture and so painful to have to go through. Hang in there and lean on your

Aurelia said...

I'm glad you are around, but I am sorry to hear that this is still hard right now.

I have great hopes for you, Gil. And I bet your Mom and her friends will try to be a little more understanding now.

OHN said...

I also had the hardest time trying to get family to understand the rollercoaster of emotions that can happen with certain subjects. I did my best to avoid situations but with family it just always seems to be there. I was the only person in either my family or my husbands to not get pregnant on the particular day they the time 8 years had passed, I had heard every hurtful comparison, idea, suggestion and bit of advice that was out there and they STILL didn't get is a very rough place to be!

Heather said...

I'm sorry Sweetie.

I thought this year I would be able to handle handing out the candy. BigP wouldn't even let me buy any. He knew better and he didn't want to see me in tears again this year. So, we went to a friend's house and she handed out candy to the three kids that came. It was nice because I never saw the kids.

Kate said...

It's really good to hear from you and I am really sorry.

Debbie said...

I"m so sorry your mom put you on the spot like that. That sounds awful. I would have lost it.

Hang in there sista and I'm glad you are back.

Shop Girl said...

I'm so sorry...

Angie said...

I'm so sorry.