Nov 26, 2012

Anticipating an identity crisis

Our Thanksgiving weekend was fabulous - full of love, laughter, and family. (Even though I didn't finish my Ten Days of Thankful - whoops!) It was a good mix of running around and being at home - and it gave me a lot of time to think about how this fertility journey Ben and I are on has been nothing short of an emotional roller coaster.

I've talked about how I thought being diagnosed with PCOS would make things a bit easier, how I was nervous about making doctor's appointments, but then surprised with how well they went. There's been a shift in my thinking lately, something I couldn't quite put my finger on until a recent conversation with a friend when she remarked, "Becky, you sound hopeful."


Well that's a word I haven't thought of in awhile. But all the same, it's true. I trust my doctors. I have faith in Ben and myself to make good decisions, and with our follow-up appointment coming up, I'm open to establishing a plan for what the next steps need to be.


What happens if I do get pregnant? It's funny to even write that. There was a time when the thought of being pregnant would be make me teary and overjoyed, but I am so used to not being able to get pregnant, at this point the concept of me having a baby doesn't even seem real. But it could be real at some point in the (hopefully not too distance) future, and what happens then? I've identified myself in my mind as a woman with PCOS, who has had trouble what happens when I'm pregnant? I mentioned that to Ben the other day and he kind of laughed and said, "you know that when you get pregnant that other stuff doesn't go away right? You'll still have PCOS and you will have had trouble conceiving. You'll just be pregnant too."

I get that, but it's hard for me to understand it. I keep thinking of that scene from Friends - the episode where Rachel is having the baby and Monica is trying to freak out Chandler in the waiting room by saying they should have a baby too. Chandler tells Monica he thinks they are ready to start trying and she freaks out. When Chandler asks her isn't that what she'd always wanted, she says something like, "Well yeah, but no one ever wanted to have a baby with me. Now we can just have one anytime? What are you doing to me?" (I tried to find a clip of this online but couldn't. And yes, I have seen Friends a lot).

I like that people come to me with questions about infertility because they know I'm open and honest and happy to share what I can, and I don't want to be someone who never talks about the struggles once I have kids. I want to stay me.

Even as I'm writing this I'm laughing at myself because it's exactly like Ben said - the experiences don't go away - but knowing that and associating/feeling that are two different things for me right now. I guess I'll just take it a day at a time - kind of like I've done with this diagnosis - and see how it is from there.

Have you ever "anticipated" an identity crisis or have been conflicted about how to associate yourself? How did you handle it?


Nora said...

In some odd way I feel this way as it pertains to being a Bonus Mom and then someday (hopefully) being a "bio-mom." I don't know if I can explain it all that well as it really only seems to make sense in my head and to me, but I have a weird identity crisis about being a Bonus Mom. I'm a mom but I'm not. I'm a parent, but I'm not. It's definitely something I still have to wrap my arms around, especially with all of the many challengs that come with Bonus-Moming. And then if/when someday I'm a bio-mom to a baby with Knight it will be odd to be both a bonus mom and a "real," mom, if you will.

Alli said...

Yeah for feeling hopeful!

I totally get this. I hate when someone has something great happen to them, new job, marriage, baby, etc and they admit to feeling joyful, but also overwhelmed and other people tell them they're crazy. Anything that changes your life, good or bad, takes some serious adjusting. I know you'll be a great mom, but of course you'll have to discover who "Mom Becky" is after spending so many years as just Becky.

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

This is a very interesting post. I remember last year I was reading a blog (wish I could remember the name right now) that basically the theme was infertility and talking about it, and I realized that the writer was actually pregnant and I was like wait, what? But then I realized- if I were having trouble getting pregnant, I'd want to read from people like you who really understand where I was at that moment but I'd also want to read from people who understood from previous experience but also could give me hope that I would too (hopefully) be able to overcome it and actually get pregnant. I think that is how you'll be... yes you'll have to adjust your identity in your mind, but you've done that many times before in other areas of life, so that you can do. Also, you'll probably be so excited that you won't think about this so much :)

Amber said...

I agree with Alli's comment, anything that turns your life "upside down" so to speak is hard to adjust to even when it's really, really positive! I also agree with Kelly that you'll probably be so excited you won't think about it too much :)

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

Many of my friends who have struggled with PCOS, unexplained infertility or endo and then became pregnant do struggle for a bit and sometimes it's not real until the baby is in their arms. It's a struggle and a complete change of focus after months, years etc, trying to get pregnant and then you are. You'll never forget and you'll do your part to help others, but uncertainity is perfectly acceptable.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I totally get that you feel the way you do. I think you will be able to embrace both - you'll have PCOS, but you'll be pregnant and will embrace all that comes with that.

I have had to shift my thinking lately and sometimes slip and say that I am single, but I am obviously not. I am single in that I am not married, but I am certainly not single since I am in a relationship. It's been wonderful but challenging with all the traveling and I guess you could say I have had an identity crisis of sorts as it's weird to be out on the road for work, but feel so strongly pulled back here. It makes it harder in a way, but I definitely wouldn't trade it for my single life. It's just different and has it's own challenges!

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