I should probably explain the BIW thing, since I've been referring to her liberally in the comments on Karen's blog. BIW stands for Bitter Infertile Woman. She's a superhero that some friends from the old ParentsPlace IF board (iVillage basically destroyed those boards--most of them went to N54 and The Parent Perspective) and I created to help us through the nightmare of infertility, recurrent miscarriage, and treatment. We were sick of trying to relax, stay positive, count our blessings, and say "it's no big deal" like everyone tried to tell us to do, so we decided to embrace our inner BIW, and we created a private email loop where we were free to be as bitter as we wanted to be. I am so grateful for those women--we were each others' lifeline during that time, and I don't know where I'd be without them. When you're in the thick of it, it seems like nobody understands. And in a way, nobody does. Even now, when I read blogs like Karen's and Tertia's, while I can relate to what they're going through, I can't feel it.
The hardest part for me back then was not knowing how the story ends. Not knowing if I would have to face the worst news of all, that I would have to stop without a baby, that the process would break me down so far that I would not be fit to parent, that donor egg wouldn't work, that I would be rejected by the adoption homestudy because I had literally gone insane from the pain and the stress and the devastation of it all. I know that sounds crazy, but there were times when I thought: this is how it happens--this is how normal, functioning people end up in institutions. I had clients when I worked in mental health who had held down jobs, even had families. This is the kind of thing that breaks people, or at least that was my fear at the time (it doesn't help that my mom had a psychotic break around the same age I was when I was going through IF).
I always said, if I just knew that it would end well, that I would have a baby in my arms at the end of all this, then maybe I'd be a little pissed at how long it's taking and how much crap I have to go through for it, but I'd really be okay. But not knowing that, not knowing if it would ever work, if the hole in my heart would ever be filled, that was where the incredible pain and terror came from.
So now that I know my own happy ending, I can sympathize and I can hope and wish (I am not so sure about praying, see this and this for an absolutely gorgeous discussion of why), but I can't be there again. Not that I'd want to, god knows, but I'm glad these folks have each other, and I'm glad I had Gina and Giz and Anne and Hope and Dawn and D. And I'm glad we had BIW.
That was the point of this post, wasn't it, to explain who BIW is. She's a superhero in charge of protecting the infertile from dorky, stupid, useless, idiotic, horrible, rude, intrusive, misinformed, and obnoxious comments and attitudes of DFDs, or Damn Fertile Dorks. She often takes the guise of a Xena-like character, wielding an ultrasound probe and an intramuscular needle charged with progesterone in oil. We prefer to refer to her actions as "smiting" other people, in the vein of this comic Giz frequently cited while experiencing recurrent early miscarriages. But BIW usually just smites the DFDs with harmless annoyances of life--despite our deep anger, we IF folks don't really want bad things to happen to the DFDs. We just want them to be a little less smug about it. BIW is also really good at reminding us to allow ourselves to be as bitter as we wanna be. For a long time in there, I was constantly trying to relax and improve my attitude and get HAPPY so that it would a) make me pregnant, magically, just like the DFDs said it would and b) make me feel less like a bitter, dried up old hag (at 30, mind you). BIW is glorious in her bitterness--she's mad, she has progesterone, and she's not afraid to use it!
So anyway, BIW is out there cheering on those who are fighting for what they deserved to have without a fight. She'll be there to defend you from DFDs who have stupid advice to give you. She's got Infertile Myrtle's back. She is grieving with those who are climbing out of the depths of despair. I still call on her from time to time, when people say "double trouble," or ask if I "took something" to get twins or when other twin moms brag about how "natural" their children are (yes, mine are made entirely of petroleum products and cellophane).
So BIW lives...rock on, BIW.