Families are weird. At least, mine is anyway. Not weird as in ewwww, but weird as in hmmmm. There’s a unique dynamic to every family, and sometimes you just have to be there to get it. My family and I have never been what I would call close. We don’t send presents on birthdays, just cards. We try not to overdo Christmas, unfailingly practical (if unimaginative) that way. There was maybe one family vacation to Florida, and we didn’t live anywhere near relatives so most of our trips (once or twice a year) were to visit my grandparents. Most of the aunts and uncles lived in the same town as their parents, so it was kind of one stop shopping. I don’t remember these trips as being particularly fun, more like a sense of obligation on my parents’ part. We went and they visited and we tried not to get in trouble or kill each other. I was the youngest out of everyone, so I was sort of left to my own devices more often than not. Maybe I just got used to being by myself. There are siblings who stick up for each other through thick and thin, and then there’s my brother, my sister and I. Not close, even for a little bit. We spent most of our time trying to get away from each other. How does that happen? I’ve tried to work all that out in later years, but still can’t. I don’t remember what sort of kid I was, but I don’t think I was that bad. I turned into a reasonably sane, caring, responsible adult (I think so, anyway) – how bad could I have been? I left home when I was 18 and pretty much stayed gone. Went home maybe twice a year, you know. Sound familiar? D’s family is about the same way. We both have brothers (his younger, my older) who have had mountains of problems, just sort of soak up all the family resources, financial and emotional, parents stretched to their breaking point. When we first got into the infertility business so many years ago, we didn’t really tell our families, or even friends. People are wrapped up in their own lives and drama; don’t need to burden anyone with this, don’t want to be a whiner. Just pull yourself up by your bootstraps and keep on going. It’s what we’ve both always done. The longer it went on and the worse it became, we opened up a little more to select friends. You can’t continue to breathe all that pain and guilt within a relationship – both of you need fresh air and a break from each other for a while. My parents never pressured us for grandkids; my brother and sister took care of all that, and my brother did so in spades. D’s father remarried after his mother’s death, and her children have reproduced famously. No problems there. We sort of hinted that we were trying, but not to the depth of the problems we were facing. I’ve never been overly secretive about anything, but welcome to infertility. I just couldn’t bring myself to form the words that I didn’t want to hear, let alone say. Then in the last couple of years, when the results were in and we finally moved from shell-shocked and heartsick to action, I told my family what was up. I remember trying not to cry as I told my mom that we were going to try IVF with donor eggs, and she hugged me as hard as I’ve ever been hugged in my life. I absolutely fell apart then, and she was right there, holding me up. D’s father is very much the strong, silent type. He was so excited when we told him I was pregnant. And when that dream shattered, my family and D’s were still right there. Before this, D and his father would talk maybe once a month, if that often. We spent this past weekend at D’s parents’ house, and it was one of the best we’ve had in a very long time. I never called my sister (or my brother – still don’t call him, but that’s another post), spoke to my parents maybe every two weeks. Since the miscarriage (God, that was barely two weeks ago), we’ve spoken every few days. It’s been surreal and strangely familiar. I’m going to do my best to see that this new connection doesn’t get lost. I certainly don’t want to have to find it through tragedy again, mine or God forbid, someone else’s.

Yep – weird family, but in a very good way……

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