Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The open road

I spent yesterday in Other Ohio City with my sister in law and mother in law. Over lunch, while my sister in law was in the restroom, my mother in law asked me in a meaningful way how things are going. (I told her last year that we'd been trying for a while. She's so desperate for grandchildren that I couldn't leave her wondering whether we were ever going to be ready. But Mr. Bunny doesn't want her all up in our business, so she doesn't know anything more than that.) Not well, I replied. She said, What you're going through is one of the hardest things in life.

I was surprised. By now I'm accustomed to no one understanding the pain that IF brings. I take it for granted that people's reactions will always be: BUMMER! Let's talk about ME! She offered to listen any time I wanted to talk. It was a pretty perfect offer of support, really. And it will remain perfect, as I will not be taking her up on it. Part of me wants to, but a) Mr. Bunny is not okay with that, and b) the chances are good that she'd say something awful soon enough.

ANYWAY, the nicest part of the day was the drive to and from. There's something about a solitary multi-hour drive that makes me really weepy. I think it's the combination of several things: listening to music (often stuff I have strong emotional associations with), the fact that driving is hypnotic and puts me in mental state where things start bubbling up, the special kind of aloneness that comes with driving (you're solitary, but there are other people everywhere), and the open road stretching out...all the space around you... I don't really know what brings it on, but I know it's a thing for me. I once drove from New Mexico back to Berkeley and basically wept all the way through Arizona. In my black volvo with no AC, listening to the same Pixies tape over and over...

Anyway, this drive was far from epic, but I did find myself weeping. (Aren't you glad you weren't sharing the road with me, what with me being all hypnotized and blinded by tears?) Life is just wretched and sad sometimes, and a girl needs a Big Weep.

It also happened to be day 21, my normal day o' PMS. That might have had something to do with the tears as well...


  1. Wow, what a great statement by your mother in law. we keep my in laws at arms length with everything as well, I am wondering if that is the better choice as there are less conflicts over these issues with them.
    Sounds like you needed a good cry, although I am kind of glad that I wasn't driving near you :)

  2. Your mother-in-law - that was very perspicacious and compassionate of her. It restores one's faith in humanity.

    Ah yes, the open road indeed. Very romantic and wherever I lay my hat-ish. Although I think that might be an American thing - the roads here are twisty and full of sheep crossing, (sometimes, really), also you can't escape and reinvent yourself, as you'll end up living beside someone you went to Guides with. I know how it is over there, though. You feel like you could just keep driving.

    Sorry to hear about the PMS. HATE that feeling. As if it's not enough to be down emotionally, you have the hormonal down too. BAD design, nature! BAD.

  3. often times, i wonder what i did in my previous life to be so lucky that my MIL speaks no english. but then i think about the fact that i don't f-ing ovulate and my husband has jacked sperm, and i realize i'm not so lucky after all.

    being a blabbermouth, i 've found myself blabbing more than i like when ppl who know what's going on ask about it. but even as i'm talking, i wish i could clamp my mouth closed. i promised myself i'd tell NO ONE about this ivf, and i've already told 5 ppl. granted, i did say "in late summer" as opposed to "in 2 weeks", but why can't i keep my mouth shut?!?!?

    sorry about the pms. maybe you can treat yourself to some sweets and at least feel better temporarily (before the sugar crash)??

  4. I only *wish* my MIL was as understanding as yours seemed to be. R is the same with his mom and I've learned my lesson by oversharing with her a few times and now wish I could take back some of the stuff she knows. Oh well, such is life. It's a nice feeling when someone seems genuinely interested in listening to our fertility woes though. At this point in the game, I feel like there isn't much more to share about our stuff, and quite frankly, I'm really tired of talking about it with friends and family. Yeah and sorry for being such a bad commenter lately, I promise I've been reading and cheering you on.

    A mere 12 days until my "meatball" come out! ;)

  5. What an insightful, sensitive reaction from your MIL. My MIL had an equally awesome one--and she wrote it out in a letter. It shocked me with its perfect-ness. And I, like you, have chosen to let that letter be the last time we talk about it.

    Music does that to me, too. There are a couple dozen songs I can play to trigger insta-tears. I hope the good cries on the open road brought you some comfort by the time you got home. xo

  6. Wow, I'm amazed at your MIL's reaction. It's so funny how sometimes the greatest understanding of our situations come from the most unexpected places while those that we think would get it, don't.

    And the open road. There's something about driving long periods by myself, with nothing else to distract me that brings on that inner reflectiveness and, yes, tears. Sometimes a good cry really helps.

  7. What a heart-warming response. It can be so helpful when someone responds is such a simple, sensitive way.

    I hope the music, tears and the drive were theraputic.

    Is this the last AF before you are back to TTC?

  8. So glad your mother in law sorta gets it and is willing to listen. I'm glad you have that even if you don't take her up on it.

  9. That was a kind thing for your mother-in-law to say. My own MIL had trouble conceiving, so she is extremely compassionate, but I have to keep her at a distance as well. I know too well how badly she wants grandchildren (and I'm her only chance as SIL had a hysterectomy a few years ago), and it's too hard for me to talk about it knowing that she has "skin in the game."

  10. sometimes support and understanding comes in the most surprising places. I'm glad that the MIL came through. I've kept my MIL completely in the dark, but my mom generally knows what's up and I know that she is SOOOOO desperate for a grandchild (I'm 40 and my only sibling is 37 and unmarried, although with a guy. A dreadful guy, but at least we think he has sperm.)

    For some reason road trips either make me very very happy or make me cry. I don't know why -- I think it's the ability to do anything/ go anywhere that is both freeing and frightening.

    I love that you are in Ohio, land of my birth. Enjoy the midwest in the Summer!

  11. Oh i'm really touched that your MIL was able to offer support in such a lovely way. What she said was so sweet and yet not imposing and also it gives you a little insight into the fact that maybe she was hit with the IF stick at some stage in her life too. I just can't imagine anyone saying such a thing if they didnt have a personal connection to infertility. Anyway, I completely understand your choice to keep her at arms length about it. MIL's don't need to know everything. But its nice that she has a hint of what you're going through so at least she will hopefully continue to be understanding...

    Road trips don't make me bawl generally, but if I hear a song on the radio that has an inkling of pain or sorrow I loose it and the waterworks starts up, so I kinda understand where you're coming from. And I disagree with you, I think a roadtrip with Bunny would be fab. xxx

  12. Drives have that effect on me, as well. Not sure if it's the music, the open landscape, my own tendency to be moody. But a long drive at some point almost always equals tears. Glad to know I'm not alone in that (though, yeah, come to think of it, probably not the safest).

    That's sweet of your MIL to offer an ear, but I also understand why you can't take her up on it.

  13. What a lovely thing for your mother in law to say. She sounds like a very compassionate person. I'm quite close to mine and she's been pretty involved in everything that's gone on with us--I've cried to her, she's given me advice, I've loved talking to her, and I've gotten very annoyed with her. But I think that once we go to the RE I'm going to keep things a little more under wraps. That process will be stressful enough, I don't want an audience (outside of the blog world) waiting for the results of every test and procedure.

    And crying in the car is a classic move for me too. Doesn't even require an open road. Rush-hour traffic on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway will do just as well.

  14. At least you know that your MIL would be a good supporter if you really wanted to talk to her and Mr. Bunny was comfortable with it. My guess is she has guessed most of it anyway, and it's great that she is so sensitive.

    I'm not a big crier, so I don't often cry in the car. I do, however, talk to myself. Considering I'm usually in bumper-to-bumper traffic I'm sure there are many fellow commuters who think I'm absolutely crazy as I rant and rave down the highway.

  15. Wow. That is just so - nice and surprising that your mother-in-law said that. You had it just right that the normal response is BUMMER! Let's talk about ME! That is so annoying and I'm glad you MIL's response was perfect.