When I get to mulling over an idea I can do a serious number on myself. And I’ve had a doozie of a wondering session going the last few days. I hesitate to share it because I don’t want to offend anyone. So to any woman who has gotten pregnant — especially those after infertility treatment — you might want to stop reading now. If you continue reading this is not about you, it’s about me, okay?
Alrighty. I’m going release the thought hounds. I’ve been caught up imagining what kind of pregnant-after-infertility treatment-woman I might have been. Clearly, there is no right or wrong way to be. No etiquette book to turn to for guidance.
This is not the first time I’ve given this pregnancy persona idea a test drive. I started wondering what kind of pregnant lady I’d be after our first IVF — the anniversary of which is just weeks away.
No one goes into trying to conceive assuming they won’t succeed. Pee sticks that we once joyfully ripped open suddenly become a necessary (and expensive) part of our shopping list. We hope against hope that we will achieve the elusive double pink lines. We want so badly to graduate from complicated and schedule-driven injections, surgery and suppositories to a normal “bun in the oven” experience.
By the time I’d gotten all the away to IVF I had moved far away from ever feeling “normal” about conceiving yet with each hormone injection I’d start to feel a little more pregnant. I swelled up. I got tired. I had a hard time sleeping on my stomach. It was the closest I’d ever felt to that mystical far-off sensation of pregnancy. Now the question was how to act …
I’d done my time at baby showers. I had observed the pregnant women around me like an anthropologist. They’d glow as they’d rubbed their bellies. They’d confidently banter baby names about. They complained. They bragged on their ultrasound photos. They’d smile and groan with each kick coming from inside.
Try as I might I could not relate to them. I fretted about the fact that I’d always I feel like a fraud in their company. I couldn’t ever imagine becoming one of them. Worse still, I resented their care-free easiness and “I can’t wait until this is over” impatience. They got under my skin.
That was real life. I was an infertile trying to act fertile. Now I face a different kind of challenge. When I discovered the vibrant and vocal community of infertiles online I felt for the first time in years like I could relate deeply once again with other women, experience a connection that had been missing in my life.
In sharing common thoughts and experiences visceral and otherwise I was transported back to my younger days before we first subdivided — peeling off into the dating or not dating crowd, followed by the married or not married subdivision … then pregnant, not pregnant, only to lead to the mommy, not mommy separation.
In real life I expected my fertile friends to move on and get pregnant once, twice, three times or more. I came to realize we were different and didn’t expect we’d ever be able to relate as fully as we once did. It made me sad but I made the adjustment and found a way to cope with our differences.
With the panoply of pregnancies taking place all over my blogroll, I realize I have to adjust yet again. I wasn’t fully prepared for the sucker punches that come with reading about the same pregnancy behaviors from women who were once like me.
That’s why I’ve been stuck in this thought bubble. How would I have been if I ever succeeded with pregnancy? I honestly don’t know. That’s why I’m not passing judgment. I just don’t know if I’d be any different. The challenge is I’ll never know. I’m left, instead, to wonder…
So, in this seemingly never-ending journey of making adjustments and trying to find ways to cope with pregnancies and mommyhood I see I have more to learn.