When I first stumbled into the IF world, there was a lot about it that I didn’t really get.
And, really, how could I?
I was a couple years out of college, not ready for children, but since I had been diagnosed with lupus I was vaguely aware of the fact that my road to babies would probably not be an easy one.
I was drawn to the IF world but again, I didn’t exactly get everything about it.
One of the things that confused me the most was how bitter and angry a lot of these bloggers seemed to feel towards “preggos” and “fertiles.” I remember reading angry rants about pregnancy announcements or the “expectant mother’s” parking spaces or the general cluelessness of the fertile world and not getting it.
It seemed like such misdirected anger to me, after all, someone else having a baby didn’t affect these women and their own chances at reproducing.
I admit it, I judged them for it a little bit. And I remember thinking things like, that will never be me. I’ll never be like that.
And I wasn’t. At least, not at first. When babies first started seriously crossing my mind four years ago, I was still overjoyed at every pregnancy announcement, happy to coo over newborn babies, didn’t bat an eye at that lady sporting a big ol’ bump.
I had a lot of hope for myself. I believed that I would get off the Cellcept and in a couple years Paul and I would be starting our family. It never even crossed my mind that things might not go according to plan.
And then of course, just as I was getting so close to the finish line, I had the worst flare of my life to date and boom, suddenly the future had turned into a murky mess of confusion. My carefully constructed plan felt like it had been blown to pieces.
I’ll never forget sitting in my nephro’s office, the one who had been so hopeful about my chances for pregnancy a few months earlier, and hearing him say the words, “You hate to tell a woman so young that she probably shouldn’t ever get pregnant, but…”
He never finished the sentence. He didn’t have to. I remember the tears that filled my eyes and how I tried to hold them back.
That flare was what broke me. It catapulted me into a place where suddenly I understood. I understood the bitterness. The anger. The revulsion at seeing someone else’s impending happiness. It wasn’t about those preggos, those fertiles, those baby bumps. It was about the reminder. The reminder of what might never be. The reminder of what would never come so easily. The anger at how the rest of the world seemed to take it all for granted.
A moment I’m still ashamed of now, two years later, was when I saw this girl I went to college with at this weekly food-truck event. I was still recovering from my flare. I was bloated from the steroids and all the water-retention from my broken kidneys. I looked pregnant. And she actually was pregnant. Like about to give birth any minute pregnant.
I wasn’t even sure it was her at first, she was extremely pregnant and wasn’t one of those women who only gained it in the belly if you know what I mean. She saw me too, but she probably wasn’t sure it was me either as I was carrying about forty pounds more than the last time she saw me in college. But as we snuck glances at each other I became more and more sure it was her and the fact that she kept looking at me made me think she was thinking the same thing. (I would later find out through mutual friends that she had indeed moved to the bay area and had a baby, so yes, it was definitely her).
So I hid. I literally ran away. I could not bear the thought of saying hello to her. I couldn’t look at her pregnant belly. All I could think about was the fact that she had what I wanted, what I might never have.
We weren’t the closest of friends as evidenced by the fact that we drifted completely apart after college, but we were friendly and in the same circle. And I should have said hello. And I should have congratulated her. But all I could do was feel sorry for myself. Feel angry that I looked six-months pregnant but all I was carrying was water in my belly and she clearly had a baby in hers. It wasn’t her fault, but I didn’t know who else to blame.
I don’t really know what the point of this post is. I guess, it’s something that’s been on my mind since I found out I was pregnant. I know there are people in my life who are still struggling with the pain of infertility and loss. There is at least one person in my family who I love very much who I’m afraid will be hurt if this pregnancy sticks. Not that she won’t be happy for me, but just that it will be yet another reminder of the unfair hand she has been dealt so far.
And I hate that, I really do. I hate that there’s nothing I can do about it.
All I can do is try my best to be sensitive about this. So if things continue to go well, there will be no real-time FB updating of this pregnancy. No announcement, no ultrasound photos. Nothing that might inadvertently hurt people I care about who are already feeling enough pain.
As happy and overjoyed I am about being pregnant, I can’t forget how awful it is on the other side of this. And if I get my happiness, the least I can do is try my best to make it a little less hard for someone else.
(I feel the need to add the caveat that this blog is like my journal and so I do plan on chronicling everything here. I don’t think many people in the IF community read this anyway, in fact, I think I probably come here more than any other visitor does, so I feel okay about continuing to post.)