This has been swirling in my head for quite some time. I haven't known quite how to put it into words, so bear with me.
Dear infertility battler,
Believe it or not, I know the feelings you're having when you see all the bellies at the store and when you're out and about. I know the pain it causes, I know the jealousy it incites, I know the feeling of despair and hurt and 'why can't that be me' it brings on. I know how your eyes sting with tears, your heart aches and your throat tightens. I've been in your shoes, even if not in your exact way. Even though it doesn't look like it at all from what my life is now. I know the feeling of guilt for being angry at total strangers for something they have no control over.
When I've been pregnant, I'm always self-conscious. Not because of what you'd think though. It's because I'm aware that everywhere I go, there will most likely be someone who is hurt by my presence. I hate knowing that I cause that hurt. I have been on that side of things. I know I can't control other's reactions, but I know when you're suffering with infertility, it's hard not to have certain reactions to pregnant people.
Which leads to this...
Dear pregnant lady,
It's great that you're pregnant. Congratulations! Really. I hope you realize what a gift you have growing inside of you. I hope you know how many people pray for and spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to get what you have. I hope you won't publicly complain too much about cankles and getting fat. I hope I didn't scare you with my frustrated gaze. It's just that I've wished for what you have for such a long time. I'm working on my reaction, but it's painful to see something I've been working and praying for on so many other women.
Since having infertility, I am hyper-aware of people around me. I don't know their stories or what they've been through. I try not to be jealous of pregnant women in situations when we've been trying for over a year to get what they have. After all, I don't know their story, maybe they're growing a little miracle themselves or maybe it's a surprise baby #7. It shouldn't matter though, all babies are special and miracles and something to be celebrated. I know when I am pregnant I'm even more aware of those around me. I'm aware that my appearance can be hurtful, so much so that I almost feel guilty for my miracle, even though I shouldn't. I try extra hard not to complain and extra hard not to sound boastful. But all that care makes it hard to be very celebratory when I have every right to do so.
I'm not quite sure how/where I fit in the infertility community now. I will struggle with infertility for as long as I'm in my child-bearing years, but because I have 2 children now I don't exactly fit that mold. I guess maybe I've graduated from it, but I'll still be a visiting alumnus when we try for another?
I'm not sure what good this post will do, but I felt like I needed to write it. So there it is.
*Also, we're not making an announcement, this is just my viewpoint from those different times in my life.
4 days ago