It has often been confusing to me being pregnant. Not the pregnancy, that’s been something where I’ve felt afraid the whole time that something will go wrong…no, I’m talking about the signs of visible fertility. Kami has a post about this that got me thinking about it even more. Sometimes I feel very uncomfortable – like when the lady on the street corner asked me my due date and then told me to be careful because there were women out there who could not get pregnant so they might want to steel my baby, possibly even cut it out of my stomach. I’m not kidding. It was so absurd. And of course I am one of those women who could not get pregnant. Could not until DE and even then, it’s not a given. I got lucky. Finally.
I straddle both worlds. Once my husband and I started having our fertility problems five years ago we slowly withdrew from the people we know who were pregnant, or had children. It was just too painful to be around them or to hear them talk about their babies etc. It was our effort at self-protection. And it sort of worked. When I spoke to friends over the phone and they started in with baby related talk I would not go along for the ride because it left me in tears after hanging up. Rather I started saying things like, oh wow, I didn’t realize the time, I’ve got to go, or some version of that. It was much better than going along.
Now we are pregnant and I found myself reluctant to speak about the pregnancy because I remember and know all too well how painful it is to hear about pregnancy and babies if you want them. I do this, apparently to a fault. One friend actually asked my husband if everything was ok with the baby because I never talk about it. She is single and in her 30’s and I just didn’t talk much about it because I didn’t want her to be upset. Same with the other friends of ours who do not have kids or are not in relationships. The interesting thing is that she, unlike me, wants to hear about it. Which means, as Kami discusses in her post (and others discuss in the comments), that it is better to ask and be honest with people. So in that spirit: I grapple with how much to talk about my pregnancy online because I know when I wasn’t pregnant there were many days when I just couldn’t read about someone who was, and then there were the days when reading about someone who’d been through so many hurdles and was finally pregnant gave me great hope. I try to strike a balance here, if I haven’t please let me know.
Ultimately I don’t think infertility stops when something works be it a pregnancy or an adoption or the decision, as some make, to get off the roller coaster completely. Infertility changes all of us and makes us who we are, or will become. I think I am a better person today for all that I’ve been through (and will continue to experience) hopefully more empathetic and sensitive to those around me. I am continually reminded to take nothing for granted. Especially this online community.