Dear pregnant women,
I don't hate you. Okay, so sometimes that is a lie. Sometimes I imagine living on an island where pregnant women are banned or women with squishy newborns and especially women who get pregnant as soon as the thought 'maybe I should have a baby' pops into their head. I would lounge around, maybe even invite other infertile couples to live there so that we could bitch together about our unresponsive reproductive organs. We'd have fun 'bon voyage' parties for the lucky SOB's that managed to catch a slippery egg and then we'd kick their butts off of our island.
It would be easier to live with pregnancy blinders on. In some ways I do. There are many a pregnant friend/family member on social media that I have put my blinders on for. I don't hate you. I promise. I just can't deal with the daily posts about your bump or what size your baby is today or the endless ultrasound photos. I am honestly thrilled for you but that in no way takes away from my sadness for myself and my partner. And so, unfollowed you shall be for the time being. No offence to you or your expanding uterus and the womb booger it houses.
It would also be easier to live with bitterness or hate in my heart than to openly try to rejoice and welcome every new pregnant mama. It would be easier to turn my back on everyone with a working uterus. Easier to say that I don't care. Easier to cut them all off. I wish that I could some days, because it's hard watching everyone have babies while you wait and hope and hold your breath and pray. I am NOT good at keeping the faith. I'm just not. I go up and down so fast. One minute I am sure this is our month and the next I am grieving the baby that I just know I'll never get.
I read something that was basically like infertility is like going through the 5 stages of grief every month. And it rang true for me.
You deny- Okay, this month it's happening. Those other months weren't for real. We just weren't having sex at the right times. This is it. It's happening this time.
You bargain- If I get pregnant I will do everything right this time. No screwed up kid for me! I will be the best mom. I'll never complain about weight gain or morning sickness or being tired. I will be the perfect pregnant woman and mom. I will play Mozart to my belly and eat only healthy things and cut out all sugar and caffeine.
You get angry- Why am I even doing this to myself?! Why do I bother? It's pointless. This isn't fair. It shouldn't be us. We're great parents. Why does everyone else get a baby? Why does SHE get a baby, she's horrible. Why why why.
You get depressed- Month after month after month. Why do we try? Why can't we just be happy with the family we have? We'll never get pregnant. We'll never have another baby.
And then you accept it- Okay. That's it for this month. Another negative. We'll move on. Pack it in. At least I get a break from checking my cervical mucus for a week or 2.
And somehow, after all of that, I arrive back at a point of hope when/if my period starts again. It's a new beginning, a new chance to try and maybe succeed. Can you see where it is enough to drive you MAD? It's enough to send anyone off the deep end. Yet there are 1 in 8 of us out there doing this constantly and even though I think many of us feel like we are going to lose our sh*t, we keep it together. Life goes on. You move on even when you feel stuck in one place, in one never ending cycle.
For a long time I did hate every pregnant woman. I gave them the stink eye and I said mean things about them in my head. And I'm not saying I don't still get upset when someone gets pregnant because it hurts to watch that joy in someone else's life. I have come to a place in our infertility journey where I am not sure what will happen next. Will we conceive? Will we adopt? Who knows right now!? But I do know that at some point I realized I can't be angry all the time and I can't hate every pregnant woman and I can't live my life filled to the brim with jealousy and bubbling over with bitterness. So I decided to rejoice for the lives they created. I rejoice for them and their baby and their families and how excited they must be.
And above all, I continue to hope that one day that will be us.
Now if I could just figure out how to put actual pregnancy blinders on so that when I go to the grocery store I'm not counting the pregnant women.