Before I became pregnant, a friend of mine who struggled with infertility announced she was pregnant. If I am going to be completely honest, I feel more happiness when infertile friends get pregnant. Perhaps it is the (often silent) sisterhood that is formed between women experiencing this kind of grief. When this friend announced her pregnancy, I was so happy for her and for the first time in a long time, something clicked inside of me and I felt hope. As if her success could somehow rub off on me.
Maybe I had reached that point in my journey that my sadness and despair had transformed into hope and belief that good things could happen to me too. That transformation didn’t occur overnight. It took a solid year of removing myself from the disappointments of trying to conceive and some monthly therapy to calm my nerves and focus on the positives in my life.
A couple of days after I got a positive test, I sent her a Facebook message to ask her a question. I told her how much hope her pregnancy had given me and she said that she went through a guilty phase. At the time, I couldn’t understand why she would feel guilty! She said she made so many friends in the infertility community and telling them about the pregnancy gave her a lot of anxiety. Since I was about 2.5 seconds pregnant and feeling quite nervous about my ability to carry a baby, I hadn’t reached this stage. I was still shocked and amazed that this was even happening.
Within the last few weeks, that guilt has crept in to my head. As I wear maternity jeans because my old jeans no longer fit and everyone that I am in regular contact with knows my news, I feel guilt. I feel like I don’t want to talk about being pregnant openly because I don’t want to hurt anyone. I know the pain all too well. I know how it feels to hear someone talking about the baby growing inside of them and feeling that ache in your heart because you want it so bad. I guard my conversations because I realize how much of a blessing this is and that everyone who wants to experience it may not get a chance. I ask the question, “why me” when there are others out there that deserve it too.
But I can’t control that. As I have learned over the past 3+ years, my reproductive struggles are not the “fault” of others. Why miss out on my joy and happiness? I have to be true to myself and for me, that means remembering my past, recognizing the pain of others but ultimately living my life and being a model to those who haven’t reached that point of hope and belief in good. I can look back and remember getting the news that this friend or that friend was pregnant and as much as I cried and mourned my own “loss”, I always made a point to share in their happiness because walking on eggshells isn’t fun and I didn’t want anyone to do that on my behalf.
I want to share my experience but I don’t want to hurt anyone. I have this past that makes me so much more sensitive to the world of pregnancy and I wonder if it will carry over to motherhood. Will it always be with me?