Leah posted about an open letter from one "infertile" sister to "expectant mothers" in her life. And maybe because it's CD1 for me (not that it means a hoot this month; nothing's going on!) and I'm overly emotional, it rang so true and touching.
No one in my office knows I've spent nearly 8 months trying to get pregnant, a drop in the bucket next to most women in my shoes. I don't share it with them because A) if it never works, I don't want pity, B) I don't want people whispering, "she's never been right since she couldn't have that baby," C) This is hard enough without having people I am not close with ask me every other week "so, you pregnant yet?," D) My job is stressful enough without worrying that they might be making plans for me without my knowledge based on their perceptions of what I'll do if/when I deliver, E) WHEN I am 4 months pregnant with a healthy little munchkin, the rumor mill will be ripe enough with questions like "she's not even dating anyone, is she?" and, finally, F) It's none of their f-en business! So there!
But I'm blessed - in ways most people I know aren't. Same as I was blessed with the ability to genuinely accept what I cannot change (eggs are bad, need donor eggs), I am also blessed with having not one shred of envy in my soul WHATSOEVER. In fact, sometimes I think that's why I've never been good at competition - I just don't care enough to "win."
I am the girl who is enormously happy for another girl who landed some wonderful Mr. Right. I am the girl who is so tickled to hear that the old factory worker from Wisconsin won the 320M lottery. There isn't an envious bone in my body, truly. I always want the best for everyone and am thrilled when they get it. (disclaimer: if you're a rapist, pedophile, scumbag, I want very BAD things for you!)
There are 3 women in my department alone who are pregnant (1 with twins, IVF of course!). And then my counterpart (who works off-site in Atlanta) announced in April that she was pregnant and due in November. We had a shower for her last month when she was at the office. I COULD NOT have been any happier for her, truly, and if ever there was a time for me to feel bitter.......last month, you see, I was pregnant - for a few days. On July 2nd I was implanted with 2 donor frozen embryos and on July 7-8 I got that elusive 2nd line on the EPT. It's a beautiful thing I tell ya! Well, my beta was very low and it was clear within a couple of days that it was over.
A week later I began to bleed and I mean bleed. Guess where I was standing when it was in full throttle? At BabiesRUs, buying my counterpart gifts from her registry for the shower the following week. And for the first time, I felt something. Not bitterness, not envy, no. I felt incredibly sad and hurt. I am just not an ultra sensitive person but I wanted to sit on one of the rockers in the store and cry my eyes out. Everywhere I looked, a crib, a stroller, diapers, dresses, bottles - all the reminders of the baby that my body was dutifully flushing from me at that moment.
And yet I sat 3 days later feeling so happy for her (it's her 2nd child, btw) and happier, still, that she liked my gifts. I picked things I would like to see my own baby in.
So I think back to that open letter and wonder why women blessed with a healthy little bean in their bellies without much effort at all sometimes don't have any understanding or compassion for those of us who can't. I don't think it's too hard to imagine for them. Picture your pregnant belly not there. Picture it not there next month or next year either. Picture trying to get it that way, month after month, and it doesn't happen. Not a nice picture at all.
I think if I can stick it out at BabiesRUs through a miscarriage to find gifts for my colleague and be so genuinely happy to watch her unwrap them, it shouldn't be too difficult for a woman blessed with a healthy pregnancy to extend a little bit of tenderness to women who aren't so lucky.