Celebrating the miracle of life for others

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.


Leah said...

You are a far, far better woman than I. For I am bitter and jealous and all things nasty. I wish I wasn't, but I am. Although I usually hide it well because most people never know.

However, I do audibly snort in disgust sometimes when a woman complains about not getting pregnant on the first or second try. I guess that's not so subtle, huh?

Also, I am ultra sensitive to the notion that someone within earshot might be experiencing IF that I don't know about. Therefore, when some dumbass says to me, "Wow, a boy and a girl... you sure are lucky" or "Hey, you had the whole summer off for maternity leave, you sure planned that right", I go crazy. It's like I've got IF Tourette's Syndrome because I start mouthing off like a lawn sprinkler on crack saying, "It takes us a long time, a lot of work, and a lot of money to make babies. We endured 4 IUIs, 3 IVFs and 2 miscarriages to get where we are. While I do feel lucky now, I didn't in the past and I certainly wasn't able to plan jack shit. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, dickwad."

Hmmmm, perhaps I don't actually hide it all that well after all, eh?

I truly hope that your IF journey ends soon, that you get the baby(ies) you so desire. In the meantime, I hope you are able to hold on to your positive attitude and ability to genuinely be happy for others. I'm too jaded and evil at this point to do it. Sad, but true.

luna said...

I am the infertile sister. it's all about a little tender compassion. thanks for reading.

Sky said...

Luna, that was a beautiful letter and I thank you for writing it, truly. It brought tears to my eyes, particularly a month after having really been tested.

Sky said...

Leah, you crack me up girl! I just love you, your honesty and your sardonic wit! In so many ways, we just think alike!

Listen, if by this time next year I'm not pregnant, I may spit nails at women with anything resembling a baby bump. I can picture it now - giving dirty looks to the 83 year old lady in line behind me whose abs are shot. Too damned close to a pregnancy look for my liking - old hag's gonna say they're her eggs too! :)

Oh, it's crazy, I know.

I have a dozen BAD traits but so far, THANK GOODNESS, envy hasn't made the cut. I sort of just think that it's clear to me that even if every other woman in the world couldn't get pregnant, it would help or hurt my chances in the least. And even if Angelina Jolie dumped Brad Pitt in my foyer tomorrow morning, he still wouldn't marry me.

So it seems pointless to envy what I don't have from someone who has it when their having it or not having it doesn't affect me having it in the least.

Hee Hee - if you could follow my crazy logic, you'd be nuttier than me!

My posts are chock full of my less desirable attributes - so I'm gonna be grateful for this "good" one - or at least, this one doesn't bring me problems.

Kami said...

I hope the envy monster never gets you. Most of all I want to thank you for not judging those of us who are.