I’ve been worried that posting this would be inappropriate, that it would be too sad, or too self-absorbed. It’s a post about how I’m still not pregnant, you see. And I’ve never wanted to take away from Clare’s enjoyment of her pregnancy, nor that of any of our lovely readers who might be expecting a baby. And then there’s not wanting to upset those who are in a similar situation to mine…there’s always a reason not to talk about it. But there are always reasons to talk about it as well. I have to apply Clare’s excellent logic, ‘I thought if just one of you worries and doubts yourself like I did, I wanted to let you know – it’s ok.’
My greatest enemy in this ongoing battle (besides my ovaries-twirling their mustaches with their evil booming laughs…) is, wouldn’t you know it, me. And not because I spend all my time moping and hating myself and my body, but because I spend inordinate amounts of time consumed with guilt and anxiety about how those around me-my friends and family-are dealing with my infertility. As if I didn’t have enough to be getting on with.
I cry every time a friend tells me that she is expecting a baby. Not because she’s having a baby and that makes me sad and I want a baby, but because I know how much it has cost them to tell me their amazing, life-changing, incredible news, how hard they find it to say those magical words, ‘I’m having a baby’. I cry because in that moment, I hate myself and my stupid, broken body for casting even the tiniest of shadows over what should be the happiest time of my friends’ lives. (Someone far wiser, braver and more fabulous than I could ever hope to be-that’s you, Sarah M-recently said to me that my friends only find it hard because they care about me and want me to be happy. I love her for that and I’m working hard every day to remember it.)
Once I’m done with the guilt, I move onto stressing and obsessing that my pregnant friends are spending all their time pitying me, discussing my plight between themselves with their heads tilted to one side and death-bed expressions on their faces. I KNOW, I’M RIDICULOUS. Of course they’re not sitting around talking about me-they have a bajillion and one better things to do, like growing feet, for example.
After my stint in StressObsessville, I head straight back on to the Land of Guilt. I feel guilty that I’m broken (that guilt is constant), guilty for being so self-absorbed, guilty that, in my deluded state of believing that EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT ME, I have missed exciting early developments in my friends’ pregnancies.
So yes, whether it’s accidental or planned, a first or second, whether it’s a best friend or a colleague; pregnancies are hard for me to deal with. But not because I’m jealous, or bitter. It’s only ever difficult because I am filled with regret at how my condition affects others. I have long since accepted how it affects me and my husband. Two years is a long time and you can come to a lot of important conclusions in that time. But the guilt and the sorrow never goes away. Once it dulls however, I am all over those pregnancies. Hearing news of the first kick, seeing the scan pictures, stories of getting in a lift only to hear ‘Lift overloaded, please reduce the load’….they all make me smile, laugh and nearly-pee-myself-laughing respectively. All of my friends will make amazing mothers and parents in their own different, exciting ways. They’ll approach the challenges of raising children in different ways and have their own stories to tell of lessons learned. I think myself lucky that I’ll have so much experience to draw from when my time comes.
My condition means that we were never faced with the monthly disappointments, negative pregnancy tests, temperature charting and rampant twice-a-day sex that many ‘trying to conceive’ (I point blank refuse to use ridiculous forum abbreviations, and I won’t apologise) couples have to go through. I always suspected, in that way that women do, that something wasn’t quite right and we were told, very simply, one cold Monday morning in November two years ago, that we would not be able to have children without a large helping of drugs and ‘assistance’ (read: ‘interference’). I think this has, in a warped and I-wish-unnecessary way, helped me to deal with my infertility in a way I could never have done if we were in the typical failed monthly cycles camp. That’s not to say I’m always happy and well-adjusted, or that our marriage doesn’t suffer on occasion. That my husband doesn’t worry about me every.single.day and feel exhausted when I am hours into yet another crying fit. But we are managing. We are coping, in our own way, us two. I continue to try to be the best wife I can, the best friend I can. We continue together, on our journey to become parents. We *might* be getting close.
As I said at the beginning of this ramble, I didn’t want to upset anyone by talking about how I feel, about how much I want something that’s proving very difficult to achieve. But then, that’s exactly what upsets me when people tiptoe around me and my infertility. So I ‘manned up’ and pressed Publish. It’s important to me that you all know that I’m doing ok, that your amazingly kind e-mails and words and thoughts are appreciated more than I can possibly put into words and that whilst no-one’s situations and experiences are ever, ever the same, that I am here with a non-tilted head and much empathy and ability to laugh at a shitty situation if you ever need anyone to talk to.