When we started our journey to have children, we were the first couple in our group to do so. Some had just gotten married the previous fall, others were focusing on being married for a while. Fast forward two and a half years, and with the exception of one other couple, we are now the only ones without children or who aren’t pregnant. For someone who has consistently measured the pace of her life against others (a major flaw, I know), this has been particularly hard. I can’t help but feel left behind. They are embarking on a journey that so far I cannot imagine (well, past 10 weeks at least) and they are making plans that Sweetie and I can only talk about in the abstract.
I know deep down that this is not a race and the person to cross the finish line first doesn’t necessarily win. But, I find it deeply unfair that we have been trying for so long and some of our friends already have toddlers. It is even more unfair that we lost the first baby we were ever able to make and no one else we know has had to go through this. If I believed in God, I would be very tempted right now to be asking how this could happen. Given that I don’t believe in God, I know that there are just some unfair things in the world. I have lead a very charmed life up until now and this is apparently my particular Rough Spot. Still, as a control freak, I wish I had some choice over which portion of my life would get the Rough Spot treatment.
I am also forced to confront another bad habit of mine. Whenever friends tell us that they are pregnant, I say the right things and ooh and aah over the pictures. But, deep down, I cut them out of my life. I can’t bear to have my failure thrown back in my face everyday (at least that’s what it feels like). My best friend is now pregnant (and even waited to tell me because she knew what a basket case I’ve been) and I know that I can’t cut her out of my life. I will have to deal with this. My answer is to let her know that I am genuinuely happy, but there are just some things that I won’t be able to share with her. I can’t look at ultrasound pictures and I don’t think I can hear about a heartbeat. It is still too painful because it brings back memories of the day that I found out our little one had died. But, I can be happy for her and let her know that I’m happy and I can hope that she won’t change so much when she has the baby that I won’t be able to completely relate.
I know this is selfish, but in infertility, the name of the game is self-preservation.