These past few months, I have been neglecting my inner infertile. I admit it. I’ve been paying way more attention to the pregnant lady because frankly, she just demands so much time. I need more maternity pants! Get me to the bathroom, again! Get me this crazy exotic food that doesn’t exist anywhere within a 50 mile radius! She has been rather vocal and consuming. But, my inner infertile is always there, waiting patiently to remind me of where I have been and ready to insert a nice reality check when required. Apparently, today was the appointed reality check day.
Mr. X and I were walking G in the neighborhood this afternoon on a lovely fall day. It was still light out and so inquiring eyes could probably see the bump. I’ve only recently begun to not actively hide the belly. I can if I need to, but I just didn’t feel like it today and I’m trying to get more used to putting it all out there, so to speak.
We run into a neighbor who we haven’t talked to in a while. She has eagle eye vision and homes in on my stomach. Eyebrows raised, she asked, “is there news?”
I respond, “I’ve grown a beer gut?” Not satisfying her.
Second try, “I’m dressed as a pregnant woman for Halloween?” Still no. She would not accept anything short of outright victory.
Ok, I said. “I’m pregnant.” Much squealing (her) ensued and then, came the total buzz kill: “Oh, our next door neighbors are expecting too! She’s 18 weeks and they just found out that they’re having a girl. They are SO EXCITED!”
I felt like I’d been socked in the gut. Again. And it wasn’t because my announcement was met with another one. No, my supreme discomfort was because I was reminded of how much it took me to get to this point when I strongly suspected that my doppleganger had done nothing more exotic than have a few mai tais too many. The usual and customary feelings hit me like a wave: I felt like a lesser person again, an inferior and an infertile, perpetually incapable of bearing fruit.
My inner infertile took this opportunity to perch on my shoulder and whisper into my ear, “you know she got pregnant without drama and that she hasn’t had any of the issues you’ve had. She’s actually excited! She can be excited, unlike you. And, of course, she’s due in March, too. So, don’t get comfortable there prego!”
Meanwhile, Inner Prego Lady immediately climbed into bed, pulled the covers over her head, and declared that she wanted to hibernate for the next four months. She’s a dramatic thing.
We left soon thereafter and went about the rest of our walk. Inner Infertile and Inner Prego were still in their various throes when the Ref stepped in to bring some clear thinking to the proceedings. “First”, she said, “we have no idea how this lady got knocked up and frankly, it doesn’t really matter. She’s also perfectly entitled to be excited. We are doing just fine taking it one day at a time and anything more would induce anxiety attacks. Besides, there are far too few measured, content but not overly excited pregnant ladies in this world. And, finally, her pregnancy has nothing to do with ours. It doesn’t change a thing nor should we let it have the power to. We can only be responsible for our sphere and she is not part of it.” Amen, sister.
Inner Prego peeked out of the covers and saw that the world had in fact not changed in the slightest. Little Bugger kicked her just for reinforcement. Inner Infertile went back to her retreate on the beach to her book and fruity alcoholic beverage to contemplate the concept that it really doesn’t matter how someone else got knocked up.
As for me, I was relieved to be reminded that I was solely responsible for worrying about me, and not someone else and their pregnancy. Besides, Inner Prego has to go to the bathroom. Again.
image: FAB O LENS