That Old Infertility Magic

3324427905_977ffcd916These 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

10 thoughts on “That Old Infertility Magic

  1. I wish you could be innocently excited, thinking about buntings rather than birth defects. But I know if I were in your shoes I would be taking it one day at a time too. Whether you squeal like a ninny about it or maintain the reserve of a Trappist monk, though, it’s still a baby. Yours will be just as good as hers. Better, because frankly, you’ve earned it.

  2. I have to tell you, this is probably my favorite post you’ve ever written. Personally, I think taking things one day at a time is very wise & your insight is wonderful!

  3. I always suspected the Inner Infertile would never go away. I’m sorry. I wish you could really enjoy this as much as the next woman. You deserve to so much more.

  4. I’m with FarmWife on this one…one day at a time – not just an old tv show, but a great motto to live by.

    I could bore you and horrify you with story after story…but won’t.

    And you know what? I think that every pregnant lady goes through these thoughts when confronted with SOMEONE ELSE being pregnant at the same time…I mean, how dare they? Isn’t this all about ME??? At least, that’s what I think sometimes when someone tries to share someone else’s story with me…

    oh wait…that’s what I just did. 😀

    Glad you’re a bit more comfortable with the whole thing, and am praying that someday, you’ll be able to look back and ask yourself just why you were so worried…

  5. I don’t think that that Inner Infertile voice ever truly goes away. But I am glad that you’re increasingly able to trust in your inner pregnant voice.

    It’s a difficult thing to do – learning to look to the future without entirely letting go of the past. But it seems that you’re walking that path with typical grace and elegance, dear Mrs X.

  6. Oh that pesty infertile voice! I know her well! She still talks to me but I seem to be able to joke around with her a lot more these days. She seems to be in a better mood. Just give it time (:

  7. My inner infertile will be with me for life. She is the one who’s not overly gaga about the news of pregnancy. She’s happy but there’s still that just kicked in the gut feeling. She’s the one that doesn’t participate in some of the mommy conversations because well that’s just not her experience. Every day of my pregnancy to the early delivery of my daughter was like walking on egg shells. Every day I look at her in complete disbelief that she’s here. I made it through those 30 weeks one day at a time, it was the only way I survived. Great post.

  8. Ha! Good for you (aka the Ref)! I completely understand where you’re coming from, wonderful post!! I’ve just come out of the closet to a few more co-workers and their happiness for me just makes me writhe, like somehow I don’t deserve it. I still feel like I’m sitting in the wrong classroom and nobody has figured it out yet. WTF?? Why on earth can’t I just accept the happy? Why is it so hard to keep my mind around the basics? I’m pg (however it happened) and the only thing that matters right now is the health of the pregnancy and the stability of my mental status. And, of course, massages and ice cream sandwiches.

    Amen indeed, sister-girl!

  9. I felt this same way off and on throughout the whole pregnancy. It took a lot of effort for me to open up to people I assumed had gotten pregnant easily (though I just found out that the coolest gal from childbirth class had had many losses) and to take their fear and anxiety seriously (as well as their joy and feeling of accomplishment). Part of me was so skeptical: How could they have a clue what any of those emotions were really about when they had barely scratched the surface of the whole affair?

    Maybe your inner IFer needs something to honor her: a little secret award for a heroic feat unrecognized? A new tree in the yard, perhaps? A special piece of jewelry?

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