To Whom It May Concern,
As someone who is infertile, its inevitable that I’m going to watch friends, aquaintences and enemies alike announce pregnancies, post pictures and birth announcements and celebrate birthday parties.
Well, my enemies are my enemies, so you just do your thing and I’ll never add you as my friend on Facebook 🙂
But to my friends I’d like to try to explain myself.
TTC starts out hopeful. It’s fun. You discuss nursery themes and baby names with your husband, boyfriend, partner, what have you. You know it shouldn’t take long. But as the time goes by frustration sets in. A couple of your friends are pregnant and you’re happy for them. You know its your turn soon, so its ok.
More time passes. It becomes more like a science. Temperatures, pee sticks, scheduling…uh…extracurricular activities. Aunt Flo is becoming less of a mild annoyance and more of a nuisance that won’t go away. More friends announce pregnancies. You put off a visit to the fertility doctor, because that’ll confirm something is wrong. But that’s not how it works. You fall in love, get married, and have a family. Isn’t that how it goes? Why is it working for others but not for me?
A diagnosis is made now. It provides some comfort to know what’s wrong, but frustration because now building a family has turned into a science experiment. More months go by, more friends announce pregnancies, some their second, maybe even third. You’ve peed on enough sticks to fill an industrial size trash can, and they’re all negative. Hope is still there because you’d quit trying if it wasn’t, but so is sadness. Because its really hard to watch others’ get what you’ve been trying so hard for. And because the path now to get it has become increasingly more difficult.
I just say that so you get where I’m coming from.
(Fair warning though: if you tell me that pregnancy sucks, you feel fat, or to relax and it’ll happen, I’ll probably roll my eyes at you :))
It makes me bitter sometimes, I’ll admit. I’d be lying if I said it never bothered me. I’m not mad at you though, its the situation that frustrates me. It’s an interesting mix of emotions to feel happiness for someone else and sadness for yourself. My excitement about your news is genuine. I’m just sad because I want it, too. (Plus I mean, I’m gonna find out eventually. It’s only a matter of time before “I swallowed a basketball” becomes a lame excuse). I still want to know that things going well, how you’re feeling and whether you’re having a boy or a girl. I still want to be invited to the baby shower. I still want to visit the baby when he or she is born. I don’t want infertile to mean uninvolved.
Some days are harder than others. Holidays are tough. AF’s visit is tough. I’m going to apologize in advance if it seems like I’m ignoring you that day or walk out of a room mid way through a conversation, particularly if it involves babies. I’m probably just having a crappy day. Infertility frustrates the crap out of me, but I don’t want it to turn me into someone who is going to get mad at the mention of the word baby. There will be days that I don’t deal with it very well. There will probably be days when I’m irritable and mouthy. There will be days that I don’t say anything, but don’t take it personally. It’s not you. It’s probably
At the end of it all, though, I still want to be a friend.