Monday, August 29, 2011

What to expect…. when you’re not expecting

I am a delinquent blogger.  As my mind fills up with all things baby-related, I find myself losing touch with how things were “before the belly.”  But it is very important to me to keep this blog true to its original intent – providing support for women who are trying and/or struggling to conceive.  Even though many of my readers are loyal friends and family who may want updates on my pregnancy, my desire is to be a voice for women for whom this doesn’t come so naturally.  And it sure didn’t for me.  I don’t want to lose sight of that.
There were a lot of things that I didn’t expect when I was going through infertility.  Land mines that came up that would catch me off guard and level me.  Insensitive comments or unsolicited advice.  Hearing women complain about their pregnancies or their kids.  Having a 7 month pregnant woman tell me I was “so lucky” to be able to wear normal clothes.  It was an innocent comment, of course, but I cried the whole way home.
One thing I really didn’t expect was how my facebook home page, as my friends and I reached this late 20s/early 30s stage in our lives, would turn into a stream of ultrasound pictures, belly bump pictures, pregnancy craving and aversion updates and new baby stories.  Let me be clear that I do not begrudge anyone the joy of sharing their excitement with the world in this way.  But I remember vividly the anguish it would cause me during my morning coffee, and this is why I’m choosing to keep my pregnancy news off facebook.  Another infertility blogger illustrated this experience in a much more creative and funny way than I could:
Another situation I found myself in a number of times was attending a baby shower as a very-much-wishing-to-be-pregnant woman.  You might expect that this would bring up feelings of sadness or resentment.  You might not expect, though, how self-focused you would feel throughout a soiree that has nothing to do with you.  Maybe it’s just me, and perhaps I was on high alert.  But every pregnancy related comment felt like a dagger through the heart, like it was aimed at me specifically.  And every darling baby gift that was opened seemed to taunt me, as though it was an item for which I would never have a need.
My whole life, I’ve been a fan of big pregnant bellies and the women who carry them around with such pride.  I have always jumped to open doors or just found myself smiling openly, with a tilted head, whenever I saw a mommy-to-be.  But I remember walking down the street sometime last year, passing a pregnant woman, and then rolling my eyes.  I caught myself just after and asked “who am I?”  Had I become so bitter that I could no longer appreciate others’ happiness?  It really bothered me.  I don’t know if it was right then, or soon after, that I decided to start praying for all the pregnant women I knew when I went to bed at night.  I figured it was good karma, and a way to focus my pregnancy-related feelings and desires in a positive direction.  It helped me mentally to remind myself why it is I wanted this so badly.  Because it really is a gift, and a miracle.  I continue to this day to pray for all the pregnant women I know – Stephanie, Erika, Johanna, and several friends made online – and I now happily include myself on the list!

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3 thoughts on “What to expect…. when you’re not expecting

  1. theskyandback

    Man, the Facebook thing can be rough. That 90210 blog post cracked me up, though. Praying for the pregnant women is such a nice idea and a great tactic to keep from getting bitter.


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