So I’ve been a bit quiet on here lately (ha! That’s me being quiet, people!) and I think it’s because I’m just sort of stuck in limbo, and I’ve had many thoughts going around my head, but somehow not the ones to blog.
Most of the time I can forget about infertility.
Most of the time I can forget about loss.
I had IVF, which worked. Until it didn’t. But I can forget that, more or less, in the day to day humdrum of my life. I get up, I walk Dog, I go to work, I come home, and I walk Dog and I spend time with T. We go out and we do fun things when we’re not at work. It’s actually pretty good.
But every now and then something happens which makes me feel a bit pants.
Yesterday it was this: I logged onto Facebook. (Who am I kidding? I’m perma-logged-in. I just opened the app.) And there staring me in the face is yet another brand new baby. I guess it hit me a bit harder than usual (the picture, not the baby – it wasn’t a cyber-violent baby or anything) because this was baby #2 from my friend. This was a second unannounced-before-time baby from my friend who’d been such a comfort to me when we were first thinking about going through IVF… because their first baby (again unannounced) was the result of IVF. He only told me this when we had some kind of catch up congratulations messages and I mentioned that I didn’t have kids because: infertility. And it gave me hope that it could work for us.
So I think it made me a bit more sad (although happy for them; I’m always the happy-for-them friend and best baby gift buyer) because I’d previously felt we were in the same boat. Like: They knew what it felt like.
But the thing is, when you have two babies in two years, I kinda feel like your words of sympathy around infertility aren’t quite as welcome. It feels more like a punch in the [not inconsiderable, IVF-bloated] stomach.
Or to put it more accurately, it feels like a punch and a hug at the same time. I can be happy for you, and I can be happy that there’s some success stories to come out of “infertility”*, but I can also think that it is hard for me to take the idea that you’ve reached your end goal relatively easily.
(*I still don’t believe you can struggle to conceive for a year or two and equate that to any long term infertility-operations-pain-miscarriage-loss type scenarios that many people go through silently. And as far as I can see, once people have a child they seem to have a kind of amnesia around ever struggling to have one.)
I still don’t feel like people who have one or more children now can honestly remember the pain.
The pain of never being a mother and always the aunt/godparent/”fun childless friend”…
The pain of being asked about “plans” to have children when we’ve been planning it for years and years before you even accidentally got pregnant…
The pain of having operations to fix one thing or another and still having an excruciating monthly reminder of being barren…
The pain of having to try to conceive your child not in an act of love but through medical intervention…
The pain of unacknowledged babies lost through miscarriage or stillbirth or RPL that nobody ever talks about in polite company…
But you know what?
I’m never going to say anything like that. I’m never going to rain on their parade. I’m always going to be the happy, childless friend. I’m good… I’m fine… I know that when I’m not feeling sorry for myself I have a nice life. I’m whoop-de-whoop wonderful.
Just got to keep hoping that one day I’m going to be that annoying person who seemingly had a baby without even trying. And you can bet your ass there’s going to be a picture on Facebook.