I’m about to write about something that is rarely written about. It will probably make people uncomfortable. It makes me uncomfortable, incredibly so. I have waffled on whether I would write this post for weeks. I finally sat down to do it because I can’t seem get past it and I hope that maybe, by writing about it, I will be able do just that. Lord knows I need to just get over this already.
Recently there has been a “rash” of surprise pregnancy announcements in my reader. IFers who had been worried about how they might continue building their families have suddenly realized that they need worry no longer, because not only are they pregnant, they are half way through the first trimester.
I will of course say, and this is absolutely the truth, that I am first and foremost thrilled for these women. I truly am delighted that their family building endeavors will not require ART, at least not at the present time. I am so happy for them that the were able to experience the surprise BFP that eludes most IFers. I absolutely hope that they have nothing but healthy and happy pregnancies and safe births ahead.
But, I will also say, this has been… difficult for me.
I wasn’t sure at first what it was. There was something about these surprise IF pregnancy announcements that just hit harder than other pregnancy announcements. It wasn’t until today, actually, when another blogger very articulately described what was different about these BFPs, that I got it. Ironically, she is one of the bloggers who recently got a surprise BFP. This irony was not lost on her.
I understand quite well the false sense of security that you feel with your IF friends–you feel like you don’t have to worry about suckerpunch pregnancies, like you’d have some foreshadowing of a pregnancy because some measure of treatment (deets about which you’d surely dish on some level) would be involved. For me, those surprise pregnancies from my IF friends were more shocking and startling than the random FB drive-by pregnancy announcement. Don’t get me wrong–I am happy for all of your pregnancies, you know who you are. But, I will openly admit that they were momentarily disorienting. The irony that I am in possession of one of these urban legend fetuses is not lost on me.
So I guess that is part of it, that I just wasn’t prepared. When we read someone’s ALI blog, we expect to be privy to their family building plans and efforts so we’re not expecting a BFP announcement randomly, out of the blue. With fertile friends of the Facebook variety, after their first child reaches a certain age one starts expecting that the announcement of their second child will be forthcoming. I have a few IRL friends whose (very infrequent) calls I almost always let go to voicemail now because I assume that is why they are reaching out. I was very grateful that my cousin emailed me, knowing it would be somewhat difficult for me to hear her news.
But with IFers you just aren’t expecting it, because well, they’ve suffered from IF. We all hate when people assume that one successful pregnancy guarantees many more to come, and without intervention to boot! I guess we just don’t expect our friends to be those urban legends, at least I didn’t. At least, not so many of them.
I’m actually very grateful to that blogger for explaining to me one aspect of why it’s so hard. If she still read my blog I’d say thank you.
The other effect of these surprise BFPs, I’ve noticed, is to make me feel more broken. As each person who just gets pregnant without trying (or not trying long or hard) settles into my understanding of the world, I am further confused that I can’t seem to do the same.
I have this cycle of thoughts I run through, it goes something like this. First I run through all the people I know who recently got pregnant easily. Then I wonder why I can’t do the same. I list all the possible reasons why it’s not happening, maybe my eggs are crap, maybe Mi.Vida’s swimmers are shit, maybe my hormones are still not high enough to sustain a pregnancy if it’s happening, maybe it’s just really shitty luck, time and time again.
Then I decide that it’s obvious what the difference is between these people who get pregnant and me: The want it more. They are better people, better mothers. They will love a second child more than I could. They are more grateful for what they have. They deserve it more. It my dark envy that keeps me from getting pregnant. It is my depression that denies me another child. It’s my own fault I can’t make my daughter a big sister.
Of course I don’t believe these things to be true. If someone said this to any of the women I know who are trying–and failing– right now to get pregnant I would be the first to stand up in their defense. I would never think these things about someone else, but I am always thinking them about myself.
So that is where I am. These surprise IF pregnancy announcements are wearing me down. I just don’t know how to handle them. I want to be there for these women but I just don’t know how to shake this cycle of self-deprecating thoughts. I don’t know how to put in perspective.
I know the statistics. I know that four months of trying is an entirely reasonable, normal amount of time to try. IT’S NOTHING!! I KNOW THIS, in my head. But every story of pregnancy easily achieved seems to make a mockery of those statistics and I don’t know how to reconcile what I read and what I see.
And to all those who are reading this and are trying for a second (or a first) child, and have been trying infinitely longer than I have, and spent tens of thousands doing so, please don’t think I look past you. I do not. I think of you each and every day. I try to understand how people who want children so desperately can be denied them. I try to make sense of the longing they are forced to feel, the panic, the pain, the desperation. Every day I think of every one of you and hope with all my heart that you are able to complete your families in the way you hope and dream to. I have lost faith in the world, watching the women of this community suffer, and I doubt I’ll ever get that faith back again.
And now I’d love to hear from you all. Am I crazy on this? Do these surprise IF BFPs hit a little closer to home for you? Or is it just me? How do you handle the mixed emotions involved?
If you’d like to email me or comment anonymously on this one, please feel free to do so. I’d much rather hear people’s honest thoughts than socially acceptable versions.