Sometimes I’m not quite sure where infertility left me. It’s like I was in this car, on this horrible, terrifying ride, and as it careened this way and that, I was flung from the passenger seat and left in the dust.
Of course I am thrilled to be out of the car and to find that I have escaped relatively unscathed, but I’m not quite sure where I am, or even how I’m doing. I’m still kind of in shock, and I’m realizing that it will take time to figure what, if any, damage was sustained, and where I ended up when I fell.
It’s weird. Sometimes I think I’m absolutely fine, it’s like it never even happened. My not-very-good friend from high school (that I see maybe three times a year) is due in March and I’m finding myself really excited about her baby. I’m giving her all my gender neutral clothes and lots of other baby gear, helping her build her registry and consulting on her baby shower (her mom and sister are throwing it). I am continually surprised by my interest in her pregnancy–especially since she flat out told me she got pregnant on the first try (why would you tell that to someone you KNOW had issues?!). I don’t really get why I’m okay immersing myself in this friend’s pregnancy when in the past I’ve avoiding the pregnancies of fertiles like the plague.
And then there are other moments where a simple sentence will send me reeling. It may be something I read in a blog post, or something I see on Facebook but all of the sudden the pain comes rushing back, and I feel like I’m drowning in how awful it feels. Sometimes I find myself holding my breath, like I’m literally underwater, unable to breathe.
The weirdest thing is I’m never sure what is going to set me off. Sometimes I see a pregnant belly and it hardly registers. Other times I see one and I’m paralyzed with fear for the woman, for what she may lose. Sometimes I see a baby bump and I feel wistful, wishing it were me. Other times I’m relieved that those days are forever behind me, that I never have to worry about pregnancy loss again.
Pregnancy announcements, birth stories, breastfeeding experiences… sometimes I respond to them in ways that surprise me. I guess I just wonder if that will always be the case. Will there always be those tender spaces that take my breath away and leave me reeling? Or will I eventually heal and one day realize that all these topics are as mundane to me as talk of the weather or traffic patterns? At this point I guess I just can’t know. I’ll have to wait and see.
Do your responses to certain subjects surprise you? Do you feel you know where infertility dropped you off?