Comfy Jeans

Earlier this week I entered “comfy jeans” into the search tab of my browser. Let’s just say it wasn’t my proudest moment.

I go back to work on Monday. The problem is I have pretty much nothing to wear. When I returned to work last time I was six months postpartum and had been back at my pre-pregnancy weight for three months. I assumed, since I gained 15lbs less during this pregnancy–and was exclusively breastfeeding like I did with my daughter–I would find it similarly effortless to drop back to my pre-pregnancy weight before I returned to work. Last time I did nothing but nurse my baby and the pounds just melted off. This time I was not eating wheat, dairy or sugar for six weeks, while producing almost 40 ounces of milk a day, and I my weight wouldn’t budge from 160lbs, a solid 15lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight.

I have no idea what is happening this time. I don’t know why I can’t seem to lose a pound now that I’ve hit 160. I was at 160 three weeks after my son was born and I’m still 160, almost three months later. It’s really frustrating.

I’m trying not to think too much about it. I have a sordid past wrought with disordered eating and I am not willing to go back to that life. Not ever. I know that being skinny will not make me happy, in fact my thinnest years were also my most emotionally distraught. Would I appreciate being back at my comfortable, pre-pregnancy size 8? Absolutely. Right now I’m a solid size 12. It’s be biggest I’ve been (pregnancies not included) in over a decade and a half.

I’m trying to be accepting of this body, which seems to have morphed into something I don’t even recognize. My first pregnancy left me change but familiar. Inhabiting this new body is like driving a rental car that is way shittier than the car I used to own. My car has been totaled and the mechanic doesn’t know if it can be fixed. I might be driving this rental car for the rest of my life, and while it runs fine, I’ll never truly be happy with it. And I miss my old car something fierce.

My biggest problem is the lack of clothes to wear to work. For the past three months I’ve lived in yoga pants and maternity shirts. My work wardrobe doesn’t need to be fancy, but yoga pants aren’t appropriate. Usually I wear jeans or causal slacks, but even my size tens won’t button. I do have some elastic-waisted maxi skirts but not enough to get me through a month, let alone six.

So I bought a pair of “comfy jeans.” They aren’t actual “comfy jeans” (that is, evidently, a trademarked name) but they might as well be. They’re basically boot-cut leggings with a control panel and a denim wash. They are comfy and keep my stomach in check. I guess that’s really all I can ask for at this point.

I hope they will be enough. I don’t want to buy a whole new wardrobe in size 12, especially when I’m still breastfeeding. I’m hoping that once I’m back on my medications I’ll drop at least into the size 10 range, but I have a feeling I might need to get rid of a good portion of my wardrobe. I just don’t know if my size 8s will ever fit this new body. And that makes me sad.

Are you happy with your post-TTC/treatments and/or post-pregnancy body? If not, do you think you ever will be?

A Second Birth Story

This is part of the PAIL monthly theme for October. For more submissions on this topic, go here.

I’ve been trying to get this post together for the PAIL monthly theme submission but holy shit you guys, this parenting a newborn and a 3.5 year old is KICKING MY ASS. Seriously. I’m raising the white flag.

It’s so hard to find a moment of time to myself because if I have that, I really should be sleeping. But I really want to write this post so I’m going to attempt it, and hope that it won’t take me that long to do.

Osita’s birth was a long, drawn out affair. When I finally got around to writing it down, it ended up being three lengthy posts (which can be read here, here and here). I had a lot of expectations for my first birth. I read a ton of books. We wrote a detailed birth plan. We hired a doula. We hoped to get through without medication of any kind. We ended up getting the birth experience we had hoped for, but with the added bonus of back labor, which made the whole thing really difficult for me. At the end of it I felt disappointed that, despite being all I’d hoped for, I didn’t particularly revel in the experience of it. In fact, I kind of wanted to forget that most of it had ever happened.

With baby #2 I had almost no expectations–I never even wrote a birth plan. I wasn’t wedded to the idea of an epidural but I certainly was open to it (and if I had back labor again I was DEFINITELY going to get one). The only things I really cared about happened after the baby was born; the getting him into the world part was up for grabs.

Most people don’t include the month leading up to the birth as part of the birth story, but I feel like the weeks before my son’s birth were absolutely a part of his coming into the world. First there was our adjusted due date, which totally messed with my head in a lot of ways. If the doctors had just stuck with my November 2nd due date I would have expected my son to arrive around his adjusted due date of October 22 because that was almost two weeks early and exactly when his sister made her way into the world (weighing a hefty 9lbs). When they officially changed by due date (at the 12 week NTU scan) because he was measuring so far ahead, I started thinking he may come even earlier than that, although I was prepared for a likely debut around the 22nd.

Then October came and I was 3cm dilated and 50% effaced at my 37 week appointment. At this point I was incredibly uncomfortable, and the baby was so low that I couldn’t even pee sitting down. His head was measuring 40 weeks and the rest of him was measuring 38.5 weeks and I was sure, just sure that he’d be coming any day.

And then he didn’t. At my 39 week appointment I was 4-5 cm dilated and 60% effaced. The doctor also estimated the baby was at +1, so very low. By this point I was having trouble peeing even standing up; the baby was literally crushing my urethra and most of the time I had couldn’t pee until there was suddenly a popping feeling and all my pee would rush out. I had experienced false labor four times by then, each time feeling more sure that “this was it!” only to have it peter out after 2-3 hours. I was having a really hard time dealing with the fact that my body seemed ready to go and yet nothing was happening. I was also becoming more and more panicky at the prospect of how big the baby was going to be and the damage he’d likely do to my lady bits upon arrival (I had a third degree tear that caused a lot of problems after my first birth). Last but not least, I was coming to terms with what I finally admitted was a recurring bout of clinical depression, along with increasingly hard to manage anxiety. I started taking Zo.loft and basically begged my OB to schedule an induction for the week of my due date.

And miraculously, she did. Once I knew that my baby would be arriving on or before his due date I was able to relax a little. I had everything ready at work and started taking off the Monday before my scheduled Tuesday induction. Monday was an idyllic day until another (very convincing) bout of false labor convinced me to have my parents pick up my daughter from school while I called L&D. Of course, after three hours, the regular contractions disappeared. Thank god I had an induction scheduled for the next day or I might have just lost my mind (I definitely cried, which I feel should be noted and felt awful that I’d stolen our final night and morning together from our little girl).

Finally noon on Tuesday came and I called L&D asking when I should come in. Here is where it was first suggested that they wouldn’t have room for me at Kaiser San Francisco that day. It was also suggested that no hospital in the area would be able to admit me. Queue panic attack.

At 5pm I called again and was very upset to learn they never intended to follow up with me, as they promised they would. Luckily the OB on call was very kind, understood my concern and happily called Kaiser Redwood City, asking if they could admit me.

We actually birthed our daughter at Kaiser Redwood City because they have a midwives program and we’d heard they were more supportive of un-medicated births. We’d planned on going back there to have our son, because we had such a great experience the first time, but when our induction was scheduled for when my OB was on call at SF, we decided to go there. It ended up being VERY fortuitous that Kaiser SF was full and we ended up in Redwood City. I’m so happy that happened.

It should be noted somewhere that while I was relieved to have an induction date, I was also nervous for the actual induction. I’d heard how difficult pitocin-induced contractions could be and while I was open to an epidural I also feared it might be ineffective (I had heard a few horror stories). I also wasn’t thrilled with the idea of being tied to an IV poll before an epidural (due to the pitocin) and confined to bed after one. Plus, having a catheter scared the crap out of me.

So, back to the story. Kaiser Redwood City had plenty of room so at 6pm we headed down there. It was so nice being able to walk into L&D without navigating painful contractions. I loved leisurely getting ready and having time to call and text people while we waited to be seen. First an OB came in and said we’d start with pitocin and then see how things progressed. Later a midwife came in and she suggested that because the baby was so low and I was so dilated and effaced, that we just break my waters and see if that gave my body the extra push it needed. I had actually been wondering if that were a possible plan of action and was so relieved to hear her suggest it. I consented immediately. Then she took her little hook and tore my bag of waters and it all began.

The first thing that happened was we were told there was meconium in my waters. This was concerning but the midwife seemed very calm and not at all alarmed so I didn’t let myself get too worried. Only moments after my waters were broken I shifted my seat and a huge gush came out. Seconds later I felt my first contraction.

The contractions came quick and strong after that. At first I was able to manage them easily enough by myself but soon I needed Mi.Vida’s help. Our nurse, Pauline (who was amazing, by the way) informed me that I couldn’t take off the sensor until she got ten minutes of “tape” on the baby’s heartbeat. This was hard for me to hear because I wanted to lean forward or walk during the contractions but if I did the sensor would lose the baby’s heartbeat. Looking back it seems like the contractions went from manageable to unmanageable within 20-30 minutes but it may have been longer. I quickly realized I wanted an epidural and asked for one. Our nurse started getting everything ready as the contractions became more and more intense.

Finally the anesthesiologist arrived. I answered all the questions and consented to the epidural. I positioned myself on the side of the bed and wrapped my arms around my nurse as he swabbed my back. Suddenly I felt this incredibly urge to push. In fact, I had actually started pushing, it felt like the only way to manage the contraction I was in. I told my nurse that I was pushing and she told the anesthesiologist to stop. She tried to get me to lie on my back but I wanted to get the epidural and then push (at this point my contractions felt totally overwhelming). The nurse told me lie down and then checked me. I don’t remember her saying much, just that there was still a little lip left on my cervix but that I could push once the midwife got there.

Except it felt impossible to wait and with every contraction I found myself pushing. I just couldn’t stop, even though everyone was yelling at my to slow down, to not push so hard, to move my butt to the bottom of the table. It all felt so overwhelming and I didn’t know how to stop. At this point I was hyperventilating and kind of losing it. Pauline managed to get me back into myself by admonishing me to look at her and once my eyes locked on her face I was able to pull it together and move myself down the table. I was also able to push in smaller spurts until, after about five minutes of pushing, my son had made his way into the world. He arrived an hour and fifteen minutes after my waters were broken.

When my daughter was born I didn’t feel her emerge. This time I was very aware of my son leaving my body. I was ready and waiting for him to be laid on my chest. Mi.Vida and I were sobbing with happiness and relief when we met him. Mi.Vida cut his cord and then a pediatrician took him to make sure he didn’t get any meconium in his lungs. He was kept for about ten minutes while they checked his oxygen levels. He definitely looked a little blue when he came out and I was a little worried about him but the doctor kept assuring me that he was fine. After ten minutes they gave him back to me and Mi.Vida and I got to marvel at our little man. We started breastfeeding immediately and Mi.Vida called both sets of parents and announced our son’s birth.

I was able to quickly and uneventfully deliver the placenta. This time I only had a small first degree tear and the doctor assured me I would have been fine had my son not emerged with his elbow up by his face. I was so relieved that so little damage had been done despite his large head size (14 inches) and his weight (8.5lbs).

My parents came that night to meet their new grandson (they live in Redwood City and were close). They couldn’t believe he was already here! I felt great after the birth and reveled in the opportunities to snuggle with my baby boy. The first night in the hospital was great. Mi.Vida got to sleep in the extra patient bed while baby boy and I bonded. We left for home the next day.

All in all I found this to be an incredibly positive birth experience and I feel so fortunate for how everything went. I’m so glad we ended up at Redwood City, where a midwife suggested breaking my waters instead of pitocin. I’m so glad that our induction was as natural as possible and was over quickly and relatively easily. I honestly couldn’t have asked for a more better experience and I wouldn’t change a thing about how it all happened.

It’s funny to me how my birth with my daughter went exactly how I wanted and yet I felt disillusioned, while the birth of my son was not anything like I imagined it would be and yet I felt empowered. I wonder if I felt so much better about my second birth because I had so few expectations going in, or if it was just a much easier experience for reasons totally out of my control. Probably a combination of both. What I do know is that I’m so thankful this second story, this second birth. It makes me appreciate both experiences more and I feel so, so grateful for how both my children came into the world.

Head Fuck’s and Thank You’s

So I put out the positive post about how I’m pretty much ready to do this thing. Or at least I’m ready as I’ll ever be. But this morning I couldn’t sleep, despite the fact that everyone else in my family was having a delightful time of it (it’s 9:30am and my daughter is still conked out–poor thing has a new cold, just what we need) and I realized that I have a lot of heavy shit going on in my life right now. Shit that I don’t need when I’m days away from welcoming my son into the world.

Of course the most obvious weight right now is the general depression and anxiety I’m feeling. Not how I wanted to spend the end of my last pregnancy to be sure. And other things are just compounding the situation.

This week we found out that an old friend/acquaintance died suddenly in his sleep. He came home after having some drinks after work, fell asleep on the couch and never woke up. We just spent the day with him a month ago at football game and to think that he’s dead is hard to handle. I can’t imagine the pain his fiance is going through. His death is such a stark reminder of the uncertainty of life. It’s just a lot to take in right now.

And then yesterday my mom informed me that my parents aren’t speaking; evidently my dad announced suddenly that he’s moving to China because he “just can’t take it here anymore.” He’s been unemployed for five years now and has been depressed for most of the time. There is more to it but I don’t feel like any of it is really my story to tell and I only give that little bit of background because I feel it’s important context for understanding the situation. My mom has been really angry at the way he’s been dealing with his unemployment and depression for a long time and I’m the main person she unloads it all onto. It’s totally inappropriate, as he is my father, but I know my mother has no one else to talk to and I don’t know how to tell her that I don’t want to hear these things. Plus I’m sure there is a part of me that would wonder how bad things were getting if I didn’t hear it from her in the first place. Of course now that I do know how bad things are, I wish that I didn’t. I just wish my mom hadn’t unloaded that shit on me literally DAYS before my son is going to be born. It’s just too much right now. (And honestly, I don’t really think my father will move to China in December but it sucks to know that their marriage of almost 40 years is in such danger of disintegrating.)

So yeah, that is some heavy shit. And when a day of false labor contractions sends me into a spiral of disappointment and frustration, I have to remember that I have other shit going on right now that is making it hard to process all of this productively. I shouldn’t be too hard on myself, even if I’m not living up to my own expectations. I will get through this, even if looks messy and I’m not proud of how I respond to it all, I WILL get through this. And my son will most probably arrive safe and sound and then the rest of it will just slip away. And if it doesn’t slip away, I will push it away, at least until I feel more ready to deal with it all.

Yesterday, when I was cleaning my pig sty of a bedroom to make space for Monito’s sleeping accoutrements, I found the bracelet that I had made after my ectopic pregnancy. It has one word printed on it: ESPERANZA. It was from that bracelet that I choose my nom de plum for this blog and I wore it every day of TTC after my loss and then throughout my second pregnancy with my daughter. It was nice to find it again this weekend, it felt like a good omen. And I will wear it again, until my baby boy is safely in my arms. And probably after that for a while.

photo-190

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to put this post out there. You have all been so amazingly supportive of me over the past weeks and months; the last thing I want to do is ask for more support. So please don’t feel the need to comment on this post. I’m really doing okay, all things considered. I’m going to the hospital tomorrow afternoon/evening with plans to bring my baby home with me when I leave. Life is really so good, but like most good things, it’s also complicated. Still I know that in the end all that will matter is gazing upon my son’s face for the first time. That is the end game here and it’s so, so close. If he arrives safe everything else will melt away and at my very core, I will be so incredibly happy.

Thank you all for your words of love, kindness and support, especially in the past week. They have meant more than I can say, and when I welcome my son into the world, I will feel you all there with me, more than I’ll feel anyone else in my life. I can’t wait to share his arrival with all of you, because you were the ones that helped me make it here to the finish line. I owe so much to all of you.

Thank you. Again and again, THANK YOU.

Ready as I’ll ever be

Friday was my last day at work. All my sub plans and copies have been ready since Monday, but I had a lot of work to do organizing and cleaning my room and grading papers and entering grades in my grade book. It was surreal to finally walk out of my classroom knowing I wouldn’t be back teaching until the beginning of February (my tentative return date). As I pulled out of the parking lot I said to myself, “Holy shit, I’m having a baby next week.” And then I promptly broke into wracking sobs because I still can’t believe how lucky I am to be having a second child. It’s hard for me to wrap me head around, even after these long nine months.

Yesterday my mom came to clean my house. Mi.Vida was at an all day music festival (I told him to go and have his last hurrah) and Osita was at my in-laws (who have been so insanely amazing taking her over the past month to give me time to rest) so it was just my mom and I at home cleaning. My mom did all the hard work and spent HOURS in my disgusting kitchen giving it a deep clean. I tidied much of the rest of the house, vacuumed and mopped floors and got my room organized enough to move the co-sleeper and rock n’ play chair next to my side of the bed. The whole house is basically clean now (though some trouble spots remain) and I suppose I’m as ready as I’ll ever be for this baby to make his grand debut.

I’ve had light contractions pretty much all day but I don’t have much hope that they’ll progress to actual labor. I’ve had FIVE false starts in the past three weeks and can’t really imagining anything coming of these light contractions. The good news is I’m not longer stressed out about whether or not they will become actual labor because I know that Tuesday we’ll be getting things moving no matter what.

In the meantime I have a new ailment and it’s a doozy. I’m not sure if you know what a prolapsed pile hemorrhoid is but I’m not going to explain (and I don’t suggest you google image search it because THAT is a mistake you can never unmake). Suffice to say that it’s INCREDIBLY painful and it has me all the more scared of labor and especially pushing. I’m hoping that they can do something about mine while I’m in the hospital after the baby is born because after labor it’s going to be excruciating and I can’t imagine going home with it worse than it is now. I can’t believe I have to deal with this on top of everything else right now; it just makes me want to get this baby out that much sooner.

Otherwise all seems to be well. I’m done at work. My house is clean. All the baby’s stuff is ready. Our bags are packed. My in-laws are on high alert to come pick up Osita when the time comes. At the very most I have 2.5 days left before I’m in the hospital preparing to bring him home. He’ll be here middle of next week! EEK!

I still can’t believe how incredibly lucky I am to be having this baby. When I think of where I was 10 months ago, saving money for one Hail-Mary round of ART, reading up on adoption, following a strict TCM diet so we could give our reproductive systems the best shot of making a baby, I never in a million years thought I’d be here right now, at the end of October, readying to welcome another baby into the world. Sometimes I still wonder if I’m going to wake up from this amazing dream. I hope I never do.

Low Point

Yesterday was a low point. I was very lucky to have two wonderful friends help me through and today I’m feeling much better. The most important change is that I talked to the sub and she is fine with me working next week. She will take other jobs at our school and hopefully, if I leave early, she can switch with the sub that is assigned to my classroom so that she’ll be in there the whole time I’m away. If not, the kids will survive. I have plans ready for a different person to be in there every day, so whatever happens is fine. I’m scheduled to be out starting the 21st no matter what, but I’m okay with that. That is my choice.

I can’t tell you how much I better I feel being in control of that situation. I hated the idea of being out when I didn’t need to be. It made me so panicky that he wouldn’t come. I know a lot of people can’t understand why I wouldn’t want to take advantage of an extra week off, but our financial situation is so dire that I would have been way more stressed spending a week at home “relaxing” than I would have being at work. One of the reasons I chose to be part time this year was so that working until my due date wouldn’t be so hard. I already took that financial blow, we can’t afford another. And now that I’m completely planned, I’m not worried at all about leaving at the last minute, with no warning. I know everything is where it needs to be at school for someone else to step in. Plus next week will be a breeze because it’s already all put together. I will hardly have to do a thing. It’s the best of both worlds, really. And it greatly alleviates my stress.

So now I feel ready to wait for this baby to come on his own time. I keep reminding myself of where I am in relation to my original due date, so much so that I’ve kind of abandoned my adjusted due date altogether. I do think he’ll come on or near my adjusted due date, but with a first baby that came two weeks early, It feels more natural to think of him as coming early for my original due date than coming on time for my adjusted due date. On Saturday I’ll be 37 weeks (not adjusted) and finally feel totally comfortable with Monito making his way into the world. And while I’m still concerned about having a large baby that totally destroys my vag, I’m not letting myself stress too much about that until the final weeks of October.

All in all, I’m in a much better place than I was at the beginning of the week. The frenzy of finishing my sub plans is over. The panicked stress of having to leave work before I wanted to has been resolved. Now I can just settle in and take it one day at a time until he decides to get here. And when the inevitable anxiety that something might go wrong pops up, I can work through it like I have been for the last nine months.

It should be said, though, that I’ve requested an Rx for Zo.loft from my psychiatrist, who is out of the office until next Tuesday. I’m definitely going to start taking that ASAP because the depression and anxiety I’ve felt these past weeks are not what I would consider “normal” and I do think they warrant professional attention. I will also feel better if I’m making a pre-emptive strike against PPD, which I’m even more scared of having this time than I was last time.

I’m sorry my posts have been the same thing every day this week. I definitely feel like next week I can tackle some actual topics of interest (and I’ve had a few really surprising conversations with people that have inspired posts I really want to write) so please don’t abandon me yet. I promise I’ll offer something worth reading (or will do my best to) in the coming days.

Happy Friday all! I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I think I will. 😉

False Alarm

For about two hours last night I was sure it was go time. I was having regular waves of crampy back pain for about two hours. I was probably having about 7-10 an hour and they were increasingly difficult to manage. It was a really bad day to go into labor. I was at my parents’ house with Isa and my grandmother while Mi.Vida was at an event in the city, without the car. It would have been really tough to manage it all. Plus I was not at all ready to be away from school this week. And yet… I was really excited to meet my son.

But it wasn’t go time. The crampy back pain subsided and never came back. I’m at work today, with almost debilitating sciatica pain but no signs of labor. I’m incredibly uncomfortable; I can barely walk around my classroom let along across the way to the office bathrooms. I honestly don’t know how I’m going to make it to the end of the day, let alone the end of the week. Or god forbid the next week.

I’m sorry to be whiny again, I’m just having a hard time right now. I know this will eventually pass and all this pain and discomfort will subside (not before a lot MORE pain and discomfort, but you get the point). I know that technically the end is in sight, but when I don’t know where to look for it, it doesn’t feel that way at all.

And good god my hips and back hurt like a mother f*cker. How many more days of this?!

On the Crest of the Wave

IT’S OCTOBER! Finally! I thought this month would NEVER come.

I have written many times of waves of pregnancy announcements–when my readers feels full to the brim with an overflow of pregnancies. I remember there being one when I was just starting to try again, when the sucker-punch surprise BFPs from fellow IFers started a trend that just seemed to gather momentum while I stood still.

There is clearly another wave of pregnancies right now–at least in my reader–and I seem to be on the crest of it. I follow two other women who are due just before me and many more are entering their third trimesters or well into their second, with a few just starting their journeys quite recently. There have been many times when I’m reading through pregnancy post after pregnancy post and I thank my lucky stars that I’m 37 weeks into my own journey, anxiously anticipating my son’s birth. I don’t know if I could have survived yet another pregnancy wave while I sat helpless on the beach.

And yet, I know so many women who are stuck on that very beach, watching this pregnancy wave as it crests and readies to break, wondering when they might get to add to the swell of others’ good fortune. I feel horrible that I’m where I am and they are where they are and there is nothing any of us can do about it.

The only thing I feel like I can do is recognize it, acknowledge it, let them know that I haven’t forgotten, that I’m watching them on the beach and wishing so much that they could join in on the celebration.

It’s hard, sometimes, being the one who gets what she wants when so many others don’t. I’m not trying to illicit empathy, I’m just trying to acknowledge the guilt one feels when they move forward while others don’t. It can be a heavy burden to shoulder, especially in this community where the stakes are so damned high. Would I rather situations were reversed? Of course not. I KNOW I’m the luckier one, that I have it easier and better. I’m not trying to say that I don’t. I’m just trying to recognize that it’s complicated and assure those who are still waiting that I never, not for a second, forget who they are, where they are and what they’re going through.

On Sunday night I met up with a woman who has a son the same age as my daughter. We both shared much awaited pregnancy news with each other last February but she went on to have a very traumatic ectopic and I went on to have a successful, non-eventful pregnancy. Not surprisingly we haven’t seen, let alone spoken to, each other much since.

But Sunday she reached out (she has a couple of times before but it never worked out) and Osita and I went over to visit. I felt so awkward, knowing how hard it must be for her to see me. I would NEVER have been able to reach out to her at this point if I were the one who’d lost the pregnancy all those months ago. I wore my most inconspicuous clothes (not that it was very helpful at hiding anything–right now my bump is not something that can be camouflaged) and never mentioned my pregnancy at all. When she asked about it–once and only once–I answered as briefly as I could. Otherwise it was not acknowledged.

I obviously didn’t ask her anything about her own family building efforts. She had to get two rounds of methotrexate shots and I’m pretty sure Kaiser recommends waiting three months for each set of shots so that means after the six month wait she’s only had 2-3 months to try again, if she even jumped right back into the TTC game. She may have been hiding some tentatively happy news but that didn’t seem to be the case. I felt for her and it was strange to be the one in the happy place, trying to navigate the sadness of the woman for whom it didn’t work out.

That night, when I got home, I thought a lot about my friend, wondering if I should reach out and acknowledge her loss and how hard it must be to still be waiting. In the end I didn’t. It didn’t feel right, I didn’t know what to say, and some wise friends counseled me against attempting to find the words. I suppose that was the right thing to do, but I wish there were a different right thing to do, ANY right thing to do, so that she knew that I was thinking of her and wishing her story had been different, that I wished we could be sharing fears and anxieties instead of ignoring her pain.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m being selfish, wanting to find the words. Maybe I think it would assuage my guilt. All I know is that if I were her, I would want my pain acknowledged–validated–in some way. I know not everyone is like that though and what might have been right for me isn’t what she needs at all.

And I suppose the same is true for this post. I know that if I were still in the trenches, trying for my second child… or my first…I would appreciate hearing these words from someone who is so close to crossing over to the other side, who will soon (if all goes according to plan) be DONE with her family building efforts.

But maybe these aren’t the words others need to read at all. Maybe I’m just pouring salt in already festering wounds. Maybe I’m making it all worse. I guess we never can know how our words touch other people, we can only do what we think is right and hope for the best.

So please know, if you’re reader is brimming over with pregnancies and pregnancy-related posts (including mine) while you wait in the wings, hoping and praying for your own good news, that most–if not all–of us are thinking about you and wishing you the best. I wish the wave could pick up all of us and usher us to our happy endings. I wish that more than I can say.

Are you ever unsure how to acknowledge your good fortune when others are struggling? How do you deal with it as a part of the ALI community?