Ohhh infertility. You painful, hurtful condition. Just as I "feel good again," I experience more reminders of my losses. That is why I have this blog: to write about the good and to write about the bad. Living life after infertility, while it does get good again, still has its ups and downs.
So I realized that the vast majority of my friends are either in their 20s or their 50s and 60s. This is because they either don't have kids or their kids are already grown. I have very few friends that are around my age.
I had lunch with a friend last week. She is in her early sixties, and her son and his wife (who are almost ten years younger than me) just had their first baby. It is my friend's first grandchild. I remember feeling shocked when she told me about the pregnancy. I mean, I figured it was coming. I just didn't realize how soon. Anyway, I hadn't seen her since the baby came, and I was looking forward to hearing what they named him. (I've always had an interest in what people name their children.)
And can I just tell you... My friend is just about one of the most sensitive fertile people I have ever known. We meet at the restaurant and sit down for lunch. We have a brief how are you kind of chit chat. And then I just jump right into it. I said, "Okay, what did they name the baby? Is the mother doing okay? Are you loving being a grandmother?" Honestly, I hardly ever engage in conversation about babies these days, but I was eager to hear that everything was going well for the new family. So, my friend shared the baby's name, said the mom was doing well, and that, yes, she was enjoying being a grandmother.
Then she said, "Let me show you a picture." And I said, "Of course!" (Newborn pics are hard for me, but I had mentally prepared for this one and wanted to see a picture.) But then she said, and I thought this was so thoughtful, "But I'm only going to show you one. Then we can talk about other things."
Praises from the Heavens!!! Everyone is healthy, my friend is happy to be a grandmother, and we are not going to spend all of our time together talking about the baby!!! Oh, I was so, so hoping that grandmotherhood wasn't going to totally take over my friend's brain! And I don't think it did. :)
My friend gets on her phone, scrolls through her pictures, and says, "Ok, I'm going to show you two pictures. One of [the baby] and one of [the baby] with [the mom]." I smiled and laughed and said, "I would love to see two pictures." Did she intentionally tell me what pictures she was going to show me? I think she did. She is really that thoughtful. Nothing she said or did was condescending, and it was all just very respectful of me and my feelings and experiences.
And then she showed me two pictures. And they were nice. Cute baby, happy mom.
And that was that. The rest of our long lunch was full of so many other conversation topics. <3
So while I'm still thinking about how nice lunch was and how thoughtful my friend is, one of my oldest friends from high school calls me later in the week.
First of all, she calls me. I mean, we will talk on the phone every once in a blue moon. But. But. We usually text. And she's still going through fertility treatments. And she knows what I've been through and I've been giving her space and wishing for the best for her. And she calls me.
My phone rings and I look down and I see it's her and I immediately think, is she calling because...
I was in the middle of reading a suspenseful part of a really good book so I decided to let it go to voicemail. She didn't leave a message. She didn't text me either. I finish the chapter I'm reading and call her back.
Hi, I missed your call, how are you.
Hi, I'm so glad you called back, yeah I just wanted to catch up.
Well, honestly, I was reading a really good part in a book so I couldn't answer right then hahaha.
Hahaha, oh that's funny. So how's school going? Your husband? Your dog?
Okay, so now I really know what's going on. This has happened so many times. A friend who I haven't talked to in a while calls, asks me a million questions about my life, and then, you know...
Her: "Well, I'm pregnant."
Me: "Really? Ohmigaw that's great!! That's great news!!!"
How far along, when are you due, how are you feeling, I will be thinking of you, congratulations, thanks for calling, yeah we should get together, I'm so happy for you, talk to you later, I love you, bye.
I'm still sitting on the couch. Staring at the cover of this really good book I'm reading. And suddenly I don't I want to read it. I don't want to watch tv. I don't want to get on the internet. I don't want to eat. I don't want to sleep. I don't want to exercise. I don't want to do anything. But what I really don't want is this longing in the pit of my stomach, this unrelenting existential ache that won't leave me the fuck alone.
"EVERYBODY GETS PREGNANT EXCEPT ME!!!!" I yell at my husband, who has no idea what's going on, because last time he saw me I was contentedly reading a book on the couch in the living room under a blanket with the dog.
What? He yells from the bedroom.
So I get up and go in there and say, "[My friend's name] is pregnant." And start crying.
I'm happy for my friend. Of course I'm happy for my friend. I'm relieved for her. I don't even know how many rounds of IVF she did. She is completely immersed in mommy culture, with her sister and all of their friends, and she was the only one who didn't have a baby or toddler. I am so glad she is pregnant, and I am so hopeful for her pregnancy.
But she was the last one. She was literally the last one of my friends to get pregnant. Everyone got pregnant except me. And so while I am happy for her, I am allowed to grieve for myself.
And so that is why I am blogging. Because this shit is hard. And it HURTS.
I can't even believe I'm blogging. I am an extremely private person. The internet even freaks me out a little bit. But I have to write. I have to connect with others. I am not doing this shit alone if I don't have to.
So I will continue riding the ups and downs of this life.
I will keep working toward my daydreams.