Another one bites the dust

Not more than two weeks ago, a couple of my blog friends (Doug doesn’t like me to call them my “fake friends”) and I were having an email conversation about how we would react if/when one of us got pregnant.  And then, yesterday, one of us did.

My reaction was exactly as I’d predicted: I’m happy for her, and sad for me.  And frustrated out of my mind that I can’t just feel pure happiness at this kind of news – especially coming from someone who: a) is older than me; b) is married; c) has been trying to get pregnant and facing repeated disappointment for the better part of two years; d) I adore for her wit and compassion and eloquence; and e) absolutely fucking deserves it.

This is when I feel the most abnormal, when we’re not talking about a teenager accidentally falling pregnant, or someone getting knocked up after a drunken one-night-stand (like in that movie…  what was it called?), or my parents who married later in life (32 and 40) and decided to start trying right away since so many of their friends were having trouble conceiving…  They were married in October; I was born the following July.

We are talking about one of my own here.  We are talking about someone whose struggles are my struggles, and whose triumphs should be my triumphs.

But I am happy for her and sad for me, and I feel like a bitch for being anything other than happy for her (and I mean happy for her, in that baby-shower-attending fuckwit sort of way), and I am therefore eating all the Israeli chocolate that was sent to me by another one of my fake blog friends.

There is one big difference between me and the rest of these girls who have been journeying alongside me the past few months: I am not trying to make a baby.  They are.  Every last one of them is actively trying to conceive, while I am just trying to heal while I wait for the timing to be right for me and Doug to start trying ourselves.  Most of the time, I have so much in common with these women – the way we look at the world, the way we look at pregnant women, the dark senses of humor, the crippling emotions surrounding our infertility and losses – that I forget we differ at all. 

But we do differ, and in light of my friend’s announcement, I was harshly reminded: every single one of these women will get pregnant before I do.  Or she will move on to adoption.  Or she will give up on babies and run off and join the Peace Corps.  But something will happen for each of these women, something will conclude this chapter of her life.  Before I even get a chance to try

I told my newly-pregnant friend last night that, as I feared, her success just made me anxious to give up waiting and start trying.  Like, “Hey, I bet I can do this shit too!  Let’s go find out!”  She wrote me back, saying, “I honestly don’t know how you read all these blogs and DON’T constantly feel like you want to start trying right away!”

Me neither.  I must be pretty strong-willed.  Or thick-headed.  Or both.

The other loss here, the selfish loss, is that this friend has been such an outstanding spokeswoman for our community: she even has a series of posts called “Stuff Infertile People Like,” which are brilliant and hilarious.  She says the things I’m thinking, and somehow makes her bitterness articulate and graceful, while I fear my bitterness is just… bitter.  And whiny.

So even though I know she has no plans to turn into a dippy, look-at-me-look-at-me pregnant chick who posts facebook pictures of things she’s peed on, I’m worried that the infertility humor might stop.  The solidarity might stop.  The heart-wrenching posts about this suckhole we’re all living in might stop.  (She says they won’t, and I’m inclined to believe her.)

But, I told her, after some tears, some soul-searching, some being lectured by Doug about how this is one of the pregnancies I’m supposed to be happy about, and the reassurance that my honesty wasn’t met with indignance, I do hope that her pregnancy is healthy.  Because as much as I worry that the funny infertility posts might stop now that she’s pregnant, I’m more scared of the possibility that something could go wrong, and that it would break her funny forever.

Happy for her, sad for me.  And pissed that I will probably never be “normal.”

Nostalgia

I’ve slept in this bed,
between blue-striped sheets,
you with your back to me;

I’ve washed my hair
with your strawberry shampoo,
worn your bathrobe;

I’ve sat in front of these mirrored walls,
admiring myself naked,
getting up close to apply mascara;

I know the pictures you have framed,
the way you alphabetize your movies,
your growing collection of girl-given stuffed toys.

But today it all feels more like a memory
than something familiar.
I’m dressed as an adult in black,
wondering why I’m even bothering
with the mascara at all.

Some things never change;
they just end.

(1-14-04)

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14 Responses to Another one bites the dust

  1. mommyodyssey says:

    Eloquent as usual. Though I refuse to be called a “fake friend”! Booo!!!
    And sweetie – I don’t think you ever were really “normal”. Time to let your freak flag fly, don’t ya think? 😉

  2. AP says:

    Thanks for your congrats – I know this is hard and weird and I solemnly vow to NEVER go all smug pregnant. Right now I am in shock pregnant and pondering how the F this happened.

  3. C says:

    I don’t know that you need to worry about anything breaking her funny. I don’t think that’s really possible.

    But yeah. It’s the grand dichotomy of our tribe, isn’t it, that we play this incessant game of happy-for-you, sad-for-me. Of I-wish-it-were-me, but-that-doesn’t-mean-I-unwish-it-for-you. Of can’t-help-how-I-feel-including-the-guilt-I-feel-for-feeling-this-way.

    I don’t think there’s a cure for those feelings and reactions, aside from just accepting them and hoping our newly pregnant infertile friends know that’s how we feel, and remember and understand, because that’s how they used to feel too. And also for us to remember that weird “survivor’s guilt,” for lack of a better term, that they are feeling as we eat their dust.

    Happy ICLW from #47.

  4. bodegabliss says:

    Marie, I don’t think you’re as different as you think. I mean, I get you, completely, and understand how you must be feeling like that in regards to be left behind. But even those of us that are trying, feeling that as well. I feel that every single day. Not so much through the blog community, but in my day-to-day life. I feel left behind, every single day.

    I’m not trying to diminish what you’re saying here, you have a completely valid point and I can understand why you feel that way, for sure. But I just want you to know that you’re not as alone as you think.

    And I’m not letting you call me a fake friend, either! 😛

  5. Liana says:

    “But we do differ, and in light of my friend’s announcement, I was harshly reminded: every single one of these women will get pregnant before I do. Or she will move on to adoption. Or she will give up on babies and run off and join the Peace Corps. But something will happen for each of these women, something will conclude this chapter of her life. Before I even get a chance to try.”

    I find this so funny. Not “ha ha” funny, more “we are all so fucked up” funny. Here you are in a way jealous of what so many of us consider hell. Here I am with a baby, still feeling a mix of annoyance, anger and sadness when I hear a pregnancy announcement, but relief and happiness when I hear that the woman too struggled with infertility or had a loss first. How fucked up that a part of me feels like only people who have to struggle deserve to have babies. How fucked up that I can’t say that my kid has been in a bad mood for days (teething?) and it’s drained every ounce of patience and energy from my being without qualifying it a dozen different ways to point out that I’m not complaining because I’m so lucky because I tried so hard to get him and he’s generally so happy and healthy and so many women aren’t so fortunate and blah blah blah.

    I doubt Elphaba is going to lose those things you’ve come to love best about her. She’s about to go through some really fucked up emotions (that’s what happens when you finally get your baby, provided a rainbow of stupid doesn’t come and destroy your soul) . And fucked up things are funny because if we don’t laugh at them, they ruin us.

    • Marie says:

      I’m so worried about that rainbow of stupid, though. It’s what all the pregnant fertiles seem to get.

      But you’re right. We are jealous of pretty silly things around here. And I, on this side of it, get EXCITED when I get my period, because it’s a sign that my parts are working. Everyone else is devastated with the arrival of AF, and I’m sitting up here in my non-TTC bubble going, “Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! Periods for fertility!”

      Don’t qualify your complaints. You have the right to bitch if your kid is teething and making you crazy. We know where you’ve been, and if you made it seem like life is all sunshine and roses now that you HAVE a kid, we’d probably start to worry that the rainbow of stupid had gotten you, too 🙂

  6. Josey says:

    Meh, who is really normal anyway?

    We’re all fucked up, no matter where in this process we are. The ALI community will do that to you.

    Your time will come when you’re ready to actively TTC and we’ll all be here to cheer you on when you do!

  7. Hope says:

    I really relate to you. We’re actively avoiding until the right time, too. For different reasons, but still. I often feel that sense of “I can’t even wish that was me because we’re not even trying, but I’m still really jealous, even though I’m so happy for her, because I know she’s been through h*ll to get to this pregnancy.” Thanks for putting those feelings into words so well.

    ICLW #32

  8. Kate Bentley says:

    Was fucked up. Got knocked up….still fucked up! Happy ICLW! XXXX

  9. Pingback: Can I still call myself infertile? « Yolk: A blog about eggs and sperm

  10. Jean says:

    I’m in pretty much the same boat as you, waiting till the time is right to start trying again but still struggling with jealousy of all the women around me who are getting pregnant, both online and IRL. Since I discovered the infertility and loss blog community a couple of weeks ago, it’s been an interesting ride on the emotional rollercoaster — there’s been a lot of healing and a sense of relief in finding other women who know what I’ve been through, but I’m also making myself crazy about wanting to try again ASAP, even though I’m not sure if I’m emotionally ready yet, and I KNOW I’m not physically ready yet. I still have a lot more healing to do on both levels before we resume our TTC adventure. But damned if I don’t sometimes just want to be pregnant again, damn the consequences.

  11. Natalie says:

    Girlfriend, I feel ya. *hugs*

  12. Pingback: Not-Penny’s Baby Shower | Playing House(wife)

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