Hive update: Benadryl was controlling them by yesterday evening, but I woke up this morning absolutely COVERED yet again, with the added bonus of having my eyes nearly swollen shut. I’ve made myself go to uni, as I feel fine, so it would be purely for vanity if I let myself stay home, but man do I look terrible…
I’ve been mulling around a post for sometime now, and I’ve got a spare couple of moments to get it out.
At some point on our infertility journey, I stopped being able to be supportive of other friends and their pregnancies. I still made all the right noises when I saw them, and cooed over their babies on f/b, but I wasn’t involved. What really sums up my state of mind is the plastic bag in my closet. In it is an adorable fleece for a six-month old, a onesie for a nine-month old, and one of those nifty feeding tools that looks like a popsicle stick with a mesh bag on top so the kid can suck on fruit or whatnot (which a friend of mine swears is amazing).
I bought these as a present for a child who will turn two this fall. I never mailed them. Nor did I then gift them to any of the other five or six children of good friends who were born in the interim. Before that point I was always very organized. I liked to go and buy the tiny things. I wrote cards and made Q. sign them. I made sure they were mailed in good time.
But at some point that changed. Even though I felt guilty every time I looked at the bag, and felt bad that our friends didn’t get a present or a card from us when so many other friends did, I just couldn’t bring myself to wrap it, write the card, and put it in the mail. Three simple actions.
I’ve spent a fair amount of time on this blog (probably too much) ranting about how infertility has changed me, and not usually for the better. How I’ve become more anxious, less able to seek out joy in life. And that plastic bag in my closet seems, to me at least, to sum up all the negative changes that snuck into my outlook.
Then it got worse. Ok, I wasn’t capable of celebrating the pregnancies of friends, and I frowned when I saw pregnant women on the street, and I HATED Saturday mornings in our neighbourhood as apparently the rule is that all the Dads take their kids out of the house to go to the park, or buy coffee, or whatever. Every time I saw them, I was reminded that I was failing to give Q. this experience.
But when we thought this second IVF had failed, I started having IVF envy. I was angry that other infertile women were getting pregnant and I wasn’t. I would look at blogs where someone’s embryos were of worse quality, or the husband’s sperm count wasn’t very strong, and wonder how the f- they got pregnant when we couldn’t. I went back to a forum I used to frequent and saw that all the women who joined it after I left were pregnant from their IVFs (mostly with twins, it seemed).
I was so angry at the universe that these people, who had gone through terrible struggles of their own, were getting pregnant when I wasn’t. It was such a selfish way to react. It shames me now to think about it.
So when we got the unexpected news that this cycle had, in fact, worked, and we were actually pregnant, I made a promise to myself that whatever happened with this pregnancy I would never visit that space again. It isn’t as though getting pregnant flipped a switch in my brain and I could just suddenly be happy for everyone and become one of those smug pregnant people who drive me crazy. I’m still infertile- the crazy anxiety I’ve been feeling reminds me that I can’t just let go and pretend everything’s normal.
But I made a conscious choice that this would not be how I would continue to live my life. If I stay pregnant, I think that choice will be an easy one, because it’s easy to stay cheerful when you’re suddenly in the club that you’ve been trying so hard to join for years. But I’m determined that even if something goes wrong that I will hold onto my change in attitude. Because I don’t like the person infertility allowed me to become. I was complacent in this change, so I’m the one who has to put an end to it.
On a related note, I’ve struggled a bit with the challenge of blogging about my pregnancy after infertility. I’m very aware that many of my readers are not yet pregnant or parenting. I don’t want to sound like I’m gloating, but at the same time, this is my space to air my feelings, and I don’t want to cover up the good moments, or pretend that all my fears evaporated once we got that first beta. I don’t want to have to start every post that has a complaint with “Of course I know I’m so lucky to be pregnant”. I want to still be honest. To be Turia.
What I remind myself is that all through the years when I was not pregnant, a number of my blog friends did get pregnant and had healthy babies. And reading their blogs was never painful- it was reassuring to see that others made it to the other side.
All that to say that if anyone chooses not to read now that I’m pregnant, I can both understand and respect that choice. And for those of you who do keep reading, I’m sure I’m not done yet with the rants and the complaints. I don’t feel that because I was infertile and I worked so hard to get pregnant I have to necessarily love every aspect of it. I will freely admit that I am terrified about how I will cope with the necessary weight gain and my skewed body image. I’m not so keen on the meds or the side effects, particularly now that I resemble a chicken-pox victim.
So, no apologies needed, not from those who may not read anymore, or from me for posting how I feel, as I feel. Deal?