Today I did something I have never, ever done before.
I went into a maternity store.
Before we started trying, I had no reason to go in. Once we were actively ttcing, I didn’t see the point of going in before I needed to. By the end of the road, I couldn’t even bear to THINK about going into one of those stores.
So today I screwed up my courage and took my fifteen-week belly into Mother.hood and Th.yme. I was much more impressed with Mother.hood- their staff were friendly without being pushy, and I just liked their stuff more. But the one thing I absolutely loved was in Th.yme.
I was good- I didn’t buy anything. But I tried on heaps of stuff to figure out exactly what my sizes were, so I’d know what to snag if good deals came up online.
In between the two stores I wandered into baby G.ap and nearly lost my mind. There were days of the week onesies! Polar bear hats! Penguins! Could things get any cuter?
And at one point, in the second store, I had on a pair of jeans and a striped hoodie, and I put on that silly fake belly they have, pulled the panel of the jeans over the top, and then pulled down the hoodie. Then I looked at myself in the mirror, and burst into tears.
It was as though I realized for the first time that I was going to have a belly like that in a few months- that this was really happening. That maybe, just maybe, I would get to join the club from which I have been excluded for so long.
Clearly I still have some issues to process from the horrors of ttc. But for that moment I could believe what my f/s told me, that I’m a normal pregnant woman now.
And that? That felt good.
I just wish I could bring everyone who is still waiting into the club with me.
Q. and I talk a lot about survivor guilt, because he got a tenure-track job in academia in his field and we know so many people, deserving, clever people, who haven’t.
Me? I think I have infertile survivor guilt. Some days I’d like to walk around with a big sign on my belly saying “We worked so hard for this” so I don’t inadvertantly cause other women the kind of pain that I used to feel looking at big pregnant bellies on the street.
The guilt doesn’t keep me from enjoying being pregnant. But it is always there, niggling in the background, making me wonder why we got lucky this time, why our embryo stuck when so many others don’t. It’s a game of roulette, it seems, and I always did hate to gamble.