At various points over the past several months, I have congratulated myself at not being bitter about our infertility in the face of friends and acquaintances getting pregnant right and left. Sure, I've felt bitter and angry when I hear about one of the felons MM supervises having a child or any unplanned/unwanted pregnancy, but those feelings are long-standing for me and pre-date any TTC efforts of my own. I've written about the fact that I could still be happy for friends announcing their pregnancies, still attend baby showers, and still be around children without being overwhelmed by sadness or anger at the unfairness of it all.
I didn't want to be "that girl." You know, the infertile woman around whom people have to walk on eggshells for fear of hurting her feelings. The average, fertile woman can't talk about her pregnancy or her newborn in front of "that girl" because she might burst into tears. You have to be careful what you say to her so that you don't set her off. That girl who can't go to baby showers or baptisms or the zoo or the like because it's just too painful for her to see what she doesn't--and may never--have.
Though I still have more good days than bad days--more days when I can cope and feel happy with my life than days when I can only dwell on my failure to have a baby of my own--I believe that I am slowly becoming "that girl." I find myself hiding the Fac.ebo.ok status updates of friends with babies more often. I avoid talking to friends with small children if the only thing they can discuss is their baby. (BTW, what is this phenomenon where most women with a baby less than a year old seem incapable of conversing about anything else?!) For the last couple of acquaintances on Fac.ebo.ok who have announced their pregnancies in a status update, I have been unable to even post a quick "congratulations!" I even find myself making less of an effort to see my (now 7-month-old) godson and his mom than I did six months ago.
I used to be the go-to person to talk with friends about their pregnancies and children, even though I'd never had any firsthand experience with either. I guess my background as a nurse and a psychology major, and my obvious love of children of all ages, made me a natural for thinking on and discussing these subjects. Old friends of mine with children (several of whom are now in their teens/'tweens) could tell you how I enjoyed babysitting for them and hearing about every little thing their babies and toddlers did.
One of the many painful things about infertility is this: that it is making me into someone I never wanted to be. I'm not who I used to be. I hate how this experience is changing me, and I wonder if I can ever go back to who I was.