Thursday, August 5, 2010

The ugly

I hate how infertility has brought out an ugly side to my personality.  I will confess that, even prior to TTC myself and failing, I have always been one who disapproved of unplanned pregnancies.  As someone who usually used contraception and was "careful," I couldn't understand how other people weren't equally careful or how this happened to them, sometimes more than once.  (I know, I know: sometimes things happen, despite the best precautions.  I have a few friends who are examples of this fact, and if you're reading, I apologize for judging you.  It probably was not fair for me to judge so harshly.  Moving on.)

So I am not one of those women who has always been invariably overwhelmed with joy and excitement at the news of anyone's pregnancy, regardless of her circumstances.  But prior to infertility, I used to be very excited and happy for women who became responsibly pregnant and who were happy about being pregnant. 

Now, even though I am eventually happy for closer friends and family members who announce their pregnancies, any time I hear of someone being pregnant or having a baby, my first reaction is a negative one.  I feel like I've been gut-punched, even though intellectually, logically, I know that someone else's fertility has no impact on, and nothing to do with, my lack of fertility.  There is always a moment of "Why her and not me?" no matter who the mother is and how "planned" her pregnancy was.

I hate that what should be happy news has become something that brings out this ugliness in me, that I now succomb to petty feelings of jealousy over this.  But that's the way it is.

And don't even get me started on how I feel when I hear of someone's unintended pregnancy these days. . . . especially if I know the woman to be younger than 21, or unmarried, or unemployed, or any combination of these.  I can't let go of the unfairness of G-d or the Universe or fate or whatever allowing someone in that situation to get pregnant and have a baby while MM and I, who are mature, happily married, and gainfully employed remain childless.  I resent the fact that I've done things "right" and that my "good choices" have not been rewarded.

Just in the past few months, I've found out that my stepsister's unemployed, unmarried 20-year-old son is soon to be a father.  A close friend of my sister's from high school became a grandmother this week at age 38 when her unmarried 17-year-old daughter gave birth.  I also learned recently that the 20-year-old daughter of an old work friend of mine is pregnant unexpectedly; my friend is going to be a 40-year-old grandmother, while I am going to be 40 and childless.

I hate being petty, jealous and resentful, but that is the way I've become.  There seems to be no way to avoid news of others' pregnancies and babies, short of cutting myself off from contact with most of the world.  And even then, my closer friends and/or sister could still get pregnant.  A coworker of mine could still get pregnant.  I would still continue to see pregnant women everywhere I go, as I have for a long time.  (I found out this week that even the woman who makes my burrito at Qdoba is pregnant.  I thought she was even older than me!)  News of this type is inescapable.

I want to be more at peace about others' pregnancies and babies, but I don't have the first clue how to get to that point.  I'm not even hoping to feel happy for everyone because I don't think that is realistic.  I'd be satisfied if it just didn't feel like a knife to my heart when I hear this kind of news.

I worry that these feelings are going to stay with me even if we are somehow, miraculously, able to have a baby of our own, either on our own or through DE.  And I hate to think that feelings this ugly will continue to present themselves for the rest of my life


  1. I'd like to think the sting of such announcements will get easier if we are successful with DE or move on to be childfree if it all fails. But from learning of those on the other side of IF, it will always be there but perhaps to a lesser degree. I think IF will forever define us - both for the positive and the negative. But I certainly hope that it will get easier when we're on the "other side" whatever the outcome. Good post.

  2. I can relate too. I see a lot of pregnant clients, friends, cousins etc. and it's hard to deal with.

  3. I don't think these feelings will follow you forever; I think once you have found peace in the process or with your decisions then the feelings will dissipate.

    It's completely natural and normal to feel this way. For me, it was like having dual emotions I was immediately sad for myself yet happy for the other person. It took me a long time to be able to accept that both feelings could live side by side for me.

    I know that now that I'm expecting, other people's announcements are not nearly as hard. I still have the feeling that they have no idea how lucky they are though.

  4. Petty, jealous and resentful checking in for duty! I feel that way pretty much 99% of the time now, and it's a feeling I do not like. I find myself avoiding conversation with anyone except people who are going through infertility. It's about the only comfort we can find sometimes.

  5. Pregnancy announcements are so difficult for me too. The worst was my SIL. I try not to let others fertility reflect upon my inability to get pregnant thus far. My hubs always tells me that we are on our own path.... I wonder why it is so easy for him to say. I know that from time to time he can feel the sting caused both others ease at conception, recently he mentioned a friend posting an ultrasound picture on FB which he found to be ridiculous (since he is such a private person) but he noticed it AND mentioned it. I can't imagine anyone going through this struggle is immune to the ugly feelings you describe.
    I do hope that once we reach the other side (however that may be) that it will get easier.


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