Man, it was shaping up to be a really good day too.
This whole last week, ever since our ultrasound, I’d been meaning to email some friends in Texas to let them know that we’d finally conceived. They were one of three friends from back home that actually followed up and wanted to know how things went in Omaha. I had been wanting to tell them we are pregnant, but after all the progesterone worries I wanted to make sure that everything was going alright. Well, I finally emailed them back and used words like “busting at the seams to tell you” and “we can’t believe it” etc., etc.
I get a response this afternoon from them. Basically along the lines of, Oh great, we’re very happy for you! Now seems like a great time to tell you that we’re 20 weeks along and we’re having a boy.
(Keep in mind I just hit 10 weeks, like, yesterday.)
Heart, meet the soul of my shoe.
I was shocked and I tell you, I would have started crying right there in the office had I not been pregnant myself. That familiar loneliness that follows you everywhere came rushing back. Not that I feel particularly popular or anything now (I actually still feel like I’m carrying around a giant secret of my husband and I) but the people I have told have shared stories and bonded with me with a sense of camaraderie that an in-/sub-fertile woman can only get in the blogs. This is why this place is so important. I swear, even in real life sometimes other women who are having trouble conceiving just sugar-coat it all and don’t tell you how they’re really doing. I’ve even had people offer to add me to prayer chains for expectant mothers and heard so many times at mass “We pray for those women expecting.” What about the ones that can’t have children, people? Do you even think about them???
Back to the email, I went from shocked to really, really upset. I just imagined a very, very likely, alternate universe more like the past 25 months in which I did not conceive and did not become pregnant. Reading that email (which of course, I wouldn’t have gotten because I would have not sent my own announcing my pregnancy) and finding out that my dear friends, who I’ve actually written about here before and were extremely supportive and understanding and more than I could have asked for, were 20 weeks pregnant and keeping it from me. Seriously, I’ve had nightmares about this stuff.
It probably sounds like I’m asking for too much. Like because I’m having trouble conceiving I want the world to bend around me and cater to my every demand. No, actually, as much as I would have loved a personal email announcing the pregnancy (considering these are close friends that have helped me through the hard times), I would totally settle for being told just like everyone else on Facebook. Not being treated like some emotionally unstable, must protect her from herself, crazy woman (because clearly, I am far from that! I hope you’re laughing).
I feel like I did when I told a close friend that my sister was pregnant again. “So, do you want to kill her or what?” I burst out crying. To me that was worse than any other response, worse than the sadness over my own inability to conceive, that my friend would think that I would feel that way about my new niece/nephew. That these complicated feelings were so misunderstood by people not in it, and whether it was something I said or did previously or the way that people think sub-/infertile women think we handle pregnancy announcements that caused her response. (Sorry Em, don’t know if you read this but I don’t think I told you that story.)
Being so misunderstood creates such a loneliness that only compounds the pain. And it hurts that even close friends (in both circumstances) couldn’t understand. This blog world really truly is a great area where people can share those dark moments without being judged or misunderstood (at least by other women/couples in the same position – no doubt not everyone understands fully).
To quote Hebrews “The pain we feel over a pregnancy announcement, as you know all too well, doesn’t really have anything to do with the fact that the pregnant person is pregnant…it has everything to do with the fact that the infertile/subfertile is NOT. Please don’t feel guilty.”
So, to sum it all up: Please, please you pregnant people out there, please tell that friend who’s having trouble conceiving that you’re pregnant when you’re ready to tell the rest of the world (preferably individually via email). I know its hard to do, but really, it has to happen.
Especially when you’ve already asked that couple to be the godparents of your next child. I mean, come on.