I considered titling this post "making assumptions" but that just didn't quite fit.
Over the course of this three plus year journey, there is (at least) one lesson for which I am grateful. I have learned empathy through this. An empathy that I can apply to situations outside the world of reproduction.
For example, think about Facebook. We often blog / bitch / vent about FB posts and how it hurts to see a pregnancy announcement there. Empathy had made me think of all the single friends out there who see my FB updates about the fun times I've had with my hubby. A photo from a recent get-away, an update about our anniversary. Whatever it is, I think about how - to someone who hadn't yet found her life partner - seeing my updates must trigger a pain akin to the pain I feel when I see a FB pregnancy announcement / update / belly shot.
This empathy is something I am glad to have learned. It can never hurt to be empathetic and to understand or see the life difficulties of others.
Within empathy is a sub-lesson I am still learning. The idea of assumption. I am sure most of you do this: you see a pregnant woman and you assume she got pregnant easily and / or the pregnancy has been easy for her.
For me, there was a long period of time I could not be around a pregnant woman. I temporarily lost friends because I just couldn't handle it. The anger and jealousy that boiled up inside of me was exhausting, so for self-preservation reasons, I had to avoid being around "the pregnant."
That period has passed. Now I just don't get an F and can be around pregnant women with semi-ease. It's not easy and I certainly do not seek it out, but at least I am in a place that it is ok for me.
Then I went to Chicago this past weekend for my BiL's wedding. An interesting thing happened to me, one that a fable could be made from.
At the wedding, there was a pregnant woman. She was about 7 months pregnant (exactly where I should have been, had I not miscarried). I could feel my hackles up, my razor edges coming out. I had a mental image of nails on a chalkboard and even saw my two hands raised with nails out. It was really hard on me, but I found myself constantly looking at her and her gorgeous belly.
On the dance floor, my husband came up to me and said "I just talked to Eric." I said "who the hell is Eric?" Turns out Eric is the pregnant woman's husband. And she and he went through THREE failed IVF rounds before getting pregnant this time.
Suddenly, that woman became my hero. I never spoke a word to her, but as we danced a slow dance near each other, and I assumed she knew what we've been through (my hubby told Eric), I felt her warmth cover me. She was so beautiful.
And it reminded me NOT TO ASSUME. For two reasons: first, it brought out a side of me I am not longer willing to allow present. And second, if I assume, it means other IFers will assume. And then, when I am pregnant, I will cause someone else the pain and consternation this woman (through no fault of her own) caused me this weekend.
It's crazy, but I am scared of being pregnant because I don't want to hurt fellow IFers. I said at the RESOLVE meeting Tuesday night that I want to get a moomoo to wear while very pregnant and I want said moomoo to say "Infertile" with an arrow to "IVF baby" or "IVF babies." I don't want a single IFer to get sad or angry or agitated because she sees me walking - and glowing - down the street.
Those who are happily pregnant and / or new moms: how do you / did you deal with this? I think it's a worthwhile conversation to have within the IF community. I blogged on my old blog about the "pregnant infertile" so this is a similar post.
(also, we have our new donor egg bank calendar - to come in a following post!)
And on a different note, I was around my 8 1/2 month old niece and my 11 month nephew again. Remember after Thanksgiving, I posted that I didn't hold my niece once. I am VERY happy to annouce that I held them both this weekend. I was able to smother them with hugs and kisses. They are adorable. They are family. And it feels GOOD!