Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Why Infertility Sucks: Reason # 2

Reason #2 Why Infertility Sucks: Pregnant Women

There are things that everyone wants in their lives that they can't get.

You want to buy a house, but you can't afford it.

You want more than anything to be a doctor, to get in to Medical school.

You want to travel to Italy, to see that beautiful country.

You want to have a baby.

A dream is a dream. None are more worthwhile, more beautiful, than any other. Dreams are the precious heart's desires of someone, of anyone. My sympathy, it is boundless for those who want something, want to move on with their lives and reach a goal, live a dream, and who cannot for some reason.

With each kind of suffering, there is a certain uniqueness, a certain kind of pain that no other suffering faces. It's not a "worse" pain, it's not a more "noble" pain, and by the way that's a great way to alienate people, to tell them how much worse your suffering is than theirs. Because the thing is, no suffering is "worse" than any other. It's not a contest. Each miserable person is miserable in their own way.

The uniqueness, then, of the infertility suffering, is the constant bombardment on all sides of people who are having babies, who are getting the thing that you want, the thing that consumes you, that is always in the back of your mind, but that you can't have. Our pain is going into a bakery on a random Thursday afternoon and bumping into yet another friend giving you the news that they're pregnant, that the thing you want is the thing that they are getting. It's turning on the TV or open the latest gossip rag to see yet another flaky celebrity pregnancy rumor.

And you know, you don't begrudge them, you know that there's not a limited amount of fertility in the world. You know that someone else getting pregnant has no impact on whether you will get pregnant, but you still feel kicked in the gut that it was so easy for them, that it should be so easy for everyone, and yet another cycle, another month, another year is passing you by, and everyone else is doing what you wish so dearly you were doing but that you cannot do.

And the real kicker here is that you is not just hearing the stories of pregnancies, but the stories of unwanted pregnancies, of people who get pregnant and who don't want to be pregnant, for whom pregnancy is a disaster. And you aren't angry at the person, you know that every life is different and babies aren't for everyone, but you're angry at the universe for just not fucking making sense.

And you sit there, and you know how much this sucks, and you don't want to alienate anyone who's facing their own demons by telling them how much better it is to be suffering the way they're suffering than the way you're suffering because that's bullshit anyway. Every kind of suffering, of want, is unique. And there are things about not achieving every other dream that us infertiles don't have to face.

But this, this constantly being surrounded by fucking pregnant people, this is the pain that is unique to us. And we've learned to adapt. We get the "I'm pregnant!" announcements and we'll smile and say "congratulations" while we silently absorb a kick in the gut and try to extract ourselves conversation as quickly as possible, not willing to break down in front of them and become a massive downer while they want to celebrate their happy news, not wanting to face the sympathy in their faces when they say "So, any news with you....?" And we know we're being rude, but the thing is we don't *want* to make the pregnant person feel guilty by crying in front of them so we run, run as fast as we can in the other direction in order to not lose our shit publicly. Or we quickly change the channel or slap the magazine closed, wanting to watch or read about something other than babies, because babies consume everything that we do and it is just nice to do something that doesn't have anything to do with babies, to go to the bakery or turn on the TV and not have the reminder that someone else is pregnant and you are not at every turn.

So that's why infertility sucks: because the bottom line is, it fucks with our ability to be happy for anyone else. It's totally perverse.

1 comment:

  1. Completely agree. There are days I wish all the pregnant women would disappear; then I feel guilty, because more than anything I want to be one of them, and in their shoes, I too would proudly display my swelling body and want to communicate my joy to everyone I met. Can I blame others for doing more less what I wish *I* could do? Most days...yes. I don't know if I will ever come to terms with "why not me?"