Thursday, February 15, 2007

And Another Thing….

I thought once I was pregnant that was life would be magically blissful. After all, the one thing standing between me and Total Happiness (so I thought) was a baby. So once I got pregnant, I would turn into this Zen, perfectly balanced, happy, optimistic person. I might even take up regular yoga. Traffic wouldn’t be awful anymore; I would just turn up the music and spend some quality time with my unborn child. I wouldn’t mind waiting ten minutes for a subway to come. The bitter cold winter wind wouldn’t bother me a bit. I would befriend telemarketers who call at 8:30 at night. I wouldn’t mind being put on hold for twenty minutes when I call my insurance company. I would easily dodge the slings and arrows of daily life because I had a baby growing inside me.

Turns out being pregnant just isn’t the panacea that I thought it would be.

Don’t get me wrong: I am not in least ungrateful or unappreciative of being pregnant. One thing, I can say with conviction, that definitely holds true is this: You feel gratitude each and every day that you are pregnant. You thank your lucky stars. Your heart breaks when you read about someone having a low fertilization rate or a failed cycle or a m/c. You feel a connection with every woman who is walking the same road (and variations thereof) as you did. Your empathy for those who are still in the position that you were just in a mere few months ago grows exponentially.

Infertility is one of those “clubs” you don’t ever want to be a member of. Like my friends who have lost a parent; another club you don’t want to be a member of. I won’t ever truly understand the depth of their grief until I go through it myself. My SIL’s mother died about a week after she gave birth to my niece. Mina had a c-section, so she was in the hospital for a few days. After that, they were rushing around to get baby Skye a passport and get over to Japan when her Mom died (she was declining for a while because the cancer spread). Her mother never got to meet her second grandchild. It breaks my heart, but, more to the point, it shattered Mina’s. I will never know her grief.

My point it this: I reached my hand (under duress, because who wants to?) into the grab bag of problems and pulled out the infertility card (among others). Why did I spend so much time shaking my fist at the sky and asking “Why me?” Why not me, I guess. We all get crappy hands. That was one of mine. And in the end, if I am lucky, I will have two babies. (But Mina will never have her mom back.)

And the truth is, being pregnant just doesn’t solve the deep-down issues like I thought it might. I still get rageful in traffic and angry when telemarketers call me late and pissed off when I have to wait on hold for a ridiculously long time, only to get accidentally hung up on. I still curse my luck if I get to the subway just as one is leaving the station. My problems didn’t magically disappear. I’m still annoyed at the contractor who is—of all things—building a bedroom for my babies. I didn’t take up yoga. In fact, I stopped my daily hour-at-the-gym routine at about 8 weeks. And I worry about how I will lose this baby weight. I guess this is what happens when you mix equal parts of gratitude and fear.

But I used to think, as I passed pregnant women on the street, that their lives were perfect. You think this world would have more empathy in it, considering we are all going through our own versions of hell at one point or another.

Above picture is my SIL and baby Skye (who's now almost two!).


K J and the kids said...

That was a great post.
I think sometimes we need to remember those things in our lives to be grateful for.
I wish that I could remember on hard days that things will work out.
They always do.
Thanks for the reminder.

K J and the kids said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Motel Manager said...

Very well said! Lovely post.

amy said...

i totally felt the way you did. in fact i remember telling my mom when i got pregnant that i was so grateful that it would change my life forever, i would be much more pleasant and patient with everyone! of course very little changed and it was all temporary but after infertility i think we become so grateful and appreciative for the gift that we think our minds will just forget or ignore all the other things in life that are just aggravating.
Euphoria is the culprit!

Tamsin said...

Very thought-provoking, and oh-so-true.

BTW, if you can manage to get yourself along to an antenatal yoga class at some point, I really would thoroughly recommend it. It's the best thing that I have done for myself in terms of pregnancy relaxation and birth preparation (although I wasn't at all convinced by it initially).