Many of you may know that it took us a while to get pregnant, and ultimately, after tests, medications, IUIs, surgery, and many months of waiting, we finally went through IVF before we got pregnant. When you go through challenges getting pregnant, the doctors brand you with a diagnosis . . . "infertility." I always thought that infertility meant the inability to get pregnant or have children, but it turns out that "infertility" also means "we worked really hard, went through a lot, pumped my body full of all kinds of crazy hormones and waited a long time to get pregnant."
That time was extremely difficult for me . . . I wanted very much to experience the joy of pregnancy and parenthood, but everyday, I lived with the fear that we would never get pregnant. I also remember the jealousy that would strike. It was very difficult to be around pregnant people, paste on that smile, and be happy for them, when all I wanted was to be in their shoes. And trust me, EVERYONE I knew was getting pregnant, having babies, having baby showers. The worst part was how UNGRATEFUL so many of them seemed. It had me FUMING all the time. Nevertheless, I learned how to bottle it up, paste on that smile, and get through things without letting on how hard it was. You know the ad "never let them see you sweat?" Well, I believed I should never let those "fertiles" see my pain. I was dedicated to faking it so well that no one but my closest confidantes knew how hard some of those interactions were for me.
I remember when we were TTC #1, I used to be pretty pissed off at all of these women posting on the SK boards who already had babies who were whining about not getting pregnant with a 2nd or a 3rd child. I really was not sympathetic - I kept thinking, "at least they have one." I know they went through pain each and every month they didn't get pregnant, but part of me would think "well, they can wait their turn." There was always a long list of women on my board that I felt deserved to be pregnant first (me included). I would often be annoyed at the women who came on for #2 and moaned and whined about how it was taking them 2 or 3 months to get pregnant and they didn't have to wait that long for #1. I just did not think it was fair for those women to get pregnant with a second child when there were so many women trying to get pregnant with their first child.
So, here I am, a woman with a child, getting ready sometime in the next year to TTC #2. I still feel that those women who are still TTC #1 are in a different place. When I even mention it on the Board, sometimes I feel terrible - that I'm somehow offending the "long-timers" who are still waiting for #1 by even suggesting that I deserve a #2. I feel a bit guilty to be preparing to go through this process, and a little afraid of airing my whines and rants about not getting pregnant each month, when there are still women out there TTC #1. Sometimes, I feel like one of "them" - those women I used to resent. On some level, I hate being on this other side when so many of my friends are still waiting.
Not surprisingly, I do feel a bit different about the subject now that I am on the other side. I do think infertility is infertility, and it hurts whether it is for #1 or #2. In some ways, going through it all over again when you know what you are about to face is just ridden with all kinds of anxiety. But, at the same time, I still feel that there are a host of first-timers that deserve to get pregnant first. And yet, a part of me hopes to be one of those lucky ones who has it easier the 2nd time around. If that happens, I am sure I will feel guilty that I became one of "them." And secretly, I hope to have the opportunity to join the "them" club. I know that I will certainly try my best to be respectful of those women who are going through this infertility stuff while TTC #1 . . . that fear that it will never happen is just awful, and I don't wish that on anyone. I also really do hope that I am not one of those women who can never have that 2nd child - I hope that infertility doesn't try and steal that joy from me, too.
Eve once posted the question on her blog . . . are you an "us" or a "them." I guess I still feel like an "us" even though having Micah might put me in the "them" category. As I responded to her post that day, I think that once you experience infertility, you are always an "us" - you never quite feel like "them." So, to those of you on SK . . . I hope you can still look at me as an "us" when I do eventually start on this journey for #2. And know that I understand - I remember how unfair it all felt, and I can't say I disagree. If I could give everyone trying for #1 their BFPs before I started out trying for #2, I would.
#RenoByStyleberry (soooo close to done!)
3 months ago