Monday, February 16, 2009

Is it strange to feel this way?

This post has been floating around in my head for quite awhile, but after recent events and reading this post by JackiTiger (who also made my common thread bracelet for me), I feel that it need to be written down.

I can't help but feel like I'm a faker.  Yes, I'm pregnant and I accept this (most days).  But in my head, I'm still suffering through IF.  It's so strange.  I feel the baby moving around.  We had an u/s on Friday and everything looks good (She's measuring right on track with 150bpm heartbeat and my blood pressure was finally down as well).  And I could not be happier about all of this.  But when I go out, I find myself being self conscious of my belly.  I love it and stare in fascination when I'm at home, but out and about, I wonder who I'm hurting with it.  Not physically, but emotionally.  

I know that there were days when we were struggling to conceive that it just about killed me to walk into stores and see the bellies.  I know there are other IFers out there who still suffer with this.  Target was often the worst and some days I would actually avoid shopping there, even though I really needed to, just to save myself the emotional drain. You other TTTCers know what I'm talking about, right?

Mike and I were out "shopping" (really, just wandering around in shops) all day Saturday and there must have been at least six visibly pregnant women in every store.  I swear that there must have been some pregnant water going around because there are pregnant women EVERYWHERE!  I actually turned to Mike and said, "If we were still TTC, today would have been a day I would have gone home and cried."  He looked at me like I had three heads.  I had to explain the frustration and anger that I sometimes felt.  And days when there were pregnant women all over the place were the worst.

The whole ordeal stressed me out.  I kept wondering if any of the other women I saw had struggled.  Were there any women I was passing by that were on the verge of tears and praying that they could just leave the store as soon as possible because of my belly?  I wish there was some way to say, "We struggled for this baby.  18 months of perfectly timed everything and monitors and drugs and one miscarriage before we got here.  Please know you're not alone.  Talk to me."  I mean, I have my common thread bracelet but only some people know about that.   And I've never seen anyone else wearing one.

So, in an open letter to all of you women I pass throughout this pregnancy (and into the time I'm holding a baby in my arms), I love my baby and I hope that somehow, you will know that I'm thinking of all of you in your struggles. I'm praying that soon, I'll pass you in a store and smile at your growing belly.  I hope that one day, we'll all be able to lift this weight that IF places on our shoulders and move past the frustration and anger we sometimes feel.  I'm thinking of you and sending you strength.


shawna said...

This has got to be one of the most well-written and thoughtful posts that I have read. You are an amazing person, and it shows. I am so glad that everything is going so well with the baby.

v said...

I cannot really write to this experience. Cardo and obsessed and assured ourselves that we'd probably never be able to have kids, but that was obviously untrue. But I still want to repsond somehow.

I like that you end this on a positive note because no matter how you feel emotionally, rationally you are not responsible for others' pain. That really doesn't mean much though, as you said you experienced. I'm not one to really talk about being rational and not emotional, because I go with emotional always.

There are so many parts of pregnancy (and trying to conceive, as you've shown...and then raising the child) that are so strangely isolating and, most of the time, this sucks. I hope that someone else sees your bracelet and at least takes some kind of comfort in knowing that s/he is not alone.

Okay, I'm not being coherent so I'll leave it here, except to say that I agree with Shawna above.

Rotten said...

That is so sweet of you to say all of that. It's a pity you can't put it on a preggo shirt and wear it around saying something like "IFers... I GET it!" I still do the same thing (feeling bad about my bump because I know I have to be offending someone) and still remember going to malls and crying after my miscarriage and wondering why we weren't the pregnant ones. I think being sensitive to it is all you can do but you can't let it interfere with enjoying your pregnancy. You fought long and hard to get where you are and you should enjoy it. You don't strike me as the type that is running around saying "look at me... look at me... I'm pregnant and you're not." I think that carries on a person's face. People can see your compassion and your kindness.

Now go out there and be pregnant and beautiful and glow because you deserve to feel exited and happy just like every other woman does.