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.