The Orion Nebula

This is one STELLAR nursery!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Just You Wait

I try not to wear my infertility or my history of early pregnancy loss on my sleeve. First and foremost, I simply don't think people want to hear about it. It makes them uncomfortable because it implies all kinds of biological processes they'd rather not think about. Plus, the general public just doesn't know what kind of sympathy to show over the loss of a barely identifiable glop of tissue. Even if they feel terrible for me, they just don't have the words for it.

Talking to Doombot the other night I really started to reflect on how Orion's imminent arrival makes me tempted to say "no" when I'm asked if I've ever been pregnant before. People don't want to know if I've been pregnant before. They're asking me if this is my first child or if I've ever experienced what I'm going through right now. I've never been one of these girls who puts the dates I lost all of my "angel babies" on my forum ticker, but should I be doing more to honor them? Should I at least do more to honor myself for having endured all of that trial and error? All of that loss?

I've also started to hear a lot of lectures from well meaning friends who start in with the "Just you wait..." laundry list of all the ways in which having a baby will be a giant pain in the ass. I love these ladies. In almost every case, they've given more to me in the way of genuine support than I could have ever had the stones to ask for. But this? Makes me want to do a spit take. How can I have forgotten to let these wonderful ladies know that I have waited. And waited.

The first time I had an ultrasound to make sure I'd passed all of the "products of conception", Bill Clinton was still president. The first time I squealed with glee when a second line popped up on a pregnancy test, the World Trade Center was still standing. It was still there when I got fired from my job for missing time to have the D&C. It's been five years since I washed down the first fertility drug I paid full price for because it wasn't covered by insurance. It was a year ago when I gave up on ever being a mother and decided to move on with my life, and at 35.5 weeks pregnant it was 39.5 weeks ago when I had my last miscarriage. Have I waited enough?

I recognize that every one's world view is filtered through their own experiences. I also recognize that one of my biggest fears is to be seen as a whiner. Maybe that clash between other people's perceptions and my own secrecy has created an atmosphere where I have made it virtually impossible for anyone but my husband and my mother to avoid my emotional landmines. All I know is every shitty diaper I change at 4am will be a miracle in my world, and I'm choosing to see that as a gift.

I'll just wait.

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