Over the years, I've become hardened to this situation, chalking it up to a part of this journey and learning many techniques for dealing with surprise pregnancy announcements. In addition, I've been fortunate to find this community and people in real life who have been supportive of us while we've been in treatment.
Recently though, a new wrinkle has been throw into the mix. It started with a card from someone I knew in high school. This individual is nice, but clueless at best and keen on announcing his life achievements to all the world. I also don't hear from him unless he wants to gloat. So when I got the card that was of the exact size of a birth announcement in the middle of my IVF cycle, I made the decision to mark "Return to Sender." My most mature moment, probably not. But I was dealing with a lot of emotions at that point and didn't need the added stress. Two days before my first beta, I get an email.
Hey Cristy,Sent you an announcement about the birth of my daughter, but it got sent back to me. Then I tried calling you and it said the number was no longer in service. Then I tried Facebook to tell you the news, but I couldn't find you. So I figured I would try this. . . . . Hope you're alive.
Anyway, this message was the beginning of a surge of pregnancy announcements for those on their second and even third child. Where as previously I was able to swallow my pain and wish them a brief congratulations, I find I'm struggling to even do that, particularly in the "oops" cases. With each of these announces came the additional sting that not only am I infertile, but I'm being left in the dust by people who have no trouble conceiving. While they're complaining about balancing pregnancy with child-rearing, I'm left with a mourning this miscarriage. I'm happy for these people, I really am. I just wish they weren't so smug about it.
The problem comes with the fact that though I don't like being so distant, I no longer feel guilty about having these feelings. Granted, I recognize that no one is plotting to make me feel bad by procreating as quickly as possible. But I also no longer feel the need to congratulate who conceives without a thought every time they announce they are knocked up.
All of this is complicated by the fact that I don't have the same animosity toward pregnant infertiles or infertiles who have resolved their infertility. And I think a large part of that has to do with these women not only getting it, but also being willing to support those of us still in the trenches. Granted, this isn't universally true, as I know perfectly fertile women who have been awesome about being supportive and, likewise, infertile women who have become insensitive as soon as they achieve pregnancy. But it's like the rest of the fertile world has become separate from our existence. We may pass one another on the street, but neither of us has anything we can really say to one another. And, it's really too bad. Because with a little bit of compassion vs. silence and looks of pity, words of support instead of one-liners like "just relax," I think we'd all feel better about the situation.
My whole point with this rant: being lapped sucks. And it hurts all the more right now as I realize that today, if I was still pregnant, I would be 8 weeks along. Instead I sit here with an empty uterus and memories of 4 days when after 2 years on this journey I actually had what comes so easily to others. Pardon me if I don't jump up and down when I'm blind-sided by a round-two (or three) pregnancy announcement.