A small request…

July 16, 2008

As infertiles, there are certain things that upset Jeff and I that wouldn’t normally upset a fertile person or couple.  One of those things is pregnancy announcements.  We know people get pregnant on their own all the time – believe me, we know – and it’s a beautiful, amazing thing.  Before all of this happened to us, we would be so happy to hear the news that one of our friends or family members were having a baby, or that the celebrity couple-of-the-week was expecting.  We would almost be able to feel the excitement of the mere announcement of an expectant mother and father-to-be.  Unfortunately all of that changed once we started having fertility issues. 

Now pregnancy announcements from friends and family (and even celebrities) are like daggers in our hearts.  They are a constant, nine month long reminder of what we don’t have.  When the babies come, we feel a little twinge of jealousy, along with a little sadness, and then we move on until the next announcement comes along.  Since we have started trying to have a baby, we have had at least 13 of our friends and family members get pregnant (some are even pregnant for a second time) and have babies.  I know I can’t ask you to imagine how that feels, because you could never know unless you were in our shoes.

Let me tell you about the time my sister-in-law, LeAnn, called us to tell us she was pregnant.  Jeff and I were on the way home from the gym, and were looking forward to getting together that night with Jeff’s folks, his brother, Marty, and Marty’s wife, LeAnn.  We were going to BJ’s, one of our favorite places!  Anyway, about halfway to our house, my cell phone rang.  It was LeAnn.  From the minute she started talking, I knew.  I knew she was going to tell me she was pregnant.  And she did.  She was so unbelievably sweet and careful with her words…I know it was hard for her to tell us because at the time we had been trying for about a year and a half, and she knew how badly we wanted to be parents.  She called me to tell me the news before we met up with everyone so that I wouldn’t be caught off-guard at dinner.  Thank goodness, because the minute I hung up with her, I burst into tears.  In fact, I cried the whole way home, the entire time in the shower, through getting ready for dinner, and in the car on the way to dinner.  Jeff finally helped me to compose myself in time for walking into the restaurant door, but I was on the verge of tears throughout our meal.  I wouldn’t have made it through the night if it weren’t for Jeff squeezing my hand so tight underneath the table.  You could tell that everyone was kind of walking on eggshells around Jeff and I, and that sucked.  Marty and LeAnn should have gotten their moment to be so incredibly happy and vocal about how thrilled they were to be expecting their first child.  While I know we didn’t “ruin” their time in the spotlight, I know that our situation didn’t help with what should have been an awesome celebratory dinner with our family.

The point to this story is, and I think that most infertiles would agree with me, please please please if you are going to announce a pregnancy to a couple or person who is infertile, give them a little heads up ahead of time.  It’s so important to give them some time to “grieve” in private before they are expected to slap on a smile (whether it’s real or fake) on their face and congratulate you in person.  I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been caught off-guard by a surprise announcement, and oh boy, are those hard.  Especially when the announcee knows about our trouble trying to conceive, and they act like their announcement is no big deal.  We saw some friends that we don’t see that often at a party on Memorial Day weekend, and just like being hit by a mack truck, I was hit with the fact that she was 19 weeks pregnant (with their second)!  WTF?  Why the hell didn’t any of our friends tell us about this?!?!?  Apparently EVERYONE knew except Jeff and I, which really only pissed me off more (don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for this couple, but c’mon)!  I don’t know how dumb someone has to be to think that a pregnancy announcement doesn’t affect Jeff and I in some way, or another. 

Just to reiterate – Jeff and I were NOT like this before we started struggling to get pregnant.  Anyone who knows us, knows this to be true.  This is a nasty side effect of infertility, and I wish it didn’t happen, but it does.  It doesn’t mean that we don’t wish every happiness for an expectant couple, and it doesn’t mean that we feel like others don’t “deserve” it as much as we do.  It’s not that way at all. 

Kerry

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2 Responses to “A small request…”

  1. Lanie said

    Kerry, this post is so perfect! This is the pain I’ve been feeling since Sunday. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Rachel said

    Isn’t it sad and ridiculous how we can go from over the moon happy for people (before IF) to run me over with a car sad during IF?

    It always made me feel sick.

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