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The Infertility Traitor

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a blog by Jay Pal, June 29, 2011

Much to my amazement, after several years of trying and after my third most recent in vitro fertilization (IVF), which only resulted in one embryo, I found out I am pregnant. As of today, I’m six weeks, and there are few who are more shocked than me.

Of course, I’m thrilled. I’ve never been pregnant, and I was seriously beginning to wonder if I was even capable of getting pregnant, so it goes without saying that I’ve been overjoyed. Nausea, exhaustion, cramps and sore boobs? Bring it on people! I won’t complain.

That all being said, there are a few things worrying me right now:

  1. Will I be fortunate enough to have a happy and healthy nine months?
  2. Will the baby be a healthy one that hopefully finds me as funny as I do?
  3. Will we be able to afford the baby after all the money we’ve spent trying to get pregnant in the first place?

And then, there’s No. 4:

  1. Will all my friends in the infertile community now hate me?

    I have bonded with the infertility community at large, and I’ve made so many friends that even though I’m, of course, so happy to have “crossed over” (so to speak), I still can’t help but feel badly for those who are still fighting the good fight. I know first hand what that’s like: You’re happy for the person, and it gives you hope, but it’s impossible not to wonder, “What about me? Why not me? Will it ever be my turn?”

    Within an hour after seeing my positive pregnancy test, I thought to myself, “Oh no ... what about my friends? I feel like such a traitor!” I shared this with a friend of mine who also found out she was pregnant after a recent IVF, and she said, “Yeah, OK, but I don’t feel bad enough to give the baby back!” And that’s a very fair point. However, I can’t help but be mindful that my good news will unintentionally make several women I care about even more frustrated or down.

    There are things I wish I could say to these women to let them know I’m still me, I still truly care, that I’m sorry if my pregnancy has hurt anyone and that I still relate. The problem is I also know what it's like to hear a pregnant woman give you a pep talk. Everything they are saying may be 100 percent true, but all you can think is, “Easy for you to say! You’re freaking pregnant!”

    Like it or not, there’s little I can do about all of this. Even though six weeks is very early in a pregnancy, and there are still more milestones ahead, I’m just so happy to be at this point. Still though, I’m trying to walk the fine line between oozing joy all over my blog, Facebook and Twitter, and being completely respectful and empathetic to where others are at in their trying to conceive journey. It’s not always easy, but it’s extremely important to me to try.

    If I could, I’d wave a magic fertility wand and make all the women I’ve leaned on during these last two and a half years pregnant. Anyone who has gone through this hellish, frustrating, illogical journey deserves what they want at the end of it. Sadly, this wand doesn’t exist. The only thing I can do now is offer them all of my support and hope that they continue to support me.

    Pregnant or not, who couldn’t use support when it comes to matters of both the heart and the uterus?

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    Comments (4)

    I am extremely happy for you!! and you definitely deserve to enjoy everything motherhood brings...that includes "allowing" yourself to show/express your excitement...guilt free... I am sure your friends understand how long and hard you yourself have fought the fight and walked that long hard road. you seem like a wonderful and compassionate person...but I don't think anyone should feel guilty for such a beautiful blessing. I myself have had those thoughts of "what about me?" when a friend would tell me they were pregnant. but I always kept those feelings to myself and went out of my way to not allow my own struggles to override my friendships. the only time I get upset is when I hear of women having babies "left n right" (so to speak) who do not even love their children, women who abuse their children, etc. etc. Other than that...Rock on chica!! You have a wonderful baby on the deserve your happiness hon. Be it far from anyone like me to rob someone of their joy because of my own struggles girlfriend.

    I completely understand what you are saying. I didn't enter the 'blog/Twitter/FB' world until my {adopted} son was almost 3, but still had/have friends who are facing IF. I've never been *really* pregnant, as far as I know, but having my empty arms finally filled after many, many years of 'no hope', I still felt survivor's guilt. And to be completely honest, I still get slightly envious when I see/hear that someone is pregnant. Even though my IF journey began 20+years ago, I still grieve the fact that I never got to feel life growing & moving inside me. However, I am ELATED for you and everyone else in our IF community who have beat the odds and now have or are having their miracle! Such a fine line there, I know. Time definitely does help to heal the wound that IF causes. Plus, I have to daily decide NOT to dwell on my own sorry luck where pregnancy is concerned anymore. I just can't for sanity's sake:-)

    Having come "through" infertilty to parenting, I've been struggling with my identity a bit. Finally, my therapist, who was sick of hearing me refer to myself as "infertile" said, "You need a new term."
    So I now refer to myself as imfertile.
    And yeah, we all have survivor's guilt. I was so closeted about my pregnancy, that half of my infertile friends didn't even realize I was pregnant until the day before I had the baby. (although I didn't think I was _that_ secretive.)

    I felt just the same when I got pregnant. Unfortunately it ended in a miscarriage but I completely understand that it's hard to get the balance right and I worried about what to post/tweet. However, I'm sure you will manage it and if you're not sure of something then don't post it, or think about how you would feel if it was you reading it 6 months ago.

    And finally, CONGRATULATIONS you deserve to be happy and I wish you a very healthy 9 months!

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