I’ve been working really hard on accepting my body and my personal path (cue the New Age chimes). Meditation CDs. Yoga. Deep breathing. Honestly, it’s not that I believe that any of these efforts will help me conceive. It’s to make this all feel less scary and sad. And because I can’t keep melting down into a puddle of despair all the time—it’s simply not fun.
And then, just when I think I’m getting a handle on myself, I totally lose control.
Over the weekend, hubs and I were en route to our anniversary dinner. We were talking about some construction work that’s being done in our six-flat apartment building this Fall. And in the course of conversation he dropped this lovely factoid, “Mary downstairs is due with another baby.” [Side note: I had suspected this for several months. However, since this gloriously fertile young woman is still carrying some baby weight from the boy she had a mere year and a half ago, I could divert my eyes in such a way as to fool myself that I was going crazy and just imagining things. Plus, she is a stay-at-home Mom and so our paths tend to cross only in the early hours of the morning, when I am sweaty and returning from a morning run, while she is settling her baby into his stroller and thus mercifully obstructing her stomach from my line of vision at the beginning of their morning walk.]
So, anyway. My response to hubs was something along the lines of: “What the HEEEEECK, it’s so UNFAIR how easy it is for most people! I bet it’s a girl, too. UGH! Why can’t WE have that?” And then my eyes welled up with tears and I said something like, “Great, just great. I guess that means that STUPID baby stroller that’s been sitting in our lobby isn’t going ANYWHERE.”
[There may have been an embarrassing number of curse words peppered within my reaction. Also, I was pretty uncomfortable from IUI-day bloat and also feeling a tad hormonal. But there’s no excuse.]
Hubs just looked at me with his eyes wide and said, “Where did Yoda go? You’re like Darth Vader right now, you went to the dark side!”
[He later told me it was like that scene from Lord of the Rings, when the usually happy-go-lucky hobbit Bilbo Baggins suddenly growls and snaps for the Ring, while dark, stormy clouds billow behind him. Well then!]
This is one of the things I struggle with constantly: Jealousy. I’m envious when friends email their baby updates. I get a lump in my throat when the baby announcements and shower invitations arrive in my mail box. I feel weepy when a pregnant lady walks by. I don’t ever go on the minefield of Facebook because I can’t take the litany of ultrasound pics, belly shots, hospital images, etc. My chest tightens. I honestly feel a little tug in my heart every morning and evening when I see that baby stroller in our building lobby. And now there will a new infant in the building! And now I will not be able to even pretend to make eye contact with Mary or her pregnant belly when we run into each other.
Lately (ahem, very lately), I’ve been doing better. When something baby/infertility-related upsets me, I take a deep breath and remind myself I am on MY OWN PATH. But Darth Vader is always lurking and threatening to make an appearance. It takes some seriously active positive/healthy/accepting thinking to not go to the dark side.
The good news is that I pulled myself together pretty quickly. Instead of turning into a sob-by mess and ruining our night, I wiped the tears from my eyes and settled into the drivers seat of the car and said: “Let’s talk about something else, okay?”
Zen zen zen zen.