Jealousy, Perspective, and Fertile Women

I have been thinking a lot lately about where I fit in. I mean, I’m no longer part of the “infertile” group since I am currently pregnant, but I’m definitely not part of the “fertile” group either, since after this pregnancy I will be infertile once again. That lands me somewhere in between. The funny thing is, even though I am pregnant now, I relate SO MUCH more to the infertile group and those that are still struggling to conceive. To be honest, fertile women bug the snot out of me most of the time!

I am part of a group of women on Baby Center that are all due in Spetember of this year. It is nice to be able to have a group to go to talk pregnancy related things, but to be honest, I mostly just read along, roll my eyes at times, and don’t really contribute to the discussions. Why? Because these fertile women can be so damn annoying. Here are some of the things they have posted just today:

“My baby has been pretty active for about 30 minutes now and I cannot stand the way it feels. It’s making my skin crawl.”

“I can’t wait for this pregnancy to be over. I hate being pregnant.”

“If this baby doesn’t let me get some sleep, I am going to SCREAM!”

“Depressed that all I can think about is the weight that i’m gaining :/ I’m more excited at the thought of dieting again than having this baby.”

“I have lost all excitment for this pregnancy. My depression and hormones are so out of control. I wish it would hurry up and just be August so this would all be over and I can get back to feeling somewhat normal.”

“Yep, baby #6 is on the way. And no…we weren’t even trying!”

See what I mean. Is it just me or do those comments make you cringe? After reading these comments today (and every other day as they pop up in my news feed), I have decided to remove myself from this group. Fertile women who have never had to struggle with fertility just don’t seem to appreciate it at all. I definitely don’t feel like I belong in this group. It even makes me feel quite nauseus when I read the negative comments above. Especially when I have met so many lovely, amazing, strong, and deserving women along this journey who would give just about anything to become a mother. Or people like my blogging friend Emily, over at Eat Love Procreate, who just found at that their first attempt at IVF failed. This journey seems so unfair at times. And even though I am not one to judge God’s plan or His timing, I just know without a doubt that Emily, or any other of the wonderful women I have met who are struggling at trying to start a family, would never have an ungrateful or eye rolling comment come out of their mouth like the ones you see above.

Now don’t get me wrong, I understand that some women have way harder pregnancies than others (or than I have had) and that hormones can make you feel all kinds of off…but I also know that a little perspective goes a long way. Because man, I am soaking up every single thing about this pregnancy and LOVE it all! Seriously! I even wanted morning sickness (although I never got it) just so that I could experience everything pregnancy has to offer. I never knew if we would ever have a baby, so I am loving and wanting everything that comes along with it…heartburn, acid reflux, backache, swollen feet, sleeplessness, constantly feeling like I have to pee, and anything else this pregnancy wants to bless me with…I’ll take it all…with a smile! Sometimes I just want to scream (or slap) some sense into these fertile women and give them a little of my (and other infertile’s) perspective.

I still find myself spending most of my time on blogs reading about infertility and reaching out to fellow TTC-ers than I do chatting it up with the women who I should have lots in common with. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have much in common with any of the women who have conceived naturally. I also know that once this pregnancy is over, I will be right back in with the infertile group since I will techinally never be able to conceive on my own without IVF. So here I am…team infertile for life! I just feel like even though other pregnant women and I are in the same place now, our journies have been so completely different…and I just don’t quite get her (and she probably doesn’t quite get me either). Mr. B often tells me that if some of these comments bother me so much, maybe I should offer a little perspective in the form of a comment about how lucky they are to actually BE pregnant. But the thing is, I know it won’t do any good. If you haven’t walked this path, you have no idea. I just know I’d be wasting my breath and probably have gotten kicked out of the group a long time ago. Good riddens, maybe he is right and I should have been offering a little perspective all along, since I am deciding to leave this group anyways. Maybe I’ll do that now with today’s comments before I remove myself. What do I have to lose?!  

The ironic thing is…I was one of those women at one point in my life, when I had my daughter 11 years ago. I am such a completely different person now. Even though infertility is, and will continue to be, the hardest thing I have ever been through, I am thankful that it has touched, shaped, and given me the depth and gratitude that I just know I was lacking before.

Also, is it weird that I am still jealous of other pregnant women? Or couples who find out they are pregnant after only a couple months of trying? Seriously. There was a pregnant woman in line ahead of me at the grocery store the other day, and I felt a ping of jealously as I looked at her baby bump. It seemed so silly. I mean, I can look down and see my baby bump too… we physically are exactly alike. But I still felt jealous. Maybe because I assumed that her road to that baby bump was smooth and unbroken like mine, maybe because I am still afraid that this miracle pregnancy will suddenly come to a schreeching halt. I’m really not sure why. All I know is that I felt jealous. It sure seems silly to feel jealous towards something that I have too. One of my good friends also announced a pregnancy the other day on Facebook. He is a newlywed and him and his wife have only just started trying for a baby. Of course I was happy for them…but there I was, feeling jealous again.

So, I hope those of you that are still actively TTC and are still on the other side of infertility don’t mind if I still hang out with you, support you, read your blogs, comment, and cheer you on. I feel way more at home with ladies that have a little perspective than the ones that have none at all.


6 thoughts on “Jealousy, Perspective, and Fertile Women

  1. You are more than welcome in the infertility community. Thank you for being so honest and true in your blog…. Reading it has been a breath of fresh air and a glimmer of hope. My husband and I never thought this would be so hard… Conceiving a baby was so easy with all of our friends. A year and a half later and we are still trying and still struggling…. With no answers, yet… More tests and more heartache to come. Hopefully one day soon I will be trying to find out which group I identify with… Hopefully one day soon I will be in your shoes….

  2. Thank you so much for the sweet shout out love! Both of my previous pregnancies have been very short lived, but I did experience the ridonculous birth boards on BBC and I know exactly what you are talking about. 90% of the women there have ZERO clue what it can take to actually achieve pregnancy for some. The only way I got around it was to create my own thread within my birth board called “Anyone try for 1+ yrs with infertility to finally get here?” and I got an outpouring of comments from women telling their stories. The title pretty much weeded out any annoying posters, so it was my safe zone and I just bookmarked it and went straight there so I didn’t have to look at other stupid topics. It made me feel not so alone and resentful while there, but then I miscarried anyways so I unjoined. Just an idea you could try if you wanted to connect with other like-minded women who “get it” and are due same time as you. I may actually need to start a whole new group on BBC if/when I get pregnant again called “Pregnant After Infertility”!

    I’ve often thought (well I already know) that even after I have a baby, I will have a hard time relating to other fertile women. This experience changes you forever. It changes the way you view the entire world and life experience. One thing I know is that it WILL make us even more amazing mothers than we ever knew possible. One thing I hope is that as our children get older, much of the pain of infertility will get easier and less forefront in our minds. I think it’s almost like a mourning process that lasts a really long time…it will get easier but never go away completely.

    I love and appreciate all of the support you’ve given me, and I do hope you’ll feel welcome to still stick around and say howdy whenever you’re moved to do so. 🙂

  3. Oh I can completely relate to this post. In fact just the other day I was visiting with some friends, 4 of us who are currently pregnant, and while it feels so good to finally be included in that group after three and a half very long years, it still was completely amazing to me how different I am from the other three women. One actually said, “you aren’t infertile anymore” and I had to explain that yes, I am. I’ll always be infertile.

    I can only carry on a conversation about pregnancy with them for so long before someone says something, without realizing, that just makes me cringe. Comments very similar to what you’ve seen on your birth month board. I know that my fertile friends are grateful for their children and I know they’re glad they didn’t struggle the way I did but I also know they will never understand the magnitude of what I went through and still go through. They’ll never “appreciate” the gift they’ve been given quite the way that us “infertiles” will. And yes, I still get a pang of jealousy and sadness and feel very broken every time I see a pregnant woman. Some days I wish we had a sign on our foreheads to identify other women who struggled that only members of our group could see. Some days I feel sad thinking about how my own big belly might be breaking someone’s heart when I head out to the grocery store. I am completely changed from this journey, mostly for the better (I like to think), but will never be able to go back to the old me, which often makes me sad to think how that carefree girl is just gone. I think I’ll be a 90 year old woman still getting teary eyed at a pregnant stranger, or at the thought of my babies who are not here.

    The women who I still want to spend all my time with are those either pregnant after IF or loss or those still struggling through it. I still find myself turning down invites from friends with kids or who are pregnant and crawling back to the comfort and understanding of friends who just get it. It’s who I am, not necessarily something I’m “happy” about but its such a huge part of who I am and who I will always be. I cannot imagine my life without the friends I’ve made, both in “real life” and through forums and blogs.

  4. Man, I so agree with having a sign on our forehead so people can watch what they say around us!! The worst is the constant questions ‘when are you going to have kids’…. Trust me,if I had my way I would have 5 by now!!! I wish people knew how much that hurts….

  5. Infertility has changed me forever and I will never forget it and always feel a kinship with other women who are infertile. It doesn’t matter that i am currently pregnant. I am pregnant because I got lucky. The drugs and IUI worked. I am not more or less fertile than anyone else and in the future I may never be able to duplicate what I have now. I don’t even know if I will make it to term since I am just shy of 7 weeks. However, I am enjoying every moment of what I have no matter how long it lasts. Yes, I haven’t felt 100% all the time, mostly just exhausted, but I’m glad to be exhausted, glad to not feel great. I am so lucky and I know this. The December BB makes my skin scrawl too. Every now and then I see some good stuff, but it’s mostly crap that makes me mad. I keep thinking maybe when we get past the first tri the board will get easier and more “real”, but maybe it won’t.

    I also feel angry and jealous at other pregnant woman. They are fertile they were able to. I am not. I am pregnant by some miracle, not because I am fertile. I hate pregnancy announcements, hate when I hear them complaining about stuff that they are so lucky to deal with. If you didn’t want a baby, there was a way to prevent it. I get a woman who was raped, you had no choice, a pregnancy is horrible, but that’s pretty much it. Not these boneheads that like to post about their “oops” baby or their baby daddy’s. I work with children and I cringe in some of the homes I’m in, like the one today that clearly was a drug house and there’s a baby girl, maybe 6-8 months old and two year old boy. Why the hell did they get to have babies? They don’t take care of them right the house was horrible. The boy was playing with a dirty diaper! Anyways, sorry, that really upset me today. I just wanted to post and say that I get it and I am so lucky to have this pregnancy and plan to make the most of every moment of it.

  6. Oh honey, I totally get it! Hugs to you! I can say that I would love and fully accept you still “hanging around” and commenting/ supporting/cheering me on. My short lived visit to the Oct 2013 board made me cringe every day. But, someone created a post about “anybody here after Ivf or fet?” And, there were about 10 of use that did ivf or fet. That was nice. Even though a few of us didn’t make it past 8 weeks.

    I totally yet your feelings and I think they are normal and justified after the road you’ve been down. It sucks doesn’t it? To never feel like part of that “normal” pregnant clique. But, like you’ve said, this infertility journey has given us so much more depth, empathy, soul, and thicker skin.

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