Friday, September 29, 2006

And they don't stop

It's well documented that if you are struggling with infertility, your world will instantly be filled with pregnant people. (For me, as I've mentioned here before, more than 25 friends, family members, and coworkers of mine got pregnant in the time we were trying.) The thing is, even if you do get pregnant yourself, it doesn't stop.

Right now, my work world is filled with pregnancies. Two other women in my department and two more on our floor are expecting, and in the last couple of months five of my, well, let's call them clients (even though that's not exactly what they are--but to be more precise might reveal what it is I do for a living), have told me they're pregnant too.

Even though I'm now nearly 20 weeks pregnant myself, and have been slowly easing into the reality of pregnancy, I still find it hard to fully identify with these women. Whenever a gaggle of three or more pregnant women (including me) accumulates in the bathroom at work (a frequent occurrence, as you might imagine), I can take the pregnancy chitchat for about a minute, then I start to feel uncomfortable with all that visible fecundity and I have to make an excuse and peel off. And each time a client has informed me that she, too, is pregnant, I've gotten that familiar sinking feeling for just an instant before I remember that I don't actually have to be jealous of her anymore.

(I don't tell all of them that I'm pregnant myself--I can get away with that because we deal with each other mostly by phone and email. I don't know why--I'm still oddly reluctant to broadcast far and wide that I'm pregnant. It still feels too tentative, even while I feel like I've been pregnant forever. There are still old friends--college roommates and the like, people I only usually speak to a couple times a year anyway--who don't know.)

I suppose that even after I have a real live baby of my own, I'll still be jealous, as Erin talked about in a comment on one of my previous posts.

I guess I can't help but think sometimes of how it would feel to be confronted by so many pregnant women in my daily work life if that Memorial Day weekend IUI hadn't worked. I was mildly hyperstimulated after the IUI and had cysts on my ovaries until I was at least 12 weeks pregnant, so I imagine I would have been benched for a month or so and might not have been able to cycle again until August. What if, I thought today as I chatted with a client about the day she found out she was pregnant ("it was unplanned! a complete surprise!") I was trying to have that conversation coming off another failed cycle, staring down the barrel of IVF? What if?

Edited to add: I know there are a lot of you out there who are dealing with precisely that kind of situation, and worse. I hope that previous paragraph didn't come across as condescending or anything. This is another one of those posts where you should feel free to tell me, "You're pregnant, shut up you lucky bitch."

*****

Speaking of being hyperstimulated: For more than two weeks after my beta, I very anally measured my bloat several times a day (since I usually expanded by nightfall), in several locations (hip, waist, belly button, lower abdomen), to make sure that I was shrinking and so I'd be sure to catch any sudden, ER-requiring expansion. Once the bloat seemed to have subsided, I stopped measuring, but in the past month or so, I've measured my pregnant belly a few times, just out of curiosity. Only in the past week have those measurements surpassed the size of my Follistim-fueled belly bloat. So now you know: It's not just hyperbole; if you hyperstim you really will look five months pregnant.

5 Comments:

Blogger K77 said...

Oooh I wish I'd thought to measure my post-lap bloat, esp with the 2nd one. I did take "belly shots" though for potential future comparison. Of course I wish I'd taken my camera to hospital to catch the day of surgery bloat from the 2nd one. I was HUGE. Anyway, congrats on the 20 weeks, sorry you are still being haunted by IF, I expect I will feel similarly.

5:26 AM  
Blogger MsPrufrock said...

I did a post about something similar when I was about 4 months along. I had a drive-by pregnancy announcement and it upset me. I couldn't figure out why, given that I was pregnant and that things seemed to be going well.

That said, I have the baby now and I got an email entitled "Baby Fever" the other day from a good friend and my heart sank. I think it's just one of those things that will haunt the infertile/formally infertile/recovering infertile permanently.

7:18 AM  
Blogger MoMo said...

I've measured my belly too...it is now bigger than my DH and my brother so politetly told me that my belly is bigger than his!! I know exactly how you feel, my SIL announced she is pregnant,she is unamarried and it was unplanned....it was like rubbing salt to my wound. Congrats on reaching 20 weeks!!

2:26 PM  
Blogger sube said...

It's funny how those wounds stay with us even when we reach the place we want to be. At least it gives you empathy. :)

10:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's pretty unbelieavable actually that even though we become pregnant, the sinking feeling never goes away. I am 17 weeks pregnant on bed rest for a hematoma, hopefully getting to full term and all 5 women I work with are pregnant. I still cringe when they tell me about their u/s and doc appts, not sure why b/c I'm further along than a few of them. And no, I haven't told many people yet either. It's part of who we are now and that's OK with me. I'm much more sensitive now than I ever was so I look at it as a blessing that I was chosen to endure this long journey, not many could and still come out the other end. I now have a unique sense of appreciation for this pregnancy.

8:23 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home