And they don'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.