Tuesday, November 12, 2013

What to Expect when you are NOT Expecting

1.        Expect to feel like everyone you possibly know IS expecting.
No, this isn’t really the truth but I can honestly say it does feel like it.  Even though currently none of my closest friends are expecting it seems like every acquaintance in my life IS.  My best friend’s little sister’s best friend, my co-workers (ALL of them….well almost all of them).  The girl at my gym in my group class, teachers that work for D, neighbors, extended family members, EVERYONE.  And although I know that it’s not true that everyone is expecting but me, this is how I feel.  I didn’t say it was rational but it is honest. 

2.        Expect that the only thing worse than people who are expecting is friends who are also trying (or worse NOT trying) and beat you to the punch.

 Whenever someone mentions that they know someone who is trying or thinking about trying my first and immediate thought is “I’m sure they will get pregnant before me”.  It doesn’t make me proud that I have these thoughts or the feelings that go with them.  But once again – it’s honest.  I dread the day that I find out that the last of my girls who doesn’t have kids is expecting.  I dread the day my best friend tells me her little sister is pregnant.  But mostly I dread the awful feelings of jealously and bitterness that will come with these announcements.  I am not that type of person.  I don’t want to be THAT person.  And even though deep down I really am happy for these people, who I know are good and deserving and will be wonderful parents, it's sometimes hard to find the sun through the clouds.  But I am determined to keep looking.

3.        Expect the feeling of relief/joy that you used to feel when your period arrived is replaced by disappointment, rejection, and hello again, bitterness. 

For so many years I prayed for my period to arrive each month.  Irrationally panicking days before it was due, beating myself up for taking my pill a couple hours late.  And planning on how I would break the news of an unplanned pregnancy to my family and friends.  I would exchange those years of panic to not have to go one month with the disappointment of having your period when all you want is to be pregnant.  And even though I was disappointed to get put back on birth control to prepare for our first IVF cycle there's a part of me that's been relieved not to have to deal with the disappointment of starting my period these last couple months. 

4.        Expect to lose all control of your emotions…..all of them.
Not only do the smallest problems and issues bring tears to my eyes these days but everything seems so hard to handle.  It’s difficult to care that much about small problems or issues when you are facing infertility.  But life goes on and you are expected to act accordingly.  So when your co-worker is complaining about her crazy mother-in-law you must nod and agree that she really is the worse.  You are expected to continue to function as a normal person, when deep inside your inner voice is screaming that NONE OF THIS SHIT MATTERS.  This then leads to more unexplainable tears.  It’s a vicious cycle.

5.        Expect to lose interest in things that you are allowed to indulge in when you aren’t pregnant. 

 Before we starting trying I remember thinking (and joking) about how hard it would be to not be able to drink once I was pregnant.  My husband comes from a small country town where we love to pass afternoons and evenings gathered with friends having a few beers and a good time.  We go to concerts and sporting events with tailgates and parties.  I recognized that life would not stop when I got pregnant and have watched my friends struggle through being the sober, tired, pregnant party pooper.  However every month when I’m clearly NOT pregnant I find it hard to enjoy the things that I once thought I’d miss so much when I WAS pregnant.  (Yes, I’m well aware I sound like a crazy person)

6.        And finally expect to ultimately figure out that life is not over.  
      You will survive this.  The sun will come up tomorrow.  You are stronger than you think and God has a plan for you.  Life is short and beautiful and precious.  And with each new day comes new hope for the future. 

"May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us."
- St. Theresa

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