You'd think this would go away. This ridiculous infertile envy of mine. I'm pregnant for crying out loud. I know lots of people look at my blog, see that I'm pregnant and click away immediately, sorry that they accidentally stumbled on yet another pregnancy blog. I'm one of THEM. One of the traitors. No longer one of the team. But once a stirrup queen, always a stirrup queen, I say. Pregnancy has made me no less infertile. Pregnancy has made me no less capable of just deciding that I want to get pregnant and making it happen. Pregnancy has not created in me the freedom to make my own reproductive choices without the interference of a team of doctors.
Oh, but what's that, you say? Triplets? Why, oh why would I ever need to contemplate more children anyway? I'll tell you why! Because if I were fertile, I'd be ABLE to contemplate that without anyone asking me such a ridiculous question, that's why. Because never in my life did it occur to me that I would have one pregnancy and be done. Because it never occured to me that my only pregnancy experience would be a high-risk, bed-ridden, terbutaline-laden experience.
And where does the envy come in? I have a friend who got married in early February. On my husband's birthday, in fact. I was in the middle of a doomed IUI cycle, or so I thought. I had, in fact, that morning been to a monitoring appointment in which a doctor had given me yet another quizzical look and basically said, "Well, at least we know this is the last cycle, and we're moving on to IVF next cycle." My friend is a lovely woman, and she married a lovely gentleman, another friend of ours, and we couldn't be happier for them. But I was near tears all day. I'm not normally like that during a cycle. I normally take the ups and downs of a treatment cycle fairly well, but that cycle just kept going SO BADLY and I was so very tired. And it was February, which meant that the bride, beautiful and radiant, had plenty of time left in the year to get pregnant and have a baby before year's end.
And guess what? She's due to have her first baby in December. Which means she got pregnant a month after I did. (I had my IUI mid-February that month to get pregnant with the triplets). And I wouldn't wish infertiity on her. I really wouldn't. Not for one, single, solitary second. I wouldn't wish it on ANYONE, least of all her. But... but... couldn't she at least be due in January? Couldn't I have just been wrong once?
I am surrounded, and I mean SURROUNDED by pregnant women in my community. It's one of the pitfalls of being an infertile woman living in an Orthodox Jewish Community. One woman is due around the same time that the triplets should be making their debut with her first from her second IVF cycle and I couldn't be happier for her. The others, as far as I know had no struggles (they are all relatively newly-weds, or they are on their second, third, or fourth children in pretty short time spans). Between early July and the beginning of October, there are 10 babies (counting each of the triplets as one baby) expected (and now, if you expand to December, 11 counting this friend I described above) in a one mile radius. Four were born in the last 10 days. Three of us are expecting arrivals in late September (including me). You would THINK that with me being one of the pregnant ones for once, I wouldn't be jealous. But I am. I really am. And worse, there's a piece of me that just HATES that I'm not special, and a piece of me that LOVES that the triplets set me apart from all the other deliveries coming, because at least in that sense, my babies still ARE the special ones. Because I really AM that petty and childish.
You'd think I could just be genuinely happy for everyone else's good news. And usually I am. I truly do not believe there is a limited amount of fertility in this world. I don't believe that another woman's pregnancy takes away from my "chances" of a pregnancy. And yet, when I learned of my friend's pregnancy, I felt hollow and empty and mean. I wanted to leave the room and cry if I could, but I knew I couldn't. And no one, NO ONE, understands why it would matter to me. I mean, I hit the jackpot, right? Triplets! I never have to worry about having kids again, right? Except that I hate that people just assume it's okay to say that. "Well, at least you're done and you never have to do this again." What a horrible thing to say. What if I WANT this again? How exactly is having a catheter in my leg pumping medicine into me 24/7 a fun pregnancy experience? Why is it okay to assume that I'm just loving this "perfect" pregnancy from my bed or recliner from which I am allowed to emerge for a meal or for the bathroom or for a doctor's appointment, but for nothing else?
But it's not fair of me to blame fertile myrtles either. My friend never did anything to me. She isn't even the one that told me she was pregnant (I'm closer with her sister who told me because I talk to her far more often). She's never said "nanny nanny boo boo. it took you five years and tens of thousands of dollars of treatment, but I only took a month, so pbbbbt!" I'm sure it's never occurred to her. She's quiet and unassumming and beautiful and so unbelievably perfect. I'm not angry at her. I'm angry at myself for not being mature enough to just be happy for her. After all, I have everything that I wanted. I have an amazing husband. I have the pregnancy I begged and cried and prayed for (even though technically I prayed for a SINGLETON pregnancy). I have a beautiful amazing foster son. I have a home I love and a supportive community. I couldn't ask for more.
And yet, I still envy her, and I hate myself for that.