It took a long time for The Engineer’s Baby to make her way into our family. We reached the four year anniversary of starting our journey to parenthood before she was born (I wrote about the details here). And those four years were HARD. I was often not my best self. I was jealous, and scared, and angry, and worried. I was (on and off) depressed.
If there was one thing that was guaranteed to get me, it was a pregnancy announcement. And they came thick and fast (I was, after all, in my late twenties!). As much as I was so very happy for my friends and family, I was deeply sad for myself. Sometimes it was just a quick twinge of pain. Sometimes an announcement would have me in bed and crying for a day. I didn’t want to feel that way, but I did.
And then I got pregnant. And then we got past the first trimester. And suddenly pregnancy announcements were just exciting to me (which was an amazing change). It was great. And once she was born, babies and announcements were even more wonderful.
But recently a friend with a baby not much older than The Engineer’s Baby announced her second pregnancy. Then April Fool’s Day brought several fake pregnancies. Another friend announced her baby’s birth. And the little (very little) niggles of jealousy made me realise that the experience of infertility will probably never leave me. Sure, to the outside world, I am now on the “other side”, and sure, my day to day experience is as a parent, not as someone going through infertility. But my past experience has made its mark on me.
I think part of the reason is that I am now out of the newborn fog, and reaching the point that number two doesn’t seem like quite such a crazy prospect. But the reality is that it’s not likely to be our choice if or when that happens. Everyone seems to have a story of someone who went through hell for a first baby, and the second came as a surprise (in fact, I have more than one friend for whom that has been the case). And there’s still plenty of time for that to happen to us. But there are no guarantees*, and the idea of trying again is a little bit scary.
This recent experience has reminded me just how “loaded” pregnancy is for me (and many others). The feelings are less important day to day, but they’re still there. The experience is (in some ways) past, but it’s still there. And I think it always will be.
I am really not dwelling too much on this (even though a dedicated blog post may suggest otherwise). I am happy where we are. So happy. I am just pondering and realising and processing.
And when I do get a little caught up in thinking, I take a lot of comfort in the fact that if there is another go around, I will not have time to be taken over by the experience. After all, there is this little person demanding my attention most of the time, and reminding me just how lucky I am. (Because, seriously. Look at her. So lucky.)
* and yes, I know there are no guarantees for anyone, but we have very good reason to think it might not come easy.