I walked into my exercise studio this morning (dailey method- the BEST workout class ever) and saw a redhead out of the corner of my eye walking out. I recognized her sharp, slightly irritated voice scold her son. I turned to greet her and saw her growing belly tight and pronounced under her thin workout tank. My heart sank and instinctually I turned away to avoid seeing her.
When I sat down in my class to stretch I felt instantly guilty. Why had her pregnant belly given me such a strong reaction? Why had I turned away and avoided her at all costs? I have my beautiful miracle son and am strongly caffeinated with pre- workout class energy. I am a social person by nature and would normally love to see someone I know and catch up.
Then I remember last time I saw her just a few months ago she mentioned in passing it was time for her son to have a sibling. Her flippant, breezy and confident tone was so foreign, so envious to me. She wanted another baby, therefore another baby she will have. It rubbed me wrong in that way only an infertile will understand. I remember her saying they were going to get pregnant next month so she could be in the second trimester on their upcoming wine tasting trip. ‘So I can have a few sips’ she had said breezily. I remember wishing for it to be so easy. Wondering what it would be like to just ‘decide’ to have another baby. Decide the timing that was convenient to a wine tasting trip.
Seeing her, months later with proof she could simply decide to get pregnant and it would happen, made my heart sink. Not in the way it would have before my miracle son but it still effected me. I did not want to see that warm, soft smile of a pregnant lady. I did not want to express enthusiasm and hide my envy.
I like to think I am on the ‘other side’ of this IF stuff since I have my beautiful IVF baby but today was such a stark realization that it stays with you. Most of the time it is a slow simmer that is a beautiful reminder to enjoy every moment and relish even the hard parts. Then every once in a while it turns into this ugly and surprising pang of jealousy and pain.
I like to think that IF has taught me the gift of living in the moment and truly appreciating everything I have. I like to think that my ability to appreciate and treasure outweighs this silly instinct. I know how lucky I am. I truly do know I am more fortunate than so many. I can assure you that is not lost on me.
I also imagine this friend has no idea how truly fortunate she is. She has no idea that so many women would give anything to be able to simply choose to be pregnant. To feel a healthy baby growing inside you. To decide to have a family and then make it happen. To not pray every night for a miracle. To not wake up and wish it all a nightmare. I imagine this makes smaller things in her life a big deal. Her boy misbehaving, extra pounds during pregnancy, morning sickness.
Perhaps I am the lucky one to have been shown the importance, beauty and gift of the small moments. My son’s sigh in his sleep, his chubby hand grabbing my hair, even his pleading sobs at 2am. If nothing else I am so very grateful I know to treasure the good with every ounce of who I am. That is a true gift that will last me a lifetime and make the small stuff, the details in life, have the power, poignancy and the joy they deserve. Life is, after all, truly lived in the details. Not in the huge milestones but in the compilations of the little moments.
As I start up IVF again I will remind myself that life does not stop, moments don’t pause until I am able to get pregnant. Life should not be a blur until a big milestone is met. It should be cherished and enjoyed along the way.