I have a had a flood of baby announcements lately (well three but when you are battling IF even one feels like a flood). They all have children my son’s age or younger and although I live in gratitude for my little guy, it is a gentle reminder I am still here fighting and hoping and wishing and not pregnant. Because of this new optimism and attitude I have, I felt the initial twinge of envy then skipped the whole feeling bad and sad and sorry for myself. Instead I thought about all I have that so many would give anything for. The twinge of envy was fleeting and I didn’t even shed a tear.
One thing it has highlighted to me however, is how important a little compassion is. Everyone around me knows my battle with IF and all three ladies knew I had just had a sixth failed IVF cycle, yet their approaches were so different. Two of them were lovely and kind but the third was rubbing her belly, talking about the need for a bigger house and even talked about how glad she is her son will be a big brother and have a sibling close in age. She then sent me a link to her cutesy FB announcement. Side note here– when (and I mean when universe!!) I get pregnant again I will not be doing any announcements or cute pictures on social media. I don’t need it to feel happy for my own news and you never know who it might hurt. Just my thoughts after experiencing it. I kind of announced for my son (no picture or grand announcement just a FB post) and I feel terrible about the pain it might have caused. This is just my approach- not judging those of you who announce- lord knows you have earned your time to be joyful!
Anyway- I realized that the two people who were compassionate and empathetic with their announcements are actually compassionate and empathetic people. Not a big surprise. And the one who sent me a trigger filled text is rather self involved and while not outright a mean person- most definitely does not carry around empathy. When I thought about these people further I realized the one who was less then stellar in sharing her news is actually the most unhappy of all the friends. She is caught up in small mundane stresses of life and lacks perspective so small things like her son having a shorter then normal nap ruins her day. I think once you have had to see negative after negative pregnancy test, get that dreaded ‘not pregnant’ call after injecting thousands of dollars into your belly over and over, a shorter nap is pretty easy to bounce back from.
So, while I have to admit my twin sister and I did share a few petty comments about this person just to vent, it was yet another reminder that this journey can be a gift to all of us. When it is over, when we have our family and when we are finally through the darkness, I know we will have so much gratitude for the good and for what we have. I already feel like IF has made me a more patient and kind Mom. Still, two years later, when my little guy wakes me up in the middle of the night my first reaction is a rush of gratitude for him, even as I grumble out of bed. These past two years, the mundane moments, lack of sleep, challenging times have all felt so special and beautiful to me. If that isn’t the gift that keeps on giving, I don’t know what is.
I guess I just wanted to share with you all that the people who we may envy from afar are often times the people who are living a less then enviable life. While we have all been forced to face our biggest nightmare, when our dreams come true, it will feel that much more amazing. Light is always the brightest when you emerge from the dark. Hope the light comes fast for all of you. Xo