Posted by: Marisa | August 26, 2011

Sometimes The Truth Hurts

One of the best things about being pregnant is that, once it happened, I became a really good sleeper. Infertile me never slept but was always in bed. Pregnant me is always in bed but is also always sleeping. It’s refreshing.

But tonight, infertile me (with babies in my belly, thank God), came back to haunt me and now it’s 4am and I can’t get my mind to settle.

A good friend called earlier to tell me she’s pregnant and I was overjoyed. Simply that: happy and excited and wanting to hear more.  We talked for over an hour about her pregnancy and everything she’s experiencing. And while we were going through it there was nothing noteworthy about anything I’ve just written.

It wasn’t until I was laying awake in the dark that I realized, this pregnancy call had been different  – though it had nothing to do with the person calling and everything to do with the person receiving the news. The first pregnancy call since I’d become pregnant. And with this realization my mind went from trying to drift back to sleep to deciding to walk down a memory lane full of emotions that I’d rather not re-visit.

But my brain has a mind of it’s own…

For me, there was (and maybe there still is) a level of guilt associated with my infertility.

Because when friends tell you they’re pregnant the ‘right’ response is the one I had tonight. It’s not that freaking hard. Yet that response  always seemed so far from what I felt. I wanted to be happy for them and I wanted them to be able to show how truly excited they were. But that’s not how it ever happened and I  hated (and still hate) that we were both faking it for the sake of the other.

Instead of being genuinely happy I found myself struggling just to make it through the pregnancy call. The gut punch wasn’t something I could prevent but it always came first. It was swift, took my breath away, and made me feel sick to my stomach. The tears would start to well up in my eyes and I’d force myself to take a few calming breaths. Then, after the hollow, “I’m so happy for you. No really, I know we just had another failed cycle, but I’m fine and am truly happy for you” came the tears. I’m pretty sure no one but John ever saw those but I think the callers knew they were there…which is why, maybe, they always called rather then telling me in person. We’d end the call without any extra chatter and through the tears I’d make my way to bed…but I never slept.

After I calmed down the guilt would settle in. I hated my reaction to their good news and struggled to figure out why I couldn’t just be happy for them, why their news weighed so heavily on me emotionally and physically. It wasn’t like they had scooped in and taken the last available baby away from me. My inability to get pregnant wasn’t caused by them getting pregnant. But it just hurt. And every pregnancy call was one more piece of infertility baggage stacked on top of me. I was just exhausted…and tired… from the struggle.  Each call was a reminder of what I wanted so badly but couldn’t have…even worse, what I wanted so badly and wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to have.

For years I’ve had a philosophy that I want to bring and keep people in my life who will be happy for my successes, not jealous. And I want to give those friends the same in return. I think that’s why I still get upset today when I think about my reaction to the pregnancy calls. It’s why I’ve been laying in the dark for hours getting worked up over something that’s very much a part of my past. Because as much as I wish it wasn’t true, and as much as I understand that most people judge infertiles for the reactions above, those emotions were real and raw and continue to define who I am today.



  1. i totally understand ur reactions because i reacted the same way before i became pregnant too.

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