I have been on cloud 9 recently with our decision to adopt. We have been making plans (that I never thought we would make), we have been busy attending adoption workshops and reading adoption books, tending to our adoption Facebook page. Really, doing a lot of things that have distracted me (a welcome distraction) from my infertility. Being distracted doesn't mean I have forgotten about my infertility; it just means it has been on the back burner. Here is the thing about infertility; it never goes away. Some people learn to accept it and live with it, some people learn to ignore it, but none of us forget about it. Infertility becomes part of who we are. It helps shape us, it helps us grow, it changes the way we think about some things; the way we think about ourselves. So, I have been distracted and happily so, but sometimes those reminders of infertility just creep up on me. I never know what they are going to be, or how to anticipate them, or what my reaction will be.
A few years ago, I checked the mail when I got home from work. I opened the mailbox and there was a package from Gerber. The package contained a congratulations letter on the recent birth of my child and a full size canister of formula with coupons. I had forgotten that when I found out I was pregnant, I signed up on some website for free baby stuff. Well, I never had our baby, and holding a canister of formula in my hands was a reminder that I had no baby to feed it to. Here I am, in the street, in front of my mailbox with formula in my hands just crying; sobbing. I remember it very vividly.
Commercials, commercials, commercials (said in my whiniest Jan Brady voice)...they are huge culprits that find the most obnoxious ways to remind me of my infertility. Several weeks ago, I saw a commercial for a new pregnancy test. Clear Blue Easy can now estimate how far along in your pregnancy you are; 1-2 weeks, 3-4 weeks, 6+ weeks or some nonsense like that. And the commercial was of two women having coffee and the one decides to share with her friend that she is 1-2 weeks pregnant and they have a laugh and a happy moment. And in my head I am thinking, "This is a stupid &*#$% commercial and a stupid &*#$% test". You know why I thought that? Because all my pregnancy experiences taught me that you don't tell anyone you're pregnant before you're out of the danger zone. By the time I usually found out I was pregnant, I was already miscarrying. I never could have taken a test like that and been excited, and that made me angry and sad. Why does someone need to know they are 1-2 weeks pregnant anyway? And then, just the other night, a commercial came on with a crowd watching a football game. A pregnant woman walks into the room wearing a shirt that says future fan on her belly, and then a man walks over and places his hand on her belly and they kiss. And I cried. I will never have that belly and my husband and I will never have that moment. Yes, we will be parents through adoption and we will have a lot of exciting and joyous moments. I am not taking anything away from that, but remember, one thing does not replace the other.
A big reminder is coming up for me this month; November 20th. The third time I got pregnant was thru an IUI we had done in February of 2011. I found out I was pregnant around my birthday in March. My due date was November 20th. Of course, that date came and went with no baby born because at the end of April, just a few weeks before that 12 week mark I was so desperately hoping and praying I would make it to, I miscarried. I grieve my other 4 miscarriages, but the third one was significant for me in a way the others weren't. Maybe because of the IUI, maybe because we actually made it to an ultrasound, maybe because we had an official due date; I don't know. It's a different reminder.
There are other things that sneak up and remind me. Every cute Facebook pregnancy announcement or ultrasound picture, every time I log into my on-line support group and find that another one of my IF sisters has graduated to pregnant status and left me behind, every babyshower invite, etc. Of course these reminders are not personal attacks, but that doesn't mean they don't sting. I can be happy for other's, but feel a bit of sadness for myself at the same time. I feel it, I acknowledge it, and then I move on from it. Until the next reminder.