This one is harder for me to write than some of the others. I really struggle with this concept…How do you handle the expectations of others while you try to get pregnant? How do you effectively, and consistently, manage your own expectations on this tumultuous journey?! Never mind, the expectations of others!
The “others” I am referring to are a wide and varied bunch: your parents, other relatives, your spouse, your friends, practically any stranger on the street… the list is potentially endless. Like it or not you are not the only person who is anxious for you to become pregnant. Many other individuals are excited and anxious as well.
And I hate that.
It’s not because I don’t want them to be excited for our transition to parenthood. I do! I am thrilled that they are excited. But I hate that they are so invested in it. Not because it is nosy and awkward. Which it can be, of course!But that’s not it. I hate it, because it makes me feel like shit.
Every month that I don’t get to announce that we are expecting I have to look into everyone’s hopeful faces and reply that “No, I am not pregnant, yet.” I have to crush their dreams while I simultaneously crush my own. It breaks my heart. And I really, really hate that. I hate that I have to break my heart for them. It is hard enough to have to break it over my own dreams each month. And so I ask you, unpregnant chicks, how do you cope? It seems that infertile birds fall into two camps: Those that share and those that don’t. I share but I have a hard time setting limitations on what other people know or can ask me about.So I have questions for the two camps…
1. If you hide your journey away from prying eyes I want to know if by doing this you avoid having to manage feelings other than your own? I am amazed at your resolve. I cannot imagine the pain of going through infertility without being able to gain support from those around me. But I am a sharer, an over-sharer really, I need to vent this shit out. I need to open myself to others expectations in order to also get their support. But I respect that not everyone is willing or able to do this.
2. If you are someone like me who has told others but, unlike me, you’ve had the strength to set hard limits on questions related to trying I want to know if people respect your limits? I envy your ability to draw that line. I want everyone to be able to enjoy the little bit of happiness that our trying gives them and be allowed to express that as they wish. But then I have to hear about it when I am unprepared or even, god forbid, on my period.
3. If you are like me and you share and let it be a free for all do you ever get overwhelmed by the sadness other people feel for you? Don’t you ever find it just unbearable?
It hurts my heart to not be pregnant after two years of really giving it our all. But it hurts my heart even more that others close to us have to suffer at our expense. It’s a slippery slope, ladies. You can let others in. But then you risk having to look into their wide open faces; loving, expectant, so ready for joy and then rob them of that happiness. You have to watch their faces become guarded and sad at your news. Blah! It’s awful! There are many things that I wasn’t aware of when we started this journey. That bitterness and heartache can be shared was one of them. Tell me how you fair in this aspect? What do you do?