For as long as I can remember I was always overjoyed when a couple would announce their pregnancy. No one loved the idea of a new baby more than I did, even from the time I was a little girl. I am one of five children and while the news of my youngest brother coming when I was fourteen years old was shocking to say the least, I was elated with the idea of a new baby. In fact, there were several years when I was hoping my mildly reckless teenage brother would impregnate his girlfriend just so we could have a baby around. And nothing excited me more than shopping for baby gifts. So, how could the same woman go from blissful enthusiasm to sheer rage at the thought of pregnancy? Here’s how:
It was important for me to be married before considering mommyhood so my desire to get pregnant did not start until my honeymoon. Several of our friends, no one we were particularly close to though, had recently become pregnant and expressed how quickly it all happened. The women I knew told me they were going to give themselves a year and were all shocked and overwhelmed when their pregnancy was achieved within weeks of deciding to try. Suddenly it was far more common to get pregnant on the first try then not.
October was the first month in our trial when the disappointment set in. One Saturday morning I woke up greeted by Aunt Flo, much to my surprise. I cried for a while in the bathroom and eventually pulled myself together. After all, we had a dinner party to host that night and at least I could have a glass of wine.
We were sure October was our month. We had used one of those ovulation predictor kits that give you a smiley face when you are ovulating. I took a photograph of that beaming outline of a smile and remember thinking that I would share it, one day, with my future baby. “See, honey, this was the smiley face that was sent to me the day you were created.” Oy. What was I thinking?
Anyway, back to the party! House looking beautiful? Check. Food tasting delish? Check. Outfit looking fabulous? Check. The party began. Coming over were ten of my husband’s close friends. When I offered a glass of wine to a friend who I knew adored her vino she replied, “No, I am not feeling so great. I’ll just have water.” Silence… my heart sinking faster than I could say, “abandon ship.” She was pregnant and I was the only one who knew it. The rest of the evening was a blur.
A few days later she announced her pregnancy along with the news that she and her husband had decided to try and two weeks later…yup. I found it impossible to be happy for them. She was pregnant and had the perfect due date of mid-June. And I had my period. Awesome.
After that it seemed I saw nothing but baby bumps. One pregnant woman after the next and, truth be told, I continue to see tons of pregnant women everywhere I go. Did I just not notice before? Or is there some insane baby boom we are going to hear about in twenty years?
I had a huge fear of newly married friends announcing their news. I almost backed out of a birthday party because I was certain baby bump 2010 watch was going to be kicked off. So, if you are anything like me and/or human, when you are not expecting but wish you were, you can expect to have these horrible envious feelings. I call them envious and not jealous because I did want my friends to have their babies and happiness, I had just wanted it too.
But I couldn’t avoid pregnant women. I had considered skipping out on events where I knew someone would be pregnant. My husband and even close girlfriends supported this decision by saying things like “you have to take care of yourself.” This was very true and taking care of myself was a big part of the equation if I was going to get to the other side of the fertility rainbow still wearing my ruby slippers. But I have yet to skip an event and I had noticed when I was hanging out with a pregnant friend it was not nearly as traumatic as I had anticipated.
So, these envious feelings made me feel worse than I already did. My husband liked to say “there are plenty of babies to go around and just because someone else has a baby doesn’t mean we won’t.” I understood that but the more I knew others were getting their Big Fat Positives, the further away my BFP felt.
I had to remind myself of how I would want others to feel for me when my baby came and that helped some. I also had to make gratitude lists for the things that were in my life rather than focusing on what wasn’t. And more time trying to conceive was more time learning about myself, more time with my husband and more time learning about being a mommy.
Since Aurora was born, several friends have announced their pregnancies and I am happy to say I feel, once again, elated by the news of babies coming. Hearing someone is pregnant certainly reminds me of the months we were not, BUT THEN I see my perfect daughter and am so eternally grateful her birth mother got that Big Fat Positive, and not me.
Sophie Pierce lives in the hipster neighborhood, Silverlake, in Los Angeles, California. She is the owner of Sophie Dance, a children’s super fun recreational dance studio in Los Angeles that specializes in hip hop, contemporary ballet and tap for ages two to sixteen.