February 19, 2007

You Down with OPP? (yeah you know me)

I'm totally down with Other People's Pregnancies. In the four years since we've been trying, so many friends of mine have been pregnant. Some have had more than one. There have been a couple of miscarriages, but the vast majority have been that easy, happy sort. I have truely never felt sad or cheated or unfaired-upon by anyone else's pregnancy. I have had one psycho Clomid-induced moment of crying hysterically after seeing a stranger walk by with a stroller, during which I screeched: "She's hideous and even she gets to reproduce!" But that was years ago, I am way more mature now (now that I'm off Clomid).

But really, I have never felt anything less than happiness for any of my friends or family who've had children over these past years. When I say that, people give me this sad look like they think surely I must be lying, how sad for me. I sometimes feel I'm even more intensely aware of how wonderful it is for them and my joy for them may be just slightly more acute. The one thing that makes me feel left out is when I can tell people feel weird about discussing their children or their pregnancies in front of me. They kind of do that thing where you look away from the guy in the wheelchair, and stop looking me in the eye when they realize they've been talking about breast feeding for 20 minutes and I'm the only one in the room without kids.

One friend in particular has been really great. She's pregnant now and I've really appreciated that she talks to me about her pregnancy. She also asks about my IVF cycle and tells me how excited she is for me; especially nice when I have such a hard time getting excited myself. It makes me feel more normal to have this bond with her, like I'm not quite so far out on the fertility fringes. She's pregnant, and like lots of girlfriends, she hopes we can be pregnant together, just that mine will happen in a different way. It's been so nice for me I decided to throw her shower. I also recruited my sister to be my back-up in case I'm having too hard a time to deal with it in a few months. An IVFer needs back-up plans, after all.

The other day we were at the home of another couple who are expecting. Since she's due in six weeks, we talked a lot about her pregnancy: how she's feeling, the plans for the nursery, etc. I was glad she was talking to me about it and not treating me like the fertility-cripple in the corner. It was a relief because at other times in her pregnancy I felt like she avoided the topic with me, which hurt my feelings. I was such a lame-o for not just bringing it up myself, but it's almost like I think pregnant women will find me unqualified for the discussion.

This time, I brought it up, asked questions, let her know I was excited, and she responded by sharing it all with me. It occurs to me that maybe I've been pulling that reverse-racism type thing, where I think everyone will think I'm different and freakish so I hold myself separate from the group of fertile women (not that I in ANY way equate the challenges of IF with the struggles of racism). It has probably been more me than them all along. And I do think that when I let people in on my IF secret, it is somewhat my responsibility to help them know how to deal with me. If they hold back somewhat in talking about their pregnancies with me, it is probably just because they are trying to be kind. No question some people are just stupid in how they respond to IF, but I'd like to think the majority are aiming for kindness. Some will even ask for help.

In cycle news, AF showed up yesterday, so I go in tomorrow for Lupron evaluation and hopefully start stims. I'm looking at estimated ER around 3/2, which is my mom's birthday.

6 comments:

Bumble said...

Hey Sarah, thats so great that you're OK with OPP (he he), it can be difficult sometimes, and I've found that the longer I'm battling IF, the harder it is for me to deal with. Also the situation of the woman conceiving, like if it was an Oops pg, then I take it alot harder, but if she's been trying a while, I'm usually very happy for her. Hooray on the start of your cycle, I hope its the one for you!

Sara said...

I'm about 50/50 with OPP. With most of my close friends, I'm ecstatic for them, but the "oops" pregnancies do bother me, as do those of some acquaintances. I envy you your peace about that.

I agree that when it's awkward with friends, sometimes it's us, not them. It took me a while to figure out that my friends had no idea how to act, so they tended to zig when I really needed them to zag. Opening a dialogue up has been hugely helpful.

ellie said...

I found that I was definately the odd person out at alot of events with OPPs -- and some that even had kids distanced themselves from us -- and I initially thought it was me, now I think maybe they just couldn't relate and wanted to be with other new parents. We still don't really hear from them- I figure it is a circle and they will step back into my life when they are ready. I am definately an educator-- I use the resolve site regularly and it's helped immensely for guidance in family and friends.

Baby Blues said...

Love the title! MIne would be. "You down with OPP? Oh no, not me." There's just a selective pregnant population that I'm not comfortable with, these would be the insensitive, "I'm pregnant again without wanting it" population. And yes I think I've also matured, so to say. I'm used to it. I enjoy the company of some of my good pregnant friends. It's just when they start acting awkward that I feel left out. But I do agree, they mean well. And honestly, they're just afraid that they might say something offensive.

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