MD was in town for work this week and has bought his lovely wife and new baby with him, so naturally we had to get together for dinner….any chance to get the original Dinner Monkey to the table I say. On their arrival I was almost immediately offered a cuddle with the new baby. MDJr is a totally gorgeous baby – calm and happy, such a beautiful little guy. There’s something about newborns that give off the appearance of absolute perfection. I felt a little apprehensive and wasn’t sure I wanted to hold him… babies seem to leave me off balance now more often than not and I guess the defense mechanism against this has seen me taking to avoiding babies altogether over the last few years. Mostly this is because it dredges up so many shitty emotions about infertility, IVF and miscarriages… grief, pain, frustraton, feelings of failure and worst of all – jealousy.
I try really hard to push it all down but it keeps rearing it’s ugly head whether I like it or not. For quite a while when i returned to IVF to attempt to have a second child many of my friends (six of them to be precise) including my sister BigSal were starting their families. As each one of them fell pregnant I was genuinely happy for them as I was confident (hrumph… delusional) that I too would be pregnant soon. But as time wore on and more and more IVF procedures failed and their pregnancies turned into fat happy babies and I was still unable to conceive it got harder and harder to be happy for my friends. Then one of my friends, Diamond Des was first, announced she was having a second child… and Goddess Bek announced the imminent arrival of her second… and then BigSal, BurnieSnail and HH all seemed to follow suit. Before I knew it all six of them had delivered their second fat happy babies and I was still on the IVF rollercoaster trying to conceive four odd years (and more thousands of dollars than I care to tally) later.
And that’s right about when my ability to fein happiness for my friends totally deserted me and quickly on it’s heels the socially unacceptable bitter jealousy started to emerge. I spent a lot of time thinking on useless questions wondering why it’s so easy for everyone else. My IVF specialist was totally perplexed and told me that my case was keeping him awake at night. I had unbelievably emotional reactions to reading or hear stories of total strangers mistreating their infants… so much so that I stopped watching local news.
Within the year after that two other friends fell pregnant accidentally (and happily) which just tore me to pieces. Accidentally? How the fuck does that happen? The concept of pregnancy being a result of sex and physical intimacy had become so foreign that the idea of it not being planned to the nth degree seems laughable.
And everytime I think I’ve burried the whole thing something unexpected brings it to the fore once more. Whether it’s the Small Child asking me if he can have a brother or hearing that yet another friend is having a baby… it just dredges it all up again. But when MD told me that he and his lady were expecting a baby I was genuinely happy for them, excited even. I was really happy to see him so happy. It was the first time in years I felt that way for one of my friends and I was beginning to think maybe I was finally putting it behind me…. you know, accepting my little family the way it is, stop chasing rainbows and moving right along.
But after tonight when I held that perfect little person for all of about a minute and a half before making a fool of myself and bursting into tears… I came to the sad realization that I’m deluding myself. Unfortunately, it still ain’t over.