It has been challenging to deal with babies and pregnant women in the last couple of months.
Ever since the news of possibly needing a gestational carrier, my previous calmness and acceptance of babies and pregnant women in my life have turned into occasional intolerance. It has become increasingly difficult for me to deal with pregnancy news or cute baby photos on Fac.ebook. I guess these things come in waves. Prior to our first donor egg cycle, we were so hopeful for a positive outcome that the sight of anything pregnancy- or baby-related did not bother me much. In fact, I saw pregnancy news from donor egg cycles as an encouragement that the same happy ending would most likely happen to us as well. Suddenly, my world was turned upside down. Knowing that surrogacy may be the only way for us to have a baby that shares his/her genes with my husband, even pregnancy news of ladies in my Fac.ebook donor egg secret group becomes intolerable. In the last two weeks, about 4 or 5 of these ladies got their positive beta or two pink lines on their pee sticks. I haven’t been able to bear the sight of that and often have to hide these posts. This is not a sustainable way to live, but I just can’t force myself to be okay when I am really not okay.
But, I am a human being. Human being likes to torture themselves. I am no different. Even when I hide these posts, I also seek them out sometimes. There are these “friends” on Fac.ebook that I don’t personally talk to much anymore. They all got married in the past year or two. I often unfollow them so I won’t see their posts on my newsfeed should they become pregnant and post their announcements. I guess, it’s just a sort of preemptive self-preservation. Last week, I decided to torture myself. I looked at the Fac.ebook page of three of them. Guess what? Lucky me. All three had made a pregnancy announcement in the last month. The good news is, I didn’t get ambushed by their pregnancy announcements unprepared because of the unfollowing. However, I didn’t expect all three of them to be expecting. I don’t wish any of this infertility nonsense to happen to any of them, but at the same time, I selfishly didn’t want them to be trying so quickly after their wedding.
And then, somehow, I also looked up my first boyfriend on Fac.ebook. I don’t know how he came to my mind. I just was thinking about him and his wife, who happened to be one of my best friends in my 20s. She and I hung out almost every single weekend for quite a few years. Then one day, she and her long-time boyfriend broke up. My ex-boyfriend and she got together. Although he and I were no longer together, it was still tough to see my best friend and my ex-boyfriend be an item. It was extremely awkward for any of us to all hang out together. Since they got married, we had grown apart. Life changed and we are no longer close friends. All I knew was that they didn’t have any kids. I never asked her about their plans and I just assumed they didn’t want to have kids after being married for over ten years. It has been quite a few years since I last bumped into them at a local grocery store. I searched for my ex-boyfriend who is not even my Fac.ebook friend. And there he was in his profile photo with a little girl. Another photo showed a group of people and my former best friend who was grinning from ear to ear holding her baby. Judging from the dates of the photos, it seems like she had given birth early last year. So she was probably 41 or 42 when she gave birth. Twelve years after their wedding. I am sure that there is a story of an infertility journey about which I’d never find out the details. I am happy that they finally have a child if they did struggle. However, the sense of being alone in this world of infertility sometimes is too much to bear.
Although seeing pregnant ladies and babies on Fac.ebook has been difficult for me, I just can’t be mad at babies, especially those very cute ones that I get to hold and play with in real life. I am talking about babies who show up at my work. My supervisor returned to work after her 4.5 month maternity leave. Her husband is currently on paternity leave, so the baby comes to our office to visit at least three to four times a week. I was initially annoyed by the sounds and sights of the baby. I deliberately stayed in my office without reacting or responding to the oohing and ahhing out in the hall. But you just can’t be mad at a super chubby and smiley baby. I just happened to be at the front desk one day when my supervisor’s husband was pushing the baby stroller in. Since the front door was already looked, I went and unlocked it for him. I peeked inside the stroller. All I could see was a baby beaming with a smile. When I talked to him, he opened his mouth and started cooing back. It was super cute. I remember going home telling Bob about the baby and how he responded to my voice with such happy face. Last week, another baby came with her mom to work. When I walked by her mom’s office, the baby was crying. So I couldn’t help myself but volunteer to hold the baby so her mom could fix her milk for her. And I fed the baby so her mom could go do something very important. You know, you just can’t be mad at the babies. She drank her milk and fell asleep in my arm. When my coworker came back, I even chatted with her about her difficulty breastfeeding the baby and other struggles she had as a new mother. After I handed the baby back to her, I went to the lunch room and my supervisor’s baby was there visiting. Holding him while waiting for my lunch to heat up was a highlight of my day.
I no longer dread the unannounced visits of these babies or the sight or sound of them. I think I am faring better than I expected myself to be. I don’t avoid them like a plague. There is a certain freedom in that I no longer feel negative about being surrounded by these babies. I just hope that one day I will have the same freedom seeing pregnancy and birth announcements that show up on my Fac.ebook newsfeed. I was once okay with them. I am hopeful that given time, I will get back in that head space once again.