I decided to spend two glorious hours last Saturday having a manicure and pedicure, a gift from a friend (who had the genius to send a spa gift for Mommy; not that I would deprive the baby of anything, but he has enough clothes and toys and stuffed animals to last the rest of his infancy and then some). So off I trotted, leaving KB with a bottle of boob-milk and a babysitting gig, and cruising through the Starbucks drive-through I used to frequent to pick up some Go-Go Juice (aka Mother's Little Helper, Liquid Nap, etc.). Then as I settled into the massage chair to have my feet worshiped for a while, the lovely woman unfortunate enough to have to address my long-overdue pedicure asked me about the gift certificate. "What's the occasion?" "Oh, it's a gift from a friend to me, for having a baby." And then....dun dun dun..."Oh, that's really nice. I have never been able to have children...." Shitshitshit. My pampered foot tasted, I dunno, not so good.
How many times have I been her? How many stories about kids have made me cringe? I quickly told her, almost apologetically, that it took us a long time to get pregnant and that we didn't think we'd be able to at all. That we got lucky. She asked if we used IVF, and I told her we did, multiple times, before we just plain (because I can't emphasize this enough) got lucky. We steered the convo toward more neutral subjects after that, but the awkwardness had already set in. I hope I made her knifing less painful by telling her it wasn't easy. But really, did it ever make me feel much better? Maybe a smidge, but never much. Because in the end, it's a yes or no question -- did you get the baby? Your score isn't affected by degree of difficulty, only by whether or not you stuck the landing.
People, infertility is everywhere. I am sure I will never leave it behind. Even as I ponder (only sometimes, and only for a moment) whether we will ever try to have a second child (the probability is a high "no" for now), when other people ask, or when I see other people's babies...it's there. And it always will be. The end.