Monday, November 1, 2010

Survivor Guilt

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.

2 comments:

ASP said...

This post makes me want to hug you. I think even with our pending adoption people have forgotten everything that has gotten us to this point. It hasn't been easy, and dammit, if anyone deserves not to be guilty it's us (meaning you and I). I think sharing your story with the manicurist probably did lessen the blow a bit. It always does for me, but it doesn't make it any easier because we still sit here empty handed. Keep sharing your story and helping people understand that some women just don't get pregnant in the blink of an eye and to keep trying and to never give up that dream of becoming parents. Lots of love to you and that sweet little cheeky monkey of yours. ;)

bunny said...

Tru dat. It will always be there for us, however many cuddly monkeys or fluffy bunnies we have, and it will always be right next to us. I'm also glad you told her your deal, even if it didn't fix the awkwardness. Like ASP, I also bet it hurt her a little less. It's too bad that guilt has to be a part of surviving, but I imagine the feeling of luckiness and happiness pretty much outweighs the other crap. RIGHT?