Monday, March 01, 2010

When Bombshells Hit - Pregnancy Announcements

I'm trying to think through what it feels like when a friend tells me she's pregnant. I think maybe I should clarify that actually, it is more, what it feels like when a friend tells me she's pregnant AND I'm not (well... still not pregnant, or no longer pregnant, ultimately, not pregnant now).

Firstly, I need to assure you that I do often feel genuinely happy for the friend who has shared the news. I am glad for them that they are going to be parents and I am glad for them that they are not in my (current) shoes. At the same time though, and somehow this is possible, I'm am gutted. I'm gutted almost on a separate dimension. That they are and I'm not. And it is not about the friend or person who is having the baby, it is somehow separate. It is about the significance or the representation of the very thing I desire so badly.

And this feeling of 'guttedness' is so peculiar. I felt it when I found out about my PCOS and that I'd have problems conceiving. I felt it when I let myself acknowlege my baby losses. I feel it when I stare at my husband and think of how I ache for a child that looks and takes after him. It is the craziest deep feeling of someone extracting the core out of you and slamming it into a wall- and then played over in slow-mo. It is inside of me but almost a tangible pain.

Maybe kinda like this:

Do you feel this too?

And of course there are deeper issues here, like anger, frustration, questions about God's ability, fairness, justice, about His understanding, whether His google maps to my house aren't working, my basic self-centeredness magnified to the max, etc. (Will pursue that later.)

But here are a couple things that make it easier for me, in terms of baby announcements:
1. When I'm warned. Whether it is by the prospective parents themselves, letting me know earlier and personally (as in not in a huge group/public), or by another friend, it seems to ease the 'surprise'. I know I cannot expect this of everyone, as it is their news to celebrate when they want, but if you are a friend to someone struggling with fertility, this could be something to note.
2. Knowing they have been trying helps. Similar to the first point, when I know, for example, this is the year they are planning to have kids and they do get pregnant, this also takes away some of the shock.
3. Sometimes with closer friends or relatives, it is easier, maybe cos' you knew they were trying, or you know they are gonna be cool parents or you know they aren't taking it for granted. I'm not sure why. It can be easier to be judgemental of the ones I don't know well or at all. However, sometimes the grief can be more intense when they are closer to you cos' you feel all the more envious. I guess there are no clear rules to this.

Funny (well, 'funny' is one way to put it) what you think of when you get the news though. I think through how old they are compared to us. (Sorta freak out if they are younger.) I think about how long they've been married compared to us. (Sorta freak out too if they have been married for a shorter time. Or try to relax it if they've been married longer. ) I think about their jobs. I think about whether I think they are ready. I think about the quality of their marriage (as if I would know). I critically try to analyse them in two seconds to see if they really know how fortunate they are. blah blah. The things I NEVER wanted to do, I do in my head. (Oh please help me God.)

1 comment:

Amel said...

Oh I can relate to SO MANY things that you wrote here. That's one reason why IF is so just can't control all the things you think and feel and how you feel that you begin to be more and more "judgmental" towards others - just like what you wrote in your last paragraph.

One thing that always appeases my mind is knowing that God comes to the world to rescue us all, sinners. And that He knows that we're sinners, but still He loves us so. If I don't keep telling myself these, I'd grow to hate myself so much and that'd be the end of me he he...