Not Getting Pregnant.. #3 Don’t Hate Me
NOT GETTING PREGNANT...
#3 DON’T HATE ME
BY JUST CALL ME DELILAH
I won’t say how it came about but, I saw someone’s pregnancy test today. In a bin. It was Positive. Big Fat Positive. My mind raced with curiosity about the woman who had left it there… was she excited? Was she nervous? Was there a wonderful moment of joy when she told her partner? Would she tell people straight away or would she wait?
Thing is, I’ve never seen a positive pregnancy test before. The title of this piece might have given you a teensy clue to that revelation but pictures aside, with all the sticks I’ve wee’d on in 4 ½ years of trying to get pregnant, I’ve only ever seen a negative result. In fact, in the absence of other first-hand evidence, I have doubted that a positive test was even possible, at least for me.
The flash of genuine excitement I felt seeing this positive test were if it were actually mine and it was followed immediately by a return of the disappointment felt when, only a few days ago, my period appeared and I had to accept, yet again, that this month was not going to be My Month. This month was Her Month. Mystery Pregnant Woman I mean.
Crucially however, I didn’t hate her. This is actually quite important.
As soon as you decide you really want a baby, unless you strike gold the first time you pop your head torch on and head down that mine, in a swirl of Barry White serenaded euphoria (I’m just guessing…) that tug of disappointment on that period arriving is very real. When it happens over and over again, it can seriously affect your sense of whoopi-di-do-ness, your perspective and occasionally your grip on reality.
When, during this time your friends / relations / random people you sort of know on Instagram joyfully announce their own happy news, your hurt can manifest itself as downright hatred. How could they? How DARE they? It was meant to be me, and you’ve stolen it from me. Logic, or even fairness need not apply here - you may or may not know how challenging or not their journey has been but it still hurts.
I regret to say I told one of my very best friends I hated her when she made her first announcement (her eldest started school this term..). I once spent hours locked in the bathroom sobbing when a random athlete I had never seen before coyly announced her pregnancy live on Sports Personality of the Year. One friend undergoing her umpteethround of IVF said that she wanted to physically hurt pregnant women (she didn’t, don’t worry). I have long been ‘that friend’ who mums-to-be pre-warn before their Big Announcement “because I know it’s sensitive for you”. The subsequent tiny baby pics can also twist your insides like a playground Chinese burn.
However, as I said above, I didn’t hate mystery-pregnant-woman.
In part, I put this down to therapy I’ve been having, a kind of Fertility CBT called Freedom Fertility Formula. The premise that, in the absence of any medical reasons for infertility, it might be our subconscious brain preventing that longed for pregnancy, by translating our desperation anxiety as danger and ironically stepping in to protect us from the source of danger. Speaking for myself, each month when I’m driving myself crazy scanning my body for possible pregnancy symptoms, the theory that my anxiety is telling my brain that I’m worried about pregnancy, so stops me getting pregnant, makes some sense. Even if the theory turns out to not deliver for me, therapy that helps me stop winding myself into a nervous wreck every few weeks can’t hurt. Although I should add that my practioner is also a hospitable midwife and I was recommended to her by my highly respected NHS Gynaecologist, and given how scathing the NHS can be about alternative therapies, I take that as a big fat thumbs up.
The other thing is that I saw a picture on Facebook today of a Very Smug New Mum. I thought that. I thought, “God she looks Smug.” And then I thought, “of course she looks smug, she has Every Reason in the WORLD to look smug, she DESERVES to look smug!!!” In this picture she is at some sort of day time party surrounded by friends, feeding her gorgeous new baby that she made and gave birth to at her breast, in public, she is the vision of health and contented happiness, looking up at her partner, who I happen to know is a wonderful match for her and they are wonderfully happy. And, I said to myself, when that’s you, you’re going to feel just as proud and so you should, because your long held dream will have come true and you’ll want to tell the world too.
As often as I have dreamed of the day that, like Mystery Pregnant Woman, my test will show positive, I have also worried about how to announce it. I have worried that my announcement will upset some in the way I have felt hurt by others’ announcements. I will be so overjoyed and relieved and yet I have even worried about telling readers of these blogs, and you don’t even know who I am!! Is this another worry, another anxiety that is potentially stopping me getting that bun in the oven to bake?
So all of us that are still trying - I think we’re just going to have to get over our feelings of resentment. It’s ok to feel sad for yourself at times, it’s impossible not to. But don’t hate Mystery Pregnant Woman or anyone else who is having a baby. For one thing you don’t know what that woman has been through.
For another, think not how hurt you feel right now, think how happy you will be when it’s you.