Snippets of thoughts are swirling around. Will they actually come together in a blog posting? I think I've found the thread, with a little help from my friend (yes, that's you, the Scottish mama/psychologist).
We are in the car, driving up to a cottage for the weekend, and she says I'm not infertile.
What do you mean?
What she means, pointing at my (now visibly) growing bump is that I am looking like fertility incarnated. That what's going on inside of me is what fertility is all about. That my biology, and my social world, all think I'm as fertile as it gets.
She has a point. But I protest, of course.
I'm not about to give back my infertile badge. I feel like I'll be part of that club until death. Is that short sighted of me? Maybe. Probably. But at the end of the day, my body didn't create life. Yes, it is growing it as we speak. And yes, my body, my whole being will work hard to sustain this life once it joins us on the outside.
But I'm still infertile.
I hear myself tell people I don't know well that this was a long awaited for baby. I do a double-take on myself when I say that it has been years of work to get here. What is that about? I look the same but I'm different, and I need the world to know it? I don't know. I just find it odd that it keeps coming out of my mouth. I go back to thumbing my rolodex of emotional patterns. Oh yes, I see. This is the one about deserving things only if I've absolutely worked my ass off to have them.
Don't get me wrong. I've long abandoned the idea that my infertility is psychosomatic. My psyche did not create this. No amount of relaxing would have brought us this pregnancy. But I do find it disturbing that my actions perhaps demonstrate that I fancy myself more deserving of this child than others since I've suffered so much for him or her. That's a tad effed up.
Is it that my experience of pregnancy is completely the one of a pregnant infertile? I don't think so. There are aspect I feel I'm experiencing like every other woman who has or is or will be pregnant, no matter what route she took to get there. I have the same worries (ok, perhaps magnified a bit). I've started to smugly rub my belly (yes, you can hate me). I'm interviewing doulas, and I've picked out a colour for the nursery (parma grey - farrow and ball), and I'm getting freaked out about giving birth.
And yet, I'm not ready to say that all has just gotten back on track with the pregnancy. This train didn't just jump the track, it piled up into a full wreck. And perhaps that is what I am holding onto when I cannot drop the infertile after the pregnant in my title. Let's not pretend there wasn't hell to go through to get here (and perhaps more hell before we get there - oh please no. PLEASE, NO MORE HELL!). And without going all psychoanalytic on you folks, this is perhaps a parallel with my childhood. There was a certain amount of shit that went down, all of which went unacknowledged by my parents and extended family. 15 years of therapy later, it appears I find it important to acknowledge the truth of what happens to me. Go figure.
So, I am pregnant. And I am infertile. Both of those are my truths. And I understand that to the outside world, I am just another pregnant woman* Very few know about the donor egg process we've been through and for now, it's very easy to decide who gets to know and who doesn't. But on the inside, I'm mostly still infertile and waiting for the other shoe to drop. I know enough to let hope in and go with the facts (inside my uterus = growing fetus). And I also know that this is entirely a miracle, that science, money, selflessness, another woman's eggs, good medical staff, lots of missed hours of work, enormous support from all of you, and a large measure of determination on our parts made it possible. And I know that if we lose this miracle, we can't just have sex to try and make another one happen.
I think I'm ok with living as a pregnant infertile. That's what it will need to be for it to be my truth, so I'll stick with it for now.
*Did I ever tell you how much I dread being that woman to someone in the throes of infertility. Like I could just be sitting somewhere, and she is having the worse day ever after a beta of 1, staring down her 4th IVF, and then she sees me with my bump and I am her last straw. Funny how self-important we are in our worst fears.