Tuesday, March 28, 2017

It's an Epidemic

Eight people in the last week have either (a) given birth to a second or third baby when their previous child is younger than B or (b) told me they are expecting a second or third baby when their previous child is younger than B.  One friend is unexpectedly having twins.

Now I know I'm on this grand year-off adventure, which is supposed to make me calm and Zen, but SERIOUSLY WTF.  It's an epidemic.

Forgive me.  I know this is irrational.  I know other people's pregnancies in no way relate to mine.  I know I should be happy for each and every one of them (and I am... deep down....), but it's been crushing my spirit a bit this week as I feel like I am just being passed left and right by people who are so easily getting what I want.  And of course I mark each birth and month with where I would be if I hadn't had two miscarriages.  #3 would be four months old.  I'd be about 20 weeks pregnant with #4.  Everywhere we travel, I see families with two or three children and one of them is about B's age and there is always a younger one.

The thing is, I really do not want to feel this way.  I'd like to be present in the moment and on this trip all the time.  And when I'm not, I'd like it to be because I'm doing something constructive like reading, blogging, exercising, or listening to a podcast.  I don't want it to be because I'm stewing and being jealous of people I don't even know and whose ability to pop out babies left and right is wholly irrelevant in my life.

I went so far as to write down grievances I've been holding onto and to make a few wishes using Flying Wish Paper as recommended by Gretchen Rubin on the Happier podcast (which I adore and highly recommend).  It helped for a few hours, but this morning the feelings crept up on me, especially after seeing on Instagram that a friend had a baby and I didn't even know she was pregnant again!

Apologies, I'm just venting.  I *know* I have so much for which I should be (and am) grateful.  But I also think that part of letting go of these feelings is owning them and admitting they exist.  I don't always feel great.  I sometimes resent and am jealous of people in a ridiculous way.  And I feel extra guilty for feeling this way because I know my pre-B self, who was consumed by grief and fear of never having a child, would hate this post-B self for wallowing and being jealous considering I have a spunky, smart, fun, joyful toddler to chase after day in and day out.

That's all.

If anyone has any ideas for me, I'd love to hear them.


7 comments:

  1. No real advice here, just solidarity.

    I think the first step towards feeling better is admitting how you are actually feeling. We can't control our feelings. Yes, you have a beautiful toddler, but that doesn't change the fact that you have been through so much, and fought a really hard battle.

    And, whoa! 8 pregnancies is a lot to be around.

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  2. Sorry that seeing the other babies is rough. I think anyone could feel that way (I do, at times) and the losses no doubt add to it. The emotions come in waves: sometimes there is an ebb in the sadness, and a surge of happiness, sometimes the sadness (and jealousy and resentment). I think you are doing everything "right" and all that hard work to stay in the moment does matter even if it feels like you are "failing." Also, to those of us at home fantasizing about doing what you are doing, a trip might sound like an no strings attached ticket to zen. As someone who has traveled for longer periods of time though, I know that's not true. It's an experience that often intensifies emotions. Still awesome, but easy? Not so much. Wishing you all the best!

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    1. You hit the nail on the head - the travel is not easy and through reflecting on it, I have realized that the highs are higher and the lows are lower. I don't have my usual routine, my home, my friends, my nanny (!), all of which help to regulate the ups and downs of life. So when something goes wrong, it is magnified -- as are happy experiences. You are so insightful :)

      Thanks for the encouragement.

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  3. My advice is to give yourself grace. And remember you can be happy for friends AND sad for yourself. You can be so stinking grateful you have B your eyeballs could pop out, AND also really sad that you aren't pregnant right now or watching her interact with a younger sibling. It doesn't have to be "I shouldn't feel this way because I have something good" because it IS "I have something good AND it's ok to feel this way." You've been through a lot. Likely a lot more than some or most (or all) of those eight (eight!? Come on universe!) people. So vent away sister, and shake your fist at the world, even if you're getting to see a really cool pocket of the world right now that doesn't mean you're not allowed to shake that fist. (you can love that you're getting to travel AND be annoyed/pissed/jealous) And we will shake ours with you in solidarity like Julia mentioned above.

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    1. Thanks, Caroline. Thanks for not making me feel like less of a jerk and you are right that I can be both happy for friends and sad for myself and that's okay. And thanks for understanding. It's truly incredible how much this community means to me, even thought it's a community of people I don't know in person! I'm still holding out hope that we get to meet later this year when we pass through London.

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  4. I find it one of the shitty aspects of infertility and complicated pregnancies; no one can wait for fertile and fruitful people to reproduce again, before the cord is cut, some one is asking 'when are you going to have another one?' If they are two of one gender, they want you to try for the elusive boy or girl. But if you're infertile? You're meant to be grateful for what you have and don't be greedy. It's okay to be grateful and still want more. They are not mutually exclusive ideas

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  5. GAH. It's human nature. The jealousy part. What's not human nature, YOU'D THINK, would be that some people struggle with infertility and/or loss and some don't.

    I follow this runner on IG and I even unfollowed her for awhile because she's pregnant, it's her first baby, and she's super nervous. Then I followed her again because I DO want to see her happy ending and in now way am I jealous. But I will forever look at pregnant people with just one eye open, hoping it doesn't end the way horror movies always do.

    So anyway. Started following her again this week. Then she says the baby is breech at 36w. I just mentioned (because I had to!) in the comments that I don't recommend an external version and sometimes babies are breech for a reason. And, that it's one of the greatest regrets of my life. She asked for more details in an private message and I cautiously and mildly broached the subject of having a deceased child and that the ECV is likely what led to that... my own choice that possibly continued the string of unfortunate and devastating events I can't take back.

    Anyway, this is getting long. She wrote back saying she wasn't going to do the ECV because he instincts were the same (sometimes there is a reason babies are breech) and apologized for my devastating misfortunes. Why I'm ranting here, I don't know. Because you revealed your raw emotions and I had tears this afternoon as I conversed with this emotional mama I've never conversed with before via IG.

    I really want this whole time for you to be so freeing and I just know how hard it is that no matter how fantastic the journey is and how great it is to watch and experience with B, you're still fighting the emotional battle of jealousy and longing. You'll never be alone. It's human nature and mother nature... but I sure hope you start unfollowing some people. ;)

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