I feel like this post is just going to be brain vomit. Sorry.
So, there's a thing on the show Cougar Town where our heroine, Jules, changes common phrases that she thinks don't make sense so that they will make more sense to her. Anyway, that's the point of "slap out of it." Jules is feeling down that her son is going off to college, and she tells her friends she needs to "slap out of it." Her boyfriend points out that the phrase is "snap out of it." And Jules argues that snapping isn't going to knock her out of her funk half as well as a slap to the face will. I had forgotten about this phrase until Wendy told me the other day that she needed to slap out of it. And today, I really, really need to slap out of it.
It was a very baby heavy weekend. That is generally fine with me. I know some IFers struggle around babies and little kids, but I usually find I have no problem with them, they don't make me sad at all. I don't know if it's because I have nephews, or I have so many friends with kids. I just don't equate other people's kids with disappointment or sadness about my own situation. Pregnant ladies are another matter. Anyway, Friday we went out with an old friend of mine from college, Brian. Brian was one of my absolute besties in college, but he's spent the last 10 years out in California, so we don't get to see each other much. He and his partner just adopted an adorable little girl, and it was so great to see them so happy, and also to hear about their long adoption process. It's nice to know someone in real life who has gone through that process and had a happy ending, since it's possible that could be us some day.
And today, Sunday, we went out to brunch with some friends who have kids of varying ages. At one point in the conversation, two of the moms were discussing mom stuff, and I was kind of spacing out. One of the moms tried valiantly to keep me included, but there's only so much she could do. I mean, I can't really contribute - I can listen, and ask questions, but I can't contribute. It's nice to be around my friends and their kids, all of whom are adorable and fun, but it was a little bit of a reminder of how there can be a barrier, and it's nobody's fault, between people with children and people without. There was actually a nice piece written about that subject on the Times Motherlode blog this week by a woman who has kids.
But anyway, the part that has me really needing to slap out of it involved a phone call on Saturday afternoon. A very close friend of mine (I'm not going to name her because it's her news and her business and I'm sure at some point in the future on the blog I will specify who, but for now we will leave it as "a very close friend.") called to tell me that she is 12 weeks pregnant. I had not know she and her husband were trying, and for some time, at least until a couple of years ago, she and her husband were uncertain about whether they wanted children. I had noticed a softening in their stance in the last year or two, but still, she had not specifically told me that they were trying. In retrospect, there were plenty of Easter eggs that I missed. Anyway, my first emotion was surprise/shock, and that was quickly followed by happiness. Honest and true. I was really, really happy for my friend and her husband. I had always hoped they would have children, I think they will be amazing parents, and while I definitely don't think parenthood is for everyone, I really did think that they would maybe regret it if they never became parents.
We talked for awhile about how her pregnancy is going. And my shock and happiness continued for maybe another hour after I got off the phone. And then I cried, and they weren't happy tears. My friend has known all about my infertility, the miscarriages, etc. She knew when it was taking us awhile to get pregnant, she knew about when we first went to the RE, all the tests, the IUIs, everything. And even though I know completely that the decision to have a child and that process is no one's business and I certainly don't feel entitled to know what's going on between my friend and her husband in that regard, a small part of me did feel hurt that she didn't confide in me. Especially because I told her a lot of things that I would not have told her if I had known she was undertaking this process. Like, did she really need to know the details of my miscarriage and D&C in her first few weeks of pregnancy? No. I wish I hadn't told her any of it. I probably said a bunch of dumb shit too.
Beyond that, there was of course the "so happy for her, so sad for me" part. The only thing I can compare that to is that scene in Julie and Julia when Julia finds out her sister is pregnant and she bursts into tears. Her husband puts his arm around her and Julia chokes out, "I'm just so happy for her!" And of course, I then felt like an asshole for having even an iota of a negative emotion around something that is nothing but wonderful news for someone I love so very much.
A week before my mom died, this same friend was on vacation with her husband, and I had just been chatting with her about her upcoming wedding and the trip she was about to take, etc. She was at a very happy phase in her life, and I was in a very unhappy phase in my life - I'd just been dumped by some loser, I had a job I hated, a ton of school debt.... and I was on the phone with my mother, talking to her about my shitty day. And my mom asked about Friend, asked what she was up to, and I told her about Friend's vacation and how much fun it sounded, and that wasn't it nice that her future in-laws had given them their airline miles so they could fly for free? And my mom said to me, "Oh, Meggie. It will be your turn soon." And then I cried. Because my mother always knew exactly how I was feeling, and she knew exactly what to say to me, and she didn't judge me. And all this bullshit infertility stuff makes me miss her so much more. She knew how to slap me out of it.
I expect good old Aunt Flo in another day or so, and I'm sure that's not helping my funk.
Dear Friend has a sister who is also undergoing treatment for infertility, and we actually have cycled at the same time in the past, serving as texting buddies to cheer each other on, and to buck each other up after a loss. My first thought after I got off the phone with Friend was how her sister, who has been at this for 3 years, must be feeling. I texted her, "I just heard Friend's good news. Sending you love and hugs." She wrote back, "Thanks. Right back at you." That, combined with Stupid Stork's hysterical new post about the lizard in her house, was about as close to a slap as I could get. I don't have my mom to slap me out of it anymore, so I'll just have to do it myself, like the tough broad that I am.