I am feeling very melancholy, as my one and only Infertile Friend has set sail away from the Island, happily waving goodbye to me from her lovely raft. After her first IVF attempt, she is blissfully pregnant...has seen the heartbeat (which I never got to you might remember, from my one and only pregnancy) and is already starting to "complain" about her morning sickness. Or as she calls it, "all day sickness." Before I go any further down self-pity lane, please let me say that I am really and truly happy for her. Of any of the many, many people I know who are pregnant right now, or who are new moms, she deserves it (in my Infertile eyes) more than anyone. She is a dear, sweet, loving person, who will make an awesome mother. She and her husband have fought long and hard for this, and I honestly do wish them the best. Okay? I'm not a total A-Hole. It's just that, now that she's made it off the island, I feel so, so alone. Granted, I am here on the island with my own wonderful son, Baby Boy (aka World's Cutest Baby). And, I am so in love with this little guy, and so grateful that he is here with me. However, what many people don't understand is, adoption doesn't "cure" infertility. It doesn't totally erase the feelings of 1.Longing. Longing for that long-sough-after, long-wished-for pregnancy. The longing to feel life growing inside you, to know that you are bringing life into the world from your own desire for children, your love of your partner, and the strength of your own bodies. 2. Loneliness. The feelings of loneliness when it doesn't work, you finally admit that your body doesn't work like everyone else's (and every one else around you is working the baby-making thing overtime). The loneliness of feeling like a freak-damaged goods, inferior. Whatever you want to call it. The loneliness of not being part of "The Club." Even though you may finally be a parent, you'll never be part of that elite club of women who did it all. Conception, morning sickness, the big-belly waddle, back pain, labor, delivery, etc., and who will always have a genetic connection to their children. Nothing could make me love my son anymore than I do, but how do I explain to a Fertile Person that it kills me that I can't claim any credit whatsoever for how adorable he is, other than the clothes I chose to dress him in? That his cute nose, his red hair, his gorgeous eyes, his beautiful smile--all those things he got from someone else. 3. Despair. Despair because time is running out. Each day, each week, each month and each year, our chances get a little slimmer that a miracle could still happen. That we one day might be granted access to The Club. 4. Jealousy. Sorry, but it's hard not to be jealous of that 20-something pushing the stroller down the street, with her big, swelling pregnant belly signaling she's got another one on the way. And jealousy brings us back to Loneliness--and 5. Isolation. Because as each and every one of our friends has walked past the velvet rope--has gained admittance into The Club, we're left out in the cold holding an out-dated, wrinkled, wet ticket. And, even though our friends pop their heads out once in a while to see how we're doing, the jealousy and despair and loneliness we have been feeling so long drives such a wedge between us, that we can't be bothered to say much. So, they give up, and go back inside with the other Clubbers.
There seems to be a never-ending swell of new friends and family members announcing their pregnancies, or babies being born. It gets a little bit easier as time goes by, but not by a whole lot. People assume now that I have Baby Boy I am happy to hear the news and join in the celebration. They treat me like an "honorary" member of the club. Which, frankly, makes me feel weird. I want to be treated like one of them, but I know I'm not. So, I feel stupid. Like the geeky tag-along friend of the popular girl, who convinces her other popular friends to be nice to once in a while. But really, they're just waiting for her to walk away so they can all laugh and make fun of her clothes/hair/glasses/whatever. That's me. Poor Frenchie, it's so cute, that she is all acting like a Mother now because she has that baby. But we all know she had to BUY her way into the club. It's not a Full Membership. It has restricted access.
So, I wish I could just be happy where I am. Alone on the Island. Well, not really alone, because I have my gorgeous son. But alone in the Infertility thing. I am realizing that since I have no control over what cards I have been dealt, the real pain comes from wanting different cards. If I could just be happy with what I have, and where I am, then, why should I care if other people's cards look different? The anguish comes from imagining the life I wish I had, instead of appreciating the life I do have. Maybe I am just not evolved enough. The little Buddah inside my head tells me to live in the Now. But right now, I am crying, trying to figure out what could possibly, right now, take away a little bit of the pain.