On Preggo-phobia

17 Jun

My first year or so on the blogoverse there was one thing I couldn’t quite relate to:  IF bloggers who couldn’t be around pregnant women. I didn’t get the whole “unfollow” thing, the lack of motivation for baby showers, the en-mass abandonment of blogs once pregnancies were announced. It never really bothered me to see other women’s success. I was totally ok with it.

Well boys and girls, it seems the tides have turned in Mo-ville. Yesterday’s fiasco, which I will shortly share with you, pretty much cemented the fact that I am officially preggo-phobic. Congratulate me! I have crossed over to the dark side!

It started getting really bad on our trip to Greece. There was a woman on our flight who I would guess was about 24-28 weeks along. She was thin and gorgeous and had the perfect bump. It infuriated me. She stood next to us on the bus from the plane to the terminal and I could barely contain the bile that rose up just from looking at her.

No reason other than the fact that a. She was pregnant and I wasn’t, and b. the biyatch was flying in her second trimester without a second thought. Next time I get to a second trimester – if that ever happens – I won’t even be able to pee without debating the risk vs. the reward.

From there it got worse. I could ID even the smallest hint of a bump. Shmerson began calling it my super-powered pregdar. By our last night in Greece, we were at a restaurant and I immediately spotted a woman who couldn’t have been more than 12 weeks along, who was not only enjoying a nice dinner in a nice hotel, but was also having a glass of wine with that dinner.

Oh, the rant Shmerson had to endure that night was one for the ages.

Once we got back, I was finding myself staying away from my google reader like the plague. It wasn’t just the women who had my due date that scared me off, it was everyone past the twelve week mark. It was every mention of a bump or nausea.

I was tempted to do a preggo cleanse on my reader until I realized that I loved every single one of these women and wanted a happy outcome for all of them. So I just opted to keep all of them in and merely keep my reading at a minimum for the time being.

Same thing was happening with post-pregnancy parenting blogs I used to read happily. I just couldn’t stomach it any more.

Let’s face it, I’ve become a “veteran” of the ALI blogosphere. Most of the women I started following when I first began blogging have long since moved on to parenting. So my reader has now become a veritable minefield. And let’s not even get into the guilt I feel for not commenting on those blogs any more.

I seriously just can’t take it.

Then last night came the veritable apex of the preggo-phobe craziness that has been my life lately.

I was invited to a birthday party. Now this is all well and good, I’ve been liking parties lately. But this party was for a woman who is part of a circle of friends who I last saw at a wedding when I was 18 weeks with Nadav, and they were cooing excitedly over my growing belly.

I was pretty much dreading going to this party, but I like this chick a lot, and I knew I had to see these people sooner or later.

Merely the prospect of going had me in a nice little grumpy state all evening. Then we showed up. The party was at this public park, so once we parked the car it was a bit of a walk to get there.

And guess what happens on the way?

Someone calls my name – I turn to see it’s an old friend of mine. A really nice woman who I’ve known since we were 15 and who got married about a year ago. She walks toward me with another woman, smiling and waving.

And both of them are sporting 20-week bumps.

This is the first thing I see as I enter the party.

I hug her, congratulate her, and proceed with a quick catch up. Then she walks away. As soon as she does, I quickly greet the birthday girl, and run off to a dark corner to cry.

All in all, a great start to the party.

I have NEVER cried at the sight of a baby bump before. Maybe it was because no one warned me. Maybe it’s just because of the whole impending due date thing.

Whatever it was, I needed a stiff drink to calm myself down enough to make me functional for the rest of the party.

I seriously can’t believe it’s come to this. When did I become this person?

Me no likey.

On the way to the party, the news came on the radio. A really rare species of rhinoceros, that is on the verge of being extinct, gave birth after a year-and-a-half long pregnancy.

Shmerson and I immediately looked at each other. It didn’t need to be said, but I said it anyway: “Maybe everything’s ok and I’ll just be giving birth to a rhino in a few days.”

Shmerson answered: “Well, that would be nice. Though I think you’d probably be a bit bigger if that was the case.”

This is what we’ve come to people. Freakish man-beast births have become the optimistic outcome.

22 Responses to “On Preggo-phobia”

  1. aprilvak June 17, 2012 at 02:08 #

    Oh, Mo, I’m sorry. It’s hard to have a sharp turn like that. I’m proud of how you handled the party. Even if you did cry.

    And you were absolutely amazing in my dream last night. You sent me a real letter and then came over and gave me a hug. I’ve held onto that dream all day.

  2. internalplumbingissues June 17, 2012 at 02:17 #

    I just want to say you’re not alone hon. I am the last of my Group of gals to be no closer to holding my child. After 12 years of smiling and loving them all and their babies just as much, we were down to three of us stuck in a miserable, but comforting as we had each other, kind of limbo, there’s 2, just 2 of us now and things are looking up for my last limbo friend, it kills me that I smile while typing and speaking to them because I am genuinely happy for them, they have been through so much like us and yet I immediately cry as soon as I can find somewhere quiet as I seem no closer to ending this terrible ride. I also know that they can all discuss it with each other but maybe are worried to speak to me too, i have nothing to compare and no real life experience to share only loss, maybe I am a reminder, which also hurts. I don’t know if there is an answer but you are definitley not alone. much love x x x

  3. BleedingTulip June 17, 2012 at 02:27 #

    I remember, when I started blogging, that I didn’t “get” the angry-bitter-jealous-rages towards pregnant women and families with kids. But then I went through a time when I did… So I understand.

    I’ve noticed you haven’t commented on my blog for a while… I figured you’re super busy, you follow a ba-jil-lion blogs, and maybe my writing was just plain gettin’ crappy.

    But I get it. When I went through my rage-a-holic stage I had to walk away from the blogosphere. Which meant I missed some of your pregnancy, which I felt epically guilty about. Still feel guilty about.

    All that to say I understand. I wish I could take away the hurt and pain and anger. I miss you.

    And I love your photos 😉

  4. Mina @ Fertility Doll June 17, 2012 at 02:38 #

    I’m stealing Angry kitteh.. with a source reference of course! I got onto the same train carriage as three heavily pregnant women once, I flipped my finger at the Universe (I seem to get aggressive over my infertility.. I’m usually so zen!!) You put on a brave face and that’s amazing of you. It’s not easy to do.

  5. Pcosbarrenness June 17, 2012 at 02:43 #

    I sometimes feel like that too, but sometimes it doesn’t bother me at all…seems to go in waves. And unfortunately it is unpredictable.

  6. Daryl June 17, 2012 at 03:00 #

    It hits me the hardest when I’m taken by surprise, too. But you know what? You made it through the rest of the party. Not everyone would have been able to do that. I hope it gets better and that the pregdar calms down a little, but if it doesn’t? You’re not alone. We get it.

  7. Esperanza June 17, 2012 at 03:08 #

    I am seriously impressed that it took you this long, that you had to endure this many losses, to start feeling the pregnancy endured rage. You are truly a better person than I am. Truly. I hope you know better than to feel guilty about it. I hope you know that you can and should delete blogs from your reader (mine included) if that will make getting through the days any easier. You are already dealing with so much, you don’t owe anybody anything.

    I would have hurtled one of your fabulous kittens at those two pregnant ladies. And then I would have taken a picture and made it into on of your fabulous pictures. I really would have. But I’m a jealous bitch like that. 😉

  8. taradawes June 17, 2012 at 03:46 #

    my reader has slowly filled with infertility blogs that have now become mommy blogs – I now have a folder in my blog reader titled “infertile no more” – it strangely helps me some days to look at them to know that they came out on the other side and hope that I will as well someday. But that being said, I totally get the preggo-phobia although in my case it’s more of a “I hate you and your pregnant face” kind of thing. I tend to be very happy for friends/family/etc that have had to try for awhile to get pregnant or that I know are superduper parents (doesn’t make their baby showers any easier though – I’ve cried on my way home from every single one). My righteous anger tends to go towards the teenagers who don’t know how to use birth control, the people who do stupid things while pregnant (i.e smoke, drink like it’s new years) and the people who once they have the baby can’t seem bothered to actually parent.

    I actually recently wrote a mini-rant on my blog about a relative who has a six week old who is pregnant again…some days I just hate people. I think we all have earned that right.

  9. Christina June 17, 2012 at 05:16 #

    Big Hugs! I too am amazed that a) it took you this long to want to run, hide, and cry and b) that you were able to still put on a smile and be at the party. You are better than I was/am. Seeing/hearing about them still hurt me.

    I completely understand if you take me out of your reader. It doesn’t mean I can’t still follow you and cheer you on.

  10. Courtney June 17, 2012 at 06:09 #

    Good for you for being honest! I was a bitter infertile – and I’m not proud of it – but it was what it was. It’s so hard watching everyone else move forward while you stand still. I’m so sorry 😦

  11. cw June 17, 2012 at 12:25 #

    Fairs enuf as long as you know, regardless will love you anyway.

  12. SRB June 17, 2012 at 13:01 #

    Mo, I don’t know what to say other than I love you very much.

  13. Life is hard June 17, 2012 at 16:36 #

    I freaked out last week when my colleague went into labor. She was already pregnant when I lost Dylan, I was prepared to see her baby bump when I went back to work. But because she unexpectedly went into labor early, I wasn’t prepared. And I freaked out. So much so that my boss sent me home for the rest of the day.
    I get it.
    Hope you’re doing better today. Hugs

  14. flowergirl June 17, 2012 at 19:57 #

    Mo, I want to echo Daryl’s point, this is normal, and you did so well at staying on at the party. I can remember a similar shock at a party, and was so proud of myself for not reacting in front of everyone after the event. With the pregdar, spot, note and then let it go – there aren’t a finite number of babies so it isnt going to stop you having your baby and get on with your day. So much easier to write then do.

    FG x

  15. Rebecca Pallack (@RPallack) June 17, 2012 at 20:41 #

    I can really sympathize with you on this one. Right now if IVF #1 had worked I would be in my home stretch. One gal who got pregnant same time as I did just gave birth. I still follow her blog though it kills me to do so at times.

  16. D June 18, 2012 at 00:18 #

    I saw a snippet of your blog on another blog I was reading and I had to come over here and read the whole thing. I feel your pain! I have crazy preggo-jealousy and have had it for several months now. It is so incredibly hard to deal with. It makes me never want to leave my house, even though I know I have to. Hang in there girl. I hope someday soon you will be one of those cute preggo ladies.

  17. Emily @ablanket2keep June 18, 2012 at 06:42 #

    My Hubby says I have pregdar too. I can spot them from a mile away. When we are watching tv sometimes a newly pregnant star comes on and I point it out. Hubby doesn’t believe me so he looks it up and I was right. I am at a point that in real life (I’m fine with pics online) when I see a bump I just can’t look. I usually keep my head down and try to keep from crying. It is so difficult. I am glad you found a place and let yourself cry at the party. Hugz!

  18. St. Elsewhere June 18, 2012 at 07:23 #

    Well, I can quite understand the frustration…we associate ourselves with milestones that were right around that miraculous breakthrough of a desired pregnancy.

    A few days before I got my first BFP, I visited someone who had just given birth to a girl. A year later, I was invited to the girl’s birthday party, and I realized with a catch in my throat that while the girl was growing up and blossoming, I had been through an entire pregnancy and my girl was dead. Some very strong link existed.

    So I know it is tough.

    Mo, But I can still tell you something…when we begin to play this phobia game, we become sad and unpleasant about ourselves…everything is tinted and judged and biased. Don’t go on that route.

    Please take care of yourself…recovering never had a definite timeline.

  19. Cristy June 18, 2012 at 07:56 #

    I’ve been thinking about this post a lot since I first got the email (and haven’t been able to respond because of lack of signal). For me, since it became evident that I was dealing with infertility, seeing pregnant bellies became a reminder that I was being left in the dust and living in the fringes of society. I became upset when I saw these women because it was yet another reminder that having a biological child may not be possible.

    Mo, it’s been a hard year. You started it with so much hope and all the sudden, that hope and joy was taken from you and Shmerson. Because of that, it’s hard not to have this phobia. To doubt that there will ever be the possibility that you won’t be left in the dust and will forever be in limbo. But, I have faith. I have faith that one day very soon, you and I will both find our silver linings to the incredibly hard journey. In the meantime, no quilt. Just do what you need to do.

  20. pjsarecomfyn June 18, 2012 at 17:20 #

    Prego/post-if phobia is totally okay dude. You’ve been through a lot. You need to give yourself and your brain some space and time. It sounds like you were so strong and happy for everyone despite your troubles, but this sitch is all new territory. You are still in mourning for Nadav. You need to take these breaks and not feel guilty for choosing your brain health over others. Because seriously you and your brain have a more important relationship. I am sorry you were bump-ambushed times 2. That is so sucky. Big hugs my sweets.

  21. Nisha T. June 18, 2012 at 22:31 #

    Hugs… I’m so sorry it had to come to this for you. 😦

  22. RelaxedNoMore June 19, 2012 at 19:29 #

    Hugs to you, Mo!
    Like so many others have said: it’s amazing that you’re feeling this only now, after all you’ve been through. And while I am lucky enough to be in a position where I got my lucky break and hopefully won’t have to go to this place, I totally understand.
    I’ve had mini-flashes of “preggo-hate”, strangely enough even after I got pregnant – whenever I’d come against a smug fertile preggo, or woman smoking either while pregnant or in the presence of their child – typically holding the cigarette right near to the child’s face (I grew up with two smoking parents and as a result got asthma, so that’s definitely a trigger for me).
    And I’ve also felt the reverse: since getting pregnant and making it safely into the second trimester, I’ve become hesitant about commenting on the blogs of those still struggling, or having suffered a recent loss. I didn’t want to hurt them even more.

    All this is one of the nasty pieces of work infertility deals us. It simply sucks.

    Sending you all my love and wishing you all the best on your journey towards healing and for that silver lining to come your way real soon

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