Like any internet subculture, the infertility (that’s IF for short) world is rife with abbreviations.   I have a new one, because I have a PCF (Pregnant Close Friend).  This is better than a PBF (Pregnant Best Friend) and for many of us having a PSIL (Pregnant Sister-in-Law) is probably even worse.  Anyway, in the IF world it’s appropriate to reduce time spent around all these PFs.  Pregnant friends or relatives can be unbearable.  Unfortunately the method for me has been reducing time with all friends under 40; this is a sloppy method at best.  And, unlike mammogrammed breasts, the avoided friendships don’t always spring back to their former size and shape.  So while I certainly have the option to avoid the PCF or behave so badly that she avoids ME, I feel there might be another way.  It’s not a popular way but I think it might be my only option.

In the midst of personal tragedy, self-control is not a popular concept.  I can’t just decide to feel good about something that sucks.  But, is it my PF’s fault that she can have a baby and I can’t?  Just because her pregnancy reminds me of my own anger and fear and grief and shame, does that mean I should aim it all at her?  In the well-ventilated IF world, all anger is OK, and that is probably important and healthy.  But I live in the rest of the world too and I’m tired of not having friends.  So I’m trying to get past it.  It may seem obvious to normal people that 1) my PF did not take a pregnancy that belongs to me, as if there are only a few left on some shelf 2) my PF happens to be pretzeling herself to say the right things and not say the wrong things and 3) there are plenty of things I can do thoughtlessly, easily and well; having a baby just isn’t one of them.  But these things get forgotten in the red fog of shame and grief that kicks up when someone else is glowingly, effortlessly fertile.   

Gratitude brings perspective which helps.  And, I am on the verge of a procedure that I am grateful is available.  I am grateful that we have insurance, and cash to cover what insurance doesn’t, and things to mortgage when that cash runs out.   So I am hopeful that I can get through this.  When the friend’s pregnancy rears its ugly head, I will stop and wait for that first flash of bitter rage to pass (kind of like the hot flashes I may be getting once I start the dreaded Lupron).  And what comes after is a kind of acceptance.  She is pregnant; I am at this moment, infertile.  It is what it is.  Of course, this is all out the window when bad news comes.  But today it’s something I hope I can do.  Besides, I may get pregnant someday myself, and if I don’t get past this I won’t have any friends to come to my shower.

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