Those of you who deal with pregnancy announcements regularly have my respect and my sympathy.  I don’t get them very often, probably because I don’t work a regular job in a regular workspace, and since I run away from anyone who seems fertile. 

Or, I should.

It’s been building up for a while.   I’m confronted by more and more pregnancies on my blogroll, particularly among DE friends in the computer.  It seems like everyone is getting their DE pregnancy on the first try.  I have given myself the same pep talk over and over again, even as I itched to write something snarky to infertiles whose conversation is now all-pregnant, all the time. 

Part of the pep talk is how grossly unfair that would be; several of the blogs I mention above are consumed with pregnancy guilt and they are all about gratitude, and don’t deserve snark of any kind.  Hence the self-control and pep talks.

The problem with this pregnancy announcement pain is that it doesn’t make sense.  Someone else didn’t take my pregnancy.  They’re not stacked up on a shelf (that I can’t reach) somewhere.  It doesn’t affect me or my chances.  I’m also on the brink of what we all think is my last (set of) cycle(s), and there don’t seem to be any looming reasons why one of them won’t work soon.  I’m even covered by insurance for these FETs.  So you’d think a pregnancy announcement would be doable, and I think I thought so too.   I try so hard to not Go There because I know it makes me look jealous and self-absorbed and selfish.  In my heart of hearts I know I am, can be, these things; but being known for them is something else.  Something that I want to avoid.

But then there’s the Lupron, and it’s Christmas, and my loss is still pretty recent, and oh! you pregnant bloggers are killing me. 

So the pregnancy announcement came, during a cozy women’s group meeting with no where to run to.  The kicker is, I had a feeling it was coming.  Take a woman under 25 with not-very-reliable birth control, add a few weeks of casual references to having some kind of bug and not feeling well, and throw in the crucial catalyst: this would be a really, really bad time for me to hear this news, and I knew it.  I stood in my kitchen and wondered who I could call who might know ahead of time, and just ask.  So I could stay home and miss it.

I didn’t; I went.  One of the women did know ahead of time, and didn’t think to give me any warning.  She wouldn’t know how much I needed that.  She might know now.

Because it all came out, and I was surprised.  I tried to look blank for a while but then the tears started to flow. I just tried not to sob.  It’s funny that this, my loss of control at someone else’s joyful news, might make me look petty or jealous.  Because this yawning, roaring pit of grief was so much bigger than I expected, so much more raw and monstrous than jealousy or spite. 

For me it’s the abyss of God’s face, turned away.  When regular people get pregnant and I see how it happens in an instant and is unstoppable, I realize how different I am.  It’s so comforting to be surrounded by others for whom it’s difficult too; we can overcome this difficulty.  But to be confronted by people who get pregnant in the literal blink of an eye without thought or effort is to be confronted by the loss of a part of my humanity.  That God would turn his face away, for this long, is so terrifying and baffling that I can’t put words to the pain of it.

Having to keep it together and not draw focus during someone else’s happy time made it many times worse.  Particularly since I suck at that.  My friends knew I was suffering but what can you do?  It didn’t help that our friend is due on the very day I would have been, and what are the chances of that?

I tried to not look sad and I know that didn’t work.  I tried not to cry, and that didn’t work.  I told myself I just shouldn’t sob audibly.  I breathed and told myself "this is not about me" over and over and over again.  I didn’t scream til I got to the car.  My friends were lovely, wonderful, and it could have been a lot worse. 

I feel bad for my pregnant friend.  I’m sure the celebration was muted because of me, and I should have had the opportunity to skip it.  For her, as well as for me.  I hated myself for draining joy out of the night and I would have done anything to change that.

So it all came out, and still is.  It wasn’t an easy night and today might not be a great day but I’ll have to let it run its course.

I have a perspective on this that I wrote about several months ago, when a 43-year old who is a close friend got pregnant.  That pregnancy announcement was a lulu and it so drove me to the brink that I ended up writing this about it.  I’m linking it separately because it’s long, and it mentions the Bible a lot, and if some of you don’t feel like Going There, you don’t have to.  For some reason I never had the nerve to publish it and I hardly have the nerve now.

But it might be what gets me through today.