Friday, April 4, 2008

Spring is busting out all over...

...and so are all the pregnant women. I've written in a previous post about how many pregnant women I see in the course of an average workday. Sometimes I seem to notice them more than others -- and right now, with the heightened emotions around the beginning of the "countdown" to the 10th "anniversary" of Katie's stillbirth (plus being at our support group meeting last night), it seemed like they were everywhere I turned today.

I have not counted in a long time, but I swear I saw at least 30 -- and not just girls with modest little baby bumps (who was the wise guy who invented that horrible term??). It seemed like every one of them was sporting a huge, ripe belly -- the kind that sticks way out to there and makes it look like the mom is about to deliver at any second. There was one sitting beside us on the commuter train en route home tonight, & I saw two more as we exited the train. I know that, the odds being what they are, 1 in 5 of them has likely experienced infertility problems, and 1 in 3 or even 1 in 2 has likely lost a pregnancy... but it's hard to focus on that. Pregnant bellies can be distracting. ; ) It's funny, but when someone I know has had difficulty getting or staying pregnant gets pregnant (someone from our support group, for example), I am almost always totally happy for them, & seeing them pregnant doesn't bother me in the same way as seeing total strangers does.

In the car driving home from the train station, I asked dh, "Was it just me, or was every other woman on the train pregnant tonight?" He glared & started lecturing me about being "obsessed" & how "this has to stop" and that after 10 years I should be over this (!! -- him, of all people, the pregnancy loss support group facilitator, telling me to "get over it"!!).

Oh -- and as if I don't encounter enough pregnant bellies or babies in real life, or on the cover of every single women's magazine, tabloid & issue of People -- check out the cover of this week's issue of Newsweek , and the inside stories on surrogacy.

Deathstar had a recent post about obsession (someone else said they prefer to call it "focus," lol).

So, what do you think? Am I obsessed? Is it unhealthy for me to still be hyper-aware of pregnant bellies & sometimes have problems seeing them, 10 years after my loss and almost 7 years after stopping treatment?

8 comments:

  1. Lori - guilty secret, it gets to me too sometimes and I certainly have less reason to be "obsessed" than you.

    I think it is only natural to see a pregnant woman and remember that is where we most wanted to be.

    Hugs.

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  2. I asked myself the same questions and I thought, what if the answer was yes. What then? Would it be worse if I wasn't adopting? And then I realized I hadn't written the dear birth mother letter or reworked our profile. Ooops. So I got right on that. What would you like to do with that hole in your heart?

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  3. I've always been more sensitive to certain groups of women getting pregnant as opposed to all pregnant women. For me, it's seeing teenage girls with the giant bellies. There are times I feel completely infuriated, when I think about all the responsible, capable women I know who are so much more suited to being parents than a 16 -year-old girl. The injustice of the situation (on both sides) just angers me.

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  4. I think a better word is 'aware.' I think childless women will always be aware of pregnant women.

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  5. My opinion, you're either "over it" or you're not. There's no defined path through grief, and no schedule or timeline you have to meet. If it still bothers you, it still bothers you.

    Corollary: my godmother died six years ago. I still grieve for her, and I'll start crying rather frequently. Every time I see my aunt (who is my godmother's daughter and looks JUST LIKE her), it makes me sad all over again. Some days I see the echo of her face in my cousins, and it makes me sad. I'm not OVER her loss. I never will be.

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  6. I agree with doubleme - "aware" seems more appropriate a word to me. Has anyone who's been through IF ever left that awareness behind? I haven't. And for you, with the "10 years ago" in your heart, of course it will jump out. At least, it makes sense to me! And anyway, does it matter? This is what you are experiencing, regardless of what it is called. I think it should be respected and acknowledged.

    Andie

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  7. I think it is so normal. My first reaction to those beautiful tummies is I immediately turn away, then I find myself slowly sneaking peeks. Like that traffic accident you drive past, you know you really shouldn't, but you do.

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  8. It's totally normal. I think that everyone, when faced with something painful from their past, notices it more than others.

    For example, in college, I was rejected by a sorority that accepted all my friends. It was devastating for me. Even though I've "moved on," so to speak, I still get a knot in my stomach when I hear people talking about what sorority they're in, or the sorority their daughter is pledging. I don't think I'll ever "get over it."

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