Karen at Upon Awakening recently had a post titled "Pregnant Women are Stalking Me!" I had to chuckle at the title, because I'm sure all of us have felt that way at some point.
I can't remember how I felt about other pregnant women through the 2.5 years I tried to get pregnant... but after Katie was stillborn, & we began our struggle with infertility treatments, suddenly, they were EVERYWHERE. Dh & I work in downtown Toronto, where all the big office towers are connected via underground concourse, called the PATH. The PATH runs 27 km or 16 miles, & we walk through it every day to & from work (not to mention coffee breaks & lunch hours). Thousands & thousands of people travel through the PATH every day. And some days, it seemed/seems like dozens & dozens of them were/are pregnant women. I started counting how many pregnant women I encountered in a day (giving the benefit of the doubt to those who might have just been on the plump side). I would count, "1...2...3..." under my breath as we walked past them. I would often lose track & abandon the project before the day's end, but I think my record was 30 in one day. One day I practically walked into THREE of them, walking & giggling together, abreast. That just about finished me off for the day.
Dh would gently tell me that they had a right to be pregnant, it wasn't a personal thing against me. ; ) And I tried very hard to remember that, statistics being what they are, a good number of those women had probably dealt with infertility & loss too. Maybe some bereaved mother or infertile woman had once enviously gazed at me & my pregnant belly in the same way. Somehow, though, those thoughts still didn't make it any easier.
I don't count pregnant women anymore, but there are still some days when I seem to notice them more. Summers in particular -- perhaps because that's when I was pregnant myself (or maybe because there aren't as many winter coats hiding big bellies). The maternity fashions these days seem to be much more form-fitting & revealing, much more so than even just 9 years ago when I was pregnant.
I sat beside a pregnant woman on the train on the way home tonight (or should I say she sat down beside me), which is probably what prompted this post. It was warm on the train & she had her coat off & I kept casting sidelong glances at her belly the whole way home. I honestly would not want to be pregnant now at my "advanced maternal age," but I feel sad thinking back to when I looked like that myself (& how happy I was), knowing I will never look like that again.