Lately, there's been a lot of talk on my favorite message board about those of us with trouble TTC being bitter. It's a hot button for many of us, because it's not how we see ourselves at all. Granted, many of the posters that toss it around nonchalantly do so to get under our skin, but it does indeed hurt, because it's certainly not anything nice to be called. Additionally, for me, it's a reminder of my worry that they may some day be right.
My dear friend told me she was pregnant a few months ago, and I was so happy. We were bridesmaids in each other's weddings and have been friends since we were 7 years old. Why wouldn't I be happy for her and her wonderful husband? I felt honored that she told me even before her parents. I was so excited when the first sonogram photo finally showed up on Facebook. She called me from the anatomy scan to tell me it was a girl, and I just felt so special to be sharing in this with her. I can't fly out to Illinois to be there for her baby shower because of other things going on, but I received the invitation in the mail on Saturday. It was shaped like a baby girl's top, with adorable little buttons, and the text in pink. "K is registered at Babies'R'Us."
Baby registry. I didn't think a baby registry would be what threw me for a loop. I got on at my lunch break and looked up her lists. It was all the typical stuff I would expect to see. I found myself thinking "oh, that would be cool to have." And then at some point, I realized that turned into "I hope some day I get to register for this stuff." I had to stop myself from choking up, because the thought of never having to shop for baby goods for myself is sometimes just too painful. And it's moments like that that fears of bitterness creep in.
There are so many other words to describe what I feel about all this. I'm mostly sad. It is sad to think of all that's already taken place. We've lost out on the surprise of a pregnancy, and getting to be carefree about conception. There's a lot that I mourn because of IF. I'm scared of what the future holds and the stresses and emotions that we may face. I'm devastated at the thought that my amazing husband won't get to be a dad. I'm angry some days, because it sucks to admit that life just isn't fair sometimes. I'm worried that our issues won't get better and we'll be stuck between a rock and a hard place with decisions. I'm also worried that the happiness I have felt for K will someday replaced with bitterness. That's one of my deeper long-term fears: that someday, I'll be in a place where I won't be able to find something positive to say. That I won't be able to congratulate and celebrate and happily give a gift to the mom-to-be.
Call me any of those other adjectives you want. I am a scared, worried, angry girl lately, depending on the day. But don't call me bitter, because the sting of that simple word runs a lot deeper than the surface.