Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Ranks

Today, I started what I hope will be my last period for some time. It's right on schedule, I suppose, and on Tuesday I have an ultrasound and start drugging my ovaries into mass producing little tiny genetic half-replicas of me. The injections aren't scary: I started on Lupron almost two weeks ago, and giving myself a shot has become easier than brushing my teeth. Well, except when I wake up to do the shot and am still too groggy to draw medicine into the syringe before sticking it into my stomach and wondering why I can't push the plunger down. It's like forgetting to put toothpaste on my toothbrush, but it's been years since I did that, and then I didn't have to re-stab myself because of my mistake.

As I get closer to the exciting parts of the in-vitro procedure, I find myself somehow hesitant in approaching that border into motherhood. I'm less than three weeks away from that fateful moment when the doctor will carefully place two tiny growing bundles of cells in my womb and hope they stick. A month from today, I'll probably know if they worked. I am more than 50% likely to be pregnant, and depending on when you count pregnancy as starting, it could happen the moment they put those little baby soup seeds into my uterus, hoping with all of the waiting we've done and the sacrificing we've yet to do that they find good soil in which to plant. Or it could happen in a month when we know that one has stuck. Or it could happen in three months when I don't miscarry. Or when baby is viable. Or when I've given birth. Maybe when the kid is three.

At one of those points, I'll have to make some kind of announcement. Look at me: I've got one of these baby things on the way. I don't want to. I don't want to tell anyone, ever. Whatever happens, it's not like I somehow earned or deserve a baby. The blessing of a pregnancy is more than I could ever expect, and I will always be less than what it takes to deserve such an amazing thing. But once I say the words "I'm pregnant," it's inevitable that someone's heart will break because somehow it came to me and not them. Where some will be happy to celebrate with me, others won't have the strength.

I want to hide my belly, if it swells, from the whole world. I hate myself when I think that I could, simply by walking in public, sting the open wound that other infertile women have—sure, it's hope to see a woman pregnant, but hope is painful, too. And there will be nothing I can do to comfort these women.

I wonder how I can ever join the ranks of the pregnant knowing that if from this very moment, things take that other turn, and more than 50% likely is not likely enough, I will hurt when I see a pregnant woman or a newborn baby. As wonderful as these things are, they sting like perfume on broken skin. It kills me that I would want to say, "Look, a miracle of my own!" And it kills me that some days, when I have heard those words, it felt like my life was ending.

It will be easy to have gratitude if I am blessed with a pregnancy, but I wonder if it will be hard to rejoice. To be one more wound in another woman's heart. Forgive me if I don't say a thing about how it works out. Forgive me more if I do.


Lisa said...

I see what you mean. And I don't mind if you don't tell us right away--I won't be counting your weeks :) ...or at least I'll try not to.

At the beginning of my third pregnancy, when I wasn't telling many about it, I had sort of decided that I was going to tell people that I was expecting my first for the third time. I wanted people to know that I had done my time, that I didn't take this baby for granted, all that. But when the time came, I got over that. I'm still quite vocal about my miscarriages, but I was able to enjoy it, and I think you will too :)

Andee said...

Thank you.