Thursday, April 10, 2008

Other People's Babies

I have learned much on my travels via Infertility Avenue. Personally, I've learned how irritating it is not to have control. I often find myself grasping at a "plan", charting options, grabbing for that elusive ah ha, just to feel like I'm driving my own life. I've learned that it's very difficult to be--much less stay--centered if you don't know what your center is going to end up being. I've also learned that though each of us is going through something very similar, we experience it in widely differing ways. My experience is not and can't be yours. Your pain, your joy, your fears are yours, uniquely yours. We commiserate, we support, we cheer, but each of us is in our own lane.

So I'll come clean. Other people's babies and small children don't bother me (unless they throw up on me on a plane. Hasn't happened, but I wouldn't like it). In fact, many are really kind of cute. Some aren't. I don't cringe when I see a Pregnant Person. It doesn't make me uncomfortable or jealous when people talk about their kids or when someone excitedly announces that they're pregnant, out of the blue, can't believe it, isn't it the most amazing thing??!! My general antipathy toward baby showers is not because someone, not me, is pregnant, it's because they're always on a Saturday afternoon, they play silly games and they last too long. (I like my Saturdays.) I really want everyone who wants to get pregnant to get pregnant. I do. Really. Except for crack addicts. And mean people.

I say this not to evidence how admirably well adjusted I am or my commendable maturity (my RE reminds me of my "maturity" all the time), but to admit my selfish little secret. I don't want Other People's Babies, I want my own. I don't want to adopt. I don't want to use donor eggs or sperm if it came to that. I don't want to steal that cute baby from the Target. I want my own little Melanie/E combo, with some sass and wit on the side. I want to point at that child and chuckle (in a kind parental way, of course) because he's a horrible dancer like his father. I want to tell her that she got her mama's brains, thank God, wink wink. I want...I want...I want.... I know how it sounds.

It's why the results of these tests have such import, I think. My Plan B won't be adoption or donor eggs or donor sperm. It will be a different path. Still, I hope, one with meaning. And if that's the case, I will pull off of Infertility Avenue and onto, well who knows. It's my selfish little secret.

Don't tell anyone.


shinejil said...

Your thoughts really echo mine, Melanie--or mine echo yours. I don't know quite why, but I, too, stopped feeling hurt by the sight of babies and bumps. Kids are often really cool, and I don't care that I don't have that particular child or a child in general. I want THE ONE, you know?

BB and MTB said...

I'm a little different. Seeing ladies who "seem" to have it so easy makes me sad. Although it doesn't mean I want their kids, it just reminds me of everything I'm missing. Good luck as you continue your journey!

Mrs.X said...

I wish I had that focus that you and Shinejil have - any bump makes me sad to think of what I have missed and don't have. Babies - not so much. I want two things: I want to be pregnant and I want to have my own child. Wow, now I'm doubly selfish!

I wouldn't apologize at all either for your feelings - you are incredibly focused on one goal and one goal alone - having YOUR baby. And, each person has their own version of what they want. Wanting to use donor eggs is no better or worse than not wanting to. Each person's decision is personal to them. No apologies necessary.

PJ said...

I really enjoy reading your blog. You have a great way of expressing yourself and I love your sarcasm.

Re: Life as a Duck. We just went to South Florida, and wouldn't ya know it rained half the time! Which, it sounds, is half drier than your trip. But the bookstore does sound yummy.

I am more jealous of pregnant women than babies. Babies are innocent, it's the pregnant belly that makes me sigh.

Kids on the plane today, KICKING the hell out of the back of my seat. Strumming a little guitar, and mom says 10 minutes later, "Oh honey, I know it is hard but you need to wait until we get into the airport to play", and HUGS her! Grrr...

Bad parenting just about kills me.

Evil Stepmonster said...

Beautifully expressed. I don't think you're selfish at all. I think it shows great wisdom and maturity [heehee] to know so clearly what you want.

Denise said...

Man, oh, man do I wish I felt this way. I still find it difficult to be around pregnant women (particularly those that I don't know very well) and to hear pregnancy announcements.

And regardless of whether or not it is selfish to want your own child, I think it is entirely natural. I feel the same way although not to the point of not pursuing other avenues if we need to. But it would take some time to grieve the idea of not having a little mixture of the two of us.

Duck said...

wow, you are so well adjusted, i'm totally envious of your ability to have your head totally screwed on right.
I agree, i don't want anyone else's baby (hence the reason why i don't want to adopt). Yet I don't care if the baby is genetically a bit of me, I'm cool with donner eggs, as long as it has Mr.Duck's eyes.
But, bumps and babys do make me sad, i wish it wasn't so. I do try to work on it, i really do, but, some days are better than others.

gracechild said...

very honest and I will confess I have my own little secret. Except they look really cute or are related to me; the sight of pregrenant women irritated me for the longest time. Not because of IF but because of the lack of grace in walking. (Am I shallow). Ditto kids. I love the ones that are related to me or really cute but thats about it. I definitely want my own NOW. I'll probably adopt in the distant future just to have a big family but I do want my first child to be mine in every way. That was a very honest post. Thank you

TABI said...

I really wish I was where you are. I am still so hurt and sad and jealous with how easy it is for others and I am hoping I get to a better point of coping. I think the clearer you are on what you want the better because there are so many crazy decisions to make in this infertility journey that if you can be clear on anything it will help move things forward.

Carrie said...

I completely understand. Other people's babies don't upset me either (though pg woman I do find tricky, just too obvious to see what I lost I suppose). They aren't what I want.
I'm also of the same mindseton DE and adoption. We aren't going to try either. I think they are both perfect for some but just not where I/we want to venture.

Lady Bits said...

I have good days and bad days - sometimes the Other Babies bother me and at other times they don't. But I do share your feelings about adoption. I support people who want to do it, but to me it feels entirely different - not comparable emotionally at all.

My husband has a great riposte for people who say 'Why don't you adopt?'. He says 'Why don't *you* adopt?'.

Thank you for sharing your true feelings with us.