2013-05-17

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
And they turn your dream to shame… (I dreamed a dream, Les Miserables)

Last night I dreamed that my friend was pregnant, and that she was very sick. Vomiting, fever, we had to call an ambulance. When I woke up I was horrified with myself. Did my subconscious want pregnant people to die?

I’ve been trying to get pregnant for a very long time now. Scary thought – as long as I was at University. While I’ve been trying to conceive I have seen it all happen for other people.

Many friends, colleagues and acquaintances have become pregnant, some very quickly after starting to try. Eventually they have given birth. Some more than once during the time period. Many have got engaged, then married, then had a baby. Some have even met their partner, and got pregnant , and given birth during that time period. I know a few people who have done IVF, both successfully and unsuccessfully. And I have seen so so so many three month scans on Facebook and on Blip, and so so so many pictures of firsts with the child.

I don’t begrudge them having something I can’t have. After all, I want it. So I can see why they want it, and I want them to have it. I just want me to have it too.

I’m full of faults, but selfishness and jealousy are not faults I have. Not usually, anyway. But when I find out someone I know is knocked up I do think “oh god not again” because I know I’ll have to man up and hear about it… over and over… in graphic detail… and see it right there in front of me… and there’s no end to it because it’s the start of a process that will result in a child who will be with us and affect our relationship for the rest of our lives. And eurgh, that’s a draining thought.

I see people get pregnant and it seems like a genuine surprise to them and a bit of an inconvenience. I’m not talking about the ones who got pregnant accidentally, I’m talking about those who stopped using contraception and then got pregnant. I’m sure it can be unpleasant having your body change, and scary to think of the future responsibility of having a child, but I hate that they are not delighted and excited to be able to do it at all.

In this city and through my work I see and speak to a lot of families that are from economically deprived areas. Some of them pay little attention to their kids, they don’t play with them or read with them or chat with them. There’s no cooking or swimming or bike riding together. Not because they don’t have the money necessarily, but because they don’t think of it. No-one did it with them. I’m not actually criticising the individuals, I don’t think it is their fault. But I think about what I would do with my kids – the focus I would have on them and the opportunities I would give them – and it makes me feel resentful.

Again, it’s not that I don’t want other people to have kids. I just want me to have kids too.

I’m finding infertility bringing out these unpleasant qualities in me, and I don’t like it. It is a constant struggle to keep in touch with pregnant friends and friends with kids, and to remain a nice person in thought and action.

But as I’ve said before, the alternative is to have no baby and no friends.

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