Recently I was reminded of something I felt when my mom announced that my brother and wife was having another child a few years back. Even though I was happy for my mom and my brother and his wife (and happy to know that my nephew would have a sibling), there was a part of me that felt a bit frustrated that I was losing my mom to "more grandmotherhood" because I knew she would fall in love with the new child and her life would revolve around the child. And I know that when the grandchild is still young, it'd be more of a challenge to take my mom out for dinner or a movie or both when I come for a visit to Indo because her mind would be all about the child (she was the same way when we were young).
What made me remember that feeling I had a few years back? Well, a friend of mine has just announced her
second pregnancy and although I am happy for her and her family, I
couldn't help feeling like I was losing her to "more motherhood". One of the first things that came to mind after getting the pregnancy announcement was the timeline of events, moments, and stories that can happen in a child's life. I felt that I was also losing her to more motherhood bonding with the other mothers as they would be naturally swapping pregnancy stories/comparing with the previous one, birth stories, and many more future stories (first day of school, girlfriend/boyfriend, wedding, etc.). The feeling of being left out once more was palpable because I wouldn't be able to respond with my own personal stories.
For what it's worth, she was really sensitive
towards me and she gave me plenty of signs beforehand that they had been
trying to have a child. She even wrote me first to tell me the news
herself before she told the others and I'm very thankful for that, but
you know what else I feel? I feel a tad sad that she had to be that
sensitive with me because of my infertility history. Her email had a sweet, apologetic tone and it broke my heart a little. I couldn't help
feeling "if only I hadn't been CNBC, then she wouldn't have had to be that careful with me when breaking such happy news..."
Yet the second that "what if" thought appeared in my mind, a part of me gave myself a good whack on the head, because I
certainly did not ask for this to happen and I'd like to think that if I
were on the other side of the fence, I'd be sensitive towards someone
in my position as well. It's not my fault, it's nobody's fault. That said, her sensitivity reminded me of the many (side) effects of infertility and I mourned a little.
Another thing I've realized lately is this: I've been
waiting for some (specific) friends to breed and be done with it so that I can have
some respite from the similar feelings of losing them to "motherhood/more
motherhood bonding", though I suspect that in the far future the cycle may start
all over again when they start having grandchildren.
On the flip side, though, I've felt some connection with two different women on two different topics altogether. The first case reminds me that every now and then we all struggle to embrace/remember our innate self-value and to find our own personal mission in life regardless of whether or not we have children. The second case reminds me again that my infertility grief journey is beneficial, irreplaceable even. I'm grateful for these two occasions as they remind me that despite the disconnect I feel sometimes, connection is still available in unexpected places.