Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Feelings...Nothing More Than Feelings...

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.


  1. This is such a timely post! I feel the same way !
    I call my parents daily and often it is hard to talk to my mother on the phone because she has the grand-kids over, or is about to do something with them. I feel like the older child pushed aside for the younger one. I also feel the same way about my friends and family making more babies. It is hard to do things with my parents as they are so very wrapped up with the little kids, and these new parents to be will be as well. Aging will simply supply more situations where we will find ourselves left to entertain ourselves. It is a good chance to find things we like to do on our own or with our spouses...as there will be more time available with them : )

    1. I think I find it easier to hear to my mom's stories about my brother's children, but it probably has more to do with the fact that his having children enables me to get rid of the guilt I used to feel for not being able to give any grandchildren.

      LOVE what you're saying about a chance to find things we like to do on our own or with our spouses. :-)

  2. I understand this post. I too am sad that you feel sad that she had to be sensitive to you. But isn't that what friendship is? Isn't that what being a decent human being is? We're considerate of others, because we all have things we're better at, or have luck in ways that friends and family don't, and make allowances for them. So that they can do so for us too, when it's necessary. Yes, it sucks that they have to. But I don't really feel sad about that, because it also gives them the opportunity to be a better person. To learn and to grow. And maybe to even appreciate their good fortune when previously they might not have done. And I wouldn't deny them that. Does that sound weird?

    1. No, that doesn't sound weird at all and I'm grateful for your sharing this POV with me, Mali. It sure lightened me up in many ways, so thank you. Really appreciate it. :-)

      I think part of the reason I felt that way was that I'd always been the most sensitive one in the bunch, so I was grieving the fact that infertility only added more to that part of myself so to speak. When she showed such sensitivity, it brought this realization back to life, because it's something I can't undo. I suppose remembering the permanency of it all made me grieve, too.


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