Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Are we conditioned?

We got a pregnancy announcement over the weekend.  You might wonder why I would even mention a pregnancy announcement anymore - I have an 11 week old baby in my house!  And I would agree with you - it's dumb that it even fazes me.  We got the announcement as we were driving in the car and I told my husband how happy I was for our friend!  I soooooo am!

But I also confessed to him that even with a tiny baby in the backseat, for some reason - and I hate it - I still instinctively get a twinge of...is it still jealousy?...whenever I get a pregnancy announcement.  I told this to Mike and he said, "Well, you spent 5 years feeling 'bad' every time someone told you they were pregnant.  You're sort of conditioned to react that way.  It's hard to get over."  And I think he's right.

Again - I hate reacting this way!  I'm incredibly happy and grateful for what God has given me!  And incredibly undeserving.  I desperately want to get over feeling this way.  But could it be that "once and infertile, always an infertile," no matter how many children you end up having in the end?  I hope not, but as Hebrews recently wrote about, maybe it is best to never forget.

Or maybe, as I told a friend recently, that it's because in the back of my mind, I still feel like we were supposed to have two.  And now there's a void that can never be filled.  And I want to be pregnant again as soon as possible because I feel like that will somehow fill that void.

I just don't want to be conditioned.  I want to be able to be genuinely happy for my pregnant friends without that happiness being tarnished by this stupid gut instinct.  And I want to be able to just relax and enjoy my brand new precious blessing without feeling like there's something missing.  Because there's not - I'm the luckiest gal in the world.

My angel


  1. Hi! I do think that for better or worse, IF and SubF become a part of who we are and it is hard to turn that reaction off. Our daughter is now 13 months and I still feel that way...

  2. You know, I think there is something about IF that changes people. Some kind of innocence lost. Perhaps your response is somewhat conditioned but also perhaps it also has to do with that twinge of remembering how much it took to have your own (and also the losses endured). Some folks just don't go through that. I have sisters who just DON'T worry. They just decide when they want to have a baby, rarely worry about losing the babies they conceive (have never experienced loss in that way) etc. It's just not a world they have had to live in. And I think depending on whether or not you've lived in that world or not can affect the emotions that come with a pg announcement?

  3. I think people that have gone through IF experience a bit of PTSD...and pregnancy announcements just bring the whole pain/grief/etc all rushing back.
    When I hear an announcement these days, I have to remind myself that I'm a mom now and surely I don't have to be quite as angry/jealous/sad as I used to be.

  4. That conditioning runs deep doesn't it. I get a twinge when I see myself thinking about a younger woman (than myself) when she has had a baby that she can still have more because she has plenty of time...

    Because time is one thing that IF did take away from me no matter what.

    And, the sting is still there.

    Little JoAnn

  5. I think all the other commenters are right...whether you call it conditioning, PTSD, or something else...IF takes something from you, and leaves its mark. I also think that it's part empathy...it's impossible for us to ignore or forget that someone, somewhere who's still IF is hurting terribly from that same pregnancy announcement.

  6. You are lucky and he is an angel:)

  7. I think PTSD surly makes my life make more sense now! 9 years of married childlessness (due to infertility and adoption loss) counts as stress if I do say so myself. Yes, my heart has been healed by being a Mama to 2 adoption miracles, as I never have to worry about them being raised as only children. But, it doesn't take away the stressful 9 years that I went through before that. It is not something we can just let go of. God willing, He may take our burden away from us at some point but many of us will carry this cross forever, long after we become Mamas!