There are moments in the journey of infertility that stand out. Markers, maybe.
The first negative pregnancy test.
The first time a negative test makes you cry.
The first time the doctor tells you something is wrong.
The first time the sight of a baby makes you sad instead of happy.
The first time the sound of a baby in a restaurant makes you cry.
The first time someone tells you they're pregnant and you feel like you've been kicked in the stomach.
Then there is the day that the baby from the previous is born.
Today is that day for me. This was a friend who didn't think she could have any more children and suddenly found herself pregnant. She was the first person to get that news after we were told we may never be able to conceive. Her pregnancy has been an emotional one for me. She's thrilled to be a mom again, and I am happy for her. I'm happy she and her new son are doing well. But the sight of his picture today lead to me sobbing in the bathroom at work.
I thought I was okay. When the news of his arrival came, I felt joy. I honestly felt happiness. Then the picture.
I can't explain why.. perhaps knowing that I may never see a newborn baby and know it's mine. But it hit hard. I didn't feel it in my stomach. I felt it in my face.
It wasn't jealousy. It was sadness. Total self-pity. I got up and walked to the bathroom. For a moment just moving around felt better and I thought I might actually be okay. But I closed the stall door and sat and suddenly I was literally gasping for air. The tears only lasted a few minutes. As I felt it go, the usual feeling of ridiculousness came. Perhaps I'm pregnant even now. And even if I'm not, what good is it to cry?
Then someone came in the bathroom and I knew I needed to get my shit together. So I dried my eyes, pulled my hair around my face and went to wash my hands. The lady who had come in glanced at me. I'm certain she saw my red eyes but thankfully didn't ask.
I dabbed some cool water on my face, laughed at how ridiculous I was, then found myself a Pepsi. More for the cold bottle to press on my eyes than a desire for the soda itself.
And now I move on.