I have heard about three pregnancies in the last 24 hours. First, Angelina. Next, one of my students who wanted to explain why she's been MIA for some required exercises (she was vomiting in various bathrooms around the hospital, poor thing). Finally, one of my colleagues.
I have long noticed that some pregnancy announcements make me wince a little, and some do not. Angelina's, now, I feel irrationally happy over, maybe just because it's cool to think of two such gorgeous people combining genes, and maybe because she's certainly paid some dues (albeit with a fat checkbook). My student's, well, a tiny bit. Because I didn't have a guy who was willing to undertake parenthood with me at that stage in my life, even though I was already getting slightly long in the tooth (and I knew I couldn't do it alone).
My colleague's announcement was pretty hard to take. She's my age, and she sees outpatients in the same office as I do. She got married when I was in year three of my fertility quest, and she wasn't worried in the least about whether she could get pregnant — she used birth control for a while, even. Then of course she got pregnant two weeks after I finally did. (Which meant that we were out on maternity leave at almost exactly the same time, which just about shut down the practice — despite ample advance notice, none of the higher ups seemed to grasp what kind of problem this would be — but I digress). Recently I asked her if she thought she wanted another, and she said, maybe, sort of ... then she stopped her birth control again and had sex exactly ONCE, and now she's pregnant again.
I hate this evil finger of jealousy scratching at my back. I don't begrudge her this pregnancy, and I know she has a lot more to deal with than I do in life — she has a chronic medical condition that leaves her in pain and fatigued, her husband does almost nothing to help with their son or the house, and she's a really kind, generous person who has helped me often. And, I already have a fantastic (though hell-bent) baby myself, which a lot of people probably begrudge me. But it's hard to shake this ugly feeling. Jo wrote about it much more eloquently than I a little while ago.
It also makes me do something I hate to do, which is face up to my own desires and motivations. I have not made an appointment with my RE, despite knowing full well that time may have run out for me. I have not weaned HellBoy, despite knowing full well that nursing is probably interfering with any chance at fertility I might otherwise have. I become very adolescent about the whole issue. I'm still pissed off that I don't have the luxury of deciding how many biological children I want. I want to be able to ponder when would be a good time to have a second baby, without the incessant noise of the clock winding down making it hard to think. I'm finding this whole gig pretty overwhelming at times, and the thought of adding another baby to the mix sometimes seems outrageous. Not to mention the hideousness of infertility treatment. It would be nice to know that I could wait a couple more years to catch my breath.
I have a slightly ridiculous reason for wanting a second biological child: HellBoy looks almost nothing like me. He's got exact replicas of his father's cleft chin, distinctive nose, big brown eyes, even his long flat feet. The things that may have come from me are all pretty generic — straight fine hair, smallness, maybe his mouth? Probably his eyebrows? I mean, we're grasping at straws here. I joke sometimes that at the IVF center they finally got fed up working with my tough old eggs and just borrowed one from a nice young woman who resembled me. There's no easy way to prove this isn't true.* I coached my cousin's wife at the birth of their first child, and I was the first person to hold and dress the baby. I noticed right away that she had my cousin's toes, which are unmistakeable, and which I also have (maybe I'll post a picture sometime, but for now you'll have to trust me, these toes are better than DNA testing for tracking family connections). And I thought that was the coolest thing.
I want a baby with my toes.
So that's a pretty stupid reason, and yes, I realize that even if I had a second biological child it could be mini-TrophyHusband #2. I need to appreciate my incredibly good fortune in having HB at all (which I do, I do). I need to decide whether I want to get my butt to my RE and let them tell me if the door is really closed, because until I know that it's all rhetorical anyway. And then I probably need to wait a little while and talk some more with TH about what would be the best adoption scenario for us.
OK. Enough about me and my whining. Let's talk about lurkers, shall we? Because for de-lurking week, this blog is kind of a bust. Hundreds and hundreds of you, yet only one de-lurker ... why so shy? (You still out there, E?) Well, really, I'm not going to harangue anyone. I always hated my creative writing workshops where we were required to make comments. Some stuff was just crap, and the less said about it the better, and some days I felt like crap and didn't think I should impose that on the author either.
So forget I even brought it up. Carry on.
*No, of course I don't really believe this. Because they wouldn't give those nice fresh eggs out for free, now would they?