About a month ago, while attending a wedding, someone asked me “Is there something we should know?” while placing her hand on my stomach. “Yes, I’m fat and why are you touching me?” was my reply. It’s not the first time that this has happened. In fact, I can honestly say that it’s the sixth or seventh time that I’ve been on the receiving end of an “are you pregnant?” comment. It’s not just from random strangers either; it’s been relatives and co-workers too. (I know, right??)
Ok I get it. I need to put the fork down, step away from the plate and get off my larger-than-it-used-to-be butt. I have a pretty thick skin and can make a joke out of just about anything. And let’s face it; the old gray mare just ain’t what she used to be.
But here’s the thing: When you struggle with infertility and your only child really is going to be your ONLY child, statements like that cut in a deeper, different way. You can defend the culprits by saying that they mean well and are just excited at the prospect of a new baby. Well, sure. I would be excited too. But unless you see a head popping out between my legs, zip it.
I think that because I have a child already, people assume that I can just pop out another one. In Gena’s blog this week, she talks about how no one talks about infertility. I always considered myself an open person about the goings on in my life, but after struggling to conceive my daughter and then unsuccessfully attempting to conceive a second child, I was done. I no longer wanted to see the looks of anticipation in my family’s faces every time I saw them, only to disappoint them with the news that “It didn’t take. Again.” I was starting to feel like a broken record.
So I stopped talking about it. Our insurance ran out and so did my resolve. I was so tired of shots and running to appointments. I couldn’t take the disappointment anymore. And maybe while I was living my life in the aftermath of our decision to stop trying, I let myself go a little. And maybe I carry my extra weight right in the baby maker. But unless you know my whole story, keep your hands off and your mouth shut.
Since it seems that that’s unlikely to happen, I’m going to go back to being the best mom that my only-fabulous, wonderful, amazing-child has ever seen. There’s always New Year’s Resolutions for the other stuff, right?