Warning: it’s about to get ranty up in here.
Firstly: Gender Reveal Parties. Are. you. shitting. me. I just can’t even go any further with this.
Secondly: Facebook pregnancy announcements. Do they annoy you as much as they annoy me?
I bring this up because I recently had a childhood friend of Larry’s send me a random message on FB: Hey stranger. Hope you guys are doing well. Add me as a friend. We need to catch up!
Mind you, I don’t really know this person very well. It’s not like I grew up with her. I can count the number of times actually seen her on one hand, easily. Is it wrong that the infertile in me immediately jumps to “Oh, she wants me to friend her so she can tell me she’s pregnant”? She was married about 6 months before Larry and I and this is the first I’ve heard from her since OUR wedding almost 2 years ago. It all rang fishy to me. I happened to be logged into my husband’s FB account working on some fan page stuff for his new business, and saw a posting from her, almost verbatim, on his Wall. I told Larry my suspicions, and later that day, he told me that she sent him an instant message on FB and was like, “Hi! How are you? I’m pregnant!” in one sentence.
Ugh… Shallow much? I friended her, but I’ve hidden her on my feed, b/c really, I don’t need the pregnancy play-by-play for the next however many months. What gets me more is that she wanted me to friend her for the express purpose of a) announcing her pregnancy and b) to fish for a compliment. (Edit: I have since preened my friends list and unfriended her.)
The next favorite thing to find on FB? Ultrasound photos. And 9 times out of 10, it’s the u/s pic that’s that actual pregnancy announcement, like this helpful article suggests you should do. Will I post tons of u/s pics online if/when I’m pregnant? Probably. In fact, I will probably do all of the stereotypical pregnant lady things, but I will have at least my IF lens to maybe, perhaps, have some degree of sensitivity to others. But for right now, it drives me nuts. I actually sigh deeply through clenched teeth when I see these kinds of announcements, thinking, “When the fuck is it going to me my turn?”
I think what’s most annoying, is that these things catch us off guard. It leaves us raw and reeling in an area we think we’re safe: we’re checking our Farms in Farmville, offing some Russians in Mafia Wars, looking at photos of random weddings and BAM! reminders of our own shortcomings. Wasn’t Facebook supposed to be a safe space? PerhapsI was just naive.
I’ve learned that dealing with infertility is learning the fine art of compartmentalizing one’s emotions, and I think to a certain extent, keeping up one’s guard a little higher than most. I’ve been working with my therapist to be OK with emoting when and how I need to, grieving when I need to, and being ok with laying out my terms for those closest to me. As much as it’s ok for me to say no to things like baby showers, I can emotionally say no to other things, like how I hear news and updates. I’ve recently refiltered my blogroll as a number of courageous ladies I’ve followed have had incredible successes in conquering their IF. It’s inspiring yes, but I find the big ugly green J(ealousy) rears its head sometimes, so I need to set aside that time and that headspace to check in on these now pregnant bloggers.
What it comes down to is realizing it’s ok for me to do what I need to emotionally support myself. And this is hard, b/c I’ve got a bit of that mother hen/matyr complex, where I constantly provide emotionally for others and leave hardly anything for myself… and this is the one time in my life where it should really be the other way around. It’s a bit of a paradigm shift for me, and I struggle with it. Maybe it’s my fear of being called selfish? Maybe it’s my own approval-seeking complex? Or maybe it’s just the first time in my life I’ve just felt truly and deeply robbed of an opportunity. Regardless, I need to take care of myself, and I’ll do what I gotta do, quite simply.
Another way I cope? Humor, such as my new favorite blog, 999 Reasons to Laugh at Infertility. Go check her out… it’s a hoot.
How are other folks coping out there? How do you deal with the random comments, the FB announcements, and all those other fun blindsided reminders?