I got 2 baby announcements in the mail today–one from a friend that I have not heard from in months and months. I was starting to get worried about her and decided to send her a card, when I got hers, welcoming her son into the world, instead. Ah–she had been pregnant this entire time!
The other announcement came from a friend who just adopted a baby. She and her husband have been trying to have a child for nearly ten years and just last year, made the leap to adopt a baby from Korea. Just two months ago, they picked up their daughter and brought her back here–and every single email from them has been about the progress of their new family. So busy have they been, I suppose, that they have only just now gotten around to sending out the hard copy baby announcement.
Just recently, I decided I was okay about my infertility, now in discovery for nearly a decade–that if I went my whole life without having a child, it would be okay. Not happy about it, but okay. For many years, I was not “okay” about it.
The juxtaposition of the two cards is striking to me–a friend of mine who plans her life out year by year (“I want to have a baby by such and such an age”) having her baby on schedule…and a friend of mine who has yearned and suffered to have a child (several IVF attempts included), both having children. And where am I? Somewhere in between?
When I receive baby announcements now, I am not filled with insane anger as I used to be. The cute cards with pictures and shoe and rattle graphics used to turn me upside down emotionally–both with happiness for my friend as well as anger for my own fate.
What do I feel now? I still feel a genuine happiness for my friends–their cards and messages and faces filled with so much joy. For myself–I feel curiosity (what would my life be like if I had a child?), deep grief (for I have lost something), and relief (for all the things I can do without children).