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Symbolic Baby

November 5, 2010

I honestly don’t want every post that I write on this blog to be whiny and miserable.  Truly.  This has been a tough week for me, though.  And it’s not getting much easier.  Thankfully, the week is coming to a close.

A lot of people I know are either pregnant or just had babies.  Of course this is the case, because we are all at that phase of our lives.  I’m not self-centered enough to think that the world is just trying to torture me by making every woman around me pregnant.  Although it feels that way sometimes.

My husband and I first started trying to conceive in January 2010.  That same month my co-worker, let’s call him Joe, confided that he and his wife were expecting.  He asked me not to tell anyone because it was too early to tell people yet, but he just had to tell someone.  I, of course, was ecstatic, and I confided to him that my husband and I had just started trying to conceive that same month.   We talked all about babies and how exciting it would be, and the presumption was that John and I would have a baby soon after Joe and his wife did – maybe the babies would even be in day care together!  It was all very exciting.  In fact at that very moment that Joe and I had that conversation, I was about 9 days past ovulation and convinced I was having all kinds of pregnancy symptoms.

Well, of course, you know how that ended up for me.  It is now November and my uterus is still empty.  But Joe’s wife gave birth at the end of September.  The baby was a little bit early.  But more than any other baby that has been born this year while we’ve been so unsuccessful, Joe’s baby really hurts.  I mean he is a super cute little guy – I haven’t seen him in person yet, but the pictures are adorable.  (I’d post one but that would kind of require asking Joe’s permission, and, well, I don’t really want him to see this post.  So just imagine a really cute baby boy.)   But in my stupid overdramatic head I have built up Joe’s baby as symbolic of my own what-could-have-been.  If we had been successful early on, in the first month or two of trying, we would have a baby right now.

Joe’s wife’s pregnancy was a sort of calendar for me – oh, she’s 6 months along, that means I would have been about 5 months along if we had conceived that first cycle.  Why did I do this to myself??  I really don’t know.  I don’t know how many people conceive the first cycle of trying, anyway.  Probably not very many.  But this baby just served as a measurement of the span of time that I had been without a baby, or the beginnings of a baby.

It’s all silly.  Anyway, Joe was back at work yesterday after taking a month off to be with his wife and baby.  And I heard person after person stop by his office to congratulate him and ask him all about how he’s adjusting to fatherhood, etc.  I sat at my desk and thought “I should go congratulate him” but I was scared I might cry.  Finally I did it, thanks to a little nudge via e-mail from Jen, and it was rough, but I made it through.  He could tell I was not 100% okay, and he asked if everything was all right, but I lied and said it was and rushed back to my office.  Where I promptly closed the door and burst into tears.

It’s okay.  I’m not going to cry every time I see a baby or a pregnant woman.  I feel a little wistful – okay more than a little.  But Joe’s baby has become so symbolic in my mind that I can’t just see a cute baby like I do with all the others.  Whenever I tell my husband stories like this he says “We’ll get there, honey.”  And I know he’s right.  Good things come to those who wait, and all that.  It doesn’t make it any less frustrating along the way, though.

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