My life in the slow lane

1 Oct

Being lapped is one of the hardest things in this whole ugly barrel of infertility shit. We’re all afraid of being left behind while everyone we know gets pregnant, has babies and lives their lives in a different world to ours. It feels like a constant nipping at your heels, and dear god, there are a lot of people in that passing lane.

Most of our friends and acquaintances in real life are parents. The few who are not are either younger than us, or much older and never had kids.  Of the few still of reproductive age, there is one couple in particular that I have dreaded lapping us. We love hanging out with them, and I don’t want anything to make this friendship unbearable. So, when the wife in this duo told me earlier this year that they were going to start trying at some point in 2010 (she knows we are trying too), I was excited for them, but also felt a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. “I know they are going to get pregnant soon. Or before us,” I told myself (and my husband, 500 more times than he cared to hear it). “I just know it.”

We were out with them last Friday night and she mentioned that she was having some lady trouble.  Over the summer her cycles got really bizarre and she was having a light period every 3 weeks, whereas before they were really regular. Without going in to the specifics (because I didn’t really understand them — apparently I am not an MD with a degree bestowed by the mighty Google), they found something off in her hormone levels, and she is not ovulating. She has had to go back on the pill for a few months so she can regulate her cycle before they start really trying.  They’re  holding off a little longer on really going for it because they have an international trip planned soon and then she’s going to live on the other side of the country for six weeks for work. This takes them out of the getting knocked up marathon (well, for some it’s a sprint, I suppose) until at least the end of the year.

I was flooded with relief during this conversation. And I feel guilty and hateful about it. These two are among the nicest people on earth and I want nothing but good for them, but all I could really think about was that I had a few months reprieve on being left behind. I guess infertility makes you a little self-centered. Call me Narcissus.

Our husbands were not part of this conversation. But mine, with his carefully tuned radar for all things infertility, knew the general theme of what we were talking about in hushed voices on the other side of the table. “How did you know?” I asked as we were driving home. “Well,” he said, “When I hear you utter the words cervical mucus, words I can practically lip read by now, it’s a dead giveaway.” He has a point.

Now I need to defend why I was talking about nether region mucus in a public place, because now that I think about it, it’s really not your typical Friday night out conversation. Well, our conversation evolved into a general discussion of fertility, and how it can be predicted with charting, temping, cervical mucus checking and OPK’ing. You know everything in that bag of tricks that’s so exciting when you’re first starting out. And oh how I envy those who are just at the starting gate. Even if my friend’s gate is opening a little slowly.


5 Responses to “My life in the slow lane”

  1. cgd October 1, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    thank you for this honest post. I understand this exact feeling. I often feel utter panic at the thought of yet another person leaving me behind. I am not happy that your friends are having trouble (this is a fate nobody should have to face), but I am glad that you do not have to face yet another pregnant belly.

  2. Secret Sloper October 2, 2010 at 6:29 am #

    I know just how you feel. A friend of mine told me she and her husband were thinking of trying soon, and my heart leaped to my throat. And then she said because of some medical issues they have to wait until the new year and I breathed again.

    Somehow, it doesn’t get any easier to take the announcements even with a lot of practice. I’ve heard about 10 super-painful pregnancy announcements in the last 18 months (and about 15 ones I didn’t care about as much). But the cumulative evidence just sucks, you know? 30 people have managed to conceive and have children in the time it’s taken us to visit an RE.

    This sucks.

  3. egghunt October 2, 2010 at 4:49 pm #

    I love your honesty. I feel like I’m actually parked on the side of the road sometimes so even those in the slow lane are passing me. It’s hard not to take every pg announcemnt as a personal attack and I would have had the same sense of relief you did when your friend confided that she’s not pregnant yet.
    I know it’s not a race and thats something that my husband keeps reminding me, but it sure feels like it sometimes.

  4. lady pumpkin October 3, 2010 at 12:18 pm #

    There’s nothing wrong with not wanting to be alone; I think it’s one of the most natural instincts there is. I’m sorry you’re friend’s having trouble, but I totally get what you’re feeling.

  5. conceptionallychallenged October 4, 2010 at 1:49 am #

    I completely understand. We started trying a bit on the early side (at least for our circle of friends) and now the first babies have been born of those that started trying after us. And it hurts. And I don’t know how many more of those I can take.

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