I was wandering through blogland last night catching up on blogs I haven't read in a long time (shame on me), and reading the news that I've missed while I've been quietly keeping to myself.
And, of course, there is pregnancy news - in a few blogs. Which somehow still always surprises me, as though I think since I'm still broken everyone else must be too.
But clearly this is not the case. In fact, in some cases these are second generation pregnancies - babies that have come after babies that came after a loss.
I'm so far behind. If I ran at the speed of light it feels like I'd still forever be so far behind, shackled to my infertility and dragging my busted uterus behind me.
Anyway, I stumbled across a blogger who is newly pregnant via a surrogate, and something interesting happened in my tiny little brain.
"That's okay then", I reasoned, "she's still broken too." It's fine for someone to be expecting a baby, apparently, as long as they aren't actually the one carrying it. Because that would make them whole and capable and fertile - all the things I'm not.
I'm not totally sure what this line of thinking says about me, but I'm pretty sure it's nothing good.
It all makes me wonder what it is about losing a child and dealing with infertility that makes it so hard to be happy for others who make it past the agonizing limbo of childlessness, or infertility after a loss.
I hate that I feel this way. I hate that time hasn't eased the feelings of sorrow and jealousy when someone else - even someone who has struggled - finds themselves pregnant.
It's so ugly. It's so unbearably ugly to think that I should feel anything other than complete joy and happiness for someone whose dream has come true when I know how bright and beautiful that dream is - and what devastation and havoc losing it wreaks.
And yet last night I found myself comforted that someone had to resort to surrogacy.
It's so unfathomably ugly that I'm even ashamed to write it (and, frankly, have no idea why I'm admitting it). But there it is. It seems that I have let go of none of the bitterness.
Maybe it's not surprising given the decrepit state of my own fertility, my advancing age, my reluctance to have "just one more" surgery to fix what allegedly ails me.
The trail of death and destruction in my wake.
Maybe it's normal to still feel this way. It probably is. But it doesn't change the fact that it makes me feel small and ugly and horrible.
Lest one be forced to surmise that there isn't one single ounce of goodness left in my battered soul, I should clarify that I do manage to feel joy for others. I do. But the bitterness is always following right on its heels. Not towards those who are pregnant, exactly, but more at the universe, at God, at fate - at whatever seems to be preventing me from finding my happy ending.
I just want my happy ending too.
And seeing others get it reminds me of how much I want it. And how far I am from having it. And how close I once was. Four times.
I read about how healing it is to have a baby after a loss, and I rage against the universe for denying me that chance to heal. I read about how apparently you can't know the true depths of your sorrow until you hold another child of your own, and I rage against the universe for denying me the chance to complete my grieving process (although I also bristle at the suggestion that if I never have another child my sorrow is somehow less than someone who has gone on to have another baby - because I'm pretty sure that just ain't the case).
Today at Mass I watched an old lady gazing at someone's child the way old ladies do, with that serene, loving half-smile. And as I watched her, I realized that I will never be that old lady. I will never, ever be able to look at children with the simplicity of thought that many people do, a blissful smile playing on my lips. Other people's children will always remind me of my loss and my agony - of my own missing children. Even if one day I have another child.
But especially if I don't.
And I'm not at all happy that this bitterness seems to be planning to dog me for the rest of my life.