You, the glowing pregnant woman in line in front of me, wearing the cute empire waist maternity dress. Your hair in a tight bun atop your head.
Me, the infertile woman standing behind you.
I stared at your baby bump and you saw me. I smiled and looked down at my shoes awkwardly.
Keep it together, I whisper to myself.
“I can’t wait for this to be over,” you said rubbing your back, rocking back and forth. You are very pregnant and uncomfortable. I see your pain, but your words sting me like a slap in the face. What I would give to be you. What I would give to be the glowing woman in the cute empire waist maternity dress with the sore back.
Instead I just smile.
You continue, “I’m just so done with feeling like this. I’m tired and sore, my feet feel like swollen sausages! A real mess.” Your voice shakes with high pitch angst.
I can feel my body tense as waves of frustration wash over me and all I can think is, but you have a baby inside of you… you won.
Inside I scream. I am so done with feeling like this. I am so sore too—from daily injections. I am so tired too—from early morning monitoring and sleepless nights. I am a mess too. I don’t know how much more I can take.
There is no due date for me. There is no countdown or cute infertility ticker.
I muster, “Aww hang in there.”
It’s your turn. You order your green tea latte, smile and tell me to have a great day.
“You too,” I say. As I watch you walk away with a slight waddle, I dig deep and say, “Hey good luck with everything.” Then I dig even deeper, close my eyes and send warm thoughts your way. I wish you and your baby nothing but joy and health ahead.
The truth is, I am truly happy for you, but sad for me. I am the infertile woman who you speak to all the time but don’t know. At the doctor’s office, at the gym, in Starbucks, at the bank, at the mall. When my eyes fall upon a pregnant belly, I feel emotions rise inside me. I will pay attention to these feelings. I will send love and light to you, beautiful mother to be. I will wish you nothing but love, to surround you and your growing baby.
I don’t know what your journey to get here has been, maybe you have gone through something similar. Regardless, you are carrying an amazing gift. I hope that when I am pregnant, that this kind of energy and love will fall onto me and my baby.
So, today I will choose love over jealousy. I will choose hope over frustration.
I will send only love your way. It’s what keeps me fighting.
Author: Chiemi Rajamahendran
Image: Joey Thompson/Unsplash
Editors: Katarina Tavčar; Emily Bartran