So, picking up where I left off. I talked about going to Pennsylvania for my best friend’s baby shower. During that visit I remember at one point asking her, “How did you do it?”
To be almost 25 years old and asking my best friend, “How do you get pregnant?” probably seems like a very silly question. Obviously, I knew how she did it.
“That’s really it...” she responded sadly. She obviously had seen the completely dejected look on my face. (More so, she felt it)
How could it be that simple? It’s not that simple. It can’t be. There must be more to it. More that I’m NOT doing... something...
It was hard, to see her heart break for my own breaking heart. But at the same time, I found such comfort in having a friend who truly mourned when I mourned. And at the same time we could be excited and happy for the turn her life was taking. But it hurt us both that we weren’t doing this together... and we both knew it.
I remember going home after that trip. Ashley and her husband drove me halfway home and my husband drove me the rest of the way. As Mitch and I were driving home I told him “how” they conceived. So, literally, we bought an Ovulation Predictor Kit right away. No joke, we drove 3 hours, and before going home, went straight to the store to buy one. We went through a self checkout because I was so afraid someone we knew might see... and no one knew that I wanted to become pregnant... and I planned to keep it that way.
I was so hopeful for the first time in years. I actually remember one of the first days I was back home, I took a picture of myself in my dresser mirror. I had stuffed a second shirt under my top to see what I’d look like with a baby bump of my own. I know that sounds school-girlish, but I did it, and sent the picture to my best friend with the caption, “what do you think? How would I look?” She responded enthusiastically “I LOVE IT!!!!
(I’ll be honest... in writing this post I searched EVERYWHERE for that photo to insert here, but I couldn’t find it. I must have deleted it as time passed and I felt just as unsuccessful as before...)
The OPK was unfortunately really disappointing. I got a kit with like 12 tests. Maybe it was 10, but it was a lot. And I never got a positive. The last one was super faint maybe. That’s when I started to think maybe my body just didn’t ovulate. That month came and went with many tears and even more heartache. I just kept asking myself “What is wrong with me?”
Thinking back, I realize how little I knew or understood about adoption. The 30-year-old-me understands adoption so much more. I’ve had one successful adoption, one failed adoption (bit of a different kind), and am now pursuing yet another type of adoption. Back then, adoption was a dream and the idea of “so much money,” “so much paperwork” and “such a long wait.” It was overwhelming and I had such little understanding about how it all worked. I forget how much I understand about adoption until I realize how little other people know. This gives me a beautiful opportunity to educate, which I really enjoy doing now.
After the family get-together, I traveled back to Pennsylvania for a week to visit with Ashley. It was our last visit together before her daughter was born, and we just wanted to spend as much time together as possible. I was also in such a difficult place emotionally, that I found the most comfort in being with her.
Many people have this wrong idea of how women struggling with infertility feel. Many assume there is jealousy, and that’s why its hard to hear pregnancy announcements, go to baby showers, and be around friends with kids. And that may be true for some. But I think for most women, its not a feeling of “I wish it were me instead of her,” but a feeling of “I wish it were me too.”
But thankfully we did talk about it. We talked about all of it. We talked about pregnancy and infertility together. They weren’t even really two separate conversations, we just lived side by side, we joyed in each other’s joys and hurt in each other’s pains. We empathized with one another to the nth degree. We always say that we are the best best friends... I still feel that way, especially when I think back on our deepest sorrows and greatest joys... especially when the two happened side by side.