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Feelings have the annoying habit of lingering long after the circumstances that warranted them have passed. Feelings are so fucking *messy*. There are so many things our hearts never quite get over, and the experience of infertility is probably one of them.


OH me too. Almost exactly, as a matter of fact (I feel like apologizing to every adoptive mom I meet because I AM that urban legend that got pregnant after she was picked by a birth mom--although the conception happened about two weeks before we found out, actually. I flat out lied to some of the more annoying people in my life who saw adoption as yet another fertility treatment and told them it was an experimental treatment I couldn't discuss at the time). And I also feel that resentment and jealousy when I hear about perfect people and their perfect easy paths to parenthood. I don't think that will ever leave me. I don't actively seethe like I used to, but it still stings bad.

Brooklyn Mama

Ugh. No pity or apologies necessary. Please, don't WORRY about how your surprise fecundity affects or doesn't affect me, a completely infertile adoptive mom. My daughter and my experience becoming and being her mom is just as perfect and blissful as your experience with motherhood.


The end result being the same does not mean the process was. Those who see only the end result and assume about the process are insensitive and/or ignorant. What is a woman who has trouble with fertility after she births a baby? She is a mother who still has fertility trouble. The end result, whether concerning producing a baby or a myriad of other difficult situations, does not, in my experience, get rid of the memories of how stressful and painful the situation was and the feelings of resentment brought about by the situation.

Jo, good for you for recognizing your feelings, and thank you for sharing them.


Brooklyn Mama, just to clarify: no pity or worry here, believe me.

I mean that 1)since I still get that funky twinge when I interact with pregnant women even now, *I* would hate me just for having been pregnant -- not that anyone *else* would feel that way, and 2)it sucks that the "now that you're adopting, you'll get pregnant!" people have more ammo.

That's all, man. No pity. And not a single apology in the post.

Just...talkin' 'bout me. Frankly, I'm still astonished anyone reads it.


Holy crap--really should have typed out the WHOLE thought. When I say apologizing, I meant because of the infamous asshat "but once you adopt you'll get pregnant!" I would always tell people that was an urban legend like the alligators in the sewers, that it happened to one person's hairdresser's cousin's dog's vet and now everyone accepts it as gospel. Now, anyone who knows me and a prospective adoptive mom can say "No, it happened to my friend Amy." So I hated being the one to add fuel to the asshat fire, NOT that I myself am such an asshat I think anyone cares where my kid came from or that it affects anyone but us in any way. The comment always offended me so much for so many reasons, and so I don't relish being the anecdote asshats can point to. That's all I meant.

Brooklyn Mama

Just don't want anyone thinking I'M feeling jealous. I've reached the holy grail right along with you.


I'm laughing about the experimental fertility treatment Amy couldn't discuss at the time!
Most of us have our pushable "I know someone who ..." buttons -- mine was "I have a friend who's 43 and she had acupuncture and she's pregnant now." That one drove me wild, and I really don't know why. I have nothing against acupuncture per se ...
I'm happy for most people who can get pregnant on demand, but there are a few smug ones who still bug me, even after it all worked out for me. Lingering bitterness, indeed. Sometimes I feel the need to let everyone know my son didn't come easily -- "I'm not one of those smug fertiles, really!" And then I feel like a complete idiot who's going to give her son a test-tube complex.


as another completely infertile adoptive mom, i just want to say that there was a time, post-adoption, that i totally still had pregnancy envy. not so much "oh-she-decided-to-adopt-and-got-pregnant" envy, since as a lesbian that "oops" pregnancy ain't ever gonna happen ;-) it had nothing to do with my son, it had nothing to do with adoption, it had nothing to do with being a mother. i'm a total adoption-junkie, you well know the depth of my joy in my micah-boo, and i know (and i know that you know) that my experience of motherhood is every bit as profound and deep and awesome and all the rest as yours (which is why you're going to be an awesome adoptive mama). it was never about that. it was about missing out on the experience of pregnancy and childbirth that really really mattered to me. and it took much more than adopting my son to grieve that loss and feel whole again. i'm happy to say that i am there, and i have every confidence that you will get there too -- that whatever loss you experienced through your infertility will get healed in whatever way you need it to. but it also makes perfect sense to me that your own pregnancy, childbirth, darling sophia, and your own experience of motherhood aren't everything you need to be healed.... and it takes nothing away from any of those things -- just as it takes nothing away from my own joy in my son and my own experience of motherhood -- to acknowledge that.



Kitty Bean

Seems like Thanksgiving is such a marker for several of us inferts. I wrote a post about why I'm thankful even if I don't conceive this cycle, and then Fertility Challenged ( wrote about how people keep getting pregnant around Thanksgiving when she can't. Then today I read your post. It seems funny how we measure events by our fertility procedures and children, and our children's milestones. And every holiday is a reminder. I measure how long we've been trying to get pregnant, knowing that my daughter was in Kindergarten when we started. I hope you always remember this Thanksgiving as the first as a mom.


Ain't it a kick in the ass? That jealous feeling that creeps up on you, even though you've reached your ultimate goal? I don't believe it ever leaves us. Although it's a bit different, not as strong, not as enveloping, muffled by the sounds and feelings you have for Sophia, but it's still there.

I get that way, especially, around younger women who had/are pregnant with kids accidentally. I wish we could all just let go...impossible I suppose.


You aren't alone. I have 2 (fairly easily conceived) kids and yet ... Everytime I see a pregnant woman I get jealous. Why???

I think it's natural. Or at least I hope it's natural or else we're all nuts!


Very familiar with the jealously twinge. And the twinge to kill anyone who tells me one more time a story about "someone they know" who adopted and got pregnant. I still hate Mother's Day, even though I now have a toddler. I was kicked out of the IVF program (after three surgeries and the emptying of our bank account)because I was that hopeless. Three years later I scheduled a hysterectomy and two weeks later found out I was pregnant. I was 43. I have no idea how it happened. I don't even remember having sex! Still avoid people who can get pregnant whenever they want.


Here I am at 35 weeks, and still smarting from the THREE SURPRISE pregnancies I've been bombarded with, the most recent YESTERDAY from a girl that told me I'd stop miscarrying if I relaxed a bit, then she got pregnant after she went off her b/c pills, but before she could take the prometrium to bring on a period.

It still hurts me, because I know that when we're ready for another, it'll be another uphill road, more than likely, no surprises for us.


You know what? I've never experienced infertility at all - I have 3 kids, each conceived on the first or second try - and *I* get jealous when someone I know gets pregnant! I don't even want any more kids! It's just - I don't know. Something I feel, for some reason. So certainly I don't think anyone could blame YOU for feeling it!!


Me, too. Even though I have my gorgeous twin girls, I'm still jealous of people who announce pregnancies. It's better now, but I think it'll always be there.

I'd love to conceive naturally since post-pregnancy my periods have been regular, unlike before. However, I told my husband a few weeks ago that I might lie to some people and actually tell them that we did IF treatments again. How messed up is that? VERY was his verdict. I just don't want to be the story that people smugly tell: I know someone who did IVF and had twins and then got pregnant when she JUST RELAXED.


What always surprises me is how I can be so utterly, delirously, joyfully happy with my life and my gorgeous charming son, and yet the grief of everything that happened before him still lingers underneath, unchanged. The child now begging for another pretzel doesn't erase the loss of the one who isn't here. Being happy now doesn't make the sad parts of the story less sad.

I think it's normal, sensible even, to be jealous of people who have had an easier time. It isn't fair. You didn't do anything to deserve the years of infertility and miscarriages, just as that woman over there didn't do anything to deserve the great good luck of her first-cycle-off-the-Pill baby.

I guess I'm saying that you shouldn't be surprised if you still feel this way when Sophia's three.


I can't begin to know what you or anyone else who has suffered with infertility has gone through. But I can speak from my own limited personal experience. I think that feeling jealous is completely natural. My husband and I are only on our second month of trying to conceive and I'm feeling it a little bit myself.
One thing I know for sure. Those wounds you have will heal with time and care.

MFA Mama

You may always want what you didn't have (the quick and easy conception) on some first and second were premature, and I hated everyone who got to have easy, active pregnancies and not spend months and months beached like a whale on bedrest getting fatter and fatter, and then they'd have their big, fat, full-term newborn who would breastfeed like a champ and I'd grit my teeth and practically choke on the "congratulations." Then my third went full-term and left the hospital with us nursing away and I thought "huh, so this is what it's like," and it was great. But when Husband's co-worker's wife recently had a healthy full-term baby after a pregnancy during which she only gained twenty pounds I still felt the need to hate her for it just a little bit.


"one person's hairdresser's cousin's dog's vet"

Hey! That's me! I am the hairdresser's cousin's dog's vet!

Personally, I got so sick of hearing the "once you adopt" bit that I had started telling people I no longer had a uterus. Man, that took some explaining.


You know, to me the term "jealousy" implies that you begrudge others the experience of having an easy time getting pregnant. That's not how I'm interpreting what you're saying, though. It's more that the easily-pregnants remind you of your pain, and all you went through to get to where you are now. Of course that stings! Like feelings associated with any deeply traumatic experience, they probably won't ever go away completely...although I hope they'll hurt less with time. Being gentle with yourself is a very good idea indeed.


Shelley, you're right -- no begrudging here. And I should specify that really I'm about 96% okay with it -- there's just that leeetle flash, now and again.


You're a better person than I, Jo.


Still feeling that little twinge myself.

And when I tell people my kids are 11 years apart, I always feel I should explain the IF. Because otherwise they assume it is either due to a second marriage, or an "oops" baby, as they say with a smirk. And I want to choke them.


I guess it has to happen once and it awhile for people to tell stories about it.

Do you think you'd still adopt when smouse get a little older?

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