Yesterday at the end of my post, I said that I didn’t beleive I would ever be one of the ‘The Mommies’. Continuing the discussion, My MMC Story wrote a great post called ‘Is it healthy to be hopeful?’, where she talks about whether or not she believes she’ll ever carry a baby to term. This has gotten me thinking about the statement I made, and what I truly beleive. Clearly I’m still trying to get pregnant, so it can’t be as simple as I do beleive or I don’t. There’s definitely more going on here.
So what do I actually beleive? After one and then two miscarriages, I definitely believed it was a fluke, and surely I was meant to carry a baby eventually. I was frustrated with the lost time, but I didn’t doubt that I could or would be pregnant for real. After three and then four miscarriages though, a feeling of deja vu set in. Everything was happening exactly the same way, and I thought I must have been an idiot to think it would be different this time. Now when I start to picture myself 5 or 6 weeks pregnant, I have trouble imagining it without that same feeling of deja vu. I just can’t picture myself making it past this point. I’ve said elsewhere that I have the feeling that its possible that I could have a healthy pregnancy someday, but any given instance will fail. It’s the difference between a hypothetical reality and the actual reality I have to live in.
Yet, despite the fact that I can’t picture it, there is still a glimmer of hope in the back of my mind that it will happen for me eventually. This must be true on some level, or we wouldn’t still be trying. So why do say I don’t beleive? I think the real reason is self-protection. As My MMC Story says in her post, we seem to think that by being negative, it will protect us somehow from the pain if it fails again.
I do this with a lot of things. I expect the worst so I won’t be disappointed. When I was preparing for my dissertation defense, I absolutely did not allow myself to think it would go well. There’s a sort of superstitiousness about this. It’s as if I think that if I let on that I want something, the universe will be more likely to steal it away. So I act as if I’m expecting the worst, and maybe the universe won’t notice. In fact, part of me thinks that it won’t happen until I truly convince myself it’s impossible. This will somehow magically trick the universe into giving me what I want. I’m not just acting and speaking as if I don’t beleive, I’m really and truly trying to convince myself I don’t beleive.
As a method of self-protection (not to mention universe-tricking), I’m not at all sure this method is effective. If I think about the miscarriages where I expected it and those I didn’t, there might have been a marginal difference in how I felt, but barely noticeable. It certainly didn’t protect me from the pain, it hurts no matter what. I want to be practical about my chances, so it wouldn’t be better to pretend everything is peachy, but I could probably afford to be a little less negative. It probably wouldn’t hurt me as much as I think it will.
With this in mind, I tried something new today. I actually walked myself in to a baby clothing store and looked around. I’m convinced that this particular store was put on the earth specifically to torture me. Their clothes are just so damn cute that it’s painful. Going in to a store like this is strictly against my self-imposed rules, because it lets on that I think I might get to shop there someday.
Shockingly, I didn’t implode upon entering said store. I held up some clothes, and thought about what I would buy if I could. In fact, that aspect wasn’t nearly as hard as I expected. What turned out to be the hardest part was the other shoppers and the saleslady. Immediately upon entering the store, I had this strong feeling that everyone could see straight through me, and could tell that I was an imposter. I felt completely transparent. I kept thinking, it must be blatantly obvious that I’m a *gasp* infertile. But, I fought these thoughts, finished looking around and left. End of story.
So, I learned that I won’t crack if I let myself admit (and show) my little glimmer of hope. It still feels completely and totally terrifying to consider being optimistic, I don’t think I can go that far. But maybe I can handle being just a tiny bit less pessimistic in the future.