The guy sitting next to me has just gone home to pack his bags for the hospital. His wife has started contractions and their doc told them they’ll probably be seeing him tonight. Before this year, and for pretty much all of my life, this information would be akin to someone telling me that their wife is having her toenails trimmed. It was of zero consequence to me. I would have preferred that people keep any notifications about their wife’s opening sphincters to themselves.
But things have changed.
Now when someone goes into labour, or I see a birth announcement on Facebook, I get the tiniest, fleetingest, but sharpest pang of… not jealousy… maybe yearning is the word? Yearning for what I thought I was going to be doing this year. Yearning that in 5 months from now, I should be packing my bags for the hospital myself. But I won’t be.
And its not a huge yearning. For example, my yearning to go to Italy very soon and sip an Aperol Spritz on the Amalfi Coast, or my yearning to hug a puppy whenever I see one in the street, are both higher on the scale than the ‘wanting to be pregnant’ yearning. But its there. And I can’t express it to the person who’s just had a baby, or about to go into hospital. So here I am purging it here.
Actually not true. I can express it to my dear friend, who is due in the same month I would have been. I know she understands that my feelings don’t come from a place of malice or jealousy, and that I am genuinely invested and excited about her pregnancy. She is one of loveliest & most selfless people I know. It would have been so nice to go through this together, but alas our timelines will now be a little staggered (hopefully!).
No, its more acquaintances, who I get the pang with. It’s inexplicable, I can’t control it or talk myself out of it, like I can with anger, stress or hormonal upset! I hate that the feelings come from a sad place for such a happy moment. I thought that I would be immune to these feelings that so many women have shared to me about announcements they struggle with. I thought I would be different, that somehow my pragmatic & mellow nature would relieve me of any mainstream feelings around pregnancy loss. But I am no different. I’m human. And I’m happy for you, I’m just sad for me.