Monday, March 1, 2010

Oh Familiar Jealous Anger

I think every infertility blogger has a post on this topic. That awful jealousy. That inability to really rejoice with our friends who get pregnant. That ugly sense of injustice.

This is where I think infertility has a lot in common with unwanted singleness. I have friends who are still single and desperately long to be married. I have always been so grateful that I met my now-husband in college and really didn't have to spend any time wading through the uncertain loneliness some of my friends have to deal with. And hearing news of engagements without being able to be really happy. I had enough trouble with friends of mine who started dating long after us, got engaged the week after us, and decided to get married the month before us. Of course, these friends are also due with their first baby in April. And, though they haven't said it, they probably believe that our infertility is due to the fact that we (gasp!) eat beef that isn't grass-fed and chicken that isn't free-range organic. Yes, they are those kind of friends. You can see why I'm keeping this blog anonymous.

Back to the jealousy. I just found out (on facebook, of course) that good friends of ours are due with their second. Already on their second. And she's younger than me. Of course. And they got pregnant "sooner than expected." Of course.

I'm a committed follower of Jesus. Does this simplify or complicate the feelings of jealousy and sense of injustice? I can't decide. On the one hand, Jesus affirms me that it is unjust. This world is broken, and so our bodies are broken and don't work the way they're supposed to. If the world were as it should be, we would all be fertile. And he hurts for me because he loves me and doesn't want to see me in so much pain. Cries for the barren woman are all over the Bible. Moreover, he promises that one day, all the brokenness will be gone and the emptiness filled.

On the other hand, I know that the jealousy isn't entirely okay. It's selfish and ugly. God has the right to give other people babies within their first month of trying, and he has the right to make me wait. I can't free myself of the ugly feelings. I'm stuck. But he can. In fact, though he doesn't promise me a baby, he promises me freedom. So I pray and wait for the freedom while I pray and wait for the baby.
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1 comment:

Leslie said...

I think it is OK to be jealous. It's OK to be selfish, too. AND it's OK to eat non-free-range chickens! :)
I think I get over jealousy easier by acknowledging it and moving through it, and I am sure this is how it works for other people too, given how often people feel the need to discuss it here in the blogs.

I was reading some of the psych literature on infertility, and I came across a statement that in some cultures, if you are single when you want children, you are considered 'infertile', even if your reproductive system technically works just fine. This makes a lot of sense to me. The lack of a partner would be just as bad (if not worse than) a busted reproductive system when it comes to thwarting your desire for children.

If only the gene for 'busted plumbing' could sit right next to the gene for 'adventurous world traveler who hates babies'. That way only people who didn't want kids wouldn't be able to have them, and everyone who wanted one, could have one.
It's a nasty trick of biology that we were given the URGE but not the ability to reproduce.