Wednesday, May 25, 2011

But I'm Pregnant Too - Part II

In yesterday's post I talked about the difficulty about expecting a child through foster care adoption and how it's only slightly different than the risks of expecting through pregnancy.  I also mentioned I had originally planned to write the post a long time ago, before the turmoil of the birth parents' waivering on who would be the adoptive parents.  I never did write that post - but here's the story behind it.

It all started shortly after we learned of #4's brother - currently in utero.  After that phone call I called a few people, did a bit of texting, and even facebooked about it.  I was excited but my husband and I were admittedly cautious about getting too excited.  We knew that "things could happen".  When we had a court date, everyone talked to us (and I believe it was presented to the court) about the new baby and the plans for us to adopt.  It was a "sure thing" as sure as these things get.  Everyone was excited for us and that the baby would stay with his sister.  Not everyone, especially the judge, was well-pleased with the pregnancy in and of itself.  But come on - what are you going to do?  Don't answer that.

From then on I was a little bit more free to be excited about it.  Still cautious but getting more into the planning and dreaming stage of expectancy.  What is the sex?  What would we name him/her.  How would we configure our house?  What would we need?  I was just like an expecting mom, though I was still guarding my heart.

Then I went to my cousin's baby shower.  A great time was had by all.  I mean, at least a great time was had by me - I assume everyone had a great time.  I was around a lot of people I either didn't know or didn't know well.  A handful of them were pregnant and a handful of them just had a baby within a couple months.  So, as you can imagine there was a lot of talk about birth plans, new baby behaviors, etc.  Typical baby shower stuff.

As an infertile, baby showers really don't bother me.  I don't think they really ever have.  Sure, it has made me want to have my own baby showers before - but it's not so much a jealous thing it's a reminder that I am infertile that get's me "upset", if you can even call it that.  I'm always excited about the person having the shower and their new bundle about to arrive.  Afterall - I've had 1 birth myself and 8 kids enter my family over the last year - I'm all about adding little ones to the family.

As the conversation went on I was in an awkward place though, especially because I didn't know some of the people.  I was family, but I live out of state so some of the people there either didn't know who I was or if they did they didn't know us close enough to know our situation.  I had 2 kids with me myself - both of whom could easily look like me (one of whom does), and everyone was loading tons of attention especially on #4, our potential adoptive kiddo, whom they had never met.  It was a great time. 

Back to the conversations, I kept wanting to jump on in to the new moms/expecting moms as they talked. 
"We're expecting too!"
Or some other version of fitting into the conversation - you know...we're naming our child XX...well when our baby comes we're naming him/her XX.  We like green and blue - yeah we're thinking of animal themed nursery when ours comes...stuff like that.

Except I knew two things would happen.  First, for my family who didn't know what I was talking about they'd get all excited about my pregnancy and I'd have to "let them down" that I wasn't actually pregnant.  Then for everyone else I knew the next question would be - When are you due?  or How far along are you?
I'm super comfortable with my situation and A-OK with the fact that the answer was and is July.  Which at the time would have made me almost 7 months pregnant.  Especially for child #2 (or depending how much people knew about me up to child #5), there is no way I look 7 months pregnant.  I mean, I'm not the most fit person out there, but I'm not obviously "with child" as someone in their late 2nd/early 3rd trimester is.

So - then I would have to go down the road of explaining our situation (and I didn't feel it was super appropriate to hijack a baby shower to talk about infertility, foster care, and adoption) and whether or not they would have felt that way I would have been reminded that our situation in some way makes us a bit second-class in the mom-dom world.  I mean really - if I tried to pass myself off as being 7 months "pregnant", even though I was at the time that far along in the adoption process and our birth mother was 7 months pregnant meaning that we were in the same position as other pregnant moms out there - expecting a child soon, then it really would have seemed like (and possibly been) a desperate attempt at attention.

I just wanted to fit in to the conversation and celebrate my family with everyone else.  Thankfully I have had one child by birth already so I had plenty to talk about without actually bringing up the upcoming arrival too much.  I may have talked about it, I don't know.  Several people, including my sister-in-law and mom did a great job showering attention on my kids, which was plenty enough for me.  I had a great time celebrating my cousin's son (he was born yesterday!) and chatting with folks who I don't see very often. 

This is just one example - it comes up a lot.  Anytime people want to make plans for July or August - I think about what we might be doing.  Any time people talk about our vacation plans (which are planned to be trumped this year to pay for and accomodate time off for the new arrival), I remember what we're thinking we will be doing.  Other people are pregnant.  Other people will become pregnant.  That's the way things work.

So it's just a really weird place to be - I'm expecting too, just in a different way.  I don't have to buy maternity clothes.

(I'm cheap so that works out just fine for me)


Penelope said...

Baby showers get me. Like a spear that I missed out on that experience. Although, with every kid I get that I'm chasing around, I seem to forget about infertility and more about keeping 2 little boys under control.

Thanks for sharing your story!

Julie said...

I am really excited for your family. We are waiting for our next foster placement -- we are on the list for a baby. Who knows when that will happen. I have a lot of the same feelings you expressed of wanting to talk about it but worrying what others will say or what I will have to explain.

Thanks so much for sharing your story!

Living with Three Boys of Our Own said...

This is exactly how I felt with Cash... there was a period of time that we knew (or were almost certain) that he was coming, but we didn't know when. It was so hard to plan, so hard to explain to others...