We went to see a friend who just had a baby girl. It was the first time since getting pregnant I've gone for the "new baby visit" and the first time I didn't feel the pinprick of pain that usually accompanied such visits. I felt like a little girl in her mother's pearls and high heels sitting to tea-time with her stuffed animals as we discussed breastfeeding and strollers. I must add quite proudly that when she asked me so was it an accident or did you plan the baby? That I did not break into hysterical laughter. No, we didn't exactly plan this baby since planning and baby just don't go together in my world and so yes the sheer luck that I'm pregnant and it stuck does seem accidental but that's not what you meant is it? Instead I quite somberly told her yes, we wanted a baby.
The conversation moved to labor and the first few weeks after a baby comes. She talked about how stressful it can be and how you just don't know what you're doing sometimes. Jack said well K's mom is coming and we don't know what we'd do without her. I smiled and nodded adding, you need your mother, there's nothing like your own mother. I can't imagine if my mom wasn't coming. I need her to just hug me and give me support. My friend smiled and nodded amiably. As we wound down our conversation I commented on her daughter's pretty middle name and asked its origin. Its after my mother. I smiled, your mom must be so happy. She got quiet, my mom died in a car accident when I was 14 but I'd like to think she's looking down on us and is happy.
Driving home I thought of all the things people have said in my journey of IF and loss from you don't know what you're missing to You're lucky you guys don't have kids they're such a pain! I thought of how these words felt like pinpricks under my fingernails. Today my words hurt someone. I didn't know. But I caused her pain by reminding her of what she does not have, a mother to help guide her as she navigates young motherhood. Sometimes I've felt anger at people who casually remark about fertility and children as though they are undeniable rights and not blessings we are fortunate to have. They don't know either. They are not bad intentioned. Perhaps my unintentional statement to my friend will remind me to be gentle in my thoughts towards those who unintentionally prick me beneath the skin.