A trip home to see my family and a visit with my newly pregnant friend – combined with a long flight back – left me thinking a lot about perspective. I currently have one friend who wasn’t sure  she would ever want children and who got pregnant almost right away after stopping birth control. I have another friend who tried to get pregnant for about seven years and was successful in her first round of IVF.

The easily pregnant friend is a bit stunned by the changes in her body, is concerned about her potential loss of identity, worries about their finances, and seems really focused on the fact that she doesn’t want to have a c-section (there’s no reason to think she will, but she’s adamant that she won’t). My pregnant via IVF friend may share these concerns, but she doesn’t talk about them, and the sense I get from her is that she just feels so lucky to be having a baby. I’m not saying she doesn’t get uncomfortable, but it’s just a difference in their perspective. Even though it’s hard not to be annoyed at my easily pregnant friend, I can almost understand — she wasn’t expecting to get pregnant so easily and seems sort of stunned by the whole thing. Even though I can’t really understand, I can see where from her perspective, this is just an overwhelming experience, and maybe one she wasn’t entirely prepared for.

While I have a hard time understanding some of my easily pregnant friend’s concerns, I can see almost everything from my pregnant via IVF friend’s point of view. Even though I haven’t tried IVF yet, it’s easier for me to imagine being in her shoes. Seeing their experiences from their own unique perspectives simultaneously is such a lesson in perspective.

The other thing that I’ve noticed is the difference in how they handle their pregnancies with me. As you would imagine, the easily pregnant friend thinks nothing of spending an entire visit discussing her pregnancy, and my pregnant via IVF friend is at the other end of the spectrum. I am guessing out of concern for me, she says almost nothing at all.

I started thinking about my own perspective and a little bit about how I was raised. My mom has said to me on many occasions that I should just be happy for what I have (meaning I shouldn’t dwell on this whole infertility thing). For the longest time, that was what I did. I was raised to just make the best of things, and I did. I think that’s one reason I have found it so difficult to pursue treatment and move forward, but it didn’t really register until this weekend. It’s hard to balance being positive and making the best of things with fighting for something you want. I’m realizing it’s not impossible, and that fighting for what I want is not a bad thing. Fighting for what I want doesn’t mean that my life is going to fall apart.

I was telling my mom about some of my easily pregnant friend’s concerns, and she said something about how this just shows why I shouldn’t be jealous. Again, this is my mom’s perspective. She doesn’t and can’t really know what it’s like to be infertile, so she can’t see things from my point of view. She’s trying to focus on the positive, and she can’t help it that seeing my easily pregnant friend worried and concerned doesn’t somehow make me glad that I haven’t been able to get pregnant. It’s all perspective.