Anyway, her due date is July 24. Er, was July 24. She was having contractions already a week earlier than that, and her doctor had predicted she'd go within a few days and she had made it a week when I saw her last. She was obviously uncomfortable but behaving with her typical grace; after a few days at home she had cleaned every inch of the place twice and felt useless, so she went back to work. We haven't heard from them in a few days, so it's possible they've delivered already. Or, it's possible they'll be really late; this is her first child, after all.
But of course when I think, "Oh, has DH gotten a text message from her husband that he hasn't mentioned to me?" I always think, has the baby not yet been born and I have a few more days of limbo, in which I don't have to worry about how I'll react - or has the baby already been born, and I am behind, other people already know, their time in the hospital and settling in at home is already wearing down, and soon I will be required to behave in some socially normal way, and I'm not even preparing mentally? And the other day I realized that I never think - never - "Oh, dear, has she had the baby yet? What if something goes wrong? She's huge, the child is obviously full term, but what if he doesn't make it?"
This is because of the Matrix. You and I are a tiny minority, living within a world of people totally unlike us. They're all plugged into their reality, and assume that we are too; they have no idea that we're visitors from another plane of understanding, who realize that life is truly sinister, that death is lurking around every corner. Our attention is finely tuned to things they would consider tiny, things they would ignore; but we see these small things and know that danger lurks around the next corner. We walk between them as they go about their business and fight an evil they don't even know exists. They may even meet it face-to-face on rare occasions, but they probably won't recognize it if they do; and if they do get a nasty, shocking glimpse of it, it's rapidly erased from their memories. For them to remain viscerally aware of our reality would be much too dangerous. It would threaten their existence in their world, and that can't happen.
And though there's an apparent interaction between our world and theirs, in many ways, there's really no connection at all. For those in our world, pregnancies do happen; some of those even end in live births. They never get there easily or peacefully; there is always fear, and the fear is usually well-founded, because there is almost always real danger. And no live birth is a promise of another pregnancy, let alone a promise that no future pregnancy will end in death. Life can happen here; but death is never really banished. It's always hovering just around the corner. Their world is not like that. If I hear no word late in the pregnancy of a fellow infertile and I haven't myself been absent from blogdom, I worry. But I'm not worried about my friend, and I have absolutely no reason to be. The possibility of a miscarriage in her corner of the matrix is as remote as her being infertile in the first place. It just won't be that way.
That's partly because of the Gift, of course. I guess it's sort of a corollary to the Matrix. It works like this: to my knowledge (and I don't know everything but I do pay careful attention, so I would probably notice), I have never met anyone who later turned out to be infertile. Every infertile woman I know either was eligible for an infertility diagnosis before I met her, or knew perfectly well she was headed for one (got married and already had Stage IV endometriosis, for example). As a result of the gift, no one to whom I ever say something like, "Well, you may not have to worry about getting pregnant right after you get married," or, "Yes, I know you know the facts of life, but that's actually not all there is to it" will ever have occasion to see any meaning in what I say. I don't need to say any of those things, ever. I can just say, "Of course you'll have a honeymoon baby, silly!" I'm not going to jinx anyone. Because I have the Gift, they have babies.
I have really mixed feelings on the Gift.
Anyway, I'm not dead, still here, better on some scores, same on others. How are you all? By the way, I am reading, but have commented somewhat less because I find myself uncharacteristically at a loss for words lately. Gotta work on that.