Not all pregnancies bother me anymore. As I have moved though the various stages of infertility I have found what bothers me is a moving target. When I was going through primary infertility all pregnancies bothered me. When I first started experiencing secondary infertility it was pregnant women with closely spaced children. Now that I have been doing this for what seems like forever I am less likely to be jealous of what other people have. My focus has been on how to build my family and not how to compete with other people. I used to feel like I was falling behind. It made me feel panicked, anxious, jealous. I rarely feel that way anymore. I'm not sure if I am growing or that I am so far behind I don't care anymore but other peoples' families don't cause me the pain they used to. Being competitive in nature this is a really nice change of pace.
We all have "those people" whose pregnancies bother us. It could be a competitive SIL, that pesky friend who "only had sex once that month", that coworker who just peed on a stick yesterday and it telling everyone. With my new-found equanimity regarding other peoples fertility I am less and less bothered by "those people".
As the title of this posts suggests I find myself dealing with a very familiar infertile scenario. In trying to be more reflective and less reactive I am marveling at the evolution of what sets me off and how I deal with it.
This co-worker is relatively young...not 19 young...she's married, early 20's...is responsible and intelligent...this is not the type of pregnancy where it is more of a tragedy than a celebratory occasion. They are a nice married couple who tried to get pregnant and viola...they got pregnant. Truly a joyous event for them. Let's call her Nadine.
I guess it's not WHO gets pregnant but HOW they are pregnant that peeves me.
Off the top of my head Nadine::
1) Has never expressed an interest in children. In fact, goes out of her way to tell people they are not sure they even want children.
2) "I just went of the pill in July."
3) Peed on a stick on Sunday...started telling people on Monday.
4) Often talks about pregnancy, plans for maternity leave, decorating nursery.
5) Often complains about her symptoms and discomforts/anticipated discomforts
5) Is convinced she's having twins because "it runs is the family" (OK, j-lo, whatever)
6) Is only 6 weeks pregnant and is demanding an u/s
I should say that nothing is out of order or over the top....it's just really grating. So confident, so optimistic, so un-cautious. Of course, that is perfectly normal for someone in her situation. It's just not how I experience TTC and pregnancy. It's just not how I would act.
The other women in the office are older. I have had a baby recently so early-on I became Nadine's confidant. She told me the same week IVF #2 failed so yes, she is as pregnant as I would have been if IVF #2 had been a success. This was all happening while I was sorting though trying to find a donor-loosing donor #1-waiting to hear from donor #2 so timing was bad.
I had three options:
1) Suck it up and listen even though it's killing me.
Pros: I don't have to have an uncomfortable conversation in which I might look small and petty. Unless, you have been there you can't understand. Nadine ain't going to understand no matter how diplomatic I am.
Cons: Have to listen to Nadine. Risk crying at work.
2)Be honest and tell her I can't listen because of all my issues.
Pros: Don't have to listen. Take care of myself.
Cons: May be perceived as small and petty. Risk crying at work.
3) The rarely thought of option in which I become so obnoxious with my advice and opinions that she never wants to talk to me again!
Pros: Fun and solves the problem. No risk of crying at work as I amuse myself.
Cons: Are there any?
Whichever did I choose? Well, none because someone beat me to the punch.
One of my co-workers knows all of my struggles. She had a still-born labor and delivery about 30 years ago. She totally "gets-it". Let's call her "Mary".
So I was telling Mary it was hard for me. She was very kind and philosophical. In an effort to be helpful she told Nadine. Geeze. So all of the sudden Nadine stops taking to me. I suspected that Mary tried to do me a favor. I'm not happy with that. It's my business and my responsibility and nobody else's. I asked another co-worker (Lisa, our boss) who confirmed my suspicions.
I could be mad but I'm going to just roll with it. There are days when I am happy to talk to Nadine about all things pregnancy. There are days I don't want to hear it. If I should clam up I think she'll get the hint that today is not a good day. Plus, I still get to needle her with all my advice and opinions.
I'm feeling really optimistic that I will have some good news to share about 6 weeks from now. Perhaps hope is the true source of my newly acquired sanguine disposition.