Consolation

1 Aug

My coworker who was weird at my happy hour is pregnant.  Why am I not surprised?  I suspected as much before I left but then promptly forgot about it after I started my new job.  She hadn’t been in touch with me so I just wrote it off.

Then my old coworkers told me that she announced her pregnancy at work.  I began to realize that this may have been why she pulled away.  I don’t understand it.  She was incredibly supportive when I lost the baby.  She was incredibly supportive of my treatments.  She was incredibly supportive of our adoption.  She encouraged another coworker not to keep her pregnancy from me.  I guess it’s easy to do all that when you’re not in the difficult position of telling the poor infertile girl about your pregnancy.

I was the bigger person and texted her my congratulations but it made me so angry that I had to do that.  I’m always the bigger person. I’m always consoling pregnant people.   “Yes, I know, it’s hard for you to tell me, but it’s ok, I’m excited for you.”  I put on the big smile.     “No, no, you’re not breaking my heart. It’s fine.  Yes. Please don’t be upset.  It’s ok.”  I’m constantly consoling them as if it’s harder for them to tell me than it is for me to hear it. Half the time, I have to say it for them.  We play a game:

Them: I have something to tell you.

Me: Ok, what is it?

Them:  The thing is, I don’t really know how to say this.

Me: It’s ok. You can tell me.

Them: I know but it’s going to be difficult.

Me: No, what is difficult is the fact that you’re not spitting it out.

Them: It’s that I have some news and I want you to be happy for me.

Me:  Ok, I will be.  Just say it, dammit.

Them:  It’s just that I don’t know how to tell you.

Me: YOU’RE PREGNANT. I know.  I’ve known since you stopped drinking three months ago.  I’ve known since you started touching your belly more.  I’ve known since you started avoiding lunch meat and sushi and brie.

Them: Yeah.  I’m so sorry. It’s so hard for me to tell you this.  I’ve been so nervous.  I have been thinking about how to tell you for so long.

Me: If you’ve been thinking about if for so damn long, why couldn’t you spit it out, then?!

I know that they are doing this because they don’t want to upset me.  But when they say all this, I never hear anything about me.  It’s all about them.  It’s so hard for them.  They are so nervous.  They’ve been thinking about it.  They feel so terrible.  And so I console them. I make them feel better.  I pat them down.  Then I cry when I get home.

Maybe it wasn’t the pregnancy that drove my coworker and me apart.  Maybe she just didn’t want to be friends anymore.  If it was the pregnancy though, that makes me even sadder. Because that wasn’t me.  That was her preconception of my reaction that changed things between us.  And that makes infertility even more unfair.

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7 Responses to “Consolation”

  1. Detour August 1, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    You totally nailed the convo that inevitably happens. I’m sorry your coworker couldn’t stand up and announce it to you…so hard when it affects your friendships.

  2. Lisa @ hapahopes August 1, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

    That sucks, Anna. I’m really sorry. I hate how infertility changes relationships. Keep your chin up girlie. It’s good that you make such an effort to be the better person.

  3. Wannabemom August 1, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

    We’re always trying to make others feel less uncomfortable, aren’t we? I found out a good friend (bridesmaid at my wedding) was pregnant via Facebook. She was outed by someone, not announcing it but obviously she’s far enough along to have someone think it was acceptable to say something to her and the general public on FB. (She’s living in a different country, so I haven’t seen her). Anyways, when I messaged her to offer my congratulations despite how shitty it was to find out the way I did, she responded that she was finding it difficult to tell me because of our loss. I wanted to respond “yeah, you’re right, it was way easier for you for me to find out on FB”.

    I’m sorry people suck.

  4. FCblacksheep August 1, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

    Wow, you expressed this so well. Shame on her if that’s why she pulled away. I think infertility and loss teaches us to be much stronger people than we ever wanted to be. Those who don’t have to go through that never build that strength, so when it comes to something uncomfortable or unpleasant, instead of facing it head on like we do, they take the easy way out and just walk away. I’m sorry Anna. You deserve so much better.

  5. cw August 3, 2012 at 12:40 am #

    Your co worker is a bitch. I hate people that can’t deal with your feelings so instead they totally weasel out of it. I hate how we need to make them feel better. So you end up feeling like shit.

    Ps stuff her, bitch. I am so glad you are getting on top of the paper work. So glad x

  6. Jen August 9, 2012 at 8:31 am #

    OMG. I HATE when those conversations go down like that. I hate being the one who has to console the pregnant person! You so totally nailed that!!!!

  7. Feit Can Write August 16, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    My wife will tell you that one of the worst things about adoption (aside from the mountains of paperwork and the waiting) is the complete unfairness of the workplace:

    Co-worker A is pregnant after “trying” for two whole months, and every day is not only a reminder of your infertility, but also a constant parade of people being excited for her and her pending baby as her growing baby bump serves as a ever-increasing reminder that she is about to become a mommy. Pregnant women are fairly common in the workplace, so everybody knows how to act around them and how to be excited for them.

    -meanwhile-

    Co-worker B is “paper pregnant” (a semi-annoying adoption term for when you are waiting for a match/placement). Sure, everyone in the office was super excited when she shared her news, but that was five months ago. She still looks the same, and she has no idea if her baby will arrive tomorrow or 10 months from now. And since most people haven’t dealt with a family who is adopting, nobody really knows how to act or react to her.

    In short, my wife sometimes felt like her co-workers weren’t as supportive as they were for the pregnant co-worker.

    Sorry for the downer, but I thought a heads-up might be helpful.

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