Wishing you courage

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying 'I will try again tomorrow'."
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Monday, January 30, 2012

Last week
At dinner one girlfriend (who knows about what happened with Toren) starts talking about how easy her pregnancy was - "I had the best pregnancy ever."  I got up and left the table.  I had to tinkle anyway and with the sudden annoying direction the conversation took it seemed like a good time to go right then.  When I exited the ladies room my friend was right there, she gave me a hug and asked if I was ok.  I said yes, and said that I had one of the worst pregnancies ever ("ever" is an exaggeration but it fit with her prior words and the pregnancy was not easy and it ended very poorly).  There was no more pregnancy conversation that night.  It was nice of her to check on me.

That's a good example of what the grief has turned into, for the most part.  Not destroying.  Not all consuming.  Not evening ruining or grudge holding.  But I'm also not going to sit quietly through conversations that are uncomfortable for me when I don't have to.

I returned to my desk at work while two colleagues were in the middle of complaining about how messy their kids were (they don't know about my reproductive history).  Not a problem, they talk about their children a lot and I inquire about their kids too.  Then one said that I should have children and that a person really misses out on a lot by not having kids.  Sort of a problem, this is not a conversation I want to have so I let them know that I've been trying but I don't seem able to conceive, thinking this will bring an abrupt end to the topic.  I next hear how one of them had trouble conceiving but ended up with three.  Further, she was the "poster child" of infertility and almost resorted to a donor (not sure if donor eggs or sperm) but she told herself that she could do it and voila! three kids!  Now, we have a problem,  they were still talking (not directly to me but more like discussing the topic I didn't mean to start to each other, loud enough for me to hear, ok, so they kind of were talking to me...) and I got up and left the office.  I was about to take a shipment to the mail room anyway.

On the way back I stopped in a downstairs restroom and cried and cried then stopped by the cafeteria to get my usual lunch where one of the guys at the salad bar encouraged me to smile (usually I'm happy and bouncy at work) then returned to my desk where my office mates were super friendly and I answered questions about what was new with me and whatnot with nothing is new and everything is going well with my project at work.  All smiles and blatantly not going to whatever place led to all of my make-up washing away.

I'm the newish one at the office and I'm friendly but not forthcoming with personal details.  I'm the youngest one there but only by three years.  I don't come into work with reports about driving kids to a bunch of activities but that isn't by choice.  Just because I don't have stories about my family to tell doesn't mean that I don't have experience with family building - I actually have plenty of experience but there's just very little to show for all of the effort expended.

I'm very aware of how much I'm missing out on.


Alexicographer said...

Uck. I'm so sorry. I think you handled both of those situations very well. I can imagine, honestly, being your friend in the first one and realizing what a thoughtless thing I had said.

I saw somewhere recently (on a blog?) the suggestion that now that "Don't ask, don't tell" had been (appropriately) retired from its original purpose, it might be reassigned to better use in the workplace when it comes to family-building plans. Too bad that will never happen.

Kristin said...

{{{Hugs}}} Anne-Marie. I'm so sorry you had to deal with both those situations.

Sophie said...

:( Big hugs. NOthing much to add except urgh to the girls working nearby... just urgh...

And the salad bar guy sounds very sweet. Smiles for him.

Good on you for not letting your friend ruin the night for both of you. You both handled that well.


Barbara said...

I think you dealt really well with both situations and I'm sorry you were driven to tears.

And hooray for people who go out of their way to make you smile!



Sara said...

Ugh, people are just so clueless! I'm sorry you had all of that piled on you.

Someone asked me yesterday if I had kids and I said "Not yet," and he said, "Wait! Sleep while you can." Okaaaaaay.

Reba said...

people really can be thoughtless. i'm sorry it happens so often but you do deal with it well, as much as i wish you didn't have to.

areasontostayalive said...

People just never think before they speak. It is yet for me to understand why everyone automatically thinks that not having children would be synonymous with not wanting any. I think you're strong for getting up and walking away from conversations that hurt you, but I'm sorry that you should have to do so in the first place.
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