Tuesday, August 29, 2006


I like going to work.
It keeps me busy. It occupies my mind with numbers and facts just enough to keep the dark thoughts at bay for 9 hours. There are data to be analysed, spreadsheets to be organized, papers to be read and written. My office is a refuge. I supervise a small team that’s part of a larger organization. We are, usually, a happy little group. We have flexibility and some autonomy. That’s the upside. We have an open concept office. That’s the downside.
Usually it doesn’t matter.
A few days ago one of my employees, the one who’s desk is directly across from me, just 6 ft away, told me that she is pregnant. My stomach sank down into my toes. For the next 7 months I would have to watch her belly grow. I would have to, whether I wanted to or not, listen to conversations about cribs and midwives and ultrasounds and oh-my-god-look-at-me-I-am-getting-so-big. I would have to sit down with her and discuss her maternity leave options. I know this because I did this already 2 years ago, when another employee had told me that she was pregnant…on the day that I received my negative Beta from cycle #2. By the time I was going through cycle #4 she had delivered a healthy baby. That employee moved to another city, so I am spared updates on each baby milestone.

This morning the newly pregnant employee was not at her desk. She called just an hour ago. She is miscarrying. This is her second time. I told her I was sorry. I told her to take her time and not worry about work. But secretly I am relieved and I feel horrible that I am relieved. I have turned into a person that wants others to be as unfortunate and miserable as I am. It’s not that I don’t want her to be pregnant. It’s just that I want to be pregnant too. For once I want to be the one saying “guess what?”. I want to go to a baby shower that is for me. I want to have an ultrasound that shows something other than an endometrioma. It’s like we are all hungry waiting to be fed. And someone comes along and starts handing out meals. Others get a meal and I don’t. It’s not that I don’t want them to eat, it’s just that I can’t watch and not feel a little envious, and even more hungry.