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.


At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You said it absolutely right. It seems like too much to bear sometimes.

Thinking of you.

At 3:45 PM, Blogger Lut C. said...

You're not a horrible person, you're in pain.
And the meal metaphore is an excellent one.

At 3:58 PM, Blogger Millie said...

I know exactly what you mean. Every time someone else gets pregnant I feel bad and if they miscarry I feel horrible. But I still just really want my chance. And I want you to get your chance to. And your refuge should stay just that.

At 5:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's like we are all hungry and waiting to be fed. Yes, that's exactly what it's like. Thank you for those words. I am sorry for your pain. I feel it, too, because it is my pain, too.

At 5:33 PM, Blogger zarqa said...

Oh, I can't help but to get a sinking feeling even amidst the happiness when I hear of healthy deliveries. I almost wish that someone I know would go through what I've gone through. Maybe it would legitimize my pain somehow? I don't know.

Glad to see you post.

At 4:39 AM, Blogger Teendoc said...

While I completely understand how you feel, I can't help but feel diminished as a human being when I feel that way about someone else's pregnancy. I never wanted to be the person who would begrudge another her happiness. But it has happened enough that I have begun to feel that infertility has rendered me into a small person. And that makes me sad.

At 5:20 PM, Blogger Krista said...

I wish none of us understood this post. I wish there were one of us who could say we never had those feelings, but we would be lying.

Sorry about your colleague. I hope you are both doing well soon.

I have been thinking of you Nina, just wanted you to know.

At 3:20 AM, Blogger Thalia said...

We all understand, sweetie. And you're only horrible if you glory in their pain, which of course you aren't. Other's joy is just too hard to bear sometimes.

At 11:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you're doing alright...I miss your writing. Sorry about the co-worker. Its never easy.


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