Thursday, October 29, 2009

Closer Than We Think

I felt somewhat better when I got up this morning, so I went to work. By 1:00 p.m. though, I knew I wasn't going to make it. Sinus pressure, headache and stuffiness were mounting a great war against my attempts to focus, think and concentrate on work.

By 2:10 I decided I'd had enough. I wanted to go home. But I had a 2:30 meeting scheduled with the lead attorney on that big case that might take me to southern California for a hearing next month. I went to go talk to him and tell him I just couldn't make it. He's also the final "boss" I wanted to tell that I am pregnant. He was recently promoted, and he is leading this case, so he ought to know before my peers.

He's a real teaser. He likes to joke and rib and tease a lot. In the short time I've been at this job, I feel like he and I have developed a great relationship. We work well together, I actually like his sense of humor, and I can dish it as well as take it.

So I schlumped over to his office, stood in the doorway and said, "Dave, I can't make the meeting. Can we reschedule? I'm going home. I don't feel well." First he had to tease me that the meeting was my idea in the first place, and now I'm bailing. Yeah, I know it was. Then he teased that everyone is feeling under the weather, but if I can't stick it out....

I saw my opportunity.

I said, "Well, there's another reason I'm feeling especially tired and drained by this cold virus" and I told him that I'm pregnant.

His response caught me entirely off guard.

He said, "Wow. Congratulations. My wife has been m/c'ing for a month now, bleeding for all this time, but hey, glad it's worked out for you."

It just goes to show, you never know whose life is being, or has been, affected by IF, or in some cases, FI (fertility issues).

I quickly told him that I have had 2 m/c's and I understand the loss and pain and I'm so sorry he and his wife are going through this. He relented a little at that point and opened up a bit.

He wanted to talk about fertility. About eggs and follicles and the likelihood that early first trimester loss is generally attributable to chromosomal anomalies. He wanted to talk about his wife's stressful job and how he wonders whether that might contribute to IF problems. He even talked about his own grief over the loss and how difficult it is to see his wife suffering. His phone rang twice while we talked, and he let it ring.

You just never know. I felt badly that I casually announced my pregnancy to him. But I couldn't have known. And in the end, I think our conversation was appreciated by both of us.

I thought about it afterward and here's the thing: we're all in a sticky position.

It's not fair for those suffering through IF, FI, m/c's or our 300th BFN to see a pregnant belly and assume that the woman simply "fell pregnant" when her husband winked at her (unless, of course, you know this to be the case). Perhaps that woman suffered 10 years of IF herself before achieving that pregnant belly.

And those who struggled with IF and were fortunate enough to achieve pregnancy can't go around prefacing statements about their pregnancy with: "Before I say anything, are you, or have you, suffered IF?" We can't assume everyone has suffered what we have.

It's just a weird predicament. We feel sharply protective about our own feelings but even if we think before we speak, nothing guarantees that what we think will be right.

Before we finished our conversation, Dave told me that if I felt too stressed about the big case and wanted off, he would understand. He said he didn't want it to cause me any stress, and although he liked working with me, he wanted me to take care of myself. I told him I was happy working on the case, but confessed I no longer had a suit that fit. He said, "Don't worry, we'll work something out."

I hope that Dave and his wife are soon enjoying a healthy pregnancy.


IVF 40+ said...

wow, that is so cool. lessons abound today. I wish your boss the best too. And I hope you stop being a trouper and snuggle down with a great book and hot honey and lemon. ;-)

Alex P said...

I love this post. You should name your blog Chicken soup for the 'Pregnant/IF/Maybe someday might kinda want a kid/or not/and friends' Soul.

Fran said...

How moving!! It's so difficult for men to be open about this and I'm sure this brought you even closer. I imagine he went home and told his wife about you, how you can understand and how you eventually got pregnant and stayed so. And his wife will want to meet you I think, once she feels better. She has an ally now. They both have you. Love, Fran

Susan said...

Hi, I read your all your posts and love them..Don't know if I've commented before though..Would love to see a current belly pic. :)

anofferingoflove said...

this is such a spot-on post. my whole pregnancy ive felt like i need to couch the news with a disclaimer (like, "after years of struggle, we are excited to announce..." or something like that). im always worried im going to make someone else feel the way i felt hearing pregnancy announcements.

its nice you were able to talk with him and share some common experiences.

looking4#3 said...

This whole post just had me crying! I am not really sure if it is happy tears or sad tears. Maybe just a little of both!!!
I have been going over and over your blog --- when the hell is your big U/S scheduled for?? Please don't tell me I missed it. One entry made reference it to being around the 28th or so???!!!
I'm dying to know here---

cpughster said...

Yes! When will we know the gender?!

Mad Hatter said...

Aw, what a story...You're so right - you really never know what's going on in people's lives - we all carry so much invisible baggage. It was so good that you were able to open up to each other.
Thanks so much, Besty, for your sweet comment on my blog - it gave me a big smile! :-) You're such an amazing friend!

Serendipity said...

I too hope your boss and his wife are soon enjoying a healthy pregnancy, you can't possibly have known what he was going through and I'm sure just being able to talk about it helped him.

I feel exactly like anofferingoflove, I always feel like I need to clarify that this wasn't easy for us. I even hesitate to post comments on blogs that I read when the woman is still ttc because I don't want her to have to see my posts and feel sad or bitter or hurt. I think I'm just a wee bit oversensative about it all.