Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Answering Questions

Oh yeah, I'll surely check with my doctor about early leave. I have several important things scheduled for next week, but if I can just finish out the month of February and be done, I would be really happy.

I had a coffee date this morning with a young pregnant woman who works in my building. We ran into each other in the elevator one day and quickly learned that our babies are due only 4 days apart. So we planned a coffee date to engage in some baby chat.

She was such a nice girl, and as it turns out, we have a few things in common: we are both having boys and we live pretty near to each other. I am hopeful that after our babies are born and we are both settled, we can meet for strolls in the park with the kids. We compared notes on morning sickness (she had it, I didn't), maternity leave (she's taking a year - I'm so jealous), and various other things.

I felt a little awkward, though, I have to admit, because she asked me some questions that I didn't really want to answer with the full truth, but did not want to outright lie about either.

First of all, you must realize, she is YOUNG and fertile. She and her husband basically got pregnant on their first try. She was so wide-eyed and innocent and sweet, I couldn't hold my battle scars against her.

Since our babies are due only 4 days apart, she asked me if I know what day I got pregnant. She excitedly told me she is pretty sure it was June 28 for her. Well, um, yeah, I kind of know precisely the day, hour and minute I got pregnant. As in, July 1, 2009, 2:40 p.m. There were 2 doctors, a couple of nurses and some assistants in the room. My husband was off getting a snack at a nearby restaurant.


I just said, "Oh, I guess it had to be end of June or beginning of July."

She asked if we were trying to get pregnant.


It's weird because I'm totally comfortable with all of the hows, whys, wheres and whos of my pregnancy. I'm thrilled with the whole embryo donation/adoption concept. I'm even excited at the thought that my DH and I have no idea what this baby is going to look like. He could just as easily be brunette with brown eyes as he could be blond with blue eyes. Heck, there's even a real chance that he could be a redhead! The donor profiles and pictures of his siblings make any combination a real possibility.

The thing is, it's just not something you launch into with every person you meet or every person with whom you have pregnancy discussions. The whole history and process is complicated, both factually and medically. Not everybody wants to, or is interested in, hearing that. And certainly not everybody needs to know our personal medical history.

So I just play along, answering people's innocent and seemingly general questions as best I can.

Yesterday a female co-worker (who has a 6-year old) came into my office to check on me, see how I am feeling, and offer some advice. At some point she asked how old I am, and when I told her, she leaned over my desk and said very seriously, "Wow, you are almost 44 years old? BWUB, this pregnancy is such a blessing! I mean, to get pregnant at 43, thank God...it's a miracle...really."

"You have no idea" I replied. And I assured her I absolutely do thank God for this miracle.

I'm meeting the young woman again on Thursday for another cup of coffee and to pick up our conversation where we left off. For the time being I'll just answer her questions as best I can.


Mad Hatter said...

I think you're doing great with all the questions! Besides, there are lots of women who conceive naturally in their forties (Yu Ming tells me all the time!) and I can tell by your photos you look a lot younger than you are! :-)

If I were you, I'd make up a fun story to enjoy telling people like little miss one-try (me? bitter? never!)...For example, you and DH were away for the weekend on a little beach getaway and you got caught in the rain and went back to your little cottage and lit candles and drank too much wine and well...the rest is history!(yes, I just finished watching Under the Tuscan Sun, alright???)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you are basking in the pg glow! Glad you have a friend who can share in the baby part if not the agony of IF part. So happy you are living your miracle.

Lorraine said...

It's funny how all of us who deal with infertility want to be completely honest with about every detail, trading war stories and protocols and advice... and then there are people out there who really just wouldn't get it anyway. I think it's fine to be vague, and someday if you become really close to this woman, or if something comes up that makes it relevant, you can always tell her the backstory.

In the meantime, how nice to have a fellow preggy in the building. And taking a year off means she may end up finding some great resources in the area that you don't have to hunt for yourself - could be very convenient!

Lara (NoodleGirl) said...

People who haven't dealt with IF have no idea how much they don't know. I mean, at this point, when I meet someone 40+ who has twins or even a singleton pregnancy, I just assume that it's very likely that it was IVF and possibly donor egg or embryo. Sure, I know plenty of people who got pg naturally at 40+, including my own mother (where the heck did THAT genetic fertility go??) but all us IF veterans are very aware of the challenges. Those who haven't gone through it, young and older alike, are just so clueless, it's kind of cute. Unless they say something stupid like "Is it real?". Then it's just annoying ;).

K said...

I think you're brave (and obviously confident) to put yourself in those positions to answer questions. Or at least be asked them. I find myself avoiding people and questions who don't know. Or I come up with really smart ass answers to make people back off. Which obviously can't last forever.

IVF 40+ said...

It's funny I've been thinking about these things lately coz I will have to tell a whole bunch of folks soon (hopefully).
I just decided to protect the kids and make it sound like its IVF but that's as far as I am willing to go.

Sounds like you are being very tactful!

anofferingoflove said...

hm, i can see how that would be a difficult spot. sometimes you just want to be an ordinary pregnant woman... i hope the friendship blossoms, it sounds like it would be nice to have a friend w/a baby the same age!