Sunday, July 31, 2005
Tonight I went to a girls night party. It was with my former coworkers, many of whom I haven't seen in almost a year . . . since I left my job. Now, let me make it plain that although I was miserable in that job I loved my coworkers and I have missed them greatly. I was very excited about seeing them again, but also a little nervous. After all, I left a well-paying job in a respected profession to do something less respected which pays rather badly, so I was afraid they would all think I was crazy to have left. There was nothing to worry about on that score, but there was a completely unforeseen and incredibly painful to endure portion of the evening. Three of the women there had recently given birth, and one of them brought her baby. Talk turned to children and pregnancy. One of the new mothers, who is all of 25, proclaimed that all of her friends are crazy for waiting to have children, that there is nothing more important than having children, and that she has "given up" on her sister-in-law who has been "trying to get pregnant forever and taking pills and everything". Another agreed that there is never a good time for having children and if you don't just bite the bullet and do it then you won't be able to when you think you are ready. A third actually made the comment "I just think about babies and I get pregnant". Then, of course, my former boss asked me if I want to have children. I did not know what to say. How could I say that I had been trying for 5 years, almost the whole time I had known them, but just didn't want to tell anyone at the time because I was not sure how it would affect my career? I couldn't bear to tell them now because I couldn't then have maintained my fake smile at all their stupid comments. I gave my usual line about how I definitely want children but wasn't sure I wanted to go through any of the steps required to obtain them -- either pregnancy or adoption. A woman I had never met before that night (and had now known for less than an hour) said "oh, I wish you would adopt my friend's baby", a baby that her friend is not interested in placing for adoption. Later I was treated to labor & delivery & c-section horror stories, and the comment by one of them that "Elizabeth will never want to get pregnant now!". Until now, I had considered myself rather lucky compared to other infertile women who have described their experiences with clueless friends and family members. I guess no one escapes unscathed. Oh the headspinning weirdness and pain of it all. At least, since I was neither pregnant nor breastfeeding, I was free to enjoy the champagne. And enjoy it I did. The party really wasn't that bad.