PLEASE NOTE: If you are struggling with infertility or are currently trying to conceive and you DON'T want to read about my pregnancy (which I totally understand), I recommend starting at the beginning of the blog (March 2010) and reading from there. I find out I'm pregnant in June 2011 so there is a lot of trying to conceive posts in between that you might find funny, helpful or relatable. Wishing you all the luck in the world!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It May Be "Uterus" but it’s really "Uter-Me".

This morning, I got my period. Actually, it’s so heavy that it’s more like an entire sentence than a period.

I find it interesting that both “Aunt Flo” and my mother-in-law arrived on the same day and are staying for approximately the same amount of time. And notice you never see Aunt Flo and my mother-in-law in the same room at the same time. Hmmm, I wonder if they are the same person…

By day, I work in an office and in the last few months, three women who sit near me have announced their pregnancies. Then yesterday, on my first day back to work after my two week purgatory, I found out two more women are pregnant. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, today, another woman told me she was pregnant. It’s like that scene in Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video when the female lead looks around and realizes everyone, including Mr. Jackson, is a zombie. That’s exactly how I feel. The pregnant women are closing in and I’m surrounded. Cue the scary music!

A colleague of mine couldn’t help but remark to me, “I guess there’s something about this office! The women here get pregnant so easily!” Wow. I can’t think of anything I wanted to hear less after my failed IVF and while I’m seriously bleeding. I had no idea the universe was a bitchy-spoiled-thirteen year old that liked to torture me. “Everyone else is doing it! Why can’t you? What’s your problem? *SIGH* Whatever! Talk to the hand!”

I’ve been working towards getting pregnant for over a year. I’ve pulled out all the stops, tried every medical approach available and even after a doctor put three fertilized eggs in me that had nothing to do but implant, I’m still not pregnant. Apparently, whatever water cooler all these ladies at the office are drinking from, I’m not privy to. I’m stuck at the vending machine of infertility.

There is also no one in my very fertile family who has had trouble getting pregnant. It’s just me… but I’ve always been lucky like that. On my thirtieth birthday party, there was “unusually high winds” and on my wedding day (a day that according to the Weather Almanac hadn’t had rain in thirty years), a hurricane blew through my town a mere hour before the ceremony was to start. I suppose if you give a person the gift of humor, you want to make sure you put them in situations where they will need it on a daily basis.

I got married almost two years ago and I know the “Where’s the kid?” questions are only going to increase. I’ve already gotten them from all of my friends and co-workers. I have no doubt that my uncles, aunts, cousins, cousins once removed and relatives I haven’t even met before will soon start hounding me. It wouldn’t shock me in the least if I get a call from some distant relative in Italy that’s like, “Ciao! You don’t know me. I live in a small town near Naples. Listen, all the villagers are wondering… are you pregnant yet??”

Due to the explosion of baby bumps where I work, a co-worker asked me point blank today, “Are you trying to conceive?” I managed to respond with a “Not at the moment because I’m here with you at the office.” She laughed and then I quickly changed the subject to something happier like the recent death of Lynn Redgrave.

There have been times however when I really can’t think of a snappy comeback. For example, we live in a two family brownstone and the family downstairs has a son that has Asperger’s Syndrome. About two months ago, I had gone downstairs to get the mail when I ran into him. He said, “Hi. Getting the mail?” I smiled and said yes. Then, out of nowhere, he said, “You’re not pregnant yet. Have you thought about insemination?” I’m still not clear on how the topic of mail led to getting an IUI but there it was.

After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I tried to think of some way to respond. If he was someone I knew better or who I felt had some sense of humor, I could have said, “Why? Are you offering?” and laughed it off but this was not an ideal moment for jokes and he was not the ideal candidate for sarcasm. So I stood there frozen trying to think of something, anything to say. After what felt like a good solid minute of awkwardness, we thankfully got interrupted by his dad who came out into the hall and started talking to me about something that didn’t involve sperm.

Obviously, I know this guy has a condition that compromises his social graces but holy crap! I really don’t want to talk to anyone, especially my 26-year-old male neighbor, about my uterus. It may be “uterus” but really, it’s just “uter-me”, thank you very much.

Now that my mother-in-law is here, I can’t imagine she won’t ask while she’s visiting. Sam and I have already had a pre-visit-conference that practically involved power point presentations and spreadsheets in how we plan to handle the topic. I’m hoping we’re able to dodge the subject at least for a little while longer. After everything we’ve been through, I’m just not ready to have this conversation with her. When Sam and I were just dating, my mother-in-law casually mentioned over dinner one night that both her sons have “good swimmers”. I’m still working through that comment with my therapist. I can’t handle another one.

In general though, I don’t understand why people even ask. I never asked anyone. Even when I was single and an immature idiot, I had an awareness that if you asked someone if they were pregnant and they weren’t, it was a super quick way to make that person hate you. I’m truly stunned at how often I get asked and I’m amazed by who asks me.

So far, these are responses I’ve come up with:

  •  “Not sure. Say, what’s that mole on your arm? You should get that checked out!”
  • “I’d rather not talk about it, thanks.”
  • “That’s a rather personal question, don’t you think? How would you feel if I asked you if you’ve ever had a horrible yeast infection?”
  • “I have no idea so you need to stop asking before I smack you in the face.”
  • “I’m waiting to see how your kid turns out first.”
Bottom line, unless a baby is actually coming out of me and waving at you and asking for help, please don’t ask me if I’m pregnant. End of story.


Leslie said...

You can't win. Once I told my mom that E and I might not HAVE kids EVER, and she responded by trying to convince me even harder, upping the hint frequency!!! So I don't recommend trying that one, either. Apparently people will refuse to respect your (pretended) wish to not have kids, and will try to make you join the club. Just like if you have that one friend who doesn't drink, you're always trying to get them to have JUST ONE SIP. Or is that just me?? I've also been known to ask people when they are planning on having children, so I guess in my case, IF is just Karma.

sienna said...

someone told me to just say "9 months after conception". will try that on the next person, but no one's asked me since i complained/blogged about nosy folks. we can only do the "focusing on career" bit for soo long. if a singleton is asking you, i suggest responding with "when are you getting a boyfriend". nasty, yes. but, that's the equivalent of asking a married about a baby..

Nadine @ BDG said...

I am not one to ask anything, to the point of ridiculous-- like there's an obviously pregnant woman who used to be a size two with a beach ball now for a stomach-- the kid's feet are practically dangling out-- and I act like, oh any plans for the summer. I say nothing without confirmationfrom the horses mouth, so to speak. As for mother in laws, put this in Sam's court. His mother, his deal-- till then, try 'nah, nah, nah I'm not listening.'

Anonymous said...

Ugh, I'm so sorry she showed and she is so heavy. I can't stand when random people ask about us having kids. i have thought about sharing it with some people though. Love some of your responses, I'm going to have to steal two of them.

Secret Sloper said...

Surprise pregnancy announcements would be SO MUCH EASIER to take if they were scored to "Thriller"--and we could scream.

Also, remind me to thank you MIL for ruining my life. Aunt Flo indeed.

Al said...

People apparently think it's a happy topic to bring up at all happy social events and have no idea that just a little "when are you gonna pop one out" is the subject of so much pain for us.

Ignorant dumbasses. I like the "not at the moment" response...I'll have to use that one.

And sorry about AF. and the MIL. They really are quite the pair...

Jc "Teezie" Wooten said...

I love your #4 response.

Sorry about AF and best of luck with MIL.

jensays said...

“Are you trying to conceive?” I managed to respond with a “Not at the moment because I’m here with you at the office.”

This cracked me up! I am going to have to remember to use this one.

People don't seem to realize that 'when are you having a baby?' is personal and not small talk. I don't ask fat people when they are going to lose weight


bunny said...

I just really vividly imagined the following: a nicely dressed older man and woman show up at my door and hand me a little pamphlet and say HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT INSEMINATION? I hope the pregnant women don't eat your brains--they seem like good ones!

InfertileNaomi said...

I heart your blog posts. You can even make the dreadful period sound so funny. You had me at Invitro fertilization.

Brooke said...

You are so right about not asking. It never occurred to me before but I have never, ever asked people when their babies were coming. After my miscarriage, we were asked three times. Husband flat out told them we had just lost a baby - so that's three less people in this world that will ever ask that question again.

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