Getting off the Rollercoaster - Going for Adoption

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

If they knew, they wouldn't, would they?

First – to “my American readers” – Happy Independence Day. Judging by the standard of the British performances in the World Cup and at Wimbledon I think you guys did the right thing! Just kidding, but have a good holiday.

For a couple of days I have been “working from home”. It is something I am able to do very occasionally, when I am not involved in day-to-day meetings and have a lot of writing to do, it is just more efficient. At present I have a lot of writing to do, and it has suited me very well being at home. I am OK, but not very stable. It is just that things will set me off quite easily. And I don’t want all that pity and, as I have said, I worry that people will think I am stupid for continuing to put myself through this instead of accepting that at 42 I am past having kids. Get over it.

I think not telling my work colleagues is a kind of self-protection. Last year I went through the scenario where I did tell them what had happened. I had nearly 2 weeks off after my 4th m/c last July/August. They sent me a big bunch of flowers. But, though after 2 weeks I was well enough to come back to work, (actually I felt a bit of a fraud) I was by no means ‘over it’.

Then I did it all over again in October (# 5). That time only my closest colleague and my manager knew, though it would have been very easy for anyone to guess - I was off at medical appointments so often. It was nearly 2 months after that, just after Christmas that everything really kicked off . . . lots of “complaints” apparently from the team about my work. It was so awful. I felt so miserable that they could be so harsh, and the more so because they KNEW what had happened. I think other people just assume you do get over it. Short memory syndrome.

So this time I am being as completely brave as I can be. I am here in work, and I think I am doing OK.

But then this:

I got married in October 2004. 2 weeks before me, a close colleague (J) also married, and 2 weeks after me yet another colleague (D) got married. A real rash of weddings in our company that October! J had been in her relationship for about 8 years, and at her wedding was already 4 – 5 months pregnant. Her little boy is lovely, though I don’t see much of him. J is a good friend to me, and knows about the m/c’s. In fact, though at the time she didn’t know, she was with me for the first one, as we were together on a work trip to the States. Then today, I was in the shared kitchen by my office making some tea, and D walks in, smiles broadly at me, and says ‘have you heard the news’, cupping her tummy significantly.

Brave brave brave. It’s not her fault. She doesn’t know. It did help that I had actually guessed a couple of weeks ago. So I told her I had guessed, and we laughed about it. Clever me, I can laugh with a newly pregnant woman.

Her baby is due on Christmas day. I think I managed all the right faces, all the right noises.

But all I am thinking is – this leaves only me, and I have a big thick pad between my legs. And I am still feeling sorry for myself.


  • It sounds incredibly difficult, Vivien. I feel as if I'm constantly bombarded with pregnant women at work, and it's incredibly wearing to go on and on being nice to people when you don't feel like being nice at all. I'm glad you're able to get a bit of a respite and work from home a bit. That sounds quite therapeutic, although in this heat I rather like the air con at work...

    By Blogger Thalia, at 12:09 pm  

  • Dear Vivien, it sounds good that you're escaping your colleagues for a few days. People do really expect miscarriers to get over it -- "Yeah, so sorry, what's for lunch?" Even my mother the other day said "I thought you were OVER it" when I just said, calmly, that it was my due date with #3. OVER it in the sense that I can function, sure, but I haven't forgotten about it, or the ones before. And it still hurts.

    You are very kind to celebrate your co-worker's good fortune with her. And you have every right to feel sorry for yourself. This sucks. And I'm sending you a big Fourth of July hug.

    By Anonymous Kath, at 1:06 pm  

  • People really do expect that you'll be back to your old self in a couple of weeks or less. Unless they've been through it, no one realizes that it takes months before you feel like yourself again, and even then you still think about it constantly. You showed a lot of strength celebrating with your colleague.

    By Blogger Karen, at 1:23 pm  

  • Some time working at home will be restful for you, Vivien. As someone who is employed in a predominatly female workforce, I am totally appreciating being at home myself right now. You did better with your PG colleague than I would have done.

    By Blogger Pamplemousse, at 2:38 pm  

  • Oh, Vivien, I understand, and I'm so sorry. It's such a hard place to be, such an empty feeling to have to put on a mask and to say all the right things to a pregnant woman in the midst of one's own pain.

    It's also so hard to feel that everyone is moving ahead with their lives while we are stuck in the same sad place. It's hard to feel left behind.

    And I agree that most people don't understand the magnitude of a miscarriage and expect us to get over it much sooner than is feasible. However, there ARE many of us who understand the magnitude of the loss and the need to grieve, and we're right here holding your hand.

    I'm praying for you. Hang in there, sweetie.

    By Anonymous Jill, at 4:52 pm  

  • Oh, I hate pregnancy announcements. Two women at work are preggo right now; one is seven years older and the other is 15 years older-and neither needed any assistance in getting there. And one miscarried twice, and now has no sympathy for those who don't want to dwell on her pregnancy due to their own miscarriages. She actually told me to relax! Sigh.

    By Blogger Michelle, at 12:29 pm  

  • Dealing with friend's/coworker's pregnancies is SO hard. I really do feel for you. I found out I was pregnant for the first time, miscarried at six weeks, then found out one week later my best friend was pregnant. I smiled on the outside, but experienced everything from sadness to jealousy on the inside. And I'm a teacher - someone at school is ALWAYS pregnant. You're in my thoughts.

    By Anonymous Lisa, at 2:02 am  

  • Oh Vivien, that sounds unbearable. i cant bare to be near it at all & you had to be brave & perform joy & excitement for your colleague -god stay home & work for the next 6 mths of her pregnancy. There is a pregnant woman at my job & i find when the conversation leans towards her birth etc I act utterly disinterested...its a protection & defence i know but its too painful to remain in the conversation & participate. The pretending is so hard -im glad you can work from home & be messy emotionally & be true to you right now. take care of you x

    By Blogger Womb in Waiting, at 9:50 am  

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