IF and the City

I used to feel sad when I watched the episodes with Charlotte failing over and over again while trying to get pregnant. Little did I know that my own attempts would lead me on the same sad journey. We've now passed 4 years in the trenches. 6 failed IVF/ICSI cycles = nothing. Time for something new - donor eggs. Success at last. Now for round 2.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Streamlining Continues

Once IF really kicks in, you find some of the normal social situations suddenly challenging, in my experience none can be worse than dealing with the pregnancies at work.

It’s funny because once upon a time, I just joined in with the crowd and stood around smiling and saying all the right things. But that was when I thought that one day it would be my turn. So now this is both painful, and sometimes embarrassing. Someone always asks you the ‘when’ question. Happened today actually and I just blew it off and said ‘who know’.

In the last year more than eight women became pregnant on my floor (and there’s many more in the rest of the company). One by one I’ve been counting them down as they leave to go on maternity leave. A couple of the babies have been born, a couple more are on there way, and a few more will be leaving shortly.

Well, one came back on Wednesday, still pregnant. She is due in a couple of days and says she wanted to get some stuff fixed with Helpdesk(!) Why, when you’re not going to be back for a year, and chances are since you don’t want to work full-time you won’t even be coming back! (In Oz, your job is held for a year, but if you decide you only want to work part-time, unless you can do that with your position or there is another job of equal standing that can be, companies do not have to guarantee you a job).

Of course … you can imagine the conversations ‘wow look how big you are' 'only 3 days to go, we better be on standby’, ‘oh you still don’t know if it’s a boy or girl?’, ‘what hospital?’….blah de blah blah.

When faced with this stuff I tend to duck for cover. I managed to bolt to the bathroom, then gave a cursory wave and then effected the ‘I’m so busy, got make a load of calls’ look, then hid. I went so far as to keep my mobile headset permanently on.

It got worse, because somehow word spread that she was back in, then suddenly there was a mass welcoming committee – all the pregnant women on the floor came over together! So there's five pregnant bellies all around me. By now I’m paralysed with fear, still hiding, and pretending to be on the mobile and wondering how long I’ll have to stay in this hell.

I hate myself for feeling like this, for being so resentful, for being so inept I can’t just smile and spout the clichés with everyone else, just ‘share in this joy’ and be happy for all these women. I hate that I’m a hateful infertile women. I hate this pain.

As with all things, I got some courage back as I was leaving for home, and I managed to go over and chat nicely and cast my vote for a ‘girl’.

I genuinely feel happy for everyone that gets pregnant, I can’t seem to control the panic I feel in these situations.

If therapists believe that the lack of tact and insensitivity we have to deal with is based on the fact that most [fertile] people cannot imagine how bad it would be, so don’t allow themselves to go there, what is the theory for us? We are in fact living with it, we have been forced to go there – so then what is the theory for how we should be dealing with the fertility of others? Bite the bullet - that just doesn't seem right?

In other news, my streamlining continues.

I’ve been considering my strategy with acupuncture. I have been going to the famous CFG, and she’s great, but expensive and in the year I’ve been seeing her we’re not pregnant. The new drawback is that she’s shortened her hours even more. She only works four days a week (no weekends), and now only from 9-4pm. (used to work until 4.30pm), so in the time-honoured practise of the Friday POETS (Piss Off Early Tomorrow’s Saturday), I was always able to walk out the door backwards at work and grab her last appointment. Now with that missing half hour (plus travel time), I really don’t think I can swing it.

So I’ve found a new acupuncturist, who is located close to work. I saw her on Wednesday. She doesn’t have the reputation, but CFG always said to me that there was no big mystery or secret to it, she’s just doing the same thing they’ve done in China for the last few hundred years, even her herbal concoctions are made from standard age-old recipes.

The difference so far is time and money. My new CFG had more time to spend in my initial consultation, more time checking pulse, and more time putting in the needles (she also did Moxa). She says she wants to work on my kidneys and spleen. She also said that while I say I only occasionally feel stress – my pulse told her another story altogether and she wants to work on that.

So while it seems like I’m adding more in, (with the pelvic manipulations) my costs will be down substantially, and then both these practitioners are close to work, so no more cabs rushing across town.

Loving watching the Aus Open tennis at the moment ...


At January 27, 2006 11:51 pm , Blogger Chelsi said...

I really feel for you having to deal with all those preggos at work, that stinks! And, you raise such a valid point, if most fertile people can't imagine being in our shoes, how is it that we are supposed to just "deal" with the situation???? It's hard to keep your head held high, when most of the population is able to procreate and we can't join the party, too. ........ So, hang in there, and use whatever self-preservation techniques work for you!! Best of luck with the new acupuncturist, I miss going to those!!

At January 28, 2006 4:46 am , Anonymous Manuela said...

"I hate that I’m a hateful infertile women. I hate this pain."

You AREN'T hateful... you are just in pain. And this is to be completely expected.

At January 28, 2006 9:45 am , Blogger Lut C. said...

If you were wishing them harm, then you would be hateful. But you're not.

Is an overweight women expected to enjoy discussing fashion with a bunch of skinny girls?

Is a poor person expected to have a nice conversation with a rich person about the jetset lifestyle?

At work I don't join in baby discussions. I use my aggressive child-free person reputation as a shield. I don't feel guilty about it either.

At January 29, 2006 3:37 pm , Blogger MC said...

Last year I renamed my school Fertiltiy High School. I saw so many teachers pregnant and off on maternity leave and then when they come back with their babies. I try to hide, but usually do the right thing make the right noises. Inside I'm dying and hating it. Then I would store it up until I got home or was on the freeway and have a big bawl. It never seems to get any easier.
Good luck with the new acupunturist.

At January 30, 2006 10:35 am , Blogger Thalia said...

Moving to a new CFG seems like a good move to me. I'm still debating what I do re acupuncture. Haven't been back since the failed cycle.

Oh and I avoid the preggos whenever I can. And I'm always terribly busy when they have the blasted baby showers that usually british companies don't even have but we have too many blasted americans to avoid them...

Sorry. got carried away there.

At January 31, 2006 3:35 am , Anonymous Lori said...

I can't stand all the clucking that goes on when very pregnant woman or woman with a newborn shows up at the workplace. Makes me insane. Bugged me even before IF - I just could never get into it.

At January 31, 2006 12:53 pm , Blogger ninaB said...

No no no. We should not have to just 'bite the bullet'. Don't we have the right to protect our sanity? or whatever is left of it?
I've just started going back for acupunture and feel better. I hope your new acupunturist works out.

At January 31, 2006 2:49 pm , Blogger Beth said...

I agree with Manuela here - you aren't hateful, merely hating that you are suffering this pain.


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