When there’s something in everyone’s water but yours: Surviving workplace pregnancies

When there’s something in everyone’s water but yours: Surviving workplace pregnancies

I love babies! I could talk about babies and my dreams of pregnancy and becoming a mom for hours. I have well thought out pregnancy announcements and gender reveal ideas, as well as a running list of baby names on my phone, and please, let’s not forget the Pinterest baby board I started the day I started my wedding planning board. If it is pregnancy related, you can guarantee I have thought about it. However, there are times when thinking about those dreams, the ones that may not come to fruition, that are hard— REALLY DAMN HARD.

It’s a little harder when you’re at work and you can’t escape it.

I remember the first time that it really hit me, that feeling of sadness and jealousy because someone else was pregnant and I wasn’t. It was a team huddle at work and my boss said “and so- and-so has some news.” Just like that, a direct co-worker was pregnant, and I was on week four of miscarriage bleeding. Let me tell you, holding my shit together in that scenario was not easy.

Between hormones being all over the place and still reeling from my loss, I was legitimately on the verge of a work place tear-fest. It was my first pregnancy and I was so uninformed about it all— about miscarriage, about infertility, about tracking and testing.

I knew nothing.

I just knew that the feeling I felt from watching someone joyfully talk about their own gender reveal, name choices and growing belly was gut-wrenching.

Since our journey to Baby Bell started I have worked at a couple different places and none of them are immune to the work place pregnancy notion of “there must be something in the water” (Someone feel free to send me a bottle…. or three). I mean of course, in an office filled with hundreds of people, pregnancy is inevitable and considering most of the people I have worked with are of “childbearing age,” it’s bound to happen.

And I am happy for them!

It just doesn’t make me any less sad for me. As I mentioned above, the hard part about work place pregnancy is you cannot get away from it. Five days a week you are in this place for roughly 8-9 hours a day and short of being rude and ignoring people, you’re almost constantly exposed. It’s not even limited to the women of the office; the men talk about their wives’ pregnancies as well, so there is honest to goodness, no escape from it.

I do want to say, over time it got a little easier to handle and I learned coping mechanisms, anything from taking a five minute breather to having an ugly cry (infertility and miscarriage teaches you to invest in a good mascara, because there’s a lot of ugly cries). But over the last five years there have still been a multitude of instances where I felt as though my heart had been ripped out and I swallowed a boulder.

I found though, that once I started confiding in people as well as being more open about our struggles and our losses it didn’t feel as overwhelming. That in and of itself was another coping mechanism— having an outlet. Not just an outlet to share my journey and lessen my emotional load, but an outlet that helps other people who are feeling all those overwhelming feelings of grief, loss, and confusion but who feel isolated and like no one gets it.

I’ve gone through multiple IVF rounds and three miscarriages in two different offices.

I’ve sat at my desk holding back tears watching people announce their pregnancy. Recently, I started back to an old job and within days of settling in, an email was sent out for a baby pool for a person on the floor. In big bold letters it showed her due date— JULY 10th. That oh so familiar throat boulder was back. My due date from our FET was July 11th, so every time I looked at this beautiful pregnant woman, I was reminded of what stage in my own pregnancy I would be if we hadn’t suffered our third loss. That same day another pregnant co-worker was talking about finding out the gender in a couple days, which led to a conversation about gender reveal ideas.

It was a pandemic that I couldn’t seem to become a part of.

Some days along this journey are hard and others are a breeze. It’s strange how one moment you can feel so high and hopeful about it all, yet hours later it feels like things will never go your way, and the hormone injections, they do NOT help the cause when it comes to trying to keep your emotions in check.

Yet through it all I do my best to try and remind myself that every pregnancy and baby is a blessing to those who longed for it, and heck, even those who never knew it was what they wanted. I also try and remind myself that some day I will be the woman with the baby pool or the person discussing their upcoming gender scan. It may not be happening on the timeline I wanted, but nonetheless, it is happening in its own way, with the help of an amazing clinic, wonderful doctors and nurses and a fantastic support system of my husband, family and friends.

So, whether you’re just beginning your journey and trying to find ways to cope, or you’re in the thick of it feeling like you cannot go on— keep going. Some day all the pain and heartache will be worth it.

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