You think I am moody, or selfish, or maybe, you just think I’m a bitch. You think your announcement has nothing to do with me, and therefore should not affect me. That I should respond appropriately and smile and congratulate you, then ooh and ahh along with others.
You think it’s personal that I could not get more than one word out of my mouth, or even smile. It hurt your feelings when after sitting for as long as I could – which felt like days had passed to me – I excused myself and not only left the room, but left the office.
What I want you to know is I may be moody. I can be selfish. I often scold myself for being bitchy. I want you to know that I know your announcement has nothing to do with me. And I want you to know that my reaction to your announcement in kind, has nothing to do directly with YOU.
What I want you to know is that more than a year after I was told I can not have children, I am not regularly able to watch television. I go days & weeks away from social media and decline most invites from friends to avoid announcements like yours, photos and videos of babies & children.
I want to tell you that I cry more than once a week – like last Friday night, at a busy restaurant, while having dinner with friends and their 3 month old. And that more than once a week is an improvement from more than once a day.
I want you to know that while I can be obsessed about my young nephew, I sometimes am not able to spend time with him because his little face and sweet voice hurt me deeply.
If I thought you could even remotely grasp the pain I felt ripping through me when you called an “office meeting” to announce you are pregnant with your fourth child, I would tell you that my entire body began shaking. That I began to sweat. That I needed to run, but that I couldn’t move and then, when I could move, I knew I would be thought to be the asshole, so I sat and I endured for as long as I could.
If I thought you could fathom how I struggled to breathe, or how I barely made it outside of the building, dropping my cellphone while trying to place a call to someone to talk me off the ledge, I would tell you that it was then that I sobbed. Hunched in the corner of the downstairs lobby near the bathrooms. The tile floor was frigid cold, but all I could think of was laying down there. So I fled to my car, and sat crying on the phone with my husband, knowing there was nothing he could do but desperately needing the sound of his voice.
I want you to know that I cried again when another co-worker sent me an email later, acknowledging how shocked they were with your news, how it was delivered and how they said they were praying for me.
I want you to know that I cried my entire 50 minute drive home. And that I went straight to bed when I got there. Drenching my pillow in tears. Then sleeping. Then waking and crying. And waking and crying. Cursing God. Cursing my body. Cursing the hand I’ve been dealt.
I want you to know that I’ve been up since 3am drinking coffee and looking for a new job just to avoid being in the presence of a pregnant woman while at work, 5 days a week for the next 34 weeks.
I know what you’re thinking about me, you think I am jealous and you wonder why I can’t just be happy for you.
I want you to know that I AM jealous. And while I think your news is lovely for you & your family, saying I am “happy” for you would be wrong. Because I can’t remember the last time I was happy about anything.
I want you to know that moving on with my life as a non-mother is not enough for me. Having the freedom to do whatever I wish with my time & money because I’ve no one to care for or plan a future for, brings me no consolation. That going to work and returning home to care for only my husband – no matter how deeply I love him – and our home, does not completely fulfil me. And though I know there are temporary things I could do or participate in to try to fill some void, they will not replace the longing in my heart to be a mom. To have a child to love & care for forever.
So while you think I am jealous and moody and selfish and bitchy because your announcement has nothing to do with me, please remember that I know it doesn’t. Which is why it does.