Babies, babies, everywhere!

For some odd reason, referrals for teeny tiny babies at work seem to come in waves.  A couple of weeks ago, we evaluated a super-tiny baby whose adjusted age was neonate.  Then today, we eval-ed a preemie who was at one month adjusted age.  I think we have another baby coming up, but, honestly, the referrals have been so overwhelming lately, it’s hard to keep track.

I also have two families I’ve been working with for months who now have newborns at home.

I love the babies.  I really do.  Even though they’re a not-so-subtle reminder of what I would very much like to have but do not.   I have to keep my distance, though.  It’s the only way to get through a home visit without bursting into desperate tears.

It’s not so hard.  My job, really, is to guide parents, not to take over.  So we sit, usually the mother and I, across from each other with the baby in the middle.  And I tell mom, “do this,” or “try that,” all the while thinking, “I can’t wait until I can do this with my own babies and not just talk about it.”  EmHart had a great post about how difficult this can be.  To be so close, yet so very far away.  To have parents see me as the expert, or worse, question my expertise because I have no children of my own.

It helps to have coworkers who get it.  And by “get it,” I don’t mean in the same way you all get it.  But I have been pretty open about our infertility and this current cycle, and I have amazing coworkers who have supported and sympathized with me.

I have not, on the other hand, told any of the families I work with what we’re going through.  Which, I think, will make my upcoming frequent absences in December all the more difficult to explain.  I can’t won’t tell them I’m in the middle of an IVF cycle.  I’ll make up some benign medical excuse.  (I haven’t concocted one yet, so any suggestions are welcome!)

I half-regret not keeping this to myself all together.  Things may have already gotten a bit out of control.  What happens if I come back from our holiday break, with the expectant eyes of my team members on me, knowing that the deed is done, knowing that I should be pregnant, but I’m not?  I fear that, in my need to talk about these things with anyone who will listen, I may have complicated matters for myself.

Of course, I’ll be just as reluctant to talk about it further if I am pregnant.  Because even that is not a guarantee.

Shit.  It seems I’ve really painted myself into a corner.


9 thoughts on “Babies, babies, everywhere!

  1. I work with kids, though not as many babies as you, so I get how hard it can be. I only told a couple parents about our IVF and the rest I told I was having a procedure done. Only one asked for more detail and I kinda skirted the issue.

  2. I can super relate to the painting yourself into a corner. It’s not like I’ve announced it at a staff meeting or anything, but I’m pretty open about our struggle, and word travels fast when you work for my boss. She told several staff members about my miscarriage without my permission, but that’s a whole different story for a different day! As a result, many of my coworkers know. This helps reduce the asinine questions about when we’re going to get “a move on,” but it also means expectant, hopeful eyes fall on me and my belly a little too often. Even with my two closest friends who know EVERY, LITTLE detail, I’m regretting talking to them about when I can test this cycle. They won’t ask if I don’t say, but I know they will be waiting when I walk in on Friday with bated breath. I don’t want to see the pain and pity in their eyes if I look sad (they know my face way too well to hide it behind a fake smile). But at the same time, I want to see that shared pain in their eyes b/c it means I know they are my support. Double-edged sword, for sure.

  3. It must be tough to be surrounded by so many babies. It sucks that we have to explain our absences for these very personal reasons! I agree about just saying that you are having a procedure. If you don’t want to explain, they’ll probably just assume it’s personal- which it is!

  4. I just hate that infertility attacks us from every corner. Not content with getting its claws into our marriages and friendships, now it is after our jobs and careers.

  5. Gosh, I was about to leave a comment and then read EmHart’s. She said it perfectly. I don’t know if there is such a thing as balance when it comes to this. I tend to be relatively open about our struggles (however at work I try to shield it as much as possible- though some people still know) because I think I look for support and compassion from any source I can get it. But then when people know, I feel uncomfortable. Those questioning eyes eat me alive. I don’t know if there is a right answer here. I’m sorry you feel painted in a corner, but please know WE are all in that corner with you. I hate this for us.

  6. I’ve been really open about our struggles to conceive. I don’t know why, but I just have an urge to talk about them with anyone who will listen. I think I freak people out sometimes, but whatever…it’s my own defense mechanism. I guess I figure if the whole world knows that I’m on year 3 of TTC, I’m less likely to have someone stupid say something like “You’ll understand when you have kids of your own”. Barf. Anyway, I completely empathize with how torn you must feel at work sometimes…filled with hope and the knowledge that you’re doing something important on the one hand, and sad and envious and wishing for a baby of your own on the other. I felt that way sometimes when I was teaching kindergarten…loved having a hand in shaping the little ones, but also filled with longing for a child of my own. (Although – full disclosure – at times teaching kindergarten also made me glad that I was going home to a child-free house. Ha!) Anyway…I’m sending you lots of good thoughts. I hope that December is a good month for you.

  7. I don’t think you need to tell the families what’s going on. I told everyone at work that I was having a “medical issue” that involved lots of monitoring and having two procedures done. Not one person pried for more information. I was very worried about this because I didn’t know what I was going to tell them, but it turned out to be a total non-issue. Now, granted, this depends on the particular people you work with. At my old job this would not have been a possibility, but I think most adequately socialized people understand that your medical issues are not their business.

  8. I read your post and it’s like you stole my thoughts…..LOL. It just sucks for all of us on this damn journey but its comforting to know I’m not alone.

  9. I haven’t been open at all at work, mostly because I work with a bunch of guys. My excuse is a visiting sister that I may have to take some time off for to show around. I’m thankful for the holidays that make such excuses more plausible and a clinic near enough to my office that I can go to my monitoring appointments during my lunch break.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s