In my last post, I complained about people who can't go two seconds without talking about their babies. What do they think about the weather? Their baby likes it. How do they feel about the big game? They haven't cared about sports since Junior was born. Thank goodness their lives have meaning now and such trivialities don't concern them anymore.
Whereas I can't relate to having a meaningful life—mine's still purposeless and insignificant, obviously—I can totally relate to their one-track minds. I go through phases where getting pregnant is all I think about. Before being consumed by basal body temperatures and fake pregnancy symptoms, I'd obsess about other stuff: boyfriends (pre-husband), running, finishing my degree. I was guilty of awkwardly turning conversations to my obsession du jour.
One of my latest preoccupations, more of a semi-obsession than a full-blown one, has been to tell some neighborhood friends about our difficulty getting and staying pregnant. Broaching the topic has proved tricky, though. I hadn't been able to find an opening. "How are you?" "Ok, but my uterus isn't." "Why didn't you come to the last party?" "I was going through my second miscarriage. Was there a keg?" I just hadn't wanted to be a downer, you know?
Lately I've been ready to break my silence, though. Last weekend after a glass of wine, I worked some conversational magic to turn a conversation from aging to infertility. I said that aging hadn't bothered me until we started trying to conceive, and now my greying eyebrow hairs are constant reminders that it's just going to get harder for me to get (and stay) pregnant. At the time, I thought you could hear a pin drop after I said that. I've known these women for years and I'm guessing they've wondered about my husband and me, the oddly childless ones.
In retrospect, the room didn't get silent. A woman jumped in and started talking about her experiences with infertility and loss. She's doing well now and has children, which is reassuring. I felt connected, and the wall protecting my secrets came down a little more.
Not telling can be a burden. You miss out on support, for one thing. You also lie. For several weeks after my laparoscopy, I lied about why I had to miss my neighborhood yoga class. Telling about the lap would have meant telling about endo, leading to questions about endo and fertility, which I wasn't ready for. You also can't expect people to be sensitive if they don't know about your issues. Maybe they'll still say dumb stuff after they know, but maybe they won't. Maybe telling the entire neighborhood about our struggles will put an end to comments about how my husband and I must be rattling around in our house with its unused bedrooms.
I know there's a downside to telling, too. I can't untell them and regain my privacy. Telling people is addictive, though, and I'm going to enjoy this high as long as I can.
Random thought of the day: I get really excited when my work bathroom has new "Don't throw your tampon in the toilet" signs. Someone else is menstruating and not pregnant! Another possible sign of a fellow bleeder is hearing paper crackle in the next stall, although it usually just turns out the person changed the toilet paper roll.