Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What Doesn't Kill You

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger.

It's a hackneyed phrase, passed down generation to generation and tragedy to tragedy, but is it even true?

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger.

For me, what's been happening is every time something upsetting which I think might kill me occurs it eats away just a little bit at my outer calm. For awhile I was so numb that I don't really think anything could bother me. I barely remember anything from Blue Sunday's diagnosis until last summer. In that time my best work friend's second son was born, many co-workers gave birth or became pregnant. I dealt with month after month of BFNs. It was sad, but I didn't feel it was some cosmic punishment.

Now that I am out of the fog and 99% of the time living a life like I used to lead before Blue Sunday, things are upsetting me again. The BFNs have been compounding, every negative makes the ones before it worse to remember. Disappointments and trials seems increasingly unfair. Haven't I already had enough to deal with?

And then there are the pregnancies.

Some are fine, Mrs. Wonderful, old co-workers, some college friends. Others hit me harder.

I had suspicions that a girl that I am VERY close to at work is pregnant. I have thought it for a few weeks now. She has missed some drinking work events (It has been a very rough time in the company I work for and drinking has been happening both in and out of work). She has been drinking tea and not coffee. She used to talk about cramps, period and PMS and hasn't in awhile. On their own none of these things would have been a big deal, but something about all of them together had alarm bells sounding in my head weeks ago.
I had planned on saying nothing, and then she came in obviously showing, pretending like this isn't the case. It isn't like she had a bowling ball belly, but she is tall and very slender, it is clear to me that it isn't a pound or two of comfort food. After an internal struggle, I asked my best work friend (who's name is John). I started with, 'I think this is me being crazy (and a bit bitchy) but Ray looks pregnant. Is she?" He was floored, and confirmed my suspicion. . He has known for weeks.
This really upset me for a lot of reasons.
The big one is that she knows all about my loss, and subsequent struggle to get pregnant and we talk about it at least once a week. She has been an amazing friend and support- I have wonderful, amazing women in my life, but they aren't the "let's tale about your sex life" friends and she is that for me. I feel like I let her into a very personal space and that I was shut out of hers.
Also, I HATE being the person no one wants to come out (as pregnant) to. I HATE that I'm tainted. That my horrible pregnancy has made people afraid to confide in me, like I'll rub off, or afraid to make me think about my pregnancy but mentioning theirs. As if 1) I don't think about it all the time and 2) I won't find out eventually.

I did what any adult in a work place does. Broke my cardinal rule, I went to find an empty office and cried in it. Like this:

While doing so, the owner of the office, a friend of mine outside of work came in. He did everything right, offered to leave, offered to listen. He told me how he and his wife think that it is incredible that I've managed so well since my loss. He really felt bad for me that someone would keep me out of the loop about this (I didn't tell him who was pregnant, I let him believe it was an outside work friend). Talking to him gave me the courage to go to her.

So I spoke with her, in the hidden, locked stairwell at work. It would have been weird, but it was the day before the lay-offs would happen and everyone was whispering behind closed doors.  I was just like "I know there is something you should tell me" eventually she did (though it took her a minute, she was really shocked I had figured it out). She started crying when I hugged her and was like "I'm really not ok. This should be you I feel horrible and like everything is so unfair". I totally understood what she was saying.

She isn't married (though is planning on it and is engaged). She doesn't have a house yet. Our jobs were up in the air. They want kids, but not now. She was on birth control, but had been having break through bleeding and other issues. She had switched to a mini-pill. It didn't do the job.

They had serious discussion about adopting out the baby to hub and I. Though it isn't how it worked out, I couldn't feel more loved and flattered.

Though I figured it out, she really tried for it to be ok for me. She said her second thought after the BFP was how she was going to tell me. She was going to take me to lunch to tell me and then the lay off warning came. The week before that she asked me to go out with her, but I couldn't go. My reason for refusal was I was going out with JAM, and I had to go, even though I knew that she was pregnant and I was really upset about it. The week she found out, another woman at work announced her pregnancy. I told Ray (in private) that the next person who announced a pregnancy to me I was going to slap in the face. Oops. Hilarious in retrospect though.

I am happy for her. She is high risk because of some bleeding and family history issues, but it 14 weeks and testing had come back very good. She got it all done because of what I went though, which I was happy about. I put on a really good front about being ok for me too. I told her (and reminded myself) that there is no limit on the number of babies. She didn't take mine. I hope that we can be pregnant together, that would be a blast (though I would feel even more cow like next to her). She got us close to me and wiggled herself on me, hoping to rub off some pregnancy vibes. It was fun.

And then I got into the car and Lost. My. Shit.

Seriously, you'd think someone died.

I'm getting better at this long range, but I'm getting worse in the moment. I'm okay now, but I wasn't when I was in my co-worker's office crying, and I wasn't when I was crying in my car. I want to be able to believe what I told Ray.

It's OK.

Your pregnancy doesn't make mine less likely.

I'm happy for you.

We'll have kids close in age.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, stronger
Just me, myself, and I
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone

Kelly Clarkson, What Doesn't Kill You


  1. Awww... the good news is that you were so much in her thoughts and what she said! The bad news is that it doesn't make it any easier. One day a dear friend emailed me (although she wasn't as kind as yours) to say she was pregnant RIGHT in the midst of our hardest time. I started crying so hard at work in my office that my boss (the principal as I'm a teacher) heard me DOWNSTAIRS and told me to go home. It was one of the most embarrassing days of my life. Just know that you're totally ok and normal to be sad. IF sucks so much. :( And I haven't even ever experienced a loss like you have. :(

    1. I am so glad to know I'm not the only one with embarrassing crying at work stories! You always make me feel better

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