there are sections of our time going through treatments that are a bit of a blur: the early morning dates with the dildo cam and bloodwork, conversations with the insurance company and pharmacy, nights curled up on the couch crying into my Ben and Jerry’s.
and then there are moments that stand out more clearly. some happier moments. some really, really hurtful ones. and some embarrassing ones. every now and then, some little trigger makes on of those memories come rushing in, taking me back to that place i was in all those years ago, for better or worse.
this morning, one of those triggers turned up working at the local baby superstore when i stopped in to buy a gift for a friend’s baby shower (we’ll chat another time about how baby gift shopping still gives me that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach). i walked up to the registry desk, and there was one of the sweetest girls i have ever taught behind the counter. and then it all came flooding back to me.
i think it really is one of my most…embarrassing memories, both as an infertile and and as a teacher. looking back through the blog, i didn’t even write about it back then, so that should give you a hint of how bad i felt about it – we all know i don’t do too well censoring myself. i had her and her equally adorable best friend in my english class that year, and we were reading Cheaper by the Dozen in class (ugh, i still hate that novel). we had just been told by dr. d we were going straight to IVF. and, i swear, it seemed like every day these well-meaning 12 year olds would make some comment about how i should have kids, i was going to make such a great mom. and one day, i just lost it.
as she was sitting there at work this morning, pulling up the registry i needed, i sat there feeling my face flush, my stomach sink.
i don’t remember what the kids were supposed to be doing after she made her latest “why aren’t you pregnant yet?” comment, but i remember i was sitting at my desk, trying to make it look like i was checking my email or something. and i remember her friend looking over at me, and getting her attention when she saw the tears falling down my face. she came over to ask if i was ok, and i asked if we could talk in the hall. i remember standing outside my classroom door, my mouth moving as that not-so-little-anymore voice in my head was yelling at me to just stop talking.
but i didn’t.
i told the two of them that it wasn’t always that easy. that sometimes, even when “people” wanted to be parents, they had trouble. and, while i know that they meant it as a compliment when they said i should have a baby, every time they mentioned it all i felt was sad.
i don’t remember what they said back to me, but i remember the looks on their faces. and i am still so, so ashamed that i was the one to make them look like that. those sweet, innocent girls.
i wonder what, if anything, she remembers of that conversation. i really just hope that she doesn’t.