If you don't know, seeing new babies at your place of work can be a very difficult situation for an infertile. I remember nearly a year ago when a colleague of mine had his stay at home wife bring their newborn in for all to meet. A seemingly innocuous gesture, right? Well, unfortunately, not for an infertile going through the ringer. So when this colleague had their newborn brought in, I overheard the oooh-ing and ahhhh-ing commotion and discreetly shut my office door and stayed quiet ... to avoid having to paste on a smile or be honest and glare directly into the doting parent's eyes. I avoided what I knew would be a difficult situation for me and an uncomfortable one for them.
This past week my office had a department picnic. It was the family kind - where everyone can bring spouses and kids. Last year I suffered through it. I tried to enjoy it, but when you're depressed - even potentially fun events are draining. This year, I participated in the booths and activities they provided, I mingled, I enjoyed the food (ok, but NOT the food that had been dangerously picked over ... I'm a little bit of a germ-a-phobe in that way).
So this year, that same colleague passed by me in the hallway with that same (now 1+ year old baby) and luckily my husband was also attending the picnic and happened to be with me in the hallway (or else I'd feel like an even bigger boob). As the colleague squeezed by me with his baby facing outward, tucked under his arm, he locked eyes with me (and having the amazing social skills I know I have ;-) ... I was faced with having to say or do SOMETHING to acknowledge their amazing procreative accomplishments; there was no getting away from it. And being gratefully pregnant myself, my heart was finally in a place where I could honestly say something sweet and endearing. I looked into those big baby blues and I said "so cute!" ... but that is all I could manage to get out. I tried to be more articulate, but I was a little rusty at nonchalant baby complimenting and I froze up a bit.
(Now I have to interrupt to say that this colleague of which I speak is not close to me, is not someone I have a relationship with ... to make things worse, he's a very serious person who is actually my supervisor's management level ... so he's not really a peer either!)
As soon as Dad and baby passed by, I continued to exercise those amazing social skills I mentioned above ... which I knew at the time was a bad decision. I should have just stopped and left it at that "so cute!" ... what's wrong with just saying that? Well, unfortunately, I followed it up by yelling down the hallway at my colleague "I meant the baby" ... just to make sure everyone around was clear that I wasn't what? ... hitting on my colleague?? ... with my gorgeous husband standing right there?
Stupid. Stupid. (bang head against wall) Stupid!
It would have gone off better had he laughed or said something witty in response but instead he (and my husband) just started blankly at me. When we walked away my husband whispered under his breath: "nice one."
Done, and Yet, Not Done
5 months ago