...or How I Outed Myself as Infertile at November's Halloween Party
Whew! It's been quite a week filled with babies around here. If there's a recipe for me to feel both joyful and distraught, it involves taking my regular life and adding other people's babies.
Carpool Buddy had her baby two Fridays ago. Coworker had her baby this past Friday. All are doing well.
Then there were five children aged 2 and younger at November's Halloween party. There was so much baby/child/labor/nursing/post-partum NFP/"omg we're pregnant with #3" talk going on among the women, at first I was like "Crap! I do not need this." And it just went on and on! Husband and I were the only married couple without kids at the party, and there was only one unmarried couple! I tried to listen respectfully, then I made myself scarce, then finally, aided by a delightful mixed drink of some sort, I dove right in and outed myself.
Ok, so maybe it wasn't quite like "Hey party-goers, I'm infertile." But I made some comment about adoption to November and someone overheard me.
"Are you talking about adoption?"
"Are you thinking about adopting?"
"Well, not really right now, but maybe someday. I can't have babies, you see."
What happened next? To my everlasting surprise, no one in this super-fertile, uber-Catholic group pointed and laughed. Nor did they run away in the fear that it might be contagious. They got really quiet. They were curious, but actually respectful.
They asked if we knew it was me, and not Husband. (Yes.) They asked if I was seeing a doctor. (Yes.) They asked if I'd heard of Dr. Hil.gers. (Yes, my doctor trained with him.) (And of course, we don't know if we'll never have babies, but we've been trying for more than two years now, so we're technically infertile.) I told them about my surgery. They asked if I was praying specifically to Our Lady of Guadalupe. (No, actually. I'll have to add her.)
One of these women I've known for several years through Novie, and I always got the impression that she thought something was off about me, because where were my children?! In the end, I think I did this for motives that weren't really pure (are there pure motives for telling people you're IF?). It was to justify myself in this little group of ladies. A sort of announcement that I'm not not having children on purpose. I can talk about reproductive organs and sacrificing your body, too! I just don't have the living, breathing results that you get. Being surrounded by all of that pregnancy talk, having friends with two newborns, playing with those children, I just didn't have the strength to hold it in any more.
Um, plus, did I mention the liquor?