Today my department had a potluck lunch to celebrate the end of the year. It was also a sending-off of sorts for our department chair who will be staying home next year to raise her son.
Cue the jealousy.
When I began working there, Kev and I had already been trying to conceive for two years. The chair and I became friends and she soon decided that she also wanted to start trying for a family. Of course, you can imagine how that worked out. For a couple of months, we shared our frustrations about OPK's, negative pregnancy tests, timing, etc. It was so nice to finally have someone to talk to who understood how complicated the whole process can be for some of us. Then she stopped talking to me. Until she announced her pregnancy, that is.
Then I was suddenly on the receiving end of complaints of swollen ankles and morning sickness and not fitting into a favorite pair of jeans. I had to listen to the common woes of pregnancy that I would gladly give an eye for. And I listened and I was patient and I was empathetic and then I quietly went back to my room and cried.
For the next year or so, I listened to stories - you know the stories - of growing babies. The chair was not the only person with a new baby at home. There are four children under 3 who belong to members of my department. It makes group lunches incredibly difficult to bear for a person who suffers with infertility.
Sometimes I can stay the entire twenty minutes for lunch, but other times I can't even poke my head out my door. It's strange how infertility's storm of emotions can erupt with no warning.
Now that her son is almost two, she has chosen to stay home with him. I don't blame her. I would have done it long ago.
The position of department chair has been passed on to me. I hope the position of Mother follows suit.
8 hours ago