I have a Board meeting coming up tonight. The Board consists entirely of women. Most of whom have children. Two of which have been pregnant with TWINS. One of those twin pregnancies occurred in a woman post-40 who just a year earlier had an “accidental” pregnancy. So, 3 kids in 2 years without any intervention post-40.
I love being on this Board, but I HATE that every meeting there is at least some conversation about babies. Last year, I had to go to a planning meeting at the 40+ twin mommy’s house, where her 3 little munchkins were running around the whole time. I was probably the only one that didn’t pick them up or hold them. I smiled politely but was mentally willing everyone else to quit focusing on them. At that time I was trying to hold in pee so that I could go on a stick when I got home to see if I was ovulating. It was an important ovulation test as it was going to signal “go” for our first round of IUI.I really didn’t need all the baby reminders as I sat there crossing my legs.
On top of the little ones being present throughout the entire meeting, there was also another Board member that was expecting. So, of course, during the break in the planning session I had to endure what seemed like an endless conversation about delivery and breastfeeding and diapers and nannies. All the moms in the room giving advice to the one who was about to join the club. I am the only married woman on the Board without kids. So, I sat in silence, searching out the few single women on the Board that don’t yet have kids.
That day really sticks with me. I guess because it felt like fertility was being rubbed in my face and there was no where I could escape to. I was in a professional setting and didn’t have the option to just “leave”. These are also women I have know for years, and a Board I used to enjoy being on. I saw these strong, hard working women as my comrades. Now I just see a fertility circle that I am excluded from. I feel isolated and alone. It doesn’t help that when I did finally mention my infertility at one of the meetings the responses I got were cold and hurtful. They are all siting up on their fertility pedestals, judging me and my bareness.
The reason I am writing about this now is because I have another one of those meeting coming up today. We are having our meeting at one of the “moms” houses. So, her kid will inevitably be running around. I am getting a ride to the meeting with a woman who has 3 kids, and just returned from mat leave. I wonder what the main topic of conversation will be??? (sigh). The woman who was pregnant at the previous planning session now has a baby, and will be bringing it to the meeting. Oh, and to top it all off, one of the woman will be arriving with her big pregnant TWIN belly. It will just be one big fertility flaunt fest!!! How am I going to keep it together? To make matters worse, I am the one running the meeting. I am dreading this evening and can’t wait for it to be over. Like so many other times, I will have to put on my game face and then go home and cry in secrecy.
The fact that I am being put in the same situation almost a year later also gives me an opportunity to reflect. Things are changing in the lives of all these other women while my life is standing still. The only change for me is falling deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole of infertility treatment. I am left to continue wondering whether the next treatment will be “the one”. Will it finally grant me admission to the fertility circle???