Saturday, April 16, 2011

Too many pregnant women

Yesterday was a tough one.

I went to a lunch that my company sponsored where the Premier of Ontario was speaking. I organized who would be sitting at our table of 10. When we arrived, we headed towards the reception that only certain people could get into. As my company was a sponsor, we were invited. When we got to the door, I discovered that my name wasn't on the list (but everyone I invited was, which was good). The guy at the door said that he would just grab the VP (Jennifer) and check with her. She came out, and wouldn't you know it, she is about 5 months pregnant. She found out who I am and said I could go in the room. But just when she came out to talk to me, another pregnant walked up to get in the room, they said how great they each look, then hugged and joked about their bellies bumping. It was hard, but if that was the only thing that happened, I would have been fine.

So I go in the reception room and start talking with the people I invited. More and more pregnant women appeared in the room as time went on. I tried really hard to just look straight ahead and not glance around the room. Jennifer was there too, since she was in charge of the event. She walked around me alot and I tried not to stare at her belly, but that is hard enough normally, not helped by the fact that she was wearing a very tight dress. I always have a particularly hard time with women who are about as pregnant as I was when Jacob died.

Finally the reception was over and I thought that the lunch wouldn't be as bad because surely I wouldn't see so many pregnant women while sitting at our table. Wrong. There were about 500 people at the lunch and I think that every 2nd or 3rd table had a pregnant woman sitting at it. No matter where I looked, I saw a pregnant woman and I was finding it harder and harder to stop the tears. I still talked to those around me, I still acted normal for the most part. But there were moments when those around me were talking to the people on the other side of them and the sadness became overwhelming. At those times, I held my necklace and spoke to Jacob in my head and told him how much I miss him. Then I would bite my lip to take my focus somewhere else and it helped stop the tears.

Because my company was one of the sponsors, our table was right at the front, just to the left of the stage. Since Jennifer was one of the organizers, she was standing near the stage during the speeches, often rubbing her belly. I felt so sad, so envious and so angry that my babies died.

After the speeches, while we were eating, Jennifer was walking around the room talking to people, so I saw her quite often. I was talking to the woman sitting next to me about being a vegetarian, as she used to be, and I told her that I craved meat when I was pregnant so I ate it once in a while. I was waiting for the followup question of whether I had a boy or a girl and how old he was, but it never came. I was at a lunch the day before and was asked if I have kids. I said that I have a son who passed away and the woman said how sorry she was. I changed the subject then because I could tell she didn't know what else to say (there were also pregnant women at that lunch, but not as many).

When the lunch was finally over, I walked through the minefield of pregnant woman to the exit. As I went up the escalator with my colleagues, I overheard the CEO saying to my old boss that I had looked sad or bored or something. Luckily the CEO is easygoing and was making a joke about it. I'm pretty sure he knows that Jacob died, but he never said anything to me last summer. A few minutes later I was walking with my old boss to the subway and I asked her what Rod had said. She told me and I told her that I was sad, that there were alot of pregnant women there and I found it very difficult. I told her that I lost another baby since losing Cub and she said that she has never lost a baby, so she can't imagine what it feels like, but that it must be terrible. Then she went on to say that things happen for a reason, even if we can't understand what that reason is. She had been doing so well. Anyway, she asked if we ever found out why Jacob died and I just said no and told her I'm going to a specialist soon, just for more testing.

During the lunch, I felt like I was barely keeping my head above water and I told myself that I wouldn't leave the house this weekend. I didn't feel like I could stand to see one more pregnant woman. Just before I left work, Laurie called and said that Mom was coming over to her house for dinner and she asked if we wanted to come too. At first I said that I would see, but then I decided to go. I cannot let this rule my life. So we went and it wasn't too hard seeing her belly. She put the car seat in my car so that I'm all set when I'm watching Ben while she is in the hospital.

We stayed for about an hour and then Ted and I left. As we drove home, he said that he found it really difficult to see her belly. He kept calculating where we should be at and how long it will take until my belly is that big, assuming I get pregnant soon. I was in turmoil last night and ended up lying on the couch, with my head on Ted's chest, and crying.

We didn't go anywhere today. I cleaned up the office, started working on our taxes and did some laundry. I want to stay inside tomorrow too. Seeing more pregnant woman in the next few days would be a really, really bad thing. It has been a rainy and gray day, which was just fine with me. It suits my mood.


Sherri said...

I'm sorry that you had to suffer through the lunch! I too have a harder time with women who are around 5 or 6 months pregnant. And it seems like I notice them more now than ever!! Hope things get better for you soon....
sending love!

little vitu's mom said...

Hi Dana: I'm new to your blog but want to tell how much am moved by your story. I'm really really sorry for what you have gone through and what you are going through now. Hugs.

car said...

Dana, that sounds like the worst torture. It's amazing that you held yourself together through the whole lunch.

Anonymous said...

It is hell isn't it? I went to an egg hunt last week and lost it completely. I literally could not turn left or right without seeing at least 5 pregnant women. I just let the tears out and called a friend who was kind enough to listen. Thinking of you Dana....

Drew's Parents said...

Ug...I got knots in my stomach the first time I read about this and still do! I am so so so sorry you had to experience that. It must have felt like the prego twilight zone.