Infertility: why you are on a “need to know” basis.

I have made the decision to not tell a lot of people that me and my husband are struggling to conceive.

I have told my mum, grandma, sister, mother-in-law and a couple of friends. I have made the decision not to tell any of my colleagues.

Why?

Well, although I know that my colleagues would be sympathetic, I could not stand the looks of pity, the conversation, people asking about a hospital appointment then asking me how it went, looking at me funny if I let slip that I’m on my period, judging my every move and behaviour.

There has been one colleague that I am considering telling, and that is not because I want to, but because I might have to: she is constantly asking me if I’m thinking of having children and telling me that I should really get going as I’m not getting any younger. So basically I really want to shut that down. It is not fair that I should feel forced into saying something, because she feels that she has the right to comment on what I am doing with my vagina. Luckily I’ve got until she comes back from sabbatical for that (September). Still, it is agonising to think about and I dread the first day back of school after the holidays because of her.

Now, I’m about to have a bit of a rant. But since very few people read this blog (thank you, by the way, you guys who power through my drivel). So, here it is:

There is one colleague that I could not tell. I work with some lovely people and I love my job, even the kids and their sometime tricky parents. I work in a gorgeous and supportive school. I could tell all but this one colleague, who unfortunately is in my department (I’m her line manager). Here are the reasons why:

  1. She is in her late 50s. Now, although this should not be an issue, she often makes comments about me having children. I also believe that she would not understand. She had her child with no difficulties and lives for that child.
  2. She is the most selfish person that I know. Everything is about her. For instance, if I am having a bad day, she will blame me for being negative rather than be understanding and realise that I am only human and allowed a bad day. So, if I told her and was having a bad day, she would make it all about her and how my feelings were affecting her. That would make me feel even worse.
  3. She is passive aggressive. I would not put it past her to use my troubles for her own gain and make comments. I think that as she wants to be the most miserable person in the room at all times, and knowing that I was more miserable would upset her and I think she would try and make it worse.
  4. She thinks we are friends (!), so she would constantly ask me about it and act like a good listener. What if I didn’t want to talk about it? Well, she would then be offended and would be upset with me for being insensitive to her.

Sorry, I’ve had a shitty week (period coupled with a lot of work stress) and she really pissed me off, more than usual, this week. My being stressed and on the verge of tears was making her feel negative. And the fact that I did not want to talk about it upset her. Do you see what I have to work with?!?

So, basically, tell who you want to tell and anyone out there who is not going through what I’m going through, here are some tips:

– If someone is miserable and that is out of character, don’t comment on it. You don’t know what they are going through. So, ask how they are, if they don’t want to talk about it, shut up and leave them alone.

– If someone tells you that they are going through infertility, listen, don’t look at them with pity and don’t prod. If they want to say more, they will.

– For God’s sake, stop asking women about their plans to have or not have children. It is none of your business.

Well, apologies for the rant, I just needed to vent and she does not read this blog. Thanks for reading!

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