I'm one of the first people to arrive at the office in the morning, and today, I got talking with two other early risers, before everyone else started arriving. One is about my age, in her late 40s or early 50s; the other, a young woman about 25.
The older woman was telling us about her daughter (her only child)'s wedding last year. "We're just waiting for the grandbabies now," she said with a smile. She went on to say that her daughter had, in fact, had a miscarriage in January at four months... "but you know, these things are so common, once you have one, everyone starts telling you that they had one too."
And that's when I opened my mouth. I said yes, I'd had a stillbirth, & my heart always goes out to anyone who's had a loss, no matter what stage of pregnancy.
I could tell they were both shocked, especially the younger employee (who is not only young but single & idealistic). "Oh, that must have been hard!" the older woman said. I added that I had been six months pregnant, & that we had been involved in volunteer work for a pregnancy loss support group until just recently. I didn't mention anything about infertility, although it's obvious that I don't have any (other) children. The older woman continued talking about her daughter's miscarriage, and the converation eventually moved on to another subject.
I guess it just seemed like a natural segue to talk about my own experience. I would have felt funny if I hadn't. It's not exactly a secret, & to NOT say anything at that point would have felt like it was.
But it's just not something that I bring up offhand in polite conversation, if you know what I mean. If people ask me whether I have children, I generally just say "no" & leave it at that. I'm old enough now that I don't get pestered with a lot of questions about "why" or "when," & with most people, I don't feel that any explanation is really necessary.
When people do talk about infertility or pregnancy loss at work, I have mentioned my own experiences in the past -- but of course, they don't get talked about very often, particularly in an office where so many of the current employees still aren't even married yet. Everyone at work knew about it when it happened, obviously, but that was 13 years ago now, and there are maybe 10 employees, max, out of a total department of about 50 people, who were around then & would remember what happened (and none of them who in my particular area anymore).
So I suppose there will be some gossip going on behind my back over the next little while, especially among the younger girls, who like to go for lunch & coffee together. Oh well. :p