Saturday, April 5, 2014


  • Back in January, I wrote about the latest office pregnancy (due in early September). At the time, I said: "So far, everyone's been too busy (and I guess it's still a bit early -- and not a lot of people know yet) for too much baby talk. But I know it's coming (especially with Grandma Coworker nearby, only too ready to offer advice)."
  • It's now April... and the time has come. And I am struggling with my emotions -- trying not to let my cynicism -- and my fear -- get the best of me.
  • Pg Cubicle Neighbour has started to show.  A few weeks ago, she went for an ultrasound. "The baby weighs about one pound and is the size of a lemon," she announced triumphantly afterward. 
  • I am surrounded by a bevy of mostly young, mostly single young women, mostly in their 20s or early 30s (many of them young/old enough to be my own daughters -- the youngest is, I think, just 22), & they are eating all this up.  Every day, they congregate just outside of my cubicle. There is lots of noisy, excited chattering, giggling, "awwwww!"s and belly pats.  The baby has been nicknamed, and votes are being taken on actual names. (It's a boy.)
  • Two other (male) coworkers' wives are also expecting this fall.
  • And Grandma Coworker's daughter is expecting her second in October. "Oh, we weren't saying too much, because after all, her first was a miscarriage, but she's seen the heartbeat & everything is fine!" she trilled to me this week. 
  • Then, this past week, Pg Cubicle Neighbour came in late from an appointment... and then left early. I heard her consulting with our manager about the wording of out of office messages. Manager came to talk to me.  I suppose she wanted to give me a heads up as a coworker -- plus she knows my story, saw my reaction when another of our coworkers lost her baby last year. She told me a developing issue had been detected at Pg Cubicle Neighbour's latest appointment, and she would be having "some minor surgery" immediately as a precaution. (Those of you who have been down this path can probably guess what kind.) 
  • Pg Cubicle Neighbour went back to her dr that afternoon for the surgery -- but the dr decided not to do it after all. Instead, she's been referred to the high-risk unit of the hospital for weekly monitoring. "Oh well, everything will be fine now!" all my other young coworkers have concluded. 
  • I wish I could believe that. :(
  • Pg Cubicle Neighbour mentioned something about the heartbeat. "He has a heartbeat??" one young coworker gasped. "Of course he has a heartbeat!" a slightly older & wiser coworker said scornfully -- which made me wince. "If you're LUCKY, he has a heartbeat," I thought silently to myself.
  • I don't want to be a grumpy old lady. I wish I could be as giddy and innocent and full of baby fever and delight as my young coworkers are. But I'm 53 years old, mother of a stillborn daughter, survivor of infertility.  I know more than I care to know about these things, and what can and sometimes does go wrong.
  • I try to join in the conversation occasionally, show some interest and make the odd comment. But it's tough, especially when they congregate right outside my cubicle and there's no escape -- unless I excuse myself, walk right by them all and leave the office for an early or unscheduled coffee break (which I will do, when I've really, really had enough).  Sometimes, I just want to (need to!) get some work done.
  • Heaven grant me patience....


  1. I don't know how you do it. This focus on one thing would have driven me crazy before I began ttc, let alone after, when I knew so much more. I don't think I would be so tolerant. Sending hugs.

  2. I just keep repeating to myself "22 months... 22 months" (until I can take early retirement), lol... ; )

  3. Good luck at keeping it together. I guess I'm lucky, I work in an office with 3 others. One is older, has no children, one a bit younger, but single and most likely will not have any children. The last one had had 2 children, not planning anymore. She was not a excessive sharing sort. The nurses we work with (I'm a pediatric physical therapist.) are all past child bearing years. So I am very lucky!!

  4. You deserve a medal for not smacking someone. Seriously, what gives with the daily congregation?!? And the manager hasn't stepped in to curve some of this? Wow. I get being happy, but wow.

    Keeping your coworker in my thoughts regarding her surgery. May it all go well.

  5. Are headphones an option? At least during the chatting-and-giggling sessions? That sounds very difficult.

  6. @Cristy, Grandma Coworker IS the manager of several of the culprits -- and, as I've said, is often a happy participant herself. :p

  7. Dear Loribeth,
    next month is May and you will be saying: "21 months, 21 months...". i am happy for you that you can take an early retirement!

    And... I totaly understand you. In my working enviroment there are tons of girls aged 25 - 35... and babies are just popping out all the time. It is hard. I know.

    Warm, warm hugs!

  8. You are being very patient and strong. Sometime women DO look like a pack of geese, especially when chatting excitedly about something. The moment whrn they turn geese it's when I turn into a wet blanket and spoil the fun. I wish I didn't... But then probably I would stop being myself. :-)
    Anyway, the funny thing is that you will miss forced interaction with people. Not right away, but some time after that. Not having worked in an office for seven years by now, I know both sides of the coin. I very much prefer not having to go to work, and. I try to enjoy all benefits of staying at home, but there are moments when I do miss this kind of interaction. It suprises me, because I am quite the mysanthrope, but one can't have it all, and we most miss what we no longer have. I am no exception to that rule.
    Anyway, coming to my point, when the time comes in your retired life that you feel melancholic, and start missing the office life, remember these instances you are talking about in this post. And then go enjoy your free time by reading, watching a movie, going outside or wherever you want, and it will pass. :-)