Thursday, June 22, 2006

Oh to be naively pregnant...

I'm very upset today, and I can't quite put my finger on why. My friend K. is back at work. I'd like her to just work a half day, as she's only been out of the hospital for a short time after her pre-term labor scare. But she won't, because she says that would mean she'd have to come back to work early from her maternity leave. Out of the 12 weeks we are permitted to be off, our employer pays for 8 weeks, and to get paid for the other 4 you have to use up vacation and sick time. K. had a full 4 weeks available, so was going to be able to get paid for the full 12 weeks. I pointed out that she didn't have to come back, but it might mean a couple of days of unpaid leave at the end. She told me that she couldn't work without being paid. I don't see why not. Her husband doesn't get paid if he's sick, and he's off right now. If they're managing now on one salary, albeit not very well, surely they can manage in 4 months' time on one salary for a few days. But she won't hear of it.

I just think the only thing that's important is the health of her and her baby. She says she's not so stressed about work any more, and will go home if she feels bad again. But I think when she gets to the point of feeling bad, it's too late, and means contractions have started again. She says the doctor told her she could go back to work after a few days. A few days, not one. He also thinks she is sitting down all day because she does an office job, but she is constantly on the move, getting files, carrying stuff to other offices, sending documents, so he doesn't have the full picture. I'm so fucking sick that she's jeopardizing her baby's health in this way.

But then I ask myself, why do I care so much? It's her baby, her life. She can do what she wants. She's 34 weeks. It wouldn't be a complete disaster if the baby came now. I mean, I should be happy for the girl that the worst that she can imagine happening is missing a day's pay. I think I'm just projecting. I'm imagining myself in her shoes. She didn't have any problems getting pregnant. She told the world when she was 5 weeks along. She has no concept of things going wrong, of miscarriages, of pre-term birth. I'd have thought her recent scare would have changed her thinking, and it probably has to some extent, but things that go wrong are still things that happen to other people for her. In other words, she hasn't been tainted by infertility. She hasn't been on fertility and pregnancy message boards for many months, watching people have miscarriages, premature babies, birth defects, still births and just failing time after time to get pregnant. She doesn't appreciate just what an incredible miracle giving birth to a healthy baby really is.

And perhaps, I'm really upset because she's almost there. She almost has a healthy baby in her arms, and I'm still barren. I'm nowhere near that point, and I see her being blasé about the chance of going into labor too soon. And it sickens me, because it's not me and it never will be. Even if I am lucky enough to have a child, I know I will worry throughout the pregnancy. I will always be imagining that the worst will happen to me, and I will always know that awful things can and do happen. And it's sad that so many of us have to lose that naïveté. Why can't we all be blissfully ignorant?

1 comment:

Calliope said...

it would absulutely drive me mad to have to work along side someone that seems to be so flippant.
but that is just me. If I ever get a bfp I will probably put myself on bed rest for teh entire 9 months.