Saturday, March 01, 2008

Knocked up

I found out about an accidental pregnancy at work this week.  It's a woman I don't have much contact with, so I hadn't seen her other than sitting at her desk behind her computer screen for a few weeks but I saw her earlier this week walking around looking obviously pregnant and was actually just wistful rather than feeling like I'd been punched in the gut.  But then I heard the full tale when I went out to lunch with a few of the girls yesterday.

She's single and 37.  She was dating this guy, taking the Sea.sonale BCP and then they broke up.  She started thinking she was gaining weight, so she started dieting.  And it wasn't working, so she was restricting her food more and more.  Then of course the end of the year was approaching, and she was trying to find a new guy so she was out partying.  A lot.  She drank like a fish at our office holiday party.  She was smoking pot (not at the office party, you understand!), taking her BCP religiously and of course didn't have periods because it prevents them for months at a time, and she was taking one or two other prescription meds.  And drinking.  And the new year rolls around so she redoubles her diet efforts, but by this time various people were saying to her "are you sure you aren't pregnant?" because she was starting to really look it by this point.  Apparently she was persuaded to take a test and of course it was positive so she went off to the doctor in a panic.  And found out she was nearly 5 months pregnant.  She's now about 6 months.

Her age makes it a little hard to bear, of course, because I started trying to conceive earlier than that.  And to be reminded that it just happens for some people is an annoyance, but I'm surprised at my reaction because if this had happened a year ago it probably would have sent me into a tailspin of depression for a while.  But maybe partly I am OK because I wouldn't want to be her.  She is now left worrying about whether the baby has been damaged by what she was doing before she found out.  I would be too.  I would also be feeling a tremendous amount of guilt which is something I don't want to have during pregnancy or child rearing.  I can't imagine watching my child like a hawk for any sign of mental damage due to my partying, and of course you'd blame yourself for any slight thing too - even if they'd have got ADHD or whatever anyway, you'd always think "was it the drinking?"  The guilt would eat you up.  So I do feel bad for her too, especially as the guy doesn't want to know, and this was unplanned and a complete shock.  She must be reeling, poor thing.

So the girls at work were all talking and saying how it's a shame she found out too late to do the amnio or the other blood test they do, so she would know if the baby was harmed, and I refrained from pointing out that testing if all the chromosomes are there in the right amounts doesn't actually pick up on whether the baby is going to have fetal alcohol syndrome or other environmentally caused damage.  I am not supposed to be the expert on baby-related things so I try to keep my mouth shut, but of course having been trying to have one for over 3 years and having sat through my internet buddies' pregnancies I know more about the subject than most of them. 

Sigh.  When will it be my turn, oh universe?  How strange the world is that these things go on.  You and I, dear readers, struggle and struggle, eat the right things, do our best to be good girls and still have to get medical help.  Others, not so much, eh?  Not so much, indeed.


Heather said...

While I do feel really bad for her, it still upsets me.

You are handling it much better than I would be.

Aimee said...

Oh my...that's sad! I sure hope the baby is OK and healthy!

I can totally understand your feelings!! *hugs*

Almamay said...

What a compassionate and lovely post. I didn't want to start our family the way we are try to just as I'm sure your colleague didn't want to start her family the way she has. Life it hard all around.

Anonymous said...

Ugh. The universe is NOT fair.
So sorry you're having to see that. I do hope the baby's okay. How unfair.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah - how healthy of you!

I think it might help that the whole situation is so far from ideal, but in some ways, that could make you feel more bitter about it, so good for you on feeling compassionate towards your coworker!

Last Monday I looked at a colleague, and just knew she was pg. So I braced myself. Then on Wed. someone told me that she is having twins - she had found out a week and a half before apparently. And then she announced it over lunch on Friday and everybody went wild. In my head I was thinking that her due date was such that I might not have to see the last few months of the pregnancy.

I did manage to congratulate her, but I imagine it wasn't very convincingly heartfelt. But I did try...and doing so made it easier to speak to her the way I normally would later that day.

Good luck in the new cycle. I will be checking in on your progress, as always!

suzzcq70 said...

Do we work at the same place? Is that you across the hall? Probably not, but shit that story sounds familiar. Thirty-something, single girl here having a girl in May, by a guy who may or may not be in the picture.

Of course, if you worked here, you'd know about the other 37 year-old that got pg on their first try after stopping the pill she'd been on for 19 years. And never wanted to be pg EVER, but couldn't afford adoption. No, I don't get it either.