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This is Progress

August 7, 2009

A married couple of two years came to our house with their three month old baby. They cooed and did the babytalk. They told us things like your life is meaningless before children, only once you have a child do you realize this. She is what life is all about. No love is greater than this. I let the feelings pass over me but I refused to let them own me. Though at one point when they told us we didn’t know what we were missing my nails bored into my leg, I maintained my composure and not once did I excuse myself to cry. Small stepping stones. I never knew I could be so strong.

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16 comments

  1. Good for you! People really need to learn to keep their precious opinions to themselves. It’s great that you didn’t let them get to you.


  2. My jaw dropped when I read this. Just when I thought I’d heard it all… You are so strong. Today my co-worker, one of about 4 people IRL that know of my ordeal (every painful detail, in fact) said “Astrid, DON’T have children…” and she proceeded to complain about her 1yo son’s trip to the emergency room and talked about not being able to handle everything (he was fine and her emergency room visit lasted 1 hour – which is NOTHING for an emergency room visit in our city). I think she was trying to make me feel better, but of course it came off as bitchy and insensitive, particularly because she knows I’m having so much trouble. But I think I’m able to move through these moments because while sad, they also fill me with a sense of thankfulness that I am not as big of a tool as people who say things like this, I am therefore a better person and will make a better mother. Whatever helps, right?

    Thanks for your comment today. It was helpful. I am so in awe of your strength. Have I said that lately? ha ha.

    With regard to billable hours – it’s a pain. A weight on your shoulders every single day of the year. Even weekends and vacations. That said, I’m still trying to get established in my career and at my firm and I hear that after several years you don’t worry about it so much. But that might just be because you get so buried in work that you don’t have to ‘worry’ about getting enough billables, you just have to worry about getting enough life outside of work.

    Also, I think the pressure varies depending on the firm you work for. Some of my classmates don’t worry about it because their firms have essentially no penalty for not making your hours. The rule of thumb is generall that the larger the firm and the closer you are to NYC, the more billables matter.

    PS I don’t live in portland either but I hear it’s amazing. DH may have a chance to transfer there at some point and while I am a CA native and have lived here all my life because I LOVE it, I would consider a move to Portland.


  3. I don’t think I would have been able to deal with that. Wow. I like how you said you refuse to let those feelings own you. I’m going to try that out.


  4. Wow. I really cannot stand people some/most days. I do now know if we shared this yet or not but I am an attorney too…


  5. Oh my god. You are so much stronger than I would have been. Of course, I’m enough of a bitch that I wouldn’t have been leaving the room, I’d’ve been handing them their metaphorical hats…


  6. Oh sweetie… I think I would have lost it and said something to shut them up. You are so very strong… So strong.

    I am so sorry you had to deal with such insensitivity.


  7. going through all this shit makes you stronger. sorry you had to deal with such insensitive comments.


  8. Thanks for your support everyone. In defense of these friends, though they tend to be on the self centered side on a good day, they don’t know about my IF and my two miscarriages…. so they couldn’t know how tough it is to hear what they’re dishing.

    What **DOES** irk me is that she most likely struggled with IF because I’m pretty good at spotting IF’ers, and she worked as a secretary at my husband’s job and she was leaving every other day for appointments with her OB-GYN for about two years on and off until she got pregnant. SO- most likely she struggled, but she’s such a fucking faker it pisses me off. Though right now I am keeping my IF struggle to myself because I don’t want to hear the taunts from people who will certainly taunt me, once I have that baby, I plan to be honest about how it happened. UGH.

    Astrid, I’ve had friends say the same type of stuff to me “you don’t want kids mine drew on the wall” type of bullshit, and its hard to bite my tongue. Sigh. Thanks for explaining the billable hour thing.


  9. I admire your strengh.


  10. I am so impressed. Comments like those could easily drive anyone over the edge.

    My IF history can be found in this post http://thefertileinfertile.blogspot.com/2009/01/eeki-almost-missed-start-of-iclw.html


  11. I don’t know that I could have dealt with all that bull with such grace. I’d probably have been tempted to say that it’s easy for them to say this stuff, but that it’s pretty hard to hear when you’re having trouble conceiving yourself. Here’s hoping you have a little one of your own soon.


  12. Even if they didn’t know about your IF struggles, it was still an insensitive thing to say. I’m glad you are so strong; I’m not sure I would have been!


  13. absolutely clueless. i will henceforth think of you as superwoman. i’m amazed that you were able to stay in the room and i just hope you were able to do so while also gently caring for yourself as you would your best friend, just as you wrote about in your previous post…and that you have continued to treat yourself with tender attentiveness to your feelings since that conversation.

    i felt a surge of anger just reading about the comments they were making; what were you feeling as you sat there?


  14. I don’t think it was so fair of them to say that YOU haven’t truly lived if you’ve never had kids. It’s only their opinion. Did they know about your situation? By them talking, it didn’t seem like it. It’s good that you kept strong.


  15. Wow, I cannot believe just how strong you were during this visit after what you have just and are still going through. You are amazing! Be seriously proud of YOU!


  16. HI there, I just stumbled onto your blog. What you wrote in this entry.. it happened to me too… countless of times. I know the pain. After 2 miscarriages myself, it is very hard.

    (HUGS)



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