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Wednesday, 11 February 2009


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Although I can see why you find these interactions upsetting, I think you are too hard on your colleagues. You wish they could see things from your perspective, but I would say the same to you about them. They do not know about all the trouble you have had conceiving (I assume), and they have reasonably chosen to treat you as they would any other pregnant woman in the office--to celebrate the upcoming event. Why blame them for that? Indeed, I think that is preferable to the opposite assumption! (I could easily someone in your exact same situation taking offense at NOT getting a gift at 19 weeks, angry that their colleagues thought they would miscarry.) I suggest you take the kindnesses from colleagues as they are intended, and avoid the speeches and awkward moments that follow. If you lose this child (god forbid), whether you got a gift or not at 19 weeks won't make it less painful.

Kathy Napolitano

I really can understand. But I also understand their side. ignorance is bliss. and if *You* havetn't been there It's hard to understand the fear after all having babies is "natural" right? Sorry it upset you.


I think you are an insightful and reflective woman and honestly brave in your response. It would have seemed disengenuous to have sat and remained silent etc. They are big grown up women how they deal with it is their stuff ( that's the therapist in me !!)


I didn't start getting any baby stuff until a decent viability. Couldn't do it.


Betty M

Quarterly office baby shower? Seriously? I am very glad this idea has not spread. I would have hated it. I would have played the I'm superstitious card I think. Generally though people are oblivious to any sensitivities and do not want to think about aything other than the happy ending. Having had to take a call from one of my reports this morning who is miles away on business and is now in hospital at 14w with cramping and bleeding and then having to tell a number of people who have to take over her workload, I am reminded again about how awkward everyone finds the idea of things not ending happily.


Lots of people don't get cultural differences, but at least your quarterly thing can be attended post-baby - no-one's forcing you to your own specific pre-baby party. However there are still a LOT of people in the UK in the older generation who won't have the pram/cot in the house before the birth so I'm surprised there aren't more superstitious people in your office.

(Glad to see the sign-in thing is sorted out)

Girl Detective

That would be awkward, and I'm glad you said something, otherwise I bet you'd be really upset.

One thing I'm realizing more and more: people are idiots and do and say dumb things all the time. And by people, I pretty much mean me, and maybe everybody else.

They were not sensitive, either to the infertility thing (which they don't know till you tell) or the Jewish tradition. But they did mean well, and now maybe they'll be a little more sensitive AND mean well.


I think we just see it all the time, and no, people don't understand and of course there's nothing but kindness intended. A family friend rang me the other day, delighted that at last, at last, her oldest daughter is pregnant (aged 36). She wasn't ringing me because I would understand based on my experience, she was ringing just about everyone in her address book. Her daughter is not even 8 weeks.

Carla Hinkle

I can see why you'd feel superstitious ... after all, you've been through a lot and, with access to a lot of information. But I can tell you that if I had never stumbled onto the infertility blogosphere I would have NO IDEA of all the things that can go wrong, and 19 weeks would have seemed like a pretty sure bet to bring home a baby (which it is, statistically speaking, right?). Anyway, my point is that I can see why you wouldn't want the gift, but I can just as easily see someone being upset they *weren't* offered one.

Rachel Inbar

People really can't get why someone would have two babies close together, but it's the most amazing thing for the kids :-)
They've got a built-in friend at home.

Rachel (mom to 2 girls who are 1 year and 11 days apart)


I just gave a pregnant friend (who knew my history) a gift for her 19 week pregnancy and pondered the same things. I couldn't resist getting her something but I told her she didn't have to open it (and I told her I, myself, would have a hard time opening a gift so early in a pregnancy).
It is a different world for us. While most people worry about stretch marks and labor pains (and that's what we get to hear about mostly), we infertiles and victims of baby loss worry about leaving the hospital with a live baby (and these worries are awkward and not spoken about). But I am so glad you are speaking about them.


I haven't run into this per se but I do get frustrated with the lack of understanding of anything beyond your typical scenario and I also get annoyed that anyone's reproductive life is, well, assumed to be such a public topic. They ought to have taken the hint that you were/are still trying to be discreet about your "condition."

Ah well . . .


Man, pregnancy and the workplace can be such an annoying combination.
What I find really bizarre is why anyone would start discussing their feelings regarding having children close together. I mean, you're pregnant, your decision to have another baby has been made. Why would someone want to make you feel bad or worried about that? Twits.


You would think.

My infertile friends threw a "shower" for me, out of state at 16 weeks with twins. The main hostess had given birth to twins at 28 weeks, and the little boy twin died three hours after birth.

Even THEY had a hard time understanding why I wasn't ready to start celebrating, and didn't want a bunch of cute baby items. I finally gave in, when they said we could make it a children's book party. I still felt uncomfortable being the center of attention.


wholeheartedly agree, it would have had me running well waddling for the hills, had someone tried to give me something when i was only 19 weeks with the blobbies.

babyshowers are not the norm here, and i thank the FSM for that every time I hear of a newly pg woman. sadly however the younger crowd are slowly bringing them into reality. for me they are an american tradition and for those here nothing more than a gift grab. that ought to make me popular :D


I believe it used to be after the sixth month of pregnancy (specific religious traditions excepted, of course) so times have definitely changed, and not, I think, for the better. It would be best if we could retrieve some of that respect and awe we used to have for the whole thing.



Bea is so wise. I would have felt the same way you did. Gag at the whole thing.


If only everyone could understand what we have been through. Hugs

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