I was expecting some sort of kids-type comments from my classmates at some point, and I'm actually surprised it took this long. Maybe going to school with a bunch of younger people has its advantages haha. Child bearing is just not on most of my classmates' radar screens. Although they are not all 22 and many of them do have kids, it just hasn't come up in conversation until this week.
This week I was on the receiving end of two comments. Well, one comment and one question really. And my response was unexpected by me. I didn't know what or how I was going to say anything when asked, but I thought I was going to remain private. But I didn't and I'm pleasantly surprised by my gut reaction.
The first comment was made Monday morning. We are in the middle of midterm exams and projects and a small group of us were sharing how stressed and overwhelmed we are, not knowing how we were going to get everything done. And one of my classmates said it: "At least you don't have kids." She didn't say it maliciously, rudely, or in any way with a negative connotation. She just said it matter-of-fact. And before I knew what was coming out of my mouth I said, "Well, if I had kids I wouldn't be here. I tried for years and it was very traumatizing. So, actually, I wish I did have kids." And I didn't say it rudely or bitterly. I just stated it matter-of-fact. I didn't feel stung by her comment and I didn't perceive that she felt stung by my comment. It was just a very small moment that simply passed. Huh. How 'bout that...
Then yesterday I was talking to two classmates during a break. One of them is close to my age and he asked, "Do you want kids?" And again, without thinking, I simply said, "I wanted them very badly. I tried for years and it was very traumatic." To which he replied, "I'm sorry." Wow. What? I seriously went two whole years while trying to have kids before I heard a single person say "I'm sorry" and a classmate said it within seconds of my disclosure? It felt like a small miracle. It felt kind of good. I said, "Thank you. I used to never talk about it, but I think it's important to be honest because it's actually kind of common." Then the other classmate asked, "Do you think you'll go into pediatrics?" And I very honestly and immediately replied, "I think so. Because I love working with kids so much. When I was deep into my depression I wasn't so sure I'd be able to handle it, but now that some time has passed I think I'll be able to do it. I hope so. Because I love kids." And that was that.
It was almost odd. To have two normal-seeming conversations about my infertility with people I just met two months ago. To speak about it without anger, resentment, or bitterness. To be received so well. To not be dismissed. It was nice.
:) :) :)
Like I said in my last post... Onward!