I am really struggling and I don't know what to do about it.
Yesterday I blogged about my experience at school as an infertile woman studying pediatrics with fertile professors and mostly very young classmates.
Today wasn't any better. It was worse.
I was in a small class that is discussion-based. We were discussing a research article about the NICU. And the professor asked, "Who here has children?" (Is every class going to start with this question from now on?) And the two people that do raised their hand. The professor proceeded to ask their opinions on babies and things related to babies. I just looked down. The entire time. Waiting for it to end.
Before class started, I complimented the professor on her skirt. She looked at me blankly.
During discussion, she commented on other people's comments but never on mine.
At one point she said, "Most of you are too young to remember this, but..." and went on to describe a typical classroom activity that was very much a part of my childhood. I said "Uhhh" out loud and raised my hand, indicating that I knew what she was talking about. But she kept on talking with no acknowledgment.
Okay, I get it. I hate to sound childish, but she doesn't like me. So do I just not say anything? Not contribute to discussion? Won't this affect my grade? I do not know what to do.
So then the discussion turned to who has kids. Because, you know, parents are the only people that know anything about babies and children. She asked a specific question and my friend, who is a young father, started answering. I looked up and the professor was smiling. No, she was beaming. And nodding her head.
I looked back down and wondered how long this part of the discussion was going to last. Either the parental talk or the poor treatment from the professor lasted the entire time.
How am I going to get through this semester? What do I do?
I am used to the world being unfriendly to infertile women. I am used to feeling invisible. I am not used to sitting in a classroom and listening to lectures like this from people that have power over me. School feels downright hostile. The cold, crappy professors combined with the fertile-friendly perspective on everything feels like more than I can handle right now.
I emailed a counselor hoping to make an appointment. But if anyone has any other suggestions for ways for me to cope for the next three months, I am all ears.