MicroblogMondays: Pregnant Coworker

Microblog_Mondays

One pregnant coworker is about to give birth.  It’s quite easy to avoid her as we don’t work on the same floor.  When she comes upstairs to the lunch room, I usually can just go back to my own office if I don’t feel like seeing her.  I thought that I’d be kind of safe after she goes on maternity leave mid-January.  Then my Dear Colleague dropped the bombshell that another coworker announced her 7-week pregnancy during a work lunch potluck.  Fortunately I was on vacation so I was safe from the details surrounding this pregnancy.  But it puzzled me to know that people actually announce their pregnancy once they find out about it.  It probably never crossed her mind that something could be wrong with it.  She probably never had a friend who had a chemical pregnancy or miscarriage.  Or she may have friends that have experienced that but never talked about it.  Ignorance is bliss?  On the flip side, extra knowledge about all the things that could go wrong doesn’t serve us good either because we’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Anyhow, ever since I returned to work after the holidays, I have been avoiding my newly pregnant coworker.  She and I work on the same floor, so I get many chances of bumping into her.  And we have been friendly.  That was why she shared with me a little while ago that her doctor told her to lose some weight before she started trying for a baby.  I had that piece of information in my mind and hadn’t thought much about whether or not she would get pregnant because she looked like the same size to me as before.  When my Dear Colleague wondered out loud to me after our work holiday party why this particular coworker was hiding in the corner not drinking, I dismissed her observation and said that I didn’t think they were trying.  At least not until she loses some weight.  On the first day of work after the holidays, I saw her at the front desk chatting with another coworker about how sick she had gotten over the break.  I quickly walked by.  She looked up and said Hi cheerfully to me, as if she was waiting for me to ask her how she was doing and how her break was.  I said Hi back cheerfully and walked away.  When I got back to my office, I could hear her voice from the next hallway.  Someone had asked her to do something and she responded, “I am pregnant but I will do it for you.”  I was standing in my office having a difficult time believing my ears.  Why do some women have to add that qualifier to everything that they do?  What does pregnancy have to do with doing your own job?  That totally boggles my mind.  I mean, she is usually a sensible person and I like her a lot.  Somehow being pregnant can turn you into someone who does not make sense anymore?  Does it mean that I have to endure this kind of conversation in the hallway for another 30+ weeks?  She’s not even 10 weeks yet.

I finally found out how she announced her pregnancy at seven weeks.   She had an abnormal pap smear and was told to schedule for a surgery to scrape her cervix.  She had been putting it off for quite some time.  We don’t know how long, but she told that she got more than a few phone calls to urge her to schedule a time.  She finally did.  At the pre-op appointment, an ultrasound was performed and it was found that she was pregnant.  The surgery could not be done because of the pregnancy.  So this sounds like she did not really try to get pregnant. This is an accident  Why she had to share with everyone about it at the potluck at such an early stage is beyond me.  My Dear Colleague was expressing how she thought that it was so unfair: This person who clearly does not take care of her body and let this abnormal test slip for a long time without fixing the problem got pregnant, but a person like me who tries to take care of my own body has such a difficult time achieving something so easily attainable by some.  I appreciate her sentiment.  She has walked this road with me and my husband from day one.   I know that she’s ready for me to just get pregnant already, and I am too.  What can we do when this is not something that you can just work hard to get?  Nothing.  We can do nothing.  We just pray and wait.

I think eventually one day my newly pregnant coworker will come to me and share her news with me.  I hope that I’ll have the courage to tell her a bit about my circumstances and to kindly request that she not share extra details about her pregnancy with me.  I thought about it and I think that it’s doable.  We’ll see how it goes when/if she does it.  Otherwise, I’ll just treat it like a knowledge that I never had, and go about my work days as usual.  I hope that I won’t hear too many “I am pregnant but…” out in the hallway.  I think I”ll go a little crazy.

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28 thoughts on “MicroblogMondays: Pregnant Coworker

  1. Avoid, avoid, avoid. I also don’t understand the urge to announce the second you get a positive pregnancy test. I think if I’m ever pregnant again, I’m going to wait until the third trimester. The bleeding over the weekend reminded me why telling can be dangerous. And the I’m pregnant but is so obnoxious. I’d probably be too chicken to say anything, but I think that you should absolutely tell her that you’re not in a place to commiserate about uncomfortable, or comfortable, pregnancy symptoms. Hang in there girl. Xoxo.

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  2. I don’t understand how anyone can share pregnancy news so early! As someone who had multiple miscarriages and a chemical , i was always cautious. My miscarriages were at 6, 8, and 10 weeks. There are people out there that get pregnant so easily snd have normal, healthy full term pregnancies without a second thought. Good for them! We are not in that category and you know what, thats ok. God is making you stronger!

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  3. There are so many things wrong with this story, where do I start? First of all, I think that even people who don’t know anyone who had a miscarriage or a chemical generally wait out the first trimester. But ok, let’s say she doesn’t care, it’s her prerogative. The comment about how she is pregnant is really revolting and I’ve come across that type of coworker before. Unfortunately it means that you’ll have to listen to her kvetch on about her pregnancy for the remaining 30 weeks including every gross detail that nobody cares about. People like that just don’t have any sense of shame or propriety.

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  4. Ugh. How obnoxious. If she ever pulls that “I am pregnant but…” crap with you, I would seriously ask if her pregnancy was an impediment to her performing her job and if so you can ask someone else. I bet you she would never say it again to you. Sorry you have to be around someone like this.

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  5. I actually shared both my pregnancies before 8 weeks, due to the environment I worked in, because I feel all life should be celebrated no matter how brief (I only shared with close friends and family and my job) and also because after losing my first one at 18 weeks because of cervical issues (i was so upset after trying for over 6 years), I felt better forewarning them that I would be out of work by 12 weeks getting my cervical stitch placed in order to give my baby a chance to make it full term.
    But I too being on the end of loss, am very considerate of my friends who have lost or are having a really tough time to conceive and I don’t say much to them about my pregnancy unless they ask. I remember being so hurt and trying to understand at the same time when others where pregnant and I was asking why not me…I try to respect them and their feelings to the fullest of my abilities.
    Also take in consideration there are so many women who are able to get pregnant so easily, yet they can’t for some reason carry to term, or after so many losses they do carry to term. A lot of them don’t speak of these losses.
    Sorry for the long post, but I was trying to be neutral and try to explain from both sides.

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  6. Binky Moongee I hope you don’t have to see or interact with her too much, and I pray that if you do that you are able to find the words to say to this coworker as I know this is hard for you. Sending you ((hugs))

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  7. Ugh, I remember more than 5 years ago, there was one girl at my work/school who got pregnant right away (AND then went on to have natural twins 2 years later!) and it was impossible for me to avoid her. Every time I turned around, there she was – coming out of the bathroom or the front office – and I always felt unprepared for it. I hated having to feel like I was constantly on guard, bc it was only when I let my guard down that she would pop up like a whac-a-mole. I’m sorry you’ve got a totally oblivious pg person in your space. I hope you can find a way to keep safe. xo

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  8. Ugh why do people think that because they are pregnant they don’t have to do things? At 30+ weeks maybe, but really?
    As for sharing early, I did, but that’s probably because our whole story was out in the internet for all to see.
    Anyway, she sounds annoying. :/

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  9. That’s just so irresponsible! I had abnormal cervical cells and my doctor was recommending surgery to remove them right around the time we were starting to see our RE. My RE wouldn’t even consider moving forward until I had the issue dealt with, which meant a delay of several months for us. I distinctly remember her words: “You don’t want to have a doctor telling you to make a choice between cervical cancer and your baby. I’ve done it.” This woman seems like a prize idiot.

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  10. Oh wow! I would go nuts. Seriously! I always admire your strength! You are so amazing!!! This is so so unfair and I hate that some are simply handed this with absolutely no effort compared to those who work so hard for it and want it so bad. I am hoping that when she comes to tell you about her pregnancy, you also will be pregnant (but won’t share with others so quickly). Lets make it go that way, ok? 🙂

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  11. Maybe she’s in shock so she keeps repeating it to convince herself? Er… barring that, avoid her until you can’t. That is going to be one long pregnancy if you need to be reminded of it with every single interaction.

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  12. Uggghhh that is incredibly frustrating and annoying. I hate pee-stick’s-still-wet announcements, because I do truly believe that these people have no conception that anything bad could happen (and it usually doesn’t, to them). The nonchalance in trying or doing something a doctor recommends to get in good health for trying is frustrating, too, because as you said, there is a litany of things the fertile-ly challenged must do and STILL things are questionable. I hope you can avoid this woman as much as possible and I hope she is receptive to your request that she not share things with you. May you be out of earshot when she qualifies her every move with “I’m pregnant.” I hope her pregnancy goes by quickly! 🙂

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  13. That entire story is so weird. And, as Aramis pointed out, potentially dangerous for her. If you do tell her about your history, I hope she gets it. Otherwise, hang in there. Maybe you’ll be pregnant soon, too, and can hide that with all attention on her (if you want).

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  14. “I am pregnant but I will do that for you?” WTF? Unless there’s a workplace hazard, that makes no sense. And if there is a workplace hazard, deal with it responsibly so that people know what you can and can’t do. I hope you can ignore her!

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  15. I don’t know when she found out but even knowing a week or two feels lik a lifetime. I didn’t announce until 11 weeks for so many of the reasons shared here and because I was scared to announce twins and then lose one like a friend did.
    As for the “I’m pregnant but” bit, which really is so annoying and I’m sure I was guilty of saying, maybe she’s still giddy with excitement and wants everyone to know?

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  16. I can totally sympathize. Two co-workers are about to give birth with their leave starting this and last week. Another announced her pregnancy around 10 weeks in early December. This same someone was the person I told about my pregnancy before last year’s miscarriage and the person who’s office I ended up crying in after this last chemical. We’re not even friends really she just happened to be there… and happened to be pregnant while I’m crying about my lost babies and 6 failed cycles. Her office is right next to my desk and there is NO avoiding her. Last week when she found out the gender and everyone made a big deal about it I had to isolate myself to avoid a meltdown. Does your co-worker have a physical job, was someone asking her to carry something heavy or do something physical? If so I can understand the I’m pregnant but, statement. I know we are overly sensitive when it comes to these things but it’s totally justified in my opinion. I feel your pain and hope that it is not too painful for you on a daily basis. I like your idea of letting her know not to over-share with you. Maybe you can send her a congratulatory email and graciously let her know why you will not be discussing it further with her. good luck!

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  17. I wish I could avoid pregnant co-workers… but I work in a profession with 99% women and in the past six months there have been 6 of my co-workers that are pregnant or have given birth. And I work very closely with all of them.

    so…. yeah. I am more sensitive to comments around how “easy” it was to get pregnant or how “hard” it was- (that last “hard” comment was made by a co-worker talking about how it took six months instead of a few months).

    My sister-in-law announced her pregnancy at 8 weeks and proceeded to lose it about a month later. I think she announced so early because a) she’s had two previous successful pregnancies and b) it never occurred to her that she may miscarry. As irritated as I was, the fact that she lost the baby was awful and not a “lesson” I would have wished her to learn.

    I really like your plan to chat with your co-worker and set some boundaries- such a mindful way to make sure you protect your working relationship without letting things fester or get out of hand. Good for you!

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