My Dear Colleague who only works part-time wrote me a message since she wouldn’t be in the office until the next day.
It was a heads-up. She learned in a meeting that another coworker of ours is pregnant. She debated whether or not to tell me because this was not her announcement to make, but she wanted to protect me and allow me time to process it first. New Pregnant Coworker is going to make an announcement this week.
First, my heart sank. I knew New Pregnant Coworker had been trying for a baby for quite a few months. She got engaged not too long ago but apparently had been on the TTC journey well before her engagement. She will definitely be showing for her August wedding. I swear that I saw her tummy sticking out last week and I just brushed it off. What I saw was real.
Cue panic. My first thought was, where should I be hiding when she makes her announcement? I hope she does not make it during a meeting. I also hope that she does not come to me personally and tell me the news. In this particular moment, I am in no shape or form to blurt out a congratulations. Maybe I will be okay if she does come to me? I don’t know.
Then the sense of unfairness came over me again. Given her age (she is a year or so younger than I am), it somehow hurts more for her to be pregnant than for my other younger coworker. Did I expect her to have more trouble due to her age? Yes. Do I wish infertility upon her? No. But still, the why her and why not me is ringing loudly in my ears.
Standing at my desk in my office, tears started streaming down my cheeks. I was very surprised by my reaction. I thought I wouldn’t feel as sad because I kind of knew it would be coming. I guess anticipation and reality are two different things. I am so thankful for having an office and a door. Being behind closed door allowed me to cry all I wanted. I was due for a good cry anyways.
I am also grateful for Dear Colleague’s heads-up. I don’t know what I would do if I got ambushed without knowing the news ahead of time.
I am telling you now that I will eventually have a third pregnant coworker. My supervisor just returned from her honeymoon trip and I have a strong feeling that she is already pregnant. I could be wrong. But my instinct is pretty good.
Guess where I will be hiding at lunch for the rest of the year? My office will be a pretty good refuge.