It was a quiet Monday. Work is under renovation so the number of staff has been cut down to the bare minimum. I felt good so I sat in the lunch room having lunch alone for five minutes. In walked pregnant coworker who sat right across from me. I asked her how she was doing and how her weekend was, fully knowing that she would talk about her pregnancy and any pregnant related issues and complaints. As predicted, she told me that she went to her child birth class on the weekend and her husband was just sitting there saying nothing, rather than being like other husbands who gave their wives encouraging words. She was telling me that she was ready for this diet to be over, for this pregnancy to be over, but not quite ready for the baby to be here yet. Her high risk pregnancy, gestational diabetes, and other things have made this a very difficult pregnancy for her. Amazingly, while she was going on and on about that, I felt no ill feelings, no negative emotions, and no urges to run away from her presence. I just listened and chimed in with my two cents. As pleasantly and calmly as could be. It was indeed a nice conservation without anybody cringing or escaping.
Another coworker walked in and started talking about her weekend and how much she had eaten and how much she had drunk in the last few weeks. She was showing her lunch to us: leftovers from this weekend from someone else. This someone else is actually the former coworker who had gotten pregnant recently. I wrote about her here. So naturally, the conversation at the table switched over to this former coworker who is miraculously pregnant. I never knew the circumstances around her infertility. So I just listened in. According to my coworker, former coworker was told that she “does not have as many eggs as she should have” and her “husband’s sperm comes out all broken up”. Sounds like diminished ovarian reserve and low morphology to me. My coworker went on and said that they each had like 25% to conceive or something like that. Like, they both had a 50% chance so together they had a 25% chance. I was listening and I was thinking like, What? That doesn’t make sense whatsoever. I didn’t say, but each couple every cycle has a 25% of conceiving a child. Whatever number she threw out there was not right. Of course I did not say anything. But this conversation was making me more uncomfortable than the one that I just had with pregnant coworker. So coworker went on and said that yeah since they learned that they couldn’t get pregnant, so they went straight for adoption. They had put in the paperwork then found out that they were pregnant. So both coworker and pregnant coworker were commenting on THAT as the main reason why former coworker got pregnant, because now that they had RELAXED.
I had been quietly listening. But I could not maintain my silence anymore. I looked up and said, “I don’t believe in that”. My coworker was probably a little startled by my sudden declaration. She said, “You don’t?” I said, “Nope, stress does not cause infertility, just like relaxing doesn’t help people who already can’t get pregnant to get pregnant.” She said, “But it does happen though. It happened to my brother and sister-in-law three times and it happened to [Pregnant Former Coworker].” I said, “Yeah, but it doesn’t mean that they got pregnant because they relaxed. It just happened.” I told her and pregnant coworker that I know of so many people who had gotten pregnant at their most stressful time ever, and so many others who try to relax, but still can’t get pregnant. I said one final time, “I don’t believe in that.” Then I rested my case.
This coworker does not know about our struggles with conceiving. Pregnant coworker knows probably minimally because I mentioned it to her when I handed her the baby shower gift. So they were probably surprised that I even opened my mouth about this because I usually don’t say much at lunch. But I just felt the urge to say something. And I did. They probably thought that I was weird, but I don’t really care. I just knew that I had to say something.
Now that I am thinking about it, I should have said even more. Oh well. Next time.