I thought for a long time that there was this not so secret order, called “the Mothers”, which consists of pregnant women or women that gave birth and can’t stop talking about their offspring and are incredibly bonding.
Every time there is a new preggo in the office for instance, the other preggo’s and Mothers gather round this new preggo, welcome her into the order, chitchat with high pitch voices about that Motherhood is the most beautiful feeling in the whole wide world and just sounds like a bunch of overexcited chickens. No offence but it’s like that in our office.
The same with my friends. Like that time one of my friends announced her pregnancy first thing at my birthday dinner party, so the other guests (of course only preggo’s and Mothers) talked about kids the whole party (the only time they didn’t speak about it was when they handed over my birthday present. I wasn’t part of their chitchat. I didn’t have anything to say about the subject. I cried afterwards and felt guilty about it, like any good infertile woman would do).
I thought that those Mothers now had this unbreakable bond and that, especially with my collegues, it was now this exclusive club where not-mothers and men were not allowed, and they stick to each other and be compassionate about each other.
Of course, I felt left behind. I wasn’t part of the club. I couldn’t tell stories (so I tell stories about my friend’s babies, how very very sad). I still felt compassion though, if something bad happend to one of the preggo’s. Because some of them had pregnancy diabetes and couldn’t eat sugar, one had a tiny premature baby (4!!! months to early!!!), two of them had to lay still because the baby was to far low, etc.
Now one of my collegues gave birth. Her best friend at the office, announced it to us and said it was an emergency cesarean. It was strange that there was not the same exclamations of joy. The majority didn’t seem very interested. My collegues next to me just stayed at her desk, while I turned to listen to the announcement. None of the Mothers takes the initiative to collect money for the babypresent. None of the Mothers took the initiative to collect money for my other collegues who gave birth a month ago.
She had a though birth (the baby’s heart rate dropped) and when I wanted to tell my collegue who sits next to me “hey, you want to know the whole story about the birth, it was horrible”, she immediately interrupted me by saying “yes she had an emergency cesarian, of course it was bad, don’t you knoooow that emergency cesareans ONLY apply if something goes wrong” but she didn’t knew what was wrong and just cut me off. So I said, please, let me tell the whole story, and then she reacted with her usual “ok”.
It hit me then: it is not like I imagined. The Mothers only gather and talk babystuff because they want to talk about their baby. They are only interested in other babies when they can collect information that can be useful for their own baby. You know, conversations are like this: “My baby has diarrhea/vomits/can’t sleep/cries the whole time”. “ooh my baby has that too/my baby is super healthy and such a good boy/did you try xxx because it helped mine” and then they will no doubt say to themselves “lucky me with my good boy/OMG what is wrong with me I’m a terrible mother and she is such a great mother, how does she do that”.
Even Mothers are sellfish in that way. Now I’m not speaking for my best riends, because I know they truly care for each other, but my expectation that it’s one select club who truly are compassionate and bonding is now much lower.
Maybe I’m sellfish too. I also talk about my infertility problems with my preggo friends who would rather not hear about it because they have one and I don’t and it makes them feel bad. Maybe I’m not enthousiastic enough when I hear a pregnancy announcement or a birth because it makes me happy and sad at the same time.
I am truly shocked however at the low level of empathy that the Mothers have towards other Mothers. It seems strange to me that an infertile woman like me has more empathy then a Mother towards another mother. Because, unlike the infertile woman who has serious problems (I’ve been told that it can look like or is post-traumatic stress), the Mother already has the “most beautiful thing in the world”, as they call it.
Seriously, what the fuck.