No

This afternoon in my neighborhood coffee shop, a mommy & baby group held their first “monthly” meeting. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the event provided further evidence that the world is (not) kind — it was made up of the women from my pregnancy yoga class, some still pregnant. This town is just too small.

My first urge was to hide in the bathroom until they left. My second urge was to leave. My next urge was to go talk to them. They went into a different room, and I don’t think anyone noticed me because of the way the place is arranged. I got up like three times to talk to them, because I thought, you know, maybe it’ll be therapeutic to just go smile at them and face the babies.

But when I tried to think of what to say, I just started shaking. Because I knew they wouldn’t know what to say, and I was afraid they’d treat me like a crazy woman. I fully realize I’m not, and that it would be cruel of them to think so. I just imagined, if I’d gone over, that they’d have all sighed in relief when I’d left or worse, pitied me. I even imagined some of the snootier ones (because in this town, lots of people are just that) hugging their babies even tighter, fancying I wanted to steal one. At the very least I was sure they’d think I’d ruined their fun outing.

I am not sad that they all looked well and happy with their babies. I am sad that I have to find a new place to work on Monday afternoons.

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9 responses to “No

  1. I think you are sad that you don’t have a baby or are pregnant so that you could fit into the class…more so than finding another place to work on Monday afternoons. The class itself opens up all the wounds that might have just started scabbing over…healing is damn hard at times and painful…and I wonder if somethings were just never meant to heal. I am sorry you are in pain. You are not a crazy woman in my mind. And you have every right to your feelings even the ones anyone doesn’t understand at the moment.

  2. What an awkward situation — this town really is too small!

  3. How awful. I’m surprised that none of them saw you, no matter how the place is arranged. Also, a lot of these mom and baby groups split up fairly quickly — you can’t have a meeting in a coffee shop once the babies are a little older and more mobile, so this is unlikely to be a permanent situation. Not that that helps much right now.

  4. What an unfortunate situation! Have you considered the possibility (he says, tongue-in-cheek) that your coffee shop is just evil? Or the locus of evil? Just as Emmett Brown posits that 1955 may be some weird point of convergence in the time-space continuum?

    More seriously, at my university, there’s a very upscale coffee shop a few blocks from campus (too far, really, for most undergrads to walk). i was there working the other day on a weekday morning, and i was struck by how many women were out with their babies. This made me extremely upset, for reasons i can’t quite go into here. anyway, i think that i can at empathise with you somewhat.

  5. It’s a worldwide baby conspiracy. Isn’t it?

  6. I had trouble going to my mommy and baby group from my first child after losing my second. It was so uncomfortable even though I had a baby to come with me. Partially because they were pregnant again and I didn’t want to feel like the jinx in the crowd, but partially because they were really really uncomfortable with me and made it obvious.

  7. I think the context and level of acquaintance here is difficult–you met expecting babies, so your loss destroys that connection as well.

    Longstanding friends of A.’s were due a couple months after I was and they had a horrible accident of pregnancy that they only discovered at the 20-week ultrasound. A. doesn’t see them often, and they didn’t tell us about it until after Z. was born in order not to jinx us. The result was A. heard it their child’s death in the same conversation she told them about Z.’s brith.

    We had survivors’ guilt as it was, but if A. hadn’t known them for years previously–if the same thing had happened to someone from our childbirth class, for instance–it would have felt to me that talking to them with our healthy baby around was unspeakably cruel.

  8. I am incredibly grateful to my friends for making it ok for me to talk about my pregnancy, labor and delivery as the “normal” things they were, regardless of how it ended. One of these friends was due 4 weeks after me, and just had her baby a bit over a week ago. It must have been one of the hardest things she ever did, but I am so grateful.
    Of course, my friends made me so comfortable with them that I don’t really want to deal with the rest of the world now. But I know I have to.

  9. Well, *that* sucks. I’m sorry.

    We have an excellent locally-owned coffee shop which is baby-free, mostly because of the area (not many little kids here) but also because they allow smoking. Usually it is not *too* smoky though, and on a nice day you can sit outside. Kind of a long drive on a monday morning but i suggest the option! LOL

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