Our Journey

2002 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #1

2003 1st consult with an RE, you know, just in case

2003 Got Married (at 37 (me) & 34 (DH) years old)

2003/2004 Naturally conceived pregnancies BFPs #1, #2, & #3 and miscarriages #1, #2, #3

2005 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #2

2005 IVF #1, BFN #1

2005 IUIs #1 and #2, just because, BFN #2 & #3

2005 FET from IVF #1, BFN #4

2006 Exploratory surgery to remove scar tissue from fibroid sugery #2

2006 IVF #2 (w PGD), BFP #4

2006 Emergency cerclage for IC @ 16w6d (5 months + 1 week of complete bed rest at home ensues)

2007 Our son is born @ 38w by scheduled c-section

2007 IVF #3 for baby #2, BFN #5

2007 IVF #4, BFP #5, miscarriage #4

2008 IVF #5, BFP #6, miscarriage #5

2008 IVF #6, BFP #7, miscarriage #6

2008 DE IVF #7, BFN #6

2009 DEFET #8, cancelled, embryos don't thaw

2010 Decide to adopt domestically

12.17.10 Profile is live with our agency

November 2011 Consult with RE re: donated embryo cycle

Early January 2012 Cleared to proceed with deFET

January 2012 Freeze our profile

1.20.12 deFET begins
2.12.12 eSET of one compacted morula
2.22.12 BFN

3.23.12 deFET #2 begins
4.14.12 transfer 3 embryos (1-8 cell, 1-5 cell, 1-4 cell)
4.22.12 + HPT
4.24.12 Beta #1 = 48.4
4.26.12 Beta #2 = 125.7
4.30.12 Beta #3 = 777.8
5.11.12 1st U/S - Singleton!
7.12.12 It's a Boy!
12.26.12 C-section: Baby G is born, 9#5oz, 20.5"

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The Art of Noticing

One of the things that compounded the difficulty with my prolonged bed rest during my pregnancy with my son, was that I never got to interact with the public.  No stranger ever asked me how far along I was, when I was due, or if I knew the sex of the baby.  I fantasized about what that must be like, to have others notice I was pregnant and inquire about it.  I remember feeling robbed.  Granted, incubating my son for as long as possible was mission critical, but it did shape my perception of being pregnant and not getting the opportunity to navigate the world.

One of the things I never considered about that fantasy was how others might treat me.  It just never dawned on me, because it wasn’t my experience, how others interact with a pregnant woman.  Let me preface this all by saying that I think one of the cornerstones of parenting a boy is to instill manners, respect, politeness into him.  Hopefully, those traits will grow into chivalry.  I also believe that there is a window of time in the development of a young boy, when we have the opportunity to beat into him model the behaviors in ways that will impress their importance to him and become part of his way of life.  As a young woman beginning to date, I was aware of who was trained well and who was not.  As I approached my thirties, I developed a theory that if that window of modeling good behavior and/or healthy relationships was missed, the guy was sort of caught in a perpetual state of pre-pubescence.  It played out over and and over in my life and in the lives of my girl friends.  Guys either got it or they didn’t.

So, I have been disappointed to the point of being downright gobsmacked at what assholes men can be.  In general, I am very self-sufficient and would say that too of being pregnant but I’m not sure if my pregnant state has heightened my awareness.  I really don’t know if we have lost the art of noticing because we are consumed and distracted by various technologies and/or if that has compromised our abilities to relate to others in the world, but let’s set that aside for the moment because I am not talking about men who are on their phones or iPads.  I am talking about men, alone, some married (wearing rings), some not, businessmen and off-duty dads, who are so self absorbed they don’t even notice that the woman they are being an asshole to is pregnant.  Or, maybe they do and they disregard it, which would be an even bigger shame.

I believe that in a civilized society people should be treated with kindness and women (pregnant or otherwise), the disabled, and the elderly should be given special care, not just by men, but especially by men.  We should do things like hold a heavy door open, offer to pick something up for them if they’ve dropped it, hold the elevator for them when we see them on approach, help them reach an out of reach item on a shelf at the grocery, take their cart if we notice they are done unloading and we are on our way in to the store,  ask them if they need help if they look confused or perplexed, allow them to merge if we see they are trying to do so, etc.  But to be able to do any of that, we have to notice them in the first place.

I do not want to generalize to all men because there are plenty of good ones out there, but I must have picked a bad week to be out and about because I have had one asshole or another cross my path.  During my career, I would have commented on the cavalcade of assholes and idiots.  These are men who cannot be bothered to proffer any nicety.  And, it makes me wonder why.  How much out of his way does he really have to go to notice and extend any modicum of politeness to a pregnant woman?

It strikes me as sad, the inability to get out of our own heads long enough to notice the goings on around us and offer a polite hand to a stranger in need.  And, I guess, if this is what I get for my troubles, maybe bed rest wasn’t so bad after all.

“Courteousness is consideration for others;
politeness is the method used to deliver such considerations.”
~Bryant H. McGill

3 comments to The Art of Noticing

  • I agree so much with this post! I just wish you had some anecdotes that I could really sink my teeth into… Just me being nosy. And looking for some stories that I can tut tut over. And be outraged at.
    I don’t usually think a lot about men in this way, but I do concur there are some really brutish ones about that have seriously arrested development.
    I am very conscious of who helps – and became more conscious when she was small and I was struggling with her baby seat or her stroller or needed someone to open the door for us. I would get so upset when people just didn’t get that we would like a bit of help. I go out of my way for people all the time. I love to help and I love to be noticed and helped.
    Once when I was getting cat food from Sams Club in bulk and the boxes of caans were too heavy I had to ask some guy in the parking lot to help me get them into the car. In order to get them off the shelf I had to knock it into the cart. People are oblivious – not just men, but often so.
    I find moms to be the most helpful and the most understanding of our needs.
    Having said that, I am very conscious as a supervisor that staff don’t give two hoots about cleaning up after themselves – or even moving their chairs when they are done. I have to practically beg people to move their chairs or tables after our weekly Monday meeting. It makes me so mad. Or they leave their papers on the table after a presentation if they don’t want them. These are people who are supposed to be in the caring professions. Ugh. Don’t get me started… I could go on. Feeling aggrieved in general. Hope you get some chivalry soon!

  • Jen

    Well said! Recently I was in a very crowded waiting room at a large urban hospital. I saw a woman enter out of the corner of my eye, I didn’t give it a second thought, except I could see there was no more seats so she just found a spot and stood there. After I finished my very important game of solitaire I looked up and realized she was VERY pregnant, I literally gasped! I was so stunned that no one had offered her a seat, so I got up immediately and gave her mine, which she accepted graciously. We gave each other a knowing look as every other person, man and woman, just sat there with their eyes adverted. It really bums me out when I hear about and see stuff like this. In so many ways we have come so far but sometimes I wish I was born in another era!

  • S

    I have read similar comments to yours from other moms, and I agree that people’s incivility can be appalling. I think you’re right that most of us are just caught up in our own little worlds, more preoccupied with our thoughts and our electronic devices than aware of the people around us.

    Having said that, for the most part, my experience when I was pregnant with my twins wasn’t like that. I found that most people, men and women, were more than willing to hold doors, lift my bags, hold elevators for me and the like. Granted, I also got a lot of stares, and one of the partners I work for in my firm actually pointed at my belly and laughed when I was about 31 weeks (not surprisingly, he is never-married and childless), but the majority of people were polite, courteous and helpful.

    I wonder if this sort of thing varies by region? I live in Phoenix. I don’t generally think of my city as a particularly civil place, but maybe it is.

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