Childlessness and dealing with babies

I would say that for the most part, I am finally pretty strong about having a childless future. Yes, I do get upset from time to time, but I am able to get through a day without thinking about it, crying about it or talking about it. Things are definitely better.

Yesterday, we were having a get together in the staff room for the caretaker who was leaving. All members of staff from the school were there, and we were drinking wine and having a chat. Then, the lady who I am covering maternity leave for, walked in with her baby. We have all seen the baby before, so people didn’t coo too much, but there was still a broody reaction around the room. I had a space next to me, so she plonked her self down there with the baby on her knee.

I have got quite good with babies recently and it didn’t bother me too much. She was (is) a cute little thing, looking a bit tired, but watching everything that was going on around her. The mother was talking across me to my friend about how much she is sleeping, and what will happen to the baby once she goes back to work etc etc. Usually, in these situations I would have stood up and sat somewhere else, but the staffroom is so small, I was stuck. So, I sat and listened, smiled at the baby and pretended to be interested by nodding a lot. I couldn’t look the other way, or talk to others because they were talking across me and I was in the middle so it would have been seen as rude.

Then I did something silly, that wrecked my strong emotional wall. I stroked the baby’s hand. I thought I’d be ok, and I didn’t want to look like a hard faced cow, especially when everyone else was wanting cuddles and kisses from her. So, I thought I’ll just touch her hand so I look vaguely normal. As soon as I’d done it, and felt her little grip around my finger, I had that swirling feeling in my chest. To take my mind off my prickly tear ducts, I concentrated on my drink, and tried to listen in on other people’s conversations.

As I was looking around the room I made eye contact with the headteacher, who was sat directly opposite, but quite along way away. She was looking over at the scene and straight away she mouthed, “Are you ok?” which of course made me feel worse, because sympathy always floors me. I managed to nod, and knowing I wouldn’t be able to hear, she shouted to me a random question. It was a plan that forced me to go over to her to hear her more clearly. She budged up the seat so I could squeeze in beside her.

She didn’t mention the baby, or my reaction, she just helped me to escape. She knew it would be upsetting for me, because as I’ve mentioned before somewhere on this blog, she’s been there, done that and got the infertility T shirt. I just thought it was so lovely of her, even with everything else going on in the room, that she was looking out for me. She is in her 50s and adopted twin girls years ago, so I doubt she she feels emotional about babies anymore, but she knows, she “gets it.” That little act of kindness and thoughtfulness made my day!

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