So I’m currently fantasizing about my work sending this company-wide email about me…

So I just received this work email…

“Jessica’s Baby Pool

Jessica is due November 13.

If you would like to get in the pool – please send date and time you think Baby Girl XXXXX will arrive.

$5 if you’d like to play – please get $$ to me no later than 4pm on Thursday, 10/19.

🙂 ”

*****

After Matthew died, for some time people at my work had excluded me from these types of emails, which wasn’t necessarily expected, but was a gesture much appreciated. But now I’m not sure what would have been worse… Being thoughtlessly included on this stuff from day one, or the realization that, at some point unknown, someone has apparently arbitrarily decided on my behalf that it is okay for me to be included in such shenanigans again. (It isn’t.)

I wonder what it is that makes them think it hurts less now… The passage of one year? Joel’s arrival? Two years?

Or maybe they simply forgot.

Their world, understandably, doesn’t revolve around me… Also, if they did think of me, perhaps they feel rude continuing to exclude me. After all, they aren’t mind readers – how else are they supposed to know that I would much prefer to be excluded still? (I’ve contemplated replying to tell them, “Please leave me off of the birth announcement and any future baby-related propaganda. THANKS.”)

I think on a normal day I’d just delete this email without a passing thought, but right now this has me all fired up, maybe because I’m also pregnant, nearing the impossible third trimester. (Also, I’m just coming off a trip to Des Moines to visit Mark’s parents, where Joel had a blast and smiled so much at the pumpkin patch, specifically in the bounce house, that I couldn’t help but repeatedly picture, in devastating detail, the two-year-old who should have been laughing right alongside him.)

But I think receiving this email during the whole entering-the-impossible-third-trimester phase is what’s setting me off most. It just so effectively highlights the contrast between my reality and others’, me and the rest of society.

Like someone, most people actually, can confidently tell their entire company about their pregnancy, and then be like, “Okay, sure, yeah – let’s send a company email taking bets on my baby’s guaranteed safe arrival!! After all, at this point, the only detail in question is the date… Or I guess maybe length and weight too!”

Meanwhile, even the smallest lull in movement has me convinced that this baby’s dead.

I texted a screen shot of this email to some friends. One replied, “Don’t these people know that babies can die?

I replied, “No – I don’t think they know. Or they forgot. Or I guess maybe they just think only my babies can die…”

So I kind of want a company-wide email to go out about Finch… Except I want it to accurately describe my reality to the point that it makes everyone very uncomfortable. Like it could say something like this…

“We’re taking bets on Christine’s baby boy!!

Because his arrival date has already been set for INSERT DATE OBNOXIOUSLY CLOSE TO THE BIRTHDAY OF CHRIST (unavoidable due to prior situation involving death), we’re going to try to predict some other things…

How many days prior to aforementioned scheduled date will Christine lose her shit and check into the hospital?

Will baby boy actually arrive on his scheduled date or in terrifying, emergency C-section fashion? (Keep in mind, baby boy will be extensively monitored – think multiple hours each day and probably through some nights – allowing doctors to see potentially scary decelerations in heartbeat that likely happen in every pregnancy but are seldom documented, but, in this case, each one will have to be interpreted, and each time the course of action is sort of a life or death judgment call, and everyone’s going to be erring on the side of life here…)

Since baby boy is most likely to arrive at 37 weeks or earlier, do you think there be a NICU stay involved? Bonus points for guessing length of time!!

🙂 🙂 ”

But noooooo, this sort of email would never happen, because, in our society, we can only talk about happy things and must ignore any negative thoughts or subjects considered to be taboo, even though, for some, this sort of stuff makes up our reality.

I think for those who’ve faced such tragedy it would be easier if society could just talk freely about it. It would help to eliminate really awful things that the bereaved experience, including feelings of shame…

I’m sure this is one reason why, at work, only my boss and the co-worker who says she had a dream about me know that I’m pregnant. Part of the reason I’ve told no one else relates to fear, but, to be honest, I think there is an aspect that relates to shame. Even though I know intellectually that I shouldn’t, I think part of me, at least on some level, still feels shame over Matthew’s death. And part of me feels shame over my continued story – my lifelong grief and related struggles, my ever-present complicated feelings, my knowledge, which is occasionally reinforced by others, that my story is one that society, generally speaking, doesn’t want to particularly hear…

But anyway, this email is sitting in my inbox waiting for me to delete, and I’m glad I wrote this post, because otherwise I might have become trigger-happy and replied inappropriately and lost my job today…

Time to find another piece of my budget project to complete.

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15 thoughts on “So I’m currently fantasizing about my work sending this company-wide email about me…

  1. Ugh! I so feel you on all of this. I just want to know who is willingingly going to contribute 5 dollars to this stupid pregnancy game pot. I’ve never worked in an office type setting like this. Is this a thing?

    Sending you a laugh and a hug! Hang in there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Feel the same. And I think we will always will feel a sting when these damn emails arrive. I also feel insulted m..while what happened to our babies was ‘rare’, people don’t take a lesson from that and learn that office pools, gender reveal parties etc etc are not important. Lucky them to be concerned with such bs

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Baby pool…that’s as bad as a fuckin gender reveal. I’m proud of you for not typing F.U. -> Reply All.

    I think it was about a year of being excluded from these emails, before they started popping up again. Like, seriously, did I SAY I wanted to see pictures of a newborn pop up first thing on a Monday morning?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m technically due a day before your coworker and ain’t nobody writing any emails like that about the end of my pregnancy.

    What gets me is that people know me, know what happened to me, and still act like every pregnancy is going to have a happy ending. It’s hard not to take it personally.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can’t believe this is a thing… I don’t think we have anything like it in the UK, or at least it’s not common.. it just seems so… tasteless. I mean really?? Gamification of pregnancy? You’ve just reminded me of some horrific interviews I listened to on BBC radio4 ‘Woman’s hour’ where they spoke to haulocaust survivors who were pregnant and gave birth in concentration camps. There was only a handful as pregnant Jews were murdered so these women had to lie. Anyway, one lady recounted how the Nazi prison guards stood over her laughing taking bets on whether her baby would be a boy or girl and when it would arrive. I think you’re so controlled not to reply and tell them how tasteless they’re being gambling on something as precious as life. What’s next? Chemotherapy stakes? How long will they have? One year? Full remission? Place your bets… unbelievable. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you don’t have this in the UK, lucky you. Seriously. Aren’t you jealous of me, working in a US office? This type of shit is totally commonplace here. And you’re right, it’s pretty much the gamification of life/death. Your message got me pretty fired up (it’s so accurate), so now this email is still sitting in my inbox as I contemplate a reply… Though not sure I’m brave enough to do it… Thinking of you as Freddie’s second birthday approaches. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Christine (it’s definitely getting harder as I approach the 6th Nov), didn’t mean to get you fired up! I often feel regret after making a complaint because I realise it’s fallen on deaf ears.. maybe if you reply all it would change things but I guess if it’s a commonplace thing in the US, it might just fall on deaf ear too 😕 Sending big hugs xxx

        Like

  6. Ugh, I’m sorry. I’ve experienced some of this at work too. In fact, my team threw me a surprise baby shower for my rainbow baby. I know they had good intentions but it definitely reinforces that no one gets it.

    Liked by 1 person

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