It happened a couple of weeks ago. I realized that I had shifted from feeling “unable to work” to “not wanting to work”. I knew that it must be time to return. As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve been so fortunate to have the sick benefits to allow me to be off all this time and to still get most of my pay. But I don’t want to go back to my job… for so many reasons.
1. I just don’t give a flying fuck any more. Work seems trivial now. It’s a means to an end. It pays me, so I can pay for fertility treatments… and the benefits cover my IVF drugs. I love what I do, so I’m hoping that being there again may bring back a bit of spark. But mostly I’m afraid that I’ll just be going through the motions (like I am with so much of the other activities in my life right now).
2. I’m pissed off beyond measure at the people I work with. They didn’t even send me a card. Whenever anyone else has had a loss (parent, brother, whatever), we have sent a card and chipped in for a plant or something. Apparently dead babies that didn’t have life outside their mother’s bodies don’t count. We completely ignore that and pretend it didn’t happen. A co-worker sent me a text the other day (the first contact in 8 weeks) and I told her how upset I was (she is the only person I work with that has known everything — the infertility, the IVF, and about the pregnancy from the very beginning). She said it was her doing to not have the team send a card because she thought I would think it was insincere. What? I don’t even know what that means. I told her that what it did was invalidate my loss… that somehow our daughter didn’t matter because she didn’t live outside of me. It’s made me realize two things: this is just the beginning of what will be a trend in people not understanding the magnitude of our loss. Abby was not a mass of cells that I passed into the toilet (although that would be just as hard to deal with, in my opinion), she was a teeny, tiny, perfect piece of my heart and soul. A real little person that my body gave birth to — a body that we cremated. The other thing I realized, is that I work for one fucked up place. You’d think working with a bunch of social workers would be a source of support in this situation — but nothing could be further from the truth.
3. I work in a building with other healthcare providers from other agencies. A lot of those people knew about my pregnancy. I wonder what it will be like to see them again. What it will be like to see the looks of pity on their faces.. or worse, if they don’t acknowledge my loss either. I’m afraid to lose my shit at work either way. Guess it’s good that I’m easing back in and that tomorrow is only 4 hours of email and discharge summaries.
4. What am I going to do with the first meth/crack/oxy addict who comes into my office with her bulbous, pregnant belly? It’s been really hard to deal with in the past 3 years… is it going to be even worse now?
5. Finally, work is one of my “what ifs”. When I had my first big bleed, I was taken off work for a week of modified bed rest. I was offered two by the fertility nurse but I went back after one because things seemed to be getting better and because I have a job where I mostly sit on my ass all day. But during that second week back at work, the bleeding increased a bit. Maybe the outcome would have been the same either way, but what if I hadn’t gave such a damn about work and stayed off another week?
We’ll see what tomorrow brings.