Short Version: Talking About It part two, baby kicks and Daddy tales. And to everyone - but especially if you're feeling fragile today - let me wish you strength and good things in 2008.

Christmas may be over, but panto season has remained in full swing at the Bea house.

"There he is! Feel him!" I say to Mr Bea.

"Where? Over here?"

"No, over there!"

"Over here?"

"No, he's gone again. Wait - look over there!"

"Behind me? Oh no he isn't!"


We went to a New Year's party on the weekend, and I wondered how Talking About It would go.

"I bet you spend every night reading through a whole stack of books on pregnancy and parenting," began the first conversation.

"We haven't really got to that yet," I admitted.

"Really? His sister's just a few weeks behind you, and it's all we ever hear!"

"Well," started Mr Bea, "we've had some medical issues and..." But he trailed off, noting his audience's attention had shifted elsewhere. We shrugged at each other and dropped it.

Over the course of the evening I learned that the biggest barrier to Talking About It is not figuring out what to say - it's that few people Actually Listen. As the pregnant couple, our part is confined to providing a focus for conversation, whilst making appropriate noises at intermittent points. Tales of infertility and loss don't fit into the script, and so Talking About It is really quite simple. We will do it, in full, whenever the chance arises - ie. occasionally, and sometimes not at all.


I asked Mr Bea if he had strong preferences about anything baby-related. "Yes," he said. "Yes, I do. I think we should have one. Preferably this one."

"Beyond that?"

"No preferences whatsoever."

So we discussed a few things, like nappies and feeding and sleeping arrangements and so forth, and somehow ended up throwing ideas around for the tea shop in the mountains we're "definitely" going to buy with our retirement funds, so we can while away our golden years in a picturesque location in the countryside, serving cake and Dajeeling to couples on Sunday drives and maybe solving the odd murder mystery or two. It felt liberating to plot these alternative futures again, instead of going over the same, oppressive lines that punctuate each act in the long drama of infertility.


Mr Bea announced a desire to buy a parenting book, which we did on New Year's Day. In the bookshop cafe, he gave it a good leafing through as I munched on my sandwich and blinked back a sudden prick of tears. Later, I was putting my feet up on the couch at home when The Foetus started to move again. "Hey!" I called out. "There he is!"

"Over here?" said Mr Bea, placing his hands as directed, ready to perform the pantomine once more.

But we both stopped short before the next line.

"Oh yeah..." he said. "I can feel him."


infertility just sucks said...

While a bit upsetting when considering what you went through to *be* in the position to talk about your pregnancy, I think it's really natural.

People just don't want to talk about things that are sad or unpleasant...and infertility and all that goes with it definitely falls into that bucket.

I always stop short about telling people. I wonder if it will ruin their day or if they'll think...I don't know what. It just doesn't ever fall into the "polite conversation" category to me. It never feels appropriate to have a mini-education chat with someone.

But that's the whole issue for me I suppose - awareness. That's why treatments aren't covered for a lot of people. It's why we struggle silently. And it's terrible.

You should be getting the very same smiles and goodwill that people give to others who have overcome painful (physical and emotional) problems.

I find that it's frustrating in a very foreign way.

Anonymous said...

I am glad one script changed - Mr. Bea got to feel him!

Jess said...

I found nobody wanted to talk about the IF side of our journey, either. Once pregnant we were to be shiny happy people.

But I talked anyhow. Much to people's chagrin sometimes. :)

I'm so hapy you guys are feeling the baby!!! Exciting!

Bea said...

I guess I kind of feel like it's not worth my time and effort explaining myself to people who don't want to listen. Even though they're sometimes the ones who need to hear it most, they're also usually the ones who never do.


Rachel Inbar said...

I'm so glad Mr. Bea finally got to feel him :-)

Here it seemed different - anyone who knew that I'd gone through infertility wanted to hear the story - to hear how IVF had actually worked... (Though after she was born, when I would talk about it, people would often ask if she was 'normal'.)

Vee said...

If they don't want to listen it definitely is not worth explaining, they are usually the ones that you get no satisfaction out anyway.

I am so glad Mr Bea got to have a feel.

We will be surely dropping by for the the Darjeeling tea and you in return can stop by the country B&B that we will "definitely" be buying. ;)

Beagle said...

I can actually really relate to this one.

Once we finally came "out" to certain family members about IF and our adoption plan, they weren't even interested. It's really very anticlimactic when we worked so hard to a) either get to pg in your case or get on the list for an adoption in ours and b) work up the nerve to discuss it openly . . .
. . . so now where is the enthralled audience??

I love the last line of this post. I'm glad the pantomime was interupted by the little guy giving Mr. Bea a good kick.

Samantha said...

I guess people asking you about your pregnancy is the equivalent of "How are you?" You're supposed to say "fine."

I'm glad Mr. Bea got to feel the movements!

Ellen K. said...

Great post.

D. said just yesterday that people "don't want to hear" or actively do not listen to anything related to IF.

Your retirement plan sounds lovely. D. and I will stop in for a cup on our travels. : )

MrsSpock said...

I guess I am blessed in that our friends and family have been interested in our story. The only problem I have been running into is their belief that this pregnancy means I am miraculously fixed. I am getting tired of hearing, "Oh, you are going to be a baby-making machine now." Um, doesn't work that way folks.

Somewhat Ordinary said...

I know people don't want to hear about it, but I still find myself sticking it into conversations ayway. I may not go into great lengths about it, but I try to stick in something about treatments or 2 1/2 years etc. To hell with what they think it is a part of my baby's story!

I'm glad to hear that Mr. Bea felt him. I think it becomes a little more real for the husbands once they feel it moving.

Anonymous said...

How exciting that you are feeling your little one!

That tea shop sounds lovely...

Heather said...

Happy New Year!!

Barb said...

Last line.. making me blink back tears. Got does IF make me into a sap...

serenity said...

I never chat with people about our infertility unless I get an opening. Very few people give me an opening. And you know, you're right. I'm also not interested in educating people who just won't get it anyway. Seems a waste of time, really.

I'm so happy that Mr. Bea got to feel The Foetus move. J's done so once - every other time we work from the same script you do, it seems. :)

The Town Criers said...

I had to look up panto (thank you for hotlinking it) and it made the whole post take on another dimension (well done!).

I think you hit it on the head when you said it's not just the talking about it--it's the fact that you actually need the audience to listen. And beyond listen, you need them to Hear. With a capital H.

millie said...

Yay for Mr Bea feeling the baby. That's just fab.

Boo to boring, clueless people who just don't know how to listen.

Can't wait to visit your tea shop. Here's to lovely plans.

Baby Blues said...

"Even though they're sometimes the ones who need to hear it most, they're also usually the ones who never do." That's so true.

Happy New Year Bea! I'm so looking forward to seeing your healthy adorable bundle of joy soon.

Karaoke Diva said...

I totally get what you're talking about with others not wanting to listen. I was talking to an acquaintance the other day and mentioned that I still check on Junior with the Doppler every few days. This totally confused her. "But the doctor already checks the heartbeat each month, right?" Well, yeah, but 4 weeks is a long time to wait when every day you're worried about carrying a dead baby.

Your comment nailed it on the head, it's not worth it to waste your breath on people who aren't even listening. Your friends and people who have suffered as you have will understand. For the rest, just talk about books and names and kicks and nursery stuff. They only want to hear the good parts.

On a side note: My hubby felt Junior for the first time just the other day, too! So exciting!

Lut C. said...

Happy new year!

How great that your husband got to feel the movements now!

Jackie said...

Every time I instruct my husband to place his hands on my belly the baby stops moving or my husband claims not to feel the kicking. I think it's probably the padding between the ute and his hands-I, er, haven't been following the low GI diet...Christmas cookies have played a large role in my nutrition plan in the past blood sugar is ok, though, so far. But thanks for all those recipes/ideas-they are all great!

projgen said...

Oh. My. Gd.

The things I miss when I go away for 3 weeks and then have no time to read blogs for 5 months. I'm finally just catching up now and... holy shit! You have a fetus for Mr Bea to feel! You have to buy a new bra! You have to worry about low GI diets and weight gain and maternity clothes. That is so awesome.

That's the last time I get behind in blog reading. Seriously. I'm very happy for you and Mr B and the Feoutus. Foeteus. Sorry, Canadian spelling will have to do. Fetus.

Happy New Year.

Cibele said...

how exciting!!!! I a so happy for both of you

M said...

Happy New Year to you too Miss B - may 2008 be full of wonderful things for you!

I love me a good murder mystery night, sign me up!!


KarenO said...

Here's wishing you a fabulous 2008 - this is going to be your year! :)

GLouise said...

Great post.

And it isn't funny how most people truly do NOT want to listen? Ah, I find myself guilty of that a lot of times.

offsprung said...

the fact is, unless you have gone through in vitro, you can't really understand in vitro.

It's like me trying to relate to someone who spent time in a prisoner of war camp in Cambodia. "Oh, yeah - totally, I bet that sucked."

Jess said...

Beeeeaaaaa? Hope all is well!

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