I'm at the end of day two of parent conferences. 16 down, 10 to go. I'm exhausted, but I have to share this.
In the span of one day, I had two experiences that I just can't stop thinking about.
My first conference of the day was for a kid I love. My teaching partner and I sat for a while going through the usual list of topics - social, work habits, math, reading, social studies...you know the deal. Near the end of the meeting the mom shared with us that they are going through the adoption process. In that second, every fiber of my infertile being started to explode with emotion. I was so happy to hear that this wonderful family was opening their home (to an older child!), and so warmed by the excitement on their faces when they discussed it. Then, it dawned on me that this might very well be a situation of secondary infertility. I would never ask that directly. Instead, I asked them whether they knew about RESOLVE's adoption seminars and support groups. Just as I said it, the mom and I had a moment of understanding. She said she hadn't heard about that and wrote down the information, but I swear, I realized right then that she very well might be one of us.
Then, during my last conference of the day, I had the polar opposite explosion of emotions. I sat across from a mother, trying to talk about her son's behavior in class, and all I could think about was the fact that she had a full term still birth two years ago. I remember hearing the announcement from my Head of School vividly. I knew her son casually then, and had only met her in passing. Still, the thought of carrying a baby all the way to delivery and then losing it is just too overwhelming. As we carried out the conference, I realized that I wasn't worried about that happening to me. Instead, I was more worried about how difficult it might be to sit across from me during the conference, with my big belly. I wondered if she was okay with it, or if it hurt her to be in my presence. I wondered how she was doing. I wondered if she would ever try to have another baby. Somehow I resisted the urge to ask her all of those questions, hug her, and tell her that I was so sorry for her loss.
What a day.