Compartmentalize... compartmentalize... compartmentalize...
Perhaps it is because I grew up in a house with three brothers and the fact that I wear my heart on my sleeve is a bi-product of my upbringing. I was the definition of the kid who cried wolf growing up (perhaps that’s why my dad didn’t believe me about my thumb…) Regardless, I tried to convince my mom to let me stay home from school when I had a hangnail. Perpetually in touch with my body made me a drama queen. But in order to function normally while battling the fertility monster, one must learn to compartmentalize. And so I did (and it takes work).
I work in an industry where you can’t get up and walk out of work. I can’t walk out of my “office” and find a space to cry. I most certainly never get a moment to myself. I am a third grade teacher. In February of 2015, my third grade class was going on a field trip. I constantly check my phone throughout the day while on field trips to watch out for important emails that come from the school or my students’ parents. In doing so, while at the Planetarium learning about the fact that Pluto is no longer considered a planet, I also found out I was miscarrying.
I’m not a robot; this hurt me, and it hurt me really badly. It was gut wrenching and all I wanted to do was scream and cry. But I couldn’t - surrounded by 23 eight year olds with excitement for our solar system waning, I needed to compartmentalize.
My second egg retrieval was on the same day as back to school night. If you’re not a teacher perhaps you remember this from when you were a kid. The teacher dresses up, makes a fancy powerpoint presentation, and stands in front of almost 50 parents to present the rigorous curriculum of third grade. That’s right, I did this on the same day that I was given general anesthesia, and yielded questions and comments from eager parents, all while wishing I was in bed, reaping the aftermath of propofol.
Tip: Life goes on. Don’t let this journey impact your relationships, your self worth, and in particular, not your job. It’s important to feel the feelings you’re experiencing when you’re going through this process, but it’s also important to remember you’re stronger than you think. Learning to compartmentalize this journey into its own box will help you get through the day to day activities that really truly should define who you are. You are a strong ass woman, and anyone who tells you otherwise, should STFU.