Whenever I thought about people who couldn’t conceive I wondered how they survived. I thought Facebook must be excruciating but that everyday life wouldn’t be much better. After all, the babies that end up on Facebook are also walking down the street. They’re also in colleagues’ homes and the stories they tell you at lunch hour. They’re at the swimming pool and the gym abs the grocery store. You can’t survive without coming across children and parents. Because of this, I was surprised that that I could generally still handle kids once we started our fertility testing. My friends’ kids, kids in Facebook, kids in the grocery isle.

That ended today. We had cake at work for a colleague’s newborn. He gave a speech and showed pictures. As I ate my cake another colleague said ‘you next’. He proceeded to tell me how having a child isn’t an experience he’d want anyone to miss out on. He told me about how female friends of his generation had waited too long. Waited too long till they couldn’t have kids once the were ready. He told me this in kindness. He wasn’t trying to be mean. He was explaining how much he loved his daughter.

But now I’ve been crying in the bathroom. Then I went for a walk and the tears came back. They continued over my sandwich. Now my lunch break is over and I don’t know if I can go back to work. Back to pretending and nodding and smiling and deflecting.