Kindness of Strangers

It was a tough morning. I had to go to my yearly OB/Gyn visit, and see all those lovely pregnant bellies flaunting themselves in front of me. I could almost hear them ridiculing me….. “ha, ha, your belly will never look like THIS again.” I have all but given up on the idea of even trying to get pregnant and have a second baby. I’m 40. I have type 1 diabetes. I’m overweight. I have infertility. I have all manner of aches and pains. I’m tired of the emotional roller coaster. I don’t want to waste away the joy of my one and only daughter’s childhood on the unrequited hope for another baby.

There are a multitude of reasons I believe pregnancy will never happen for me again….and maybe it shouldn’t. I’m even higher risk now than I was when I got pregnant with our daughter, 3 years ago this month. And we only got pregnant with her after thousands and thousands of dollars of fertility treatments, IVF, and years of hope and disappointment. That took a huge emotional and physical toll on me, on my husband, on my family and friends who had to deal with me….and I’m not sure I want to go through that again.

I also see how hard pregnancy is on women my age – with or without diabetes. Just because I got through my one pregnancy OK, my body wasn’t damaged beyond repair, and my little girl came out perfectly healthy through it all…..that doesn’t mean the 2nd time around would be the same, and that scares the bajeezus out of me.

As a treat to myself, I went to Starbuck’s after my appointment. I was starting to edge on the side of low blood sugar, which makes me strangely emotional, and was already a little weepy remembering my conversations with the doctor. (She was all sickly-sweet and upbeat, “you had a miracle once, it could happen again!” referring to the ONE and only time I ever got pregnant on my own and had a miscarriage. Yeah, let’s remember that heartbreak.)

I ordered my Grande Skinny Mocha with 1.5 pumps, and an Asiago-cheddar pretzel. (They are evilly delicious, by  the way.) When I pulled up to pay, my friendly neighborhood barista said, “The gentleman in front of you paid for your order already, and hopes you have a fabulous day.” I think I started openly crying at that point, and replied, “That was so sweet of him. Thank you.” And I went on to pay for the lady’s order behind me. I really needed that pick-me-up, and maybe she did, too. My barista gave me a super warm smile (he kind of reminds me of an Italian Santa Claus, so it was even warmer-feeling) and said he hoped my day was wonderful from here on out.

I pulled away, still weeping, but feeling better and more hopeful than I have in some time. Maybe I will get pregnant again, and it will be OK. Maybe we will adopt, and that will be OK. Maybe my daughter will end up as an only child, and that will be OK, too. That man in front of me had no idea how I was feeling, or what a rotten emotional day I was having, but he showed me a kindness that I must have desperately needed right at that exact moment. My barista shared just a few kinds words with me that were unsolicited and not necessarily part of his job description, but he did it anyway. Today, even moreso than usual, I truly appreciate and admire the kindness of strangers.

Pay It Forward

Thank you, thank you, thank you to the man in front of me in line.

4 thoughts on “Kindness of Strangers

  1. I HEAR you! I do remember sitting at the OB/GYN’s office and hating all the young healthy pregnant women. I’d met with pregnancy diabetes specialist twice in the past only to be told I would have a VERY high risk pregnancy. High risk to me and to the baby. Fast forward 22 years and I am an empty nester missing my 2 adopted boys/men, as my second child leaves for college. Love and enjoy every day with your daughter and all the best for whatever the future may bring for your family.

  2. That is absolutely remarkable. I don’t think people in NYC do that sort of thing! I have never witnessed that in my entire life lol But you gave me an idea so thank you.
    I got a little teary myself, reading your post. I’m sorry if you’re struggling with this – I can totally relate even if on a different scale of it. Enjoy that princess and spoil her rotten 🙂

    • Today was a one-off occurrence, but I’ve been part of an official “pay it forward” day at Starbuck’s before. Someone first thing in the morning says, “I’ll pay for the person behind me,” and they let you know when you get to the window. I was # 49 that one morning of how many people had kept it going, and I like to think that it kept on for the rest of the day. Thanks as always for the understanding and support! (and you know I DO spoil her rotten 🙂 )

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