So the cat’s out of the bag as of today! Yup — we’re expecting! I’ve spent the last couple days doing the big reveal at work and online, something that’s had me feeling quite a bit of anxiety. But in the end, it’s been a lot of fun to tell people, and generally everyone has been very positive and excited for us. My anxiety was rooted in knowing that suddenly I would be… exposed… along with worries about all the stuff women generally have to deal with throughout a pregnancy, like changes in how people treat you, as if you have a disability (I don’t), or the collective social notion that suddenly your body is no longer your own — that it belongs to society as a whole (it does not; my body is all mine, and only temporarily on loan to a small being).
Despite today being the first day virtually my whole world has been informed of our news, in fact my closest friends and family have been aware for a while. So I’ve already experienced some of these changes. And I don’t entirely blame people for their odd choices of words, the horror stories they decide to tell you, or their notions that I need special treatment. I get the psychology behind it, which is quite enlightened by Sally Raskoff over on the Everyday Sociology Blog. But I still wish people would think about what they intend to say or how they may come across, before those horror stories leave their mouths!
Because really, when you’re pregnant, you’ve likely done some reading. You’ve probably given some thought to the many “what ifs” you may be confronted with. At least I know I have. I’m a Virgo after all; I organize and prepare and inform myself. Being pregnant is an intensely personal experience, and different for every woman. I don’t want any special treatment (although the offer of a subway seat would be nice once in a while), and I’m the best judge of my capabilities during each phase of this experience. If I don’t think I can lift that box, I’ll tell you and ask you to do it. And no, I don’t really care to hear your favourite horrible pregnancy story.
Also, as of today, I’ve been asked what Katharine Wroth in Salon.com describes as “What not to ask a pregnant woman,” that is, “Were you trying?” When I first encountered this article I admittedly was a bit confused about why this question could be viewed so negatively, but as I read on, my response changed to, “Damn straight! Who’s business is it really how my sex life has been?” I think my initial response to the article was because for me, part of our delay in getting in the family way had to do with my rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis three years ago. So I’m somewhat less offended by this question, but thanks to the article, I now consider this one a little more, especially depending on who’s asking.
That’s it for now. I’m sure there will be much more to come before our munchkin is due to arrive by mid March!