I’ve thought long and hard about this, but there’s really no smooth or clever way to say you’re pregnant.
Posting an ultrasound or belly picture, crafting a sly hinting status update about not being able to drink or all the kicks to the ribs, sending out photo postcard announcements involving fruits or balloons, even just coming out and stating the obvious—nothing seems right. All seem too smug and assured, especially when you’ve been on the embittered receiving end of such news. After I miscarried, I took each baby announced or born so seriously, almost as a personal affront. This wasn’t a reflection on any of the parents to be or how or when they had chosen to share their news. This was me holding the measure of my life up to theirs and irrationally crying UNFAIR!!—as we are all wont to do sometime or another. If you’ve suffered a pregnancy loss, if you want to have a baby but have been unable to get pregnant, if you’re wading through the red tape of foster or adoption proceedings, if you want nothing to do with any of it at all, you might recognize this feeling of rage at being socially coerced to sugarcoat and coo. You might have embodied such temporary inability to separate your relative un/happiness from someone else's.
So to say anything felt wrong. To say nothing felt duplicitous.
And all of it felt too certain when the one thing I know I know is that nothing is certain. Egg plus sperm does not always a baby make. Neither does a baby bump or any time-based milestone. Drawing attention to my expanding self and sense of family in any way seemed foolhardy, and selfish, and incautious.
You see how unsmooth and not clever this was.
How dark and unfluffy and unbunnied. Nary a pink or blue. Sorry. I cannot not be myself. Despite how wide open I was about miscarriage, from the moment I knew I was pregnant—even before that $%&#%@*#(@ internet troll shit all over my blog and morning sickness banished me to offlineland—I’ve wanted to keep everything about him to myself.
But twenty weeks have gone by. I’ve called and e-mailed all the relatives and family friends. He is the little boy I always wanted to have, he has a strong thumping heart and beautifully operational organs and limbs. I am halfway through this pregnancy, and I am trying to breathe into it. Because there comes a time, too, when not embracing the fullness of this experience seems foolhardy, when staying mum seems selfish, when not letting the joy come to you is in its own way incautious.
It is Thanksgiving tomorrow. I am spending it with family, partially in a gorgeous snowy cabin in Tahoe. I want to breathe and increase and trust and invite joy. I want to celebrate the journey of it and to honor and not forget that, for some of us, it is not a straight, well-paved path. I want to stay honest, and share my stories, and through openness invite the stories of others to boomerang back to me.*
I want to be thankful for all of it, even the bitterness and overcaution, because of how sweet life can be in contrast to all that we fear.
* More about this to come. I am planning an anthology and will be casting about for submissions soon.