A blog about babies: the babies I lost, the babies I never had, the baby who made me a Mama.

Monday, March 14, 2011

More Telling; or, Unexpected Reactions

We told two more sets of our siblings over the weekend. Their respective reactions are an amusing study in contrasts.

First, we called my Law School Sister (who was out in Santa Fe for spring break at my parents' place) and pulled the same "Check out this bridesmaid dress I found" trick that we did with my Business School Sister a week before (the one who is getting married). It did not go over quite as well, but gave perfect evidence of why my sister is going to make a great lawyer, as only a transcription of our conversation can adequately show.

First, this is the dress that I've been considering (not in that color):
It's unfortunate that the angle of the image is front-on rather than side-on, because her (to me) obvious bump could just be a particularly puffy waistline. (Her smug little side-smile is also unfortunate, but for different reasons).

So I called Law School Sister, send her the link to the dress and initiated the following conversation:

Sloper: Did you open it yet?
LSS: Yeah, I don't like it. The dress [Business School Sister] picked out is better.
Sloper: But I think this one will work. Take another look.
LSS: No. The color is awful and it's going to make you look fat.
Sloper: But why don't you look at it again.
LSS: Look, do you want me to lie and tell you I like it when I don't? I think the other dress is better.
Sloper: Yeah, but did you read the description of the dress?
LSS: I read it. I still don't like it.
Sloper: You read the description to the right of the dress? I suggest you read it again. Carefully.
LSS: [Slowly reading out description, stopping at word] "maternity." Wait, why would you need a maternity dress?
Sloper: Why do you think I would need a maternity dress?
LSS: You're....pregnant?

We laughed about how bull-headed she is and how our clever little plan just went completely over her head. She was excited about the news and agreed that the dress my other sister picked won't work under the circumstances (though she still didn't like this one. Can't win them all, I suppose).

Then yesterday afternoon we went out to Suburblandia for lunch with Lawyer Guy's brother and our sister-in-law and the nieces. We brought the latest Smudgie pic and LG decided to give it to our older niece (she's three) and tell her to ask her daddy what it is. Which happened at the beginning of the lunch.

I really didn't have any expectations for how they would react to the news, so I was blown away by how excited they were. My SIL literally screamed "Oh My God!" when she saw the sonogram, jumped out of her chair, hugged me, and started crying. I didn't see my BIL's reaction, because I was preoccupied with SIL's, but Lawyer Guy said he got choked up and a little teary-eyed, too, and hugged his brother. My SIL was pretty funny: she offered me all her maternity clothes, said she hopes it's a girl so she can give me her daughters' clothes, and was like, "We can have sleepovers! We can all go to the beach together!" They both kept showing the picture to their daughters and saying "This is your cousin!"

This will be their daughters' only cousin, because LG and his bro have no other siblings and SIL is an only child. I know that cousins are really important to their families, so I can see why they're happy their daughters will have one. And they know about the miscarriage, even though they haven't spoken about it with us since it happened, so I guess maybe they were getting worried about our reproductive abilities (or maybe not).

It was nice to have them be so excited. But there was a little feeling of "You're in the mommy club now" to the reaction, which I think has to sting a bit for most pregnant IFers, because it's such a reminder of all those years when you were outside that club for good. And they were so happy and confident that everything will work out, which scares me.

I'm still scared. I'm scared about the NT scan. I'm scared about what I'll learn. I had a dream last night that I went to the bathroom and found blood.

As nice as it has been being able to share some good news for a change, this pregnancy no longer belongs only to us, as I knew it wouldn't once we told about it. Other people now have hopes and expectations. And on top of all my other fears of what could happen to the baby (jeez, I've been having terrible visions of cord accidents and all kinds of things I just shouldn't think about--which I guess is progress because at least they happen in third tri) I don't want to go back to being the couple that brings all the sad shit to the family table, the way we have been for the last two years.

But I can't go backward. The news is out there and I have to accept it. My youngest sister is out of the country for the next week, but she's the last sibling we have to tell. In two weeks, if all is well, we'll tell LG's step-sisters and some close friends. And things have a way of spreading. I can't hide in my house the entire time. Like it or not, pregnancy is a public phenomenon, and I'm going to have to do my best with that.


  1. I'm glad you got some great reactions from folks; your sister's was hilarious. We too are in the Only Providers of Cousins category; I hope we can get on that soon...I know this is scary territory, but you're only here because things have gone well so far, right? So yay for Smudgie; keep it up, little dude!

  2. Ha, I love the conversation that took place between you and your sister!

  3. It is hard to be completely excited after a loss but I love how you told your family, such a funny story!

  4. Well, I *do* really like the dress! And I totally relate to your sister-- I have a problem with subtleties as well :). Us literal-minded folks. Sigh.

    I am glad your in-laws are so excited, but I can also see all the complex reasons why you are a bit put off by their enthusiasm-- the fear of loss, the invasion of your private happiness, the 'mommy-club' sting, etc...

  5. That conversation with your sister is too funny. I am glad you are sharing the news, and I truly hope that everything goes well with your NT scan. Hang in there, sweetie. I know that this isn't easy, and I know that you are a pile of nerves (as any of us are/would be/have been in this situation), but you are doing a fantastic job.

    Thinking of you and cheering for Smudgie

  6. This makes me SO happy to read, Sloper :). A milestone to say the least! Can't wait for you to hit 12 weeks! xoxo

  7. That's wonderful! I'm happy to hear you're enjoying telling people. I don't use this word often but it really is such a blessing. :)

  8. Ahhh! Telling (even family) is so scary to me. I totally get that.

    I'm so glad you got such a great reaction from your SIL and BIL. That's awesome!

    Good story with the dress and your sister, too. You've gotta laugh about that shit.

  9. First of all, I really dig that dress! Second, I am psyched your SIL showed so much real emotion and joy. Yes, it did have a whiff of "now you're in the mommies club" to it, but her unabashed happiness seems worlds away from the heartless, cold, sterile way she and BIL have treated you guys up until this moment. The ice queen has melted a bit and I'm so glad for you.

    Pretty funny how the convo went down with your sister. I know this is really anxious, surreal, strange time, but you are doing absolutely awesome. And I totally think that your 3T fears is HUGE progress. Take the victories where you can, Slopie. That Smudgie, he is perfect and healthy, I promise. xoxo

  10. I bet your SIL made you smile so big!!!

  11. I'm so happy for you! I've only been following you for about 3 weeks, but I really enjoy reading your posts. Your SIL's reaction made my eyes tear up! I hope all of those dreams come true for you and your family. Wishing you the best of luck.

  12. That's hilarious about your sister. She sounds very right-brained:) But you're right, it's funny, if I didn't have babies constantly on the brain...if I'd looked at that picture in my 20's, say...I might not have seen anything remarkable about it, either.

    Fingers crossed for your NT scan, Sloper.

  13. hahaha, your sister's rather *slow* reaction to the dress thing is pretty hilarious. i wouldn't have had the patience for all that. re: the NT scan. i almost broke dh's fingers during the scan bc i was soo nervous that they would find something off. luckily, with the blood tests done earlier, you get all your results on the spot. so you can leave feeling FREE and excited (for the good news that you'll get). hang in there until then!

  14. haha, love your sis's slow reaction to the news, great story. And your SIL and BIL's reaction is so, so sweet.

    All will look great at your NT scan, I just know it.

  15. LMAO!!! Too funny about your sister!!! And what a great reaction from SIL and BIL!

    It IS scary, but it sounds like you're starting to have a little fun with it, too, and that rocks my socks. :)