Okay, confession time: I may have just passed the 20-week, half-way point, but I am still pretty anxious about this pregnancy. Not all the time. Not even most of the time. But I can tell that this week is going to be rough. Over a month since I've seen my Smudgie! And an anatomy scan on Friday! And despite the fact that I have felt his or her thumps and bumps with increasing frequency and vigor over the past few weeks, I still have my days when I worry I'm making it all up or Smudgie's less active days that freak me out.
And in the back of my mind is always the fear of showing up for the scan and not seeing a heartbeat. I can't shake it, not even when I have physical proof that Smudge is dancing a jig in there.
So this is all in the background, but not really what I wanted to write about today. Today I wanted to write about the "Telling."
To be quite blunt, I suck at it. There are still multiple close friends (that live in other parts of the country) that I haven't told. They've gotten busy, I've gotten busy, I lost my cell phone and a lot of my contacts, blah de blah de blah. I could send them e-mails, but I somehow convinced myself I would call them. And then I don't. So they don't know.
Or take my neighbors. Most New Yorkers wouldn't tell their neighbors something like this anyway, but Lawyer Guy and I live in a small, 5-unit co-op building (hmmm, how to explain co-ops to someone not in New York. We all own the building together but only have leases on our individual apartments and the co-op board has to approve all sales of apartments). In my building there's one family with two small kids, two young, married heterosexual couples without kids, a gay, single 40-something guy (whom we're closest to), and us. We've all lived here upwards of two years.
We've told our Single Guy neighbor (who was totally sweet and excited for us) but I haven't told anyone else. Not only that-- I'm actively hiding it from them! I make sure to wear this swing-shaped, loose trench coat I own every time I leave the house to cover the bump. Fortunately it's been raining constantly the past month, so this isn't as weird as it might be otherwise. But this is getting ridiculous. I'm almost into my 6th month! What the hell is my problem?
I just told all my academic advisors last week because I had to reschedule my oral exam date and they needed to know about my time constraints. I've told a few friends at grad school, but find it weird and awkward to tell the randoms. And because so many of my fellow students are in their early-/mid-twenties and not yet to the bumpwatching stage, they kind of don't figure it out on their own. At our end-of-the year party last week, there was a perfect opening to tell someone-- she asked what my teaching schedule is for next semester and I responded, "Oh, I'm taking a break from teaching in the fall." Fortunately, my close grad school friend (who's pregnant after IVF) was like, "Tell her why you're not teaching, dumbass!" in not quite those words.
I could recite similar stories all day. I find the whole "telling" routine really awkward and uncomfortable. Why should conversations suddenly shift to involve my uterus? Why should extraneous people be involved in my pregnancy, the most private and intimate and sacredly special thing I've ever experienced? Is it okay to let the belly speak for itself? Is it rude? Awkward?
I just don't know how to do this very well.
I'm back, and it's hopefully not a once-off!!
11 months ago