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

Monday, May 23, 2011

Let's All Talk About My Uterus; or, Telling

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.


  1. It's not rude. Everyone shares in their own way, and I think you need to do whatever you feel most comfortable with. It's YOUR body and YOUR bump. Share it how ever you feel is best, and screw anyone who has an opinion about it. It's not their news to tell.


  2. I also live in a coop bldg and I also went to great lengths to not share the bump news with the five other families in our six-flat. They figured out we were having twins when boxes holding double strollers and two car seats, etc, arrived!!! It's just a hard thing to tell.....I found it easier to share the news with randos, like a coffee shop barrista, than other folks in my life?!

    Smudgie is SO PERFECT in there, I promise. There's a nice lull in anxiety after an u/s and then I found that the anxiety would BUILD UP LIKE CRAZY in the final days before the next one. But your little baby is 110% okay sweet friend, don't let the anxiety fool you! Lean on that hubs of yours for reassurance! I asked mine a dozen times a day, "are the babies okay? really? truly? but how do you knoooooow?" xoxo

  3. i did the same thing egg did, asking hubby 10x's a day if the baby was okay. and then of course following it up with "but how do YOU *really* know??". i say do what comes naturally, and if natural is to keep this pregnancy to yourself to anyone but THE closest of friends and family, do it. i still haven't told a lot of ppl. 90% of my facebook friends have no clue. and they probably never will, since one of my "to do's" this week is to de-friend everyone who i don't *really* consider a good friend and who i don't want to share baby info with. this will probably leave me with about 10 friends :o) you've almost survived the longest stretch of no u/s! i'm super impressed you didn't ask for a "well being" check midway through, knowing they'd give you one. i believe the appts get closer together after this :o) xoxo.

  4. Oh, babe... I'm HORRIBLE at telling! I completely feel for you!

    There are still doctors I work with who are *just* finding out through word-of-mouth.

    It just feels far too awkward to go up to people and be all, "Yeah, um, I'm totally pregnant. So... there's that."

    My feeling is--what do they care? I mean, unless we're really close friends or family, do people really care if I'm knocked up? My guess is no. But then when they find out down the road and are shocked, I feel bad about that too.

    Ugh... oh well.

    Happy halfway point! That slight fear is going to stay with us until these babies are born, I'm guessing. It seems to get easier and easier, though...

  5. Hmm... it sounds like you don't know a huge blabbermouth. This is one instance when those come in handy! :) I'm with you-- I let other people do most of the telling for me. I think it's fine to let your bump do the talking. Or your birth announcements (in the case of those long distance friends who you don't talk to very often).

    The anxiety-- ummmm, I'll let you know when it abates for me, if ever. I spent a good portion of yesterday studying SIDS statistics. Ay yi yi.

  6. Oh you know I feel for you on this front! I had a horribly difficult time breaking the news to my coworkers. It was awkward and weird and just felt strange to come out and say, "I'm pregnant!" Even the Facebook post made extremely uneasy. But since then it's gotten much easier. I wonder if once you just open up to those in your building or to your friends that the anxiety over telling will ease up?

    Smudgie IS healthy and wonderful! And it's still only natural to worry. Seriously. So don't kill yourself worrying about worrying--it's normal.

    And the bump pics!!! You look so adorable and SO thin! I love the little bump. I can't wait t o watch you grow! xoxo

  7. I STILL ask hubs if the babies are ok...like a thousand times a day...it's a sickness!! Good thing he's patient :)

    I think it's natural to feel awkward about telling people. I let the bump speak for itself at work and it definitely got awkward when I was really showing, but people were still to scared to ask! One woman said she thought I'd had an injury and stopped working out and gained some weight...when I was 6 mo pregnant. Gross! But funny.

  8. Ah, I know this will totally be me. I'm already feeling super awkward about telling people and for most people it's still several weeks away. We haven't even told any of our family yet - glad to know I'm not the only one who feels this way.

  9. I had a really hard time telling a number of my coworkers as well. My company has projects all over the world so I have coworkers with whome I have a fairly close working relationship but who I never SEE. And some of THEM still don't know that I'm pregnant. And I have less than a month until I start my leave... I need to figure out how to let them know!

    Those bumps and thumps are Smudgie reassuring you!

  10. dr B is my fav, hands down. but dr S is my 2nd fav, probably bc i've seen him for half my appointments so far. only started seeing more of dr R recently, so i think he's actually tied with dr S for 2nd place now. i actually really like them all. just not dr K, but i do concede that that might be bc i was having a super emotional day the one time i saw him, and he said something that rubbed me the wrong way.

  11. I agree with Katie -- you should tell who you want, when you want in whatever way you feel comfortable. Also, even though I'm fairly confident your baby is happy, healthy and adorable, I can appreciate your concerns. Try to not worry yourself too, too much though and take each day as it comes. There's just so much to celebrate right now and so much joy to feel -- I don't want you to miss out! *hugs*

  12. I've had a really hard time with the telling of this pregnancy. With Liam, the triumph of getting pregnant after our struggle made me want to shout it from the rooftops. This time, it's more of a whisper. Sometimes I worry that people will judge that I'm pregnant again so soon. Sometimes, I worry about telling other IF friends. Sometimes, I'm still not sure how I'll handle everything.

    I know you get so nervous in between scans, but Smudgie is awesome and you really are getting close to that mythical "safe" zone.