Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I hate disclaimers

One of the things that I have found frustrating in becoming pregnant in a successful fashion is the need to add disclaimers to the disclosure that I am pregnant.

"B and I are expecting. Again."

And everyone knows that "again" doesn't mean "Holy shit, we are having so much wanton sex that number four is on the way..we just don't know how we got ourselves into this familiar situation...and we're going to have to cram all our chitterlings in a double bed just like Charlie's grandparents in that book about his adventures in the Chocolate Factory.' Somebody give us some damn birth control already! Or a calendar."

Or, "I'm pregnant and hoping it sticks." Not that I've ever really said that, but I have thought it every single time.

And, to make my eyes roll clear to the back of my head, there are conversations like this one with my sister:

(In a nod to James Frey, I may be embellishing just a bit.)

Sister: How are you feeling?

Me: Fine?

Sister: Are you showing yet?

Me: No. My pants are still pretty comfortable.

Sister: Bitch (mockingly, of course)

Me: (Nothing. What on earth could I say?)

Sister: How many weeks are you?

Me: Twelve.

Sister: Well are you feeling the baby yet? Should be any day now.

Me: No.

Sister: Well I felt (my second) at, oh I think 11 or 12 weeks. Oh yeah, he was so active. I remember lying on my back and I could actually see his little kicks.

Me: (Pause.) Maybe it was gas.

At which point my sister launches into a long, earnest explanation of how it wasn't gas, it was her baby and he would just kick, kick, kick and flip, flip, flip.

You get the point.

I suffered through this conversation once and held my tongue as best I could. I know better than to correct my sister. She will not back down. And it will just make for future unpleasantness.

But, when, during our next conversation she tried the same road with me, I could not take it. I just could not. She is ridiculous. I found myself telling her that at 11 or 12 weeks your uterus is not even above your pubic bone, barely if so (which of course, she countered by saying that he was a big baby from the start), etc. The whole time I was having a private dialogue with myself about how I shouldn't have opened my mouth and what was I trying to prove? She wasn't going to budge. The most she offered was that her husband couldn't see the kicks that early (really? have you checked his vision?), but that was because she was feeling them and thus knew where to look. He didn't.

We are still speaking and friendly, because I backed off pretty quickly. (Although my husband was treated to quite a rant after that call.)

However, what I think my lovely sister (And I do love her. She is my best friend.) fails to understand is that for each of these milestone she throws out there (protruding belly, quickening), there is one more thing for me to fret over. Further, and most importantly for someone who has gone through several miscarriages, when she says something so inane as "I felt my baby kick at 11 or 12 weeks" not only is it infuriating, but it puts me in the awkward position of feeling that I have to discredit her to keep my own sanity. Usually she presents malarkey about having to chill red wine or how giving antibiotics to her kids as a preventive measure is smart medicine, and these nuggets I can endure. But when she starts with pregnancy related stuff, it's as if she's thrown down the gauntlet.

It's amazing that people (even those you love dearly) continue to say thoughtless things even when you're pregnant. Why am I surprised?

7 Comments:

At 10:26 PM, Blogger Sam and Brian said...

I am so sorry your sister was so insensitive. I had to laugh at the "chilling of red wine." You know, I think often people are almost...dare I say, JEALOUS of pregnancy, even if they have children of their own. Perhaps even more so. After our years of ttc, when we did get pg, we had friends who said, "Don't worry, if this one doesn't stick, at least you know you can get pregnant."
People just don't get it.
Let me promise you, kicks don't start happening for AWHILE! No worries, big baby or not. I was 20 weeks and i felt something so soft, it could have been anything. The real deal didn't set in until 25 weeks or so. You'll love every minute, I promise.
I love your blog and a huge congrats on your pregnancy. God bless.

 
At 3:07 AM, Blogger Kath said...

Oh, Casey, that sucks... I'm so sorry. It's really amazing how insensitive even dear family members can be.

And when they try to fob totally inaccurate information off on you, it adds insult to injury. I must say you're a trooper for taking it with such good grace.

I'm so glad you're at 12 weeks! Woo-hoo!!!!

 
At 8:58 AM, Blogger Kathy McC said...

I always find that it's the people who are closest to us that say the most insensitive comments. Why do they do that?

Glad to hear things are continuing to go well!!

 
At 10:10 AM, Blogger DD said...

Obviously your sister was either two months off when she reported her LMP or she ate too many burritos.

That would seriously have to be one big-ass baby.

I'm so happy you've made it to this milestone even though it makes you nervous. I hope as time passes, the following ones will get a little easier to pass.

 
At 10:41 AM, Blogger Alice said...

Wow. Perhaps my sister and your sister were separated at birth. My sister who is a NURSE and should actually know and understand the mechanics behind pregnancy has 1) offered me her eggs because she’s convinced my recurrent miscarriages are due to the age of my own eggs (although there is no evidence to support this assertion and she is no less than SEVEN years OLDER than myself); 2) told me that I will probably get pregnant and carry the baby to term the moment we decide to go through the process of adoption and 3) after discussing my last miscarriage decided to regale me with the birth stories of her own kids. And I adore her. Really I do. She’s just . . . completely insensitive at times. I’ve tried to educate her and others but there’s only so much energy that I have to combat the ignorance. Sometimes I think the best policy is to just tune them out–even if you explain that it’s hard for you to hear because of your own history and it just throws you into a tailspin of anxiety and worry, they will simply not get it.

 
At 11:33 AM, Blogger Alison Spodek said...

I've been loving reading your blog-- I'm just a few weeks further along than you (after an IF journey of my own) and you always express all my own concerns. Like, "why aren't I showing at all?" and "I'm supposed to be able to feel my uterus by now? WHERE?"

But, I can tell you, at 12-13 weeks I kept whining, "where's my belly?" and all of a sudden, just a few weeks later (I'm not telling you how many so as not to drive you crazy in a few weeks) I can't button my pants. At all. So it kinda crept up on me.

Good luck with everything (sister/pants/etc). I'm sure it's all going to be fine...

 
At 1:39 AM, Blogger Hetty Fauxvert said...

It's hard when someone you love is being totally and completely stupid ... but I always say hey, maybe I can get them to be even *more* stupid! You need to concoct some idiotic story about pregnancy (heard from your best friend's sister's cousin, of course) -- such as, I don't know, some kid in Bolivia was born 3 weeks late and speaking in complete sentences. Or something. Tell it to Sis and get her to believe it, and you will then have the satisfaction of knowing she is going around spreading a story to her friends that the National Enquirer would be proud to publish!

As for feeling the baby, I felt nothing until 20 weeks. You are not alone.

Thanks for your nice post to my blog. I've been too exhausted to reply lately, but it's much appreciated. :)

 

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