Wednesday, April 20, 2011

some of your questions: answered.

What is it about pregnancy that makes some people, even complete strangers, assume interrogation mode? I've been a bit uncomfortable with the endless stream of questions since Brad and I started telling people about our pregnancy. What I'm about to say may sound contradictory because I write a blog about myself, but I loathe being the center of attention in a conversation. I remember that as a bride-to-be, I felt uncomfortable with others constantly focusing the conversation on my engagement or wedding. It's the same now, only worse.

Many of the questions I've been asked thus far I can't answer yet because I am taking small steps and not getting ahead of myself. But, there are a few that I can answer.

Q. Are you finding out the sex?
A. No

Q. Why not?
A. This is a non-issue for us. Brad and I are old fashioned. We have never once considered finding out the sex with any pregnancy. We have no desire to know in advance. We look forward to the surprise when, Lord willing, we meet our son or daughter.

Q. Well, if you're not finding out, then what do you think you're having?
A. (Side note: if I'm not obsessing over this, why are others?! Some people will not let this one go!) We have no idea what we're having. We have not speculated, nor have we had one conversation where we've spent any time wondering about it. The sex doesn't matter to either of us. We just pray for a healthy baby.

Q. (this is really more of a comment) Well, I think you're having a ....
Me: (interrupting) Don't say it! Don't tell me what you or anyone else thinks. I don't want to be influenced AT ALL! (And don't tell Brad either.)

Q. When is your due date?
A. September 14, 2011

Q. Are you going back to work after maternity leave?
A. I may eventually write a longer post about the complexities of this question, but the short answer for now is yes.

Q. How are you feeling?
A. (Side note: when people ask me this, I immediately respond with the state of my emotional/mental health, until I notice the look of panic on their faces, and then I realize they were inquiring about my physical health, something I don't pay a whole lot of attention to.) Well, Gentle Readers, I think you know how I am doing emotionally. You read this blog and I keep you pretty well informed. Physically, I'm doing great. In the first trimester, I had 5-6 weeks of solid nausea and exhaustion, but I never threw up. Now, my nausea has faded and my energy is back. I'm still waiting for my appetite to return in full force. Even my favorite foods still don't taste as good as they used to. I'm not sleeping great, but I don't have as many bad dreams about the baby dying as I did in the early months.

Q. Have you shopped at X, Y, or Z for maternity clothes?
A. My BeBands and I are doing just fine! I'm 19 weeks today and still haven't ventured into a maternity store or done any serious browsing online. Now that I've made it this far, I'm hopeful I can make it a few more weeks or even another month, and only have to buy maternity clothes for one season (hot weather!) rather than two.

Q. Have you read (insert title of any pregnancy book here)?
A. I refuse to read pregnancy books. Many of them focus too much on the myriad things that can go wrong and signs to watch for if something is wrong, which isn't healthy or helpful for me right now. I do hope to read some parenting books, but not until I'm further along and the information is more relevant.

Q. Have you picked out names/cribs/car seats/strollers/nursery colors/bedding/stores to register at, etc.?
A. This is the point in the conversation where I run away shrieking. It's not time to think about or act on any of those things yet. I'll get there. And when I do, I'm thankful to be having a child later in life after many of my friends have already researched these items and are willing to share their findings with me.

And finally, my favorite question:
Q. What will you do about the National Book Festival this year?
A. Yes, I am aware that my favorite DC event, which will last two days this year, is scheduled to begin 10 days after my due date. And I choose to remain blissfully ignorant about what childbirth, recovery from it, or caring for someone who is only days old entails. Unless I'm in the hospital, I believe I'll still go to the festival, or at least make an appearance to see my favorite authors, possibly with Baby safely hidden away in one of those sling things where no one will see or be tempted to touch him or her. Please allow me to live in dreamland about this for as long as I can. Don't burst my bubble here, current mamas!


Diane Mannina said...

Ha! Love these! God forbid you ever try to hide things like the sex of the baby or his/her name. People are relentless!

I had to miss my favorite conference the week of Bella's birth (that I had put together), and if it makes you feel better, the conference felt light years away and faded in comparison to our little girl. Trust me, if need be, you won't miss that book festival in the least! You'll just look forward to festivals to come when you get to take that little one with you. :)

Lisa Tucker said...

I know you're happy with the BeBand, but let me offer you two words: elastic waistbands. I thought I'd never want to zip up pants (or shorts) again.

Organized Living by Amy said...

oh my goodness. people are nosy and nuts! said...

Thank you for the information you have posted about choosing the right maternity clothes during pregnancy.

Alice said...

I love your blog! I found it from your comment on caitlin's blog. I'm glad to hear that (physically) you are doing well, and that you're doing everything you need to do for your emotional well-being. I'm sending you lots of good will and prayers!

BBH said...

I love how you addressed us as "Gentle Readers," Miss-Manners style.
I hope I didn't cross the line when I asked you the sex in the comments the other day.

Red Stethoscope said...

Good for you for not letting other people's spazziness (is that a word? ;D) stress you out! Taking things one moment at a time, with advice as you need or want is, sounds perfect. I have no idea what my schedule is going to look like in September, but if I'm free (meaning EXAM-free!), I can definitely watch the baby for at least a couple of hours so that you can go to the National Book Festival. I mean that in complete seriousness, as an easily excitable baby-obsessed reader who lives in DC (and is safe! and not a weird internet stranger!).

Aimee @ Smiling Mama said...

So funny, I have been wondering about the National Book Festival, too! (But not really any of the others :) Here's a confidence-inspiring story--a friend of ours was DETERMINED not to miss the OSU v. Michigan football game this year. And, despite giving birth to her first baby just one week prior, she made it! She lives just a few miles from the 'Shoe and I understand that she got dropped off and picked up and was in the stadium for about 2 hours, so not the entire game. But, she went! (In this instance, baby stayed with her sister--even a bjorn couldn't keep a little one safe in a rowdy crowd like that!)

So, I think it might be possible. And, I'd be happy to help in any way (for example, as a chauffer!).


PS Besides, HOW COOL would it be for your future 10yo or 20yo to say he/she had been to EVERY one since birth!! :) My own personal equilivant is that Lucas and Nathaniel have both participated in every election (working the polls or canvassing, etc) since their births!

@rdweatherly said...

I understand asking a couple of friendly questions to express interest and enthusiasm, but people definitely take it too far. I'm so excited for you and Brad, but out of respect for what you're dealing with, I've kept my questions to myself.

The touching thing just blows my mind though! Unless a child is falling or in some other danger, I do NOT touch other people's babies without an invitation and through hand washing. I have never understood why someone would do this, especially a stranger! If you want someone to walk in front of you and give threatening looks to people that try to touch your baby at the Book Festival, let me know. I'd happily run interference for you. ;)

Caitlin said...

I absolutely think you can pull off the book festival this year! Going out with a little baby is tiring and a little overwhelming, but totally do-able. I dragged Emerson all over the place during my maternity leave, using one of those slings like you mentioned. You and Brad will make it work!