A Private Pregnancy

I’m going through a very exciting time in my life, which kinda makes it all the more strange why I haven’t been blogging much lately. I found out in January that I’m expecting child #2 in October. Yes, I’m halfway through my 2nd pregnancy and I have yet to shout it through the blogosphere.

When I first found out, I couldn’t wait to share the news. But then something changed. I wanted to keep it private, which is probably very unusual for a blogger. Especially a “mommy blogger.” We tend to share everything. Overshare, actually. But this pregnancy made me want to embrace privacy and anonymity. Perhaps it was just the mama-bear instinct that often kicks in as soon as we read the positive pregnancy test.  Who knows. But what I do know is that I wasn’t ready to share the news until now.

When I started sharing the news with family and friends, I was somewhat surprised about some of the responses we received. I think some of the personal questions people asked me prompted me to keep this pregnancy more private than I originally intended, both off and online. It also motivated me to write a list of things you ought not to say to an expectant mother and couple. I understand that pregnancy often brings out curiosity in others, but it’s pretty obvious that some people don’t understand that their questions are rather personal and that many people would like the answers to remain private.  Here are a few rather personal questions that people have asked me so far:

1) Was it planned?

- Before I even received a “congratulations” or a “mazel tov”, a few people went straight to one of the most personal questions you can ask an expectant couple. Listen, when someone tells you that they’re having a baby (especially in an obviously excited tone), it doesn’t matter whether or not the pregnancy was planned.

2) I didn’t know you were trying!?!

- Family planning isn’t exactly something that everyone wants to discuss with others, even family and close friends. The only person that needed to know that information was my OB/GYN!

3) Were you trying for a while?

- This question has a number of highly personal messages behind it. First, the person asking wants to know your fertility-ability and whether or not you needed some help getting pregnant. It’s also another way to find out if the pregnancy was planned or not.

4) Why did you wait so long? A 4-year age difference between kids is pretty big!

- Um, yeah. This is a interesting one to me. I didn’t know that family planning has a universal time-line for everyone! Whether or not we intentionally planned to space our children out 4 years or had issues getting there is no one’s business. And, for the record, I don’t think 4 years is a big age difference at all. The 20 and 24 year age difference between me and my half-siblings is a big age difference. When an older sibling often gets confused as being the parent of a younger sibling, THAT’s a big age difference.

5) Since you already have a boy, you must be wanting a girl!

- Not so much a question as it is an assumption. The answer is actually no. Hoping for a healthy child goes without saying, but, as far as the sex of the baby? I honestly don’t care. I didn’t care during the first round either, which is why we didn’t find out with the Monkey.

6) What is your birth plan? Since you were induced for the first baby, will you be induced again?

- My only birth plan is to have a healthy pregnancy and delivery and bring a healthy baby into this world. Although I ideally would like to avoid an induction again (along with the experience of an induced natural labor that only lasted 1.5 hours), how we get there doesn’t matter to me. Birthing a baby should be an empowering and celebratory experience, no matter how you do it.

People are naturally curious about the pregnancy and birthing experiences of others. I am, too. But once I experienced my own pregnancy, I quickly learned that the only appropriate thing to say to a pregnant couple is “congratulations” followed by “you look great” and/or “how are you feeling? ” Anything else can easily be considered rude and invasive. Some pregnant women and couples don’t mind the personal questions, which means they will probably offer up what they want to share on their own. I know I love to talk about all things pregnancy-related with close friends and family, but only when I feel the timing is right.

Have any other personal pregnancy questions/assumptions that you were asked? Please share!