I think I’m being
I’ve been inundated with non-essential pregnancy talk this week – that is, I keep being party to, or overhearing, conversations about strangers’ pregnancies; when the expecting parent in question is someone I actually know, it becomes essential pregnancy talk: still painful, but somehow less unjust.
My dad broke his collarbone after “tripping” on a curb during his bike ride this weekend. He’s fine – in his words, “more embarrassed than hurt.” So this evening, he forwarded me a conversation chain from the message board of his riding group. It started (at the bottom) with one of the guys asking for an update on how my dad was doing after his fall. He answered, other people responded asking how long he’d be out and expressing how glad they were that he’s okay and in good spirits… And then this last post, which was the first thing I read upon opening the attachment:
I am glad to hear everyone is doing okay. For those of you who know who I am you will not see me the rest of this season it looks like, Dr. does not want me doing any more long hard rides.* I am 14 weeks pregnant and I am only lasting about 20 miles before I poop out. See you all after this baby comes (due September 6th).
And because this is my dad, and not some random customer/coworker/cousin whom I might risk offending, I instantly wrote back: “You couldn’t have cut off the pregnancy announcement before sending this to me?”**
Look, team. That’s like every. single. day. this week. So I feel like the universe is testing me, here in the home stretch of my project, to see whether I can handle this stuff or not. And I honestly don’t know whether I’m passing or failing: on the one hand, it still hurts. I still feel like a little kid with my fingers (and my pulse) in my ears, screaming, “La la la la la!” against these types of news that I don’t want to hear – don’t need to hear, really.
On the other hand, I am, in fact, dealing with it. I’m feeling my feelings, accepting them, and moving on. Yes, occasionally, the blood still rushes to – or maybe from? – my head; yes, occasionally, my heart rate still speeds up; yes, occasionally, I still forget to breathe for a minute. But I know how to talk myself down from that panic attack ledge; I know that I can walk away from the conversation, or close the browser window, and trust that I’ll be fairly easily distracted. I know that I can file my sense of the world’s injustice for later, then write about it here, or send a choice email, safe in the knowledge that there are people out there who understand exactly what this is like for me.
I hope these tools will be enough to get me through the next few years of limbo while I wait to start my own family (and I’ll be interested to see how my eventual success on that front affects my reactions to this type of news, or if it does at all). I think that they will be.
*Insert “That’s what she said!” or other inappropriate comment about how ‘doing long hard rides’ is what got you pregnant in the first place…
**Dad wrote back to say, “Don’t know why she talks about not riding on a ‘rider down’ message trail.” Obviously, he’s unfamiliar with pregnant women’s tendency to think any subject is somehow related to their pregnancy. (Dumb bitch.)