babies aren't leftovers

Other person: Wait... what are you drinking?

Me: Water.

Other person: Really.

Me: ... ... ... I'm pregnant!

Other person: Again?

Me: ... ... ... Yep! We just found out!

Other person: Yikes!
___

Let me slow your heart rate down and just start by saying that NO, I'm not pregnant again.

This is a post about the time I was starting to tell people that I was pregnant with Buster.

Yes, that exchange was a real conversation I had.

With a friend.

A friend who is also a mom.

When I started to tell people that I was knocked up with Buster, I expected my friends to bubble over with the same fizzy joy as they did when I told them I was preggo with Chicken. And many of my friends did.

But I was really appalled at how often people responded with, I don't know, boredom. Boredom with a dash of disdain. I was so excited, flushed, telling people way too early. Just like with Chicken, I couldn't keep my mouth shut.

Only with Chicken, when I told friends, they squealed and laughed. They jumped up and down. They brought me little baby socks at work. They cried.  The thing I remember hearing most was, "OHMYGOD THIS IS THE BEST NEWS!" With Buster, the thing I remember hearing most was some variation on, "uh oh, now you're screwed." Close second: "you're trying for a girl, aren't you?"

That's not the thing to say, you guys.

Not just one person, but numerous people responded to my sweet, hot bun in the oven with an attitude that stank of "Bread? Meh."

It pissed me off, the way it pissed me off when those 5-year-old girls ran away from my Chicken on the playground one Saturday after he walked up to them and said, "hi guys! Hi! Wanta play?"

It embarrassed me. I felt so fat and foolish, so silly to have been looking forward to telling my friends. Like I shouldn't have blow-dried my hair.

But more than anything else, it really, really, really hurt my feelings. A lot. Even now, over a year after all these conversations happened, it hurts my feelings to think about it. Not gonna lie, tearing up a little writing this.

I was heartbroken. I couldn't understand why friends would shit on my joy. I couldn't understand why a friend would see me waiting for the corks to start popping, and opt to pour me a warm, flat soda instead.

I imagined these friends would hear about this baby being born and send a text:
heard u had baby. not even a girl. uh oh. yikes.

I cried. And I thought,

THIS IS NOT BUSINESS AS USUAL. 
This is not just another day.
This is a whole new baby. 
Not a re-run. 
Not a leftover. 
Entirely new.

This baby is just as precious as the first one.
If he is a boy, I will love having two sons.
If she is a girl, I will love having a son and a daughter.
I did not get pregnant again to make up for my dissatisfaction with my firstborn's sex.
I got pregnant again because I wanted another baby.
I wanted one. Bad.
And now, this second, he's here. Or she.

I'm so excited,
excited the way Chicken is when he sees a helicopter in the sky.
Please
don't be bored. 
This baby is just as worthy of your excitement as the first one. 
This baby deserves a baby shower, a celebration in his honor. 
He deserves his own storybooks, his own cute onesies. 
This baby deserves to be born into a world that can't wait to meet him.
Please be one of those people who can't wait.
Please don't be bored.
Please don't be mean.
Please.

Memo to friends who hear the big news and for some reason are not excited about it:

If your instinct is to say some version of "So?" "Again?" "Yikes!" or "Uh oh, now you're screwed," when a friend tells you that she's pregnant, do your friendship a favor and put an entire renaissance fair turkey leg and/or movie theater soft pretzel inside your mouth until the urge passes.

It doesn't matter if you think you're cracking a hilarious joke. You're not.

It doesn't matter if it's her second, third, or if she's about to get the free one on her obstetrician's "lucky dozen" punch card.

It doesn't fucking matter.

It doesn't matter if you have opinions about how many babies a person should be having in a world where we are mindful of carbon footprints, or if you cannot imagine wanting to have as many children as your friend is about to have.

Any time a friend tells you that she's pregnant, be AS EXCITED as you were the first time.
Because she's probably AS EXCITED as she was the first time.
And even if she feels nauseated and terrified and exhausted, you're her fucking friend.
Plus, you're not having your life force sucked out of you by a tiny superhuman bundle of cells the size of a sesame seed.

It is your job, friend, at precisely this moment, to hold her up.


Memo to pregnant mamas whose friends are not excited:

HOLY SHIT! 

YOU'RE PREGNANT?!?!??!?! 

THAT IS THE BEST FUCKING NEWS!!! 

CONGRATULATIONS!!! 

How are you feeling? When did you find out? 
Bedelia is going to be the most amazing big sister. 
I'm so happy for you.
(tear)


0 comments:

Post a Comment