My Pregnancy: Week 12

Cat’s out of the bag! We are officially having a baby. We are at about 1 person hoping we have a boy, 3 who don’t care, and 47 others who insist, hope, and even pray that we have a girl. I nod, smile, and say I’d really be excited either way. It’s the truth. There is the possibility that when we find out in a couple of months I will feel some disappointment. Right now I can see great joy in having another little guy or a little gal. No matter what our family make-up, it’s the love that makes us complete.

Of course there was the woman who said we “need to have a girl so that [our] family is complete.” There are the two family members who refer to my fetus as a “she” as smoothly as if it were true. These, predictably, come with the comments about knowing how babies happen and now we’ll really go crazy.

Only one single person of the fiftyish who have made a comment actually asked what I wanted and just listened to my response. There were a few who asked and when I said I’d really enjoy a girl or a third boy, they would follow up with “well I really hope you have a girl.” It definitely felt like they just dismissed my feelings and almost felt like fake interest, asking me only so they could then espouse their thoughts on the matter. I feel a little like a point of interest mostly for the sake of other people’s opinions. I feel a little lost, unheard, and annoyed.

Not to mention the smidge of rage I feel at some of the borderline sexist comments of two boys and a girl being just perfect. Do we still live in the time of an heir, a spare, and the lone girl as a political pawn to be married off for advantage? But maybe that’s not what they mean at all. Maybe they just go with what we have and believe in the value of reproductive anatomical variety. I try to just assume the best but often wonder if that is feminist of me. These could be opportunities to confront silent sexism, you see. The sociologist (and woman!) in me regularly considers investigating further.

I have many wise sisters-in-law. I refer to them often. The eldest, with three boys and a girl, gave me some advice upon my request. In asking how to deal with all the comments she said she tried to remember people were just trying to connect to her. We often don’t think to connect by simply listening; we also aim to connect by sharing stories, thoughts, and opinions. I could make the pregnancy a time to talk only about me (or at least a little about me!) but I can also see it as an opportunity to connect with other people.

I’ll be honest that I’m still struggling a bit with the idea of connecting because it feels like I’m giving a whole lot in all these conversations and so few people are listening to me in return. But I’ve concluded it’s not kind for me to take the compounded annoyance I have built up from conversation after conversation and put that bitterness on the next person who shows interest. I have snippy remarks I’ve considered and even put out there a time or two. They leave me as dissatisfied in the end as saying nothing at all.

The only person who doesn’t care is our three-year-old. He has learned a lot about anatomy lately. First he learned that mommy has a baby in her belly, and he does not—a very important clarification. He then learned there is a stomach for food and a womb for baby in the belly. Now he knows we all have hearts “way up here,” and got to hear the “wooshymoosh” of baby’s when at the doctor this week. When asked if he wants a brother or sister, he thoughtfully replies, “I just want a baby!”

Me too, son. Me too.

Annie is a mom of two toddlers finding comfort in breakfast foods and the excitement of one little baby on the way. If only she could find time for even more sleep. 

Photo Credit: Peaceful Parenting

Tags: comments, first trimester, pregnancy, strangers, week 12

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