EVERYONE is pregnant! How is this possible? You’d think the universe would just run out of new babies, or of people to give them to, but the babies just keep on coming.
One of my two closest friends at work is pregnant, and she’s been really great about it. She and my other BFF at work held off telling me until a few months had passed since my last m/c, for which I thanked them profusely, and since then she really hasn’t talked about it much in front of me. Not that you can ignore it—I mean she’s a size 2, so the 4-month bump is pretty noticeable. But even when we do talk about it, we talk about how she’s feeling, not about the baby inside. I find I’m okay hearing about how strange and awkward pregnancy is. After all, I’m not terribly eager to experience it myself, and if there was another way (within reason, of course) to obtain a bio-child, I’d be all over that.
But yesterday I ended up with three women, my favorite girls, in my office eating lunch. And somehow conversation switched to paint colors for the new house one of them just bought, and that led to a conversation about the color my preggers friend is painting her nursery. Crap. There we were, discussing “plans”. Baby plans. And it went on from there. An entire lunch hour talking about nursery design, car seats, cribs, baby clothes, and then, of course, naturally, the inevitable—baby names.
At first this wasn’t so awful, but by the time we got to baby names, I was ready to check out. Because it’s not like I’m new to the conversation. And it’s not like I’ve never been there. I’ve been there. I’ve made lists, I’ve looked up names at the US Census website to look at baby names. I’ve stood outside our guest room, imagining the changes we would make in the upcoming months to get ready for the baby. But that was TWO YEARS ago. And here I am, watching my friends––who weren’t even thinking about babies when I started trying––with toddlers that are walking and talking.
To be fair, you only make those plans once. After the first m/c, you learn your lesson and hold off any true hope until you’re much further along (further than I’ve ever gotten, at least, I’ve never even heard a heartbeat). But that first pregnancy is a killer, because you don’t really know how easily life can just snatch you off that roller coaster you’ve gotten on.
After lunch, my preggers friend stuck around, and we had a heart-to-heart about it. She apologized, said she hadn’t figured out how to change the subject herself, and we devised a plan for if this happened again. If we’re talking babies, and I change the subject, she’ll immediately follow my lead. Again, thanks to Alice Domar (I seriously recommend her book), I have learned that you have to tell your friends what you need from them.
So immediately after lunch I go downstairs to go to the courthouse to look at records, and I bump into another friend, who’s out on boy-maternity leave to care for his 6-month-old daughter, who is cuddled against his front in a baby backpack, fast asleep. Already feeling burned, I have to make nice with him, all the while I can’t take my eyes of his baby’s translucent blue eyelids and soft, soft eyelashes.Seriously, what happened to me? Did I turn into a baby magnet or something? Am I forever doomed to attract pregnant people and beautiful babies to me like moths to a flame? (Note my two metaphors in a row—very fancy writing!)