Coffee-Induced Self-Editing (Four Weeks)
My big plans of keeping all of this a secret until later lasted not even six weeks. I suck. Anyway, this week I’ll be catching you up on the stuff I’ve been writing about the antics of the
devil spawn parasite tiny little miracle that is currently growing in my belly. I promise the coming weeks won’t be so breeder-oriented. Bear with me.
This morning I was getting a cup of coffee from the woman at the gym, as is my habit, and she asked how Mini was doing, as is hers. Naturally, I felt the burning compulsion I have felt since getting a positive pregnancy test last week to TELL EVERYONE about the fact that I’m pregnant, whether it is relevant or not — a compulsion that I indulged with Mini’s pregnancy, despite the ever-present possibility of something going wrong.
Even at only four weeks, it somehow feels relevant to tell people about this. I wish I understood why: do I think they will treat me differently? Do I honestly think the woman at the coffee place gives a shit if I’m pregnant? A month or so from now, when I get into that phase where I look fat but you cannot really tell that it’s from pregnancy or just me eating too much — now in that case, it might make sense, e.g. “I know, I look like a cow, don’t I? It’s actually pregnancy, though.”
It always feels like something I should be talking about, even with people I hardly know. But then I looked at the coffee cup in my hand and realized, maybe I haven’t fully explored the reasons that not having to tell people provides. Maybe let people find out a little bit later, when I don’t have a choice about telling them? Because as soon as you start telling, the bullshit starts.
The thing about being pregnant is that once you’re showing, everybody on earth feels compelled to tell you what you should and shouldn’t be doing. Sure, I could explain to the woman working at the coffee place that most doctors say one cup of coffee per day is no big deal and in any case, at 29 days the baby and I are not yet sharing a bloodstream, so this is kind of a bonus time, where I can get in a few last jolts of caffeine before a workout (what?! You’re working out while pregnant?! Have you checked with your OB?!) without worrying about anything.
Or, maybe the woman wouldn’t even care, given the fact that I’m buying coffee from her and contributing to her livlihood.
But when you’re pregnant, the CYA culture is so strong, that you do feel like you have to edit yourself. All of a sudden the “it takes a village” maxim is actually in effect, and strangers are patting your belly and asking if it’s a boy or a girl, as if it is any of their goddamn business, and why are you touching me, anyway?
So all at once I feel compelled to tell everyone, but my experience the first time around is reminding me that sometimes, it’s good to be able to hide, even if it’s just for a little while.