Redux- Tuesday October 4

Remember the posts where I talk about how well I’m doing and how awesome everything is and how special I am for being awesome and well and mega-awesome?

This isn’t one of them.

This is a post about how I feel like every single day I’m a liar. I have this huge belly that makes people smile and touch and want to talk about. At least once a day- but usually many more times that that- people ask me if this is my first baby*.

I lie and smile and laugh at their dumb jokes and warnings (“geeeet ready!” “enjoy your sleep noooooooow”) and I do it so I don’t make them uncomfortable. Except it makes me feel like a complete shitheel. As soon as I convinced myself that Tommy Jr wouldn’t care if I lied, and that he’d understand because he is a wise old soul, I realized that I care. I am not a wise old soul. I’m a mother who doesn’t know the first thing about caring for a baby. I’m a mother who doesn’t know their child. Being told everything I don’t know, while helpful and necessary, breaks my heart anew. I feel like a kid always on the verge of a temper tantrum.

It’s the same old shit really. I should quit crying about it because this is an element that will define the rest of my life. There will always be one little ghost in our family, and I’ll probably always feel more comfortable lying about him. It’s not that I feel like I’m not honoring him- that’s impossible- I honor and love and think about him constantly. It’s something about me. I feel like I’m not honoring my pain and my reality. Like the happy-go-lucky skin just fits better than the grown-up-everyone-suffers skin.

Boo. Here’s a better piece of news- my count was off. I’m going to be 30 weeks October 21st. Just two and a half more weeks until we’re in the safety zone. I wish I was writing that with the enthusiasm it deserves. Maybe I can chalk some of this melancholia up to hormones?

*WHY do people always ask that? Can some one please explain why this is such pressing information for strangers?

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  1. maureen says:

    In answer to your very good question, I believe that the sight of you and your ripe belly most likely reminds them of when they or someone close to them were pregnant for the first time. Anytime any of us cross a threshold for the first time there is something so special even sacred about it that women (especially older ones) like to revisit the memory & somehow create a heart connection with a young mother, regardless of how ephemeral it is. And unless it happens to you, it never occurs that what seems a benign or even endearing question is actually instigating something terribly painful. The other thing about pregnancy and child birth is that it is preparing you for many life changes. And that includes answering lots of difficult, sometimes painful questions. I will give you a piece of parenting advice: When you get one of those surprising questions from a little person or big one, it can be useful to respond with ‘why do you ask?’ which almost always takes the conversation in another direction; a good tactic for inquiries that need to be dodged or stalled. The other important thing is to sharpen your instincts about crazy, rude or nosey people who will use your vulnerable condition and innocent child to strike up a one sided conversation, shut it down fast. Many blessings to you and your babies.

  2. Big Sully says:

    I think people always ask that because parents LOVE to give each other advice and are a super nosy group of humans. They love being parents so much, they can’t even believe it. They want to relate to you on that level. To be honest, nobody is walking around thinking about whether or not they will offend the very small percentage of parents who have lost a child by being nosy. If they discover you are already a parent, they want to know about how far apart your kids will be and if the other one knows what’s happening, and they know you wont be as willing an audience to accept the advice. If they discover you are about to have your first (jackpot!!), they have found a willing audience onto whom they can unleash a torrent of unsolicited advice, because surely every parent has at least one or two tricks that worked like a charm that they want other loving parents to have too. We’re a club, albeit a clicky and clueless one, and you are already a member. You might not know how to sleep train or clip a newborn’s toenails, but you have loved another person more than you love yourself, and that is the only membership requirement. So, respond however you want to those inquiries “Yes, it’s my first little girl” might work. Or how about “What? I’m not pregnant!” could be fun. You have no obligation to even respond. However it is you choose to respond, nobody is judging you or questioning whether you are honoring your son. Just try as hard as possible to enjoy what’s left of this pregnancy, as it’ll go fast and your daughter will want to know all about when she is 5 and smarter than you and you’ll need some good stories to tell her. If that means fucking with people to get your jollies, or hell, even having a glass of wine (oh, the horror!) to take the edge off a really bad day, I say go for it. Hope this wasn’t overkill! Love you!

  3. Leslie Ann says:

    Hello Dear. The above replies are both very good. They have given you a lot of reasons why and tactics (even wine, oh, the horror!). I am feeling your pain, though. Makes me sad, too.

    Just try to keep smiling and thinking positive – that was the mantra during the mmc struggles my other cybersisters and I overcame. However, the fucking with people to get your jollies as a way you can keep doing the smiling and thinking positive sounds great, too. I want to say aren’t we all big fat liars in one way or another anyway…but that doesn’t strike me as the positive thoughts I’m trying to foster…just more shit to work through.

    I would love to rub your belly!!! And visit Tommy’s tree with you. Too bad we missed each other last weekend! My girls and I got to see Sue and Riley – and that was so very special!!! HUGS!!!!!

  4. Cathleen says:

    Hey there,
    That same question has been hitting me even harder these days and I can’t say I am handling it very well. On the one hand, I try to remind myself that the chances of someone going through what we have gone through is slim and that they don’t mean anything by asking but on the other, it still pisses me off. I hate the question. If I answer honeslty, I end up apologizing for making them feel bad that they asked and the answer is not what they expected. If I lie, I feel like you. I just lied and I hate lying. Hang in there. I have a feeling no matter how many times we go through this, it will sting every single time. OUr sons will never be forgotten and neither wil the pain.

    On a positive note, yeh for almost being at 30 weeks! That is fantastic. I am 30 next week. I have to say I do feel more positive but then more thoughts come in to my head and I start to feel uneasy again. I think it is par for the course we have had to travel.

  5. Wardy says:

    Hola. All great responses, hopefully helpful in putting where people are coming from into perspective. I wont add much, but I did want to say that being on the receiving end of an unexpected answer to what one might think is an innocent/harmless question, is not as uncomfortable as you may think. Personally, when someone responds with something sad to me (whether in regards to a lost loved one, miscarriage, divorce, or other devestating life event…) it just makes the person asking that much more aware of people’s journeys and struggles. It likely makes them even more appreciative of the things that they have. Please don’t feel the need to apologize for putting someone in an ‘awkward’ spot – they may have a little ghost of their own, be it in the form of a baby or other emotional scar. We are all humans and I don’t think anyone is judging you for your response – they are simply curious and unaware. Hearing about Tommy Jr in my opinion is reason to brighten someone’s day. Love to you. Good luck and here’s to 30 weeks and beyond!

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