Public indecency

This week has been a doozy on the pregnancy front. Back before I was pregnant with baby three, I spent some time pondering how I would handle all of the questions from strangers. I thought I could mostly avoid going out in public during the last trimester, and I could dress in sacks when I had to leave the house. Surely, if I avoided eye contact, people would ignore me.

Apparently I had forgotten that I am the most pregnant looking pregnant lady ever.

I want to give people the benefit of the doubt when they make inappropriate comments. They’re trying to be friendly, right? But, oh, are they rude. A woman the other day asked whether I was about to go into labor. When I said that I had two months left, she said that, if she were me, she didn’t think she could survive.

Woman, you have no idea.

Later that same day, another woman told me that my doctor had probably gotten my due date wrong. What I should have said: Well, I’ve seen a reproductive endocrinologist, a perinatologist, and an obstetrician during this pregnancy, but I’m sure you know best. Instead, I nodded uncomfortably.

At Eleanor’s soccer practice, one of the other parents, who does not know my history, asked whether this pregnancy was similar to my first. My mouth hung open like that of a thirsty dog. I was stuck. Her question wasn’t rude in the least, just innocent. Several other parents were listening, waiting for my answer.

“Umm, yes, I guess so.”

Sometimes I’m just too tired to explain everything, the blood tests and ultrasounds and doctor’s appointments that make up my days. And it’s not just that this pregnancy is different. I am a different person. The person who gave birth to Eleanor knew so little about the fragility of life, so little about the endurance of love. Sometimes seeing that innocence in other people sucks the air from my lungs. They will never know. How lucky to never know.

I don’t like being this person — this defensive, whiney person. I see my little tagline at the top of this blog and wonder when the beautiful and delicious will return. I do have an apple spice cake that I need to tell you about. And then there’s this bun, still baking. Eight more weeks.

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