Friday, February 12, 2010

What-If Monsters and The Reaction Continuum

A few days after finding out we were pregnant, we had to make one of the most difficult decision any newly pregnant couple is forced to make: WHO DO WE TELL?
Our first instinct was to tell EVERYONE. We wanted to share the news with everyone we loved, everyone we knew, heck even people we didn’t like. We were over-the-moon with joy and wanted to share it. But then, the reality of all the different possible outcomes made themselves known by becoming angry little monsters in our heads. This specific breed of monster is called the What-If Monster. There are hundreds of them so that’s not the last you’ll hear of them. They remind you that while this is exciting, it is also very uncertain. They’re kind of jerks.
We decided to tell our very closest friends and family. We kept a list of who we told in case we had to tell them that we’d lost the pregnancy. It was our biggest fear, but the What-If-We-Lose-The-Baby Monster made us face it.
A note: When you finally begin telling people you’re pregnant with your first child, you pretty much assume their reactions are going to be jump up and down, throw hats and parties and streamers, paint your face on a billboard excited. And they are always happy for you. But the way they choose to demonstrate that thrill lies on what I call The Reaction Continuum. Some people scream and jump up and down. Some people cry the ugly cry. Some people remark, “Wow! That’s excellent! After all that work!” And still, some people look at you blankly and say something like, “Oh. Wow. Great.” You can never predict what people’s reactions will be, and it can leave you feeling a little, “Eff you for not being as excited as I am about my baby!”

After we told all the people we wanted to tell, we had 2 weeks to wait until our first ultrasound. Two weeks to wait at home and see if this pregnancy actually “took”. Absolutely NOTHING to do to convince the pregnancy to stay put. You better believe if I was singing to eggs before, I was singing to this little baby. “Come on little baby, grow a heart! Make me fart! Come on little baby and hang on tight! With all your might!”
I was four weeks pregnant the day I found out. (For you girls/guys who don't know, you count pregnancy weeks from the first day of the last period. We conceived 2 weeks prior, and my period started 2 weeks before that, hence 4 weeks pregnant.) I had no symptoms, aside from being a little more tired than usual. No neat pregnancy cravings. Nothing funny or surprising. And of course everyone said, “Great! You might be one of the lucky ones!” Meanwhile, I was thinking, “I would give anything to vomit all day everyday, just to know I’m really pregnant.”
David suggested taking a pregnancy test now that we knew we were pregnant just to prove it. I almost threw up with anxiety at the thought of taking another one of those tests. The What-If-The-Blood-Test-Was-Wrong Monster started break dancing on my upper intestines. This vomit reaction, for a moment, quelled my fear that I wasn’t pregnant. Until the nausea went away when David said, “It’s ok. We don’t have to take a test.”

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