As we speak*, one of my dear friends who is pregnant with her second baby boy is being induced.
*Er… as I write this? I realize that once this is published and being read “as we speak” will mean nothing. Now that’s just blowing my mind….
My boss’s daughter, who is also hugely pregnant, was going to be induced today as well.
So that’s two pregnancies freed up for me in one day! Hooray!
I’ve written here before about people (many of them my close friends) using up all the pregnancies. That post was months ago. At this point, it is almost comical how many of the people closest to me are getting knocked up like “no big deal.” Hey, casual acquaintances! If you are interested in getting pregnant, and are having trouble conceiving, hang out with me for a few weeks! I bet you’ll get knocked up asap.
I’m not kidding, every time another pregnancy is freed up and I think “Oh yea, I’m next up!” that pregnancy gets snatched up faster than you can say babymaker.
My brother and his wife are having a baby in September. They’ve been married for almost seven years and they’ve wanted a baby for a long time, and I remember when we made our big pregnancy announcement feeling a little guilty as I looked at my brother and his sweet wife because I knew we had just effortlessly fallen into this thing that they wanted so badly. And I remember thinking, “You know, I really should have told them a little more personally.” But then my mom was screaming and hugging me and I was totally swept into thinking about me and the Hubs and our newest family member. I was a real asshole.
My brother and his wife were much more sensitive and thoughtful with me and the Hubs. My tenderhearted little brother came over to our house, skirted the issue for a bit, and finally announced that the reason he had come over was because they wanted us to be the first to know that they are pregnant.
For one of the first times since Hudson died, the first tears I cried over another person’s pregnancy announcement were happy tears, not selfish poor-me tears (don’t worry, I did indulge in some of those later).
My brother took the time to tell us personally, before the news was broken to the rest of the family, so that we could process it privately and not feel bad if we needed to do some of that selfish poor-me crying.
This weekend, we went out to breakfast with my brother and his sweet, pregnant wife. I’ve got a little “Make ’em laugh so they can’t see you cry” schtick that I do about this whole business of not being pregnant right now. I can’t help it, it’s my defense mechanism. So at breakfast I’m doing my routine about how hard it is going to be to keep another pregnancy a secret, since everybody is constantly asking me where we are at with the whole thing, scrutinizing my drinking habits, the size of my upper half, etc.
My sister in law said to me, “Doesn’t that just make you so mad when people ask you? I remember I would just go home and bawl.”
My big sister got married two weeks after Hudson died. And at the wedding, my husband ran into an old basketball coach of his from high school. This guy obviously didn’t know what we had just been through and asked the Hubs if we had any kids. I was off doing Maid of Honor stuff so my poor husband had to face this inquiry without me, but my brother was there. As the Hubs is trying to skirt the issue, ol’ Coach is starting to do some ribbing, like, “Oh man, you gotta get that wife of yours pregnant! You’re getting old!” or whatever kind of schtick guys give each other about this kind of stuff. Meanwhile, my brother is like, fuming. Later, my brother told me, “Man I wanted to punch that guy.”
Your good news can be a knife in somebody’s heart. Your casual question might make somebody spend an hour locked in the bathroom crying. What you think is just all-in-good-fun ribbin’ could make somebody’s normally docile brother-in-law want to punch you in your face.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate good news, loudly and openly. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t show a genuine interest in someone else’s life. And it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give an old friend a little man-to-man ribbing. It’s just incredible to me how much I have said and done and questioned that was unwittingly pouring salt on an open, festering wound. I would never have known had I not experienced the most painful wound of all. But even though sometimes our pain is exacerbated by the good news of another, I’d kick myself if people we love didn’t feel like they could invite us to share in their good news.
Do not apologize for living life bravely.
Because when I snatch up one of these open pregnancies (DIBS!) I am going to (maybe literally) shout it from the rooftops: loudly, un-apologetically, joyfully, with probably very little regard for the feelings or decibel tolerance of others. I will be IN YOUR FACE with my joy and I hope you will share it with me.