If anyone made it through my last novel of a post, you may have noticed that teeny, tiny little announcement at the very bottom that I’m pregnant. Yes, as in: WITH CHILD. (Yay!)
I felt the need to add the “Yay!” there, possibly because Justin and I have had mixed reactions as we begin to tell friends. I’m currently thirteen weeks, and it’s gotten to the point that you can tell the bump at my midsection is not just a big lunch. Well, it IS a big lunch – often two lunches and a “snack” consisting of an entire large Hawaiian pizza – but also clearly a baby. Also, any information I’ve read or received says this is an appropriate time to begin spreading the news.
Our very close friends and family found out weeks ago but the majority of them live in other states, so any sharing thus far has been done over the phone. I have been so excited to tell people in person, so when we were recently invited to a potluck dinner a few close friends would be attending, we saw it as the perfect time to get the word on the street. I should preface the following with the explanation that this particular group of friends do not fit into the traditional role of “breeders.” Among them are bar owners, bartenders, chefs, booze reps, and the ‘regulars’ who frequent their establishments. In short, most of them are drunks. No judgement. I mean, I’ve been hanging out with some of them for years. But I guess the primary difference between us is that Justin and I started to evolve from that scene a few years ago (getting married, buying a house, leaving the bar before 1am…) while most of them stayed metaphorically put.
That said, whether friends share your identical life goals, you assume everyone can be happy for one another’s personal successes. Or, at the very least, feign an acceptable adult response to news such as this along the lines of “congratulations.” Apparently, not the case. I will summarize the tone of how our news was received with the reaction of (disappointingly) the couple we considered our closest friends of the attendees that night:
Him: “Hmm…I don’t really know what to say. Good job on having unprotected sex?”
Her (scrunching up her face in disgust and leaning away from me as if pregnancy might be contagious): “Was it… intentional?”
Me to Justin after having the fourth shot of Jameson shoved in my face under the notion that “you can still have A LITTLE to drink when you’re pregnant, right?” and having beer sloshed on me as some random dude imparted his wisdom regarding the deliciousness of breast milk: “We need to leave. Now. And pretty much forever.”
I guess spreading the “good” news is just one more thing on the life list that, while certainly joyful, will still surprise you by not always going exactly how you expected it to. There will be the unsupportive and less-than-enthusiastic reactions from those you once considered “good friends.” These people are probably just as aware as you are that this may be the final nail in a coffin you began building years ago for your fading friendships as you grew apart. There will be the “FINALLY!” statements from parents or extended family that come off as brash or judgmental. There will be the surprisingly heartfelt, tear and hug-filled reactions from coworkers or acquaintances you maybe didn’t consider yourself that close to before now. There will be the good friend who’s been trying for years or who has miscarried that it will crush you to have to tell. And I guess you just make it through each of them with as much grace and sensitivity as possible and collect the ones worth keeping as yours. (With the exception of beer slosher – that dude’s drink belonged in his face, and he probably won’t remember it anyway.)