Friday, June 20, 2008

The Tellingness

So: I'm at 11 weeks, 2 days. I told HR at work. Everyone closest to me has known since, well, Day 1, really. I'm absolutely showing. Really, I can just start telling people. So how come I don't?

Part of it is fear and superstition. Jews don't like to talk about anything good, because someb-dy might hear and take it away from us for being too prideful. That's why we say "kana hara" when we talk about something we're hopeful about. It means, roughly, "if it's meant to be," which means "we're not counting on it, ok? so don't go thinking we're assuming you're going to shower your goodness on it. we don't take that for granted. we don't take anything for granted. please don't throw frogs at us."

And that goes double for pregnancies. We don't like to throw showers, though we do it. Nervously. Putting it off till just before the due date, and making sure we don't accidentally cc: any deities on the evite. Not naming the baby, or at least not calling him or her by the name we chose. Oh, I know you've met Jews who do this sort of thing. There are Jews who do all sorts of things. But my kinda Jew? Is the terrified, superstitious kind. What can I say, I come from paranoid stock -- even on the non-Jewish side.

Anywho, completely separate from the dreadful cultural generalizations listed above, I've got the regular sort of worry, guilt and paranoia. When I saw Carrie Fisher's one-woman show, I cringed to hear her talk about how her infant girl was "pulled from the burning wreckage of [her] body." I knew such negative self-talk was doing her more harm than good. I also knew how she felt. Oh god! I put a kid in this? Good lord, do you remember all the other stuff I put in it over the years? It's like setting up a crib in a haunted house!

All of this is to say: I've been so excited to tell everyone, and now that I'm on the cusp of being able to, I don't want to. Everyone at work (as I mentioned) is abuzz with the news; I see my boss's boss eyeballing me curiously, wondering when I'm going to actually cowgirl up and discuss the increasingly obvious. My online imaginary friends -- members of a community I visit daily -- are wondering why I've fallen silent on issues about which I used to post obsessively. There's something in me that stops short of blurting it out, even though people who see me glance downward and then fix me with a curious glare.

Eh, maybe it's just because I know I meet with the genetic counselor in a week, and want to hold my secret till I feel that much safer. (The terrifying article in this month's Self notwithstanding.) As my midwife Michele put it, it's not like you get to twelve weeks and you're vaulted up onto a cliff of safety, like in a Mario Brothers game. It's more like a gentle climb upward, with slightly better odds every day. I just want the odds a little better before I go blurting things out.

Of course, that's completely separate from the fact that I go blabbing all about it to strangers on the bus every day... hey, I have to talk to SOMEONE.

1 comment:

Norine Dworkin-McDaniel said...

I'm sooo enjoying reading your blog. Makes me wish I'd blogged during my pregnancy! Reading your posts, it's all coming back!
BTW, Mazel tov!