There are some things that are supposed to be met with joy when you announce them.
- New job.
- New house.
- New puppy.
- New baby.
I find myself wondering: am I allowed joy for that last one?
Every time I talk about being pregnant in the future, about planning to have kids, about wanting kids…the response is some variation of the same well-meaning bubble-bursting.
(I assume it’s well-meaning.)
- “Well you need to get your health in order.”
- “Kids cost money.”
- “You should have a house first.”
- “Make sure you know you want them first.”
As if I hadn’t considered any of that.
As if money and health weren’t the main reasons my husband and I didn’t immediately start having kids after marriage, despite our mutual desire.
As if we haven’t worked like dogs to try to get our own place — and failed every time, thanks to the housing crisis in this province.
As if I haven’t ached, for years, to hold my own child. Since before marriage, before meeting my husband. Yet we’ve prevented it, because practicality.
As if every pregnancy announcement in my feed hasn’t stabbed me right through the heart.
And yet, every time I talk about the future, every time I dare to dream…here comes the troop of people armed with pins and needles to pop all my soap bubble imaginings.
I suppose I should be grateful I have so many people who care about me.
That’s what the accommodating side of me keeps saying: they’re showing they care through misguided comments. Be grateful so many people love you.
Is it too much to ask that they find a different way to show their love?
I want to yell that it’s not their body, not their marriage, not their life — it’s mine. It’s my husband’s.
It’s our future.
I didn’t tell people for a while about what happened late last year — when I accidentally got pregnant, and then miscarried.
I wanted to talk about it from the start. I wanted to be public about it, despite the social pressure to never talk about miscarriage.
Then I see other people’s pregnancy announcements and the unfettered joy that they elicit, and I know — when I finally do announce a pregnancy, I won’t get that. Especially not after the miscarriage.
It’s already been decided I don’t deserve unfettered joy. I’m so stupid about the reality of kids, I instead need to have it explained to me.
I need it explained that my health isn’t the greatest, as if I don’t exist in this body daily.
I need it explained that kids cost money, as if I don’t know that my mom went hungry so I could eat.
I need it all explained, because I’m just…too much of a dreamer.
I believe that things all work out if you live long enough to let them.
This means people think I’m impractical, and feel they have to explain to me basic reality because my dreamer self doesn’t understand.
But I do understand. I do, and I choose to dream — I choose to believe that things work out. I choose to see the bright side.
Even when it’s the hardest thing in the world.
And sometimes, things that are actually practical look anything but.
We’ve waited so long, it’s now more practical to throw caution to the wind. It’s now more practical to just shrug, say fuck it, and take the leap.
Our waiting for things to get better means that we’ve made it worse — with maternal age.
My first pregnancy will be a geriatric one. It will be high risk. Because we waited.
Because we let the opinions of others dictate our decisions about our own lives.
I’m 36. He’s 42.
We’ve waited long enough.
I still cry over my miscarriage. It wasn’t the same sort of grief I would have had if it had been a planned pregnancy, I don’t think, but the grief was still there. It was still hard.
And there are so many things they don’t tell you — like how it’s going to fuck up your hormones for months afterwards. Like how you can’t use tampons after because they’ll hurt.
Things you have to learn the hard way.
There have been a few pregnancy announcements in my friends’ circle over the past few months. They’ve hit even harder than before.
Not only because of the freshness of the miscarriage, but because they remind me of what I can’t expect.
Of what I’ve been trained not to expect.
My friends get joy.
I get well-meaning bubble-bursts.
It makes me want to pack up everything and move to a completely new town, where people who don’t know my past will have no option but to react with joy.
It makes me want to disappear into a romance novel epilogue, where friends and family would never throw bubble-bursting at the heroine when she announces her happy news.
It makes me wonder if I even will announce when I’m finally pregnant, and we’re past the first trimester. Maybe we just won’t tell anyone at all.
Sure, it’ll eventually become obvious and people will guess. I just may refuse to confirm or deny.
Maybe pregnancy just needs to be a private joy between me and my husband, and the rest of the world be fucking damned.
We may be poor, but we have dreams.
We’re going to stop spreading those dreams under the feet of people who don’t deserve to tread upon them.