Pregnancy Diary Week 15: Telling People
After our scan we started to tell friends and family the news that we are expecting our second baby. We had confided in one or two people not long before the scan, which was largely due to unconcealable puking and my inability not to be a miserable bitch, both at their worst around weeks 9, 10 and 11. Luckily, these joyous side effects have died down a bit, and now that we know all is well it feels like a good time to share our exciting news. This is such a lovely part of being pregnant and the vast majority of people you tell are completely delighted for you, say positive and helpful things and make you feel special and marvellous, just as it should be. However, responses aren’t always that way, and I imagine reactions also vary a lot depending on whether it is your first, second, third, fourth (etc.) child. This week I have started to tell people at work, which is always a bit more interesting. First time I was super excited and told work as early on as possible after the first scan. Legally there was no need for me to let them know until the 15th week before my due date, but I wanted to do it much sooner than that, partly because I was amazingly happy and wanted to tell everyone, partly to help them with planning around my maternity leave, and partly because there are only so many oversized tunic tops you can wear without arousing suspicion. This time, I put it off for a couple of weeks and approached it in a slightly more apologetic way, only having returned from my previous maternity leave nine months ago. Regardless of the timing, there is undoubtedly no reason to be apologetic about announcing your pregnancy, unless perhaps the father is your sister’s husband, or some other Jeremy Kyle type scenario. However, I am one of life’s apologisers so being sorry about things is fairly standard for me. Someone could drive into my car and I would send them an apology card and some flowers. That’s me in my usual state but on a bad pregnazilla day, my response might be marginally different, possibly including the words “dick” and “head” and most likely an accompanying hand gesture. Anyway, I frequently spend most of my day apologising, sometimes unnecessarily, and so that is also how I approached sharing the news of my second pregnancy with my manager. He was completely lovely about it and told me not to worry and that making babies was one of life’s important jobs. A sentence that could of course be interpreted very differently in another context. In this instance it was nothing but wonderful. Some other colleagues have not been quite so positive. My favourite response so far has been: “Good luck dealing with a new born amidst toddler tantrums”. Thanks, but luck is not what I need. If you had a toddler, you would actually know that I need Mr Tumble, a three month supply of baby bells and a crash helmet, and for you not to be an arsehole. Funnily enough, the same person had a similarly constructive response when I told them about my first pregnancy: “Well, I’m not surprised”. Simple, yet totally baffling. Good to know you weren’t surprised because I bloody was. I was also slightly concerned that someone else seemed to have a more in depth knowledge of my personal aspirations, sex life and levels of fertility than I did at the time. After their good luck sentiment this time they also added: “So you’re done now, right?” Not really a life decision I want to make whilst waiting in the office kitchen for my soup to heat up, but if you’re pressing me for an answer I think I’m going to go with: “I’m not really sure..” That or: “Do you need something in writing for HR?” and hope to hell they don’t call my bluff.