“What was the weirdest or rudest comment you got while pregnant?” I asked on the Rookie Moms Facebook page a few weeks ago.
Most of the responses had to do with appearance: Many a pregnant mom had been insulted when folks said she was either too big, too small, or looked pregnant after delivery. I enjoyed reading comment after comment, but was surprised that no one echoed the most unexpected reaction I got from my co-workers:
Wait. Did you get pregnant on purpose?
While many pregnancies are unintended in their conceptions, that question is totally unacceptable under any circumstances, isn’t it? Setting aside the rudeness of the question, I kept thinking, “What about my story, my very predictable-on-paper life path to this moment, would point to a surprise pregnancy?”
I was 30 years old, married for 2.5 years, owned a 3-bedroom house, and had a great job with benefits. Having a baby was the thing I wanted most right at that moment. My pregnancy could not have been more planned, more wished for.
Here I am living it up on vacation in Europe, while simultaneously wishing to be pregnant. That desire, apparently, is only visible to me and my husband, who took the picture.
When, after telling my boss, I revealed my pregnancy to other co-workers, I was shocked when they questioned my intentions. “OF COURSE I MEANT TO!” I thought, visualizing a small mountain made from all the ovulation sticks I had peed on during the previous year.
Now, however, I realize that each of the people who nosily inquired about my birth control success rate was coming to this line of questioning with their own unique agenda.
“Might this happen to me?” they might be wondering, if they were secretly lazy about contraception.
“What the hell did she do that for?” the childless-by-choice couple who served as a favorite vendor of my company must have thought when they considered all the mountain biking I’d be missing out on while my baby gestated.
Perhaps my single colleagues, who, until that moment thought we were totally on the same page of life, swapping San Francisco restaurant suggestions over lunch, suddenly realized I was not at all in synch with them, but rather had secret domestic fantasies to which they were not clued in.
Admittedly, I didn’t discuss the “trying” process at work. (Should I have?)
If your family was planned, did it take anyone by surprise when you announced it?