We all know that question you’re not supposed to ask someone. “Are you pregnant?” Those words should never leave our mouths. Never. Ever.
I haven’t seen one of my good friends in a while… Maybe December? I can’t really recall. We talk on the phone infrequently and we’re actually getting together with another friend of ours next Sunday, the 16th. Well, last night I saw pictures of her on Facebook with her husband, sister and another couple at a restaurant. My jaw hit the floor when I saw her photo. She’s my only friend who doesn’t have children. She’s been married for ten years and every year she has said that in two years they will start trying. Her husband recently became a firefighter and now they have a plan of when they will start having kids. She wanted to be financially secure when they started having children, which is smart. She wanted to be ready. She just turned 30, so she has time. Time. Inside I’m screaming, “you don’t have time!” She said that she didn’t want to reveal her “plan” to anyone. She doesn’t want anyone knowing when they are trying to conceive. She doesn’t want the bad mojo and she also doesn’t want to say anything until she’s past her first trimester–to anyone. Just in case. All smart moves and all, but dammit, I’m over here trying to protect myself from any surprising news.
Anyway… back to the photo. When I saw it, I was shocked. It was her, but with a belly. And not a, I kinda gained weight belly in the last three months, but like a pregnancy belly. Up higher. Round as could be. So, I sit there, looking at the photo. Do I say something? No. That’s just stupid. You never ask someone if they’re pregnant. The repercussions are catastrophic. In my mind, I envisioned meeting my two friends for lunch in a week and trying to pretend not to notice “the bump.” While munching on my vegan chicken, I would wait until she “surprised” us by revealing that she was a blessed 13 weeks along. And I imagined myself trying to be happy. And choking on fake soy chicken. And then, I texted her.
Me: “So… odd question. And I apologize in advance if you’re not, but in some of the photos of you that were just posted make you look preggers. Or you had just ate. Or bad lighting…?”
Me: “Not trying to be rude if you’re not!”
Her: “I’m not. I just gained weight”
Me: “Ok… just checking! It’s hard to tell because in the one pic you and your sister both look normal. And in the other you both look bigger.”
I’m trying to salvage this conversation.
Her: “Honestly, if I was pregnant and at the point where I was showing I would tell people then”
Me: “You’re little like Noel. Little people show early… and I know you didn’t want anyone to know before 12 weeks.”
Me: “Noel starts showing at 7 weeks.”
Her: “It just stings hearing that, I realize I have gained weight.”
Me: “I recognize that. I’m sorry. I’m just always on the lookout… from everyone. I need to seriously get off Facebook because someone is always announcing a pregnancy, posting ultrasound pics, new born pics, etc. (And six month pics and first year pictures and sixth grade pictures… but I decided I had already made my point…) And I know you said you weren’t going to tell anyone until you were 3 months. I’m trying to protect myself and not be blindsided. Even my sister-in-law announced #6 via Facebook through an ultrasound picture… on a day when my baby was due. Which was April. I am sorry. I’m just hypersensitive in trying to spot any bump.”
Her: “I hear you, when the day comes let me tell you on my terms please. I will keep your struggles in mind.”
My struggles. Struggles. Struggles? Struggles. Huh.
Me: “Don’t take the struggles into consideration. I just want to know. Really. On your terms.”
In the end I don’t know who was more distraught. We were both probably angry, but for different reasons. She was mad because I, a supposed good friend, thought she had a baby bump. I can think of better reasons to be angry at someone. She’s probably also very tired of people (everyone) asking when they’re going to have children. But now she’s going to take “my struggles into consideration…” How perfectly thoughtful. Except these aren’t struggles… my babies aren’t “struggles.” This is Hell. She’s going to pick ABC year and XYZ month to try to conceive and it will happen. And they will get pregnant. And she will tell me. And it will be like every other wonderfully perfect baby story. The End. But for her to make it sound like “my struggles” now inconvenience her life? Not cool. Sorry I thought you were pregnant–God forbid! Sorry I wanted to shield myself from another “We’re expecting story! We just conceived the baby 2 hours ago! Want a to see the nursery?!”
It’s even more difficult with her because she’s the only friend I can call where I don’t have to fight for said friend’s attention while they try control their children. Or hear the children playing in the background. Or have any of my friends say, “Say Hi to little Johnny…” And I’m in a conversation with a two year old for ten minutes with no clue what they’re saying. I’m “Aunt Nicole” to all of my friend’s kids. I can’t take it!
I’m starting to wonder if I can have friends anymore. I seriously can’t handle this. It’s like I’m having the child too, experiencing every birthday, every milestone, and “OMG, little Emily cut her third tooth…” Fuck. How many more teeth are going to come in?!