Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Pregnancy Scare

I learned something about myself today. I like to think of myself as sure, as confident, as immune to the stares and whispers of others. You can't live as counter-cultural as we do and have a thin skin. Just driving the fifteen-passenger van to the grocery store and watching people count the car seats would do you in. I use humor to deflect a lot of the criticism and most of the time, it bounces off.

But, today I realized what a complete wimp I really am. 

You see, today we had a pregnancy scare. I, or rather Shawn, did some calculating this morning and realized that I was days late. It wasn't until late this afternoon, one negative test, and a monthly visitor later, that we found we were in the clear. I was relieved, and a bit puzzled by my reaction. 

You see, when the possibility of a pregnancy existed, I wasn't upset about having another baby. Clearly, children are welcome here. I wasn't even that upset about another pregnancy, although they are hard on me and I generally loathe them. I certainly wasn't worried about my advanced maternal age and the associated risks of Down syndrome. In fact, that didn't cross my mind until just now. 

No, I was scared of what people would say. 

I could hear the whispers, the not-so-gentle teasing, the exclamatory cries of shock, and the words of admonition and warning from all of those around me, but specifically those at work. Frankly, it is sometimes fun to tell new patients when they ask how many children I have, and sometimes, I grit my teeth and avoid the question altogether. But it's easier when the family is already made. I know from experience that people feel much freer to comment when the newest member has not yet arrived. 

I found myself feeling ill at the thought of answering, "Is this your first?" multiple times a day, or worse, hearing one of my many co-workers answer it for me, "No, it's her ninth! She already has EIGHT!" And then having to paste on a phony smile and defend my family. Egads. 

It gives new meaning to the term "pregnancy scare" when what you're really scared of is not the pregnancy, but other people. 

So let me just say for the record, children are welcome here. Do not be surprised if another one joins this family at some point. Most probably that will be via adoption, but if God chooses to bless us another way, I will just have to dust off my phony smile, put on my big girl panties, and ignore the whispers. Because I refuse to let fear of other people rob the joy of new life. 


  1. Oh my. A pregnancy now would scare me... seriously scare me. I am SO done with all that, lol. But, I know exactly what you mean about being fearful of how people will react to you. People need to learn to mind their own business if they can't think of anything nice to say.

  2. Oh, I hear you. I've very much realized that if I were to get pregnant again, what would be most upsetting to me would be what people would say (or think). Boo.

  3. That's an awesome outlook to have. God is the one who is in control as much as we may try to be in charge! (I'm a little bit of a control freak.) Every family is different and so we all do things differently. Personally I'm trying to learn that because maybe you do something different from me, that doesn't mean you are wrong or weird. Just different. :)