Sunday, September 09, 2012

Of All the Impertinent Questions...

So I composed this post all the way back in June, but didn't dare post it. The process of writing was cathartic enough, allowing me to vent without risking publicity. Now it's no holds barred...


Tuesday night I went to see "Hairspray" at Tuacahn with a group of women from our neighborhood book club.  Most of these women are casual acquaintances, old enough to be my mother or even grandmother.  Very nice ladies, but certainly not confidants.  Imagine my dismay, then, when one of these women pulls me aside and asks, "So are you expecting?"

Guess I should have eased up on the broccoli chicken for dinner.

For the rest of the evening, I felt self-conscious, wadding my jacket in front of my apparently round belly to avoid further confusion.  I thought I was doing a decent job until another lady, whose name I scarcely know, asks me "So when is the baby due?"

Not if.  When.  When!!!  Aghhh!

Guess I should have done more abs at the gym.


So here's the kicker.  I am pregnant.  A whopping seven weeks today, meaning that at 6.5 weeks I looked pregnant enough to make near strangers presume.

Everything I read says that it's not physically possible to look so obviously pregnant this early on.  Our baby's about the size of a lentil, perhaps a blueberry.  My uterus has only grown from a plum to an apple.  I've gained less than a pound.  I exercise like crazy.  Yet I promise you, that  no matter what the experts say, when you are 4'11" and carrying your fourth baby, you can show, early or not.

I feel betrayed by my body.  I wasn't prepared to share this news for many weeks, perhaps even several months.   But like it or not, apparently the secret's out.  If this were winter, I might be able to disguise the bulge beneath my baggy sweatshirts.  But this is June...and we live in St. George...and it's hot.   No matter how much I run, this secret won't hide.

I feel invaded by the personal inquiries of these women, no matter how benign their intentions.  I was completely caught off guard by their questions, having no idea that I looked pregnant in the first place.  Their questions were so blunt that I was left speechless.  While in retrospect I wish I'd responded with a casual smile and a simple "No announcement," instead I did what I've been trained to do.  I told the truth.  What else was I to do?  After all, won't a lie become more and more obvious?  Yet all the same, I'm frustrated.  This was my news to share in my own way and in my own time.  They weren't supposed to be the first to know.  Without meaning to, their invasive questions robbed me of a precious moment.

But since the secret's out, I'm sharing the news with you--the family and friends who care.  In one sense, it seems a bit reckless to share something so personal during the first trimester when so many things can still go wrong.  Yet I've often wondered why we are so quick to share our joys, yet hesitant to share our sorrows.  I've miscarried once before, shortly after we moved to St. George, and I can tell you that it's a lonely road--stuck in a new place with empty arms without any friends to share in the hurt.  This time I hope and pray that all will end well.  But should it not, heaven forbid, then let us weep together.

In a way, it feels cathartic to share the news with everyone in one fell blogging swoop.  (And when I say everyone, I mean it literally.  Unless we are married or you have been nosy enough to ask, no one else has been told before you.)  "Announcements" have always felt difficult and awkward on many levels.  First of all, let's face it, pregnancy is public proof of personal intimacy.  Yes, Jason and I are married, and yes, we certainly enjoy being together, but ooh la la, are we really going to ask the entire world to celebrate the moment that sperm met egg?  And what about all of those for whom parenthood just isn't happening, whether because they haven't met that special someone or because they are struggling with infertility?  Every time we become pregnant so easily, we feel a sense of injustice, wishing that we could somehow share the blessings of parenthood.

As our family composition strays farther and farther from the societal norm,  public announcements become more difficult.  Having grown up with only one sibling, four kids feels colossal.  I worry about being judged, fairly or not.  There are a lot of important questions to be asked.  Do we have space for another baby?  Can we afford another child?  Perhaps most importantly, can we be loving (and sane) parents to yet another little one?

I don't have great answers to all of these questions.  Analytically, having another child doesn't make a lot of sense.  I thrive on simplicity, and adding to our family is certainly not simple.  Yet this decision didn't come from our heads, it grew out of our hearts.  Without becoming too personal, Jason and I felt strong impressions that a child was waiting who will be a great blessing to our family.  For months I wrestled and wrestled against these promptings, trying to push them aside.  Yet ever since we moved forward with faith to welcome this child, I have relished a beautiful calm and peace in my soul.

So, yes.   Like it or not, the secret is out.  But with news this sweet, I'm happy to share.


Anonymous said...

Absolutley beautifully written and thank you.

Tanja said...

I am very very very happy about your baby and your baby can be happy to be born into your family. I only told Shaun about your blog entry - but his answer is the same as mine :) :) :) Love you tons, Tanja
me: So - have you read the Wheeler's blog lately
Shaun: No
me: New Wackerforth on the way
Shaun: Woohoo!
P.S.: Wackerforth was a name at the FLSR for "W+er" (Wheeler), "ack" (Spackman)and "forth" (Rushforth) ... because they are one big happy family :) :) :)

Erin said...

Some women can just tell. They can somehow see it in your face, in your eyes... It's beyond me.

Thanks for sharing your good news:)

The Favorite said...

SOOO HAPPY!!!! We love you and know that this baby is going to be in an awesome family- lucky. (Jason actually told us at dinner a little while back, but I didn't want to say anything :) Four is Fantastic!

Crys said...

Haha this blog made laugh and cry! I'm so happy for you even if this is proof you guys have sex. Oh gross, please stop ;). My Jason and I were laughing yesterday about how lovely intimacy is but how horrifying being confronted with others is...I'm speaking to you parents , siblings, and someday children! Darn those forth child stomach muscles that won't suck in. I wish it could say it gets better...but at five months with Aylin I looked a full nine....oh bodies (sigh)

OctopusFingerpuppet said...

Congrats! Some people just ask because the youngest kid is 1.5-2.5 years old. I wish I had had better answers than the truth when people started asking me, too ;) So you're about halfway through? Due Jan/Feb-ish?

I dig your analytic blog entries, by the way. Thanks for sharing.

Brittney Richards said...

I enjoyed reading your post. When Jason told us, we were so happy for you. So many people judge about children - how many, when you will have another, or in my case why we waited 5+ years for our first and then to have another one so close together. I have no answer for that - the mystery is beyond my comprehension, but I know that there is a reason. We are so excited for you, and 4 is a great number! Don't worry about other people, just grin and bear it. Love you and miss you!!

michelle said...

Kara--I just love reading your blog! You have a wonderful talent for words. Reading your blog is thearapeutic for me, well and visiting you is too :) I hope u'll continue to post-- whether it be these analytical posts or those vacation ones and other fun things you do. Your family inspires me in many ways and I'm so happy we get to call each other friends! The girls have been talking all night and day about Brooklyn and Talia.

Our Family said...

So happy for you. May peace and happiness join you always. Yes four is more than most now days but is happily doable. You are so blessed...

Becca said...

We are so happy for you! I understand you completely about feeling judged when having more kids. I feel this way all the time. We have four and what if we decided to have more...I am TERRIFIED because of the judgements. I love reading your blog. You have such a way with words. You guys are so great. You will be great parents and truth be told it is between you and the Lord and if the Lord wanted you to have another kid...He will take care of you and the child.

Julie L said...

Look what I miss when I go out of town and out of touch with the blogging world ... Congratulations!!!! I am absolutely thrilled for you.

Take heart in having the question asked - it means it was obvious it was baby not fat. That's a good thing. For me I was five months along with Heather and everyone just thought I was gaining weight. Are you and Tonya expecting around the same time? That's wonderful!

You are a fantastic Mom, and one more child is a very doable thing. In fact more children get easier as the older children can start to really be a help in holding and entertaining and even changing diapers. As far as affording? Somehow it all works out. The Lord does provide.

jennybhill said...

Congratulations! I enjoyed reading your post too (and the comments), with all the issues you describe surrounding expecting a new child. Even though the announcing in St. George part wasn't great, I was glad to read of the peace and calm you feel. Hope all goes well for you and the new little one during this pregnancy!