Friday, July 17, 2009

Coming out of the closet in the 2nd Trimester

I awoke bright and early this morning, solely due to jet lag, and felt a strong urge to nest. After our long wonderful journey away in Europe, I wanted to dust my apartment clean, speckle it with flowers, organize the knickknacks, fluff the pillows, and mentally incubate the idea that I will be a mother. I think and think and think about what this is all going to be like while my baby safely grows miles away. I've decided that this endless thinking is my pregnancy. This is my gestation.I am convincing myself everyday that this is going to happen and it's not going to be taken away from me. This is my pregnancy. I may play no part in sharing my blood and body with this baby, but my mind is pregnant with ideas, fears, strength, chaos, and peace surrounding this baby. No longer are the miles mental or emotional, they are physical now. My baby is now roads and roads away in the Mid-West. I am not the gestational carrier, I am the gestational mind. My thoughts, my desires, my heart are carrying this child to life too.

But my anxiety is still lingering. Mostly because it's time to go public. That's right, we are coming out of the closet. Considering that reproductively I am the same as a gay man, this isn't surprising. But I'm forcing myself to accept that I now have to explain to other people my unique way of "being pregnant." I thought it would be easy once I hit second trimester because my god, it's second trimester! This is unknown territory for me. This is a million times closer than I have ever gotten to the promise land. But I am still afraid to tell people.

As I road my bike for miles and miles from Prague to Vienna, passing lush emerald pastures, rustic hobbit houses, and a history so rich it could clog your arteries, I tried my hardest to believe that all this hard work will pay off. Agonizing up those hills I could barely pedal up, there was nothing sweeter than the curving descent - wind melting away the harsh sun, the pavement smooth beneath me, and downhill speed thrusting me forward with graceful flight. It was all worth the burning legs and semi-hyperventilation. So I want to hold on to that same feeling as I await this baby to fall into my arms after being tortured for 3 years. If I can hold on to this pleasure, I can tell people with pride and genuine happiness about our pregnancy. People follow what you put out there. If I come off weird, apprehensive, ashamed, embarrassed or confused, they won't feel like celebrating. They'll give me that nervous awkwardness I hate, always accompanied by the deer in headlights expression. I want jumping up and down for joy for god sakes. I want to hear, "Oh we are over the moon for you guys!" I want heartfelt congratulations. So why am I afraid I won't get any of that? It's that damn insecurity that infertility cripples you with, telling me "you are not worthy, you aren't the same as the fertiles, you aren't going to be a 'real' mother." Fuck you infertility. So it's another ugly dragon for me to slay. We'll find out tomorrow when we tell our first set of friends. They just had a baby. Will I feel like fake or can I stand up and strongly croon like Frank Sinatra, "I am pregnant, and I did it myyyy waaaaay!"

9 comments:

Holly said...

All my friends were very supportive and excited for us, even when we told them it was a donated embryo...we go no funny looks, no wierd vibes, only the pure joy & excitement that comes from friends when they know how much you have been yearning and trying to be parents. Actually, a few were almost more excited than I was! Of course, we got the logistics questions, and the HUH? questions, but all in all, it was joyful every time we made the announcement.

We actually even had fun with a few people. Steve would say "Holly is pregnant", then would follow the congrats from them with "but it's not mine", then would follow the shock with "it's not hers either"...it was a good lead in and got a lot of laughs.

This is your pregnancy and your baby, doesn't matter HOW it is happening, just that IT IS happening! JOY JOY JOY!!!!

Infertile In the City said...

It is SO hard, and I know deep inside I am a "I don't care what people think kinda person" buit at the same time - I don't want to share this stuff with everyone - why do all my neighbours need to know? and should futuer baby/babies be defined by this - I would HATE that I don't want them to feel like this is somme sorta life defining thing....
Wish I had more for you Tabi.

N said...

i felt the same way. I was totally scared. But I crafted a very detailed email with a "FAQ" - it was lighthearted but answered ALL questions so no one had to feel awkard. So many people responded positively to it saying how much they appreciated all the info and how it made them even more excited for us. I posted it on SMO. If you would like to see it, you can go there or email me. :)

FET Accompli said...

You write beautifully. I really liked the sentence: " Agonizing up those hills I could barely pedal up, there was nothing sweeter than the curving descent - wind melting away the harsh sun, the pavement smooth beneath me, and downhill speed thrusting me forward with graceful flight."

I await to hear how your news is received. We are at 19 weeks, but are waiting until the third trimester to share the news. We want to hold onto it for ourselves for now, for various reasons. I totally agree with your point that the way we spin it will shape the reactions. I never really thought about it in that way, but it's so true. If we come across as awkward or embarrassed, we'll get a corresponding reaction.

Good luck - I have heard from others that there might be some mixed reactions, because some people have to just wrap their heads around it. We've been immersed in this world, but to others, it's all new (well, the media is sort of helping with that. Thanks SJP). But I understand that mostly, people will be joyous and excited and honoured that you shared the news with them.

JellyBelly said...

oh tabi, i'm so glad that you've hit the second trimester! yay!

Shinejil said...

I know the feeling like a fake, even though my situation is different from yours. That's an IF burden we all seem to share.

But what you're doing--the nesting, the contemplating--is the really important work of pregnancy: preparing your heart and mind to be a loving, caring mother. It is, in my personal view, the most rewarding part of pregnancy and way more important than the physical aspects.

I agree: what you put out is very often what people reflect back at you. I hope your confident joy will get the appropriate response. It may also separate the wheat from the chaff, friendwise...And in the end, your child will be what matters to you and no insensitive idiots will be able to ruin that for you.

luna said...

how wonderful for you, tabi. I am so excited that you can claim this pregnancy as your own. it is, you know. here's hoping everyone is as excited as you are!

can't believe you rode from prague to vienna! how awesome! does that mean you couldn't indulge in all the great beer in prague and viennese pastries?

Paz said...

I think many expecting parents feel a bit like a fraud. Then you become a parent, and guess what?


you are a parent.

evie said...

Hi there!

It's hard being an IP isn't it? I am an IP too and I feel insecure all the time...

I know it is hard being physically pregnant but it's hard being a pregnant IP as well because we're not carrying our baby in our womb but in our head and our heart! And sometimes it gets a bit stressful too... Although it is hard, I don't mind it at all. I know this journey is going to be worth it every step of the way...

Hope you will have a healthy and easy IP pregnancy! May God Bless!

(((HUGS)))