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March 30, 2009
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I am now completely convinced that “congratulations” is the wrong thing to say to any woman who says she’s pregnant. As I out my condition more, every time someone congratulates me, I bristle. I’m not sure when I’ll feel congratulatable, but I suspect at-term on the delivery of a healthy baby is a good bet.

I’m sensitive also to being easily offended, but you know, it’s just painfully awkward in so many ways. I know that’s why Dean isn’t telling people, either; in a way, I wish I had his ability to keep things inside.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. March 31, 2009 1:13 pm

    I understand the “congratulations” thing totally though sometimes you just have to say to yourself “is this worth getting upset about?” My guess would be that given the stress of pregnancy that it would probably be best to alleviate as many outside stress points as possible.
    In my own life, I’ve worked on alleviating stress by decision making a lot over the years. I have all sorts of qualifiers and stuff for judging situations. If someone says something innocuous that offends me even though that wasn’t their intention, I could A) get upset about it and do nothing B) get upset about it and tell them or C)let roll off my back because its not worth getting upset over.

    • March 31, 2009 1:37 pm

      Usually I make a joke, but the joke is getting old and tired in it’s own right. I can’t seem to make a cognitive decision to keep bristling.
      The best response I’ve gotten, though, was from a friend who’s a burly 6’4 dude who kept saying in his best Jewish-mother voice, “It’s a blessing.” After about the fifth time, I cracked up, and it’s what I go to in my head now.

      • March 31, 2009 1:43 pm

        I feel you. One of my biggest pet peeves is repetition. Right now I am constantly driven nuts by people constantly asking us about the house and how things are going with that and what not. Status quo is how things are for the most part though we have to have the same conversation about a dozen times any given week.

  2. March 31, 2009 1:20 pm

    If someone was trying to get pregnant then “congratulations” is appropriate, I suppose. The problem is that most of the time there’s really no way to know what the circumstances are – I think people default to things like “congrats” because it’s hard to know what to say and it’s easy and it buys into the idea that everyone wants and should have one or more kids. If someone is talking about their (or their partner’s) pregnancy at a time when it is not yet obvious then the presumption is that they are happy about it, I think. Now that presumption is not necessarily appropriate, but I think that’s where it comes from.
    You process by talking about things – which is great. But it also ends up leaving you open to the misguided responses of others, even among those of us who are best situated to understand.

    • March 31, 2009 6:31 pm

      Yeah, I’m trying to keep that in mind. I know it’s meant with the best of intentions, but hearing it repeatedly for the next several months is going to wear on me, so I am trying to get it out of the way, actually. The weird thing is that I am, deep down, happy about it, and that happy will float up as we go, but I’m not processing that happy yet; I’m processing fear and anxiety. I don’t seem to bristle when i hear “I’m so happy for you!” because.. I think I need people to be happy for me right now, it will help buoy me along.
      What this has done for me is made me mindful of how I approach other people when they announce their pregnancies. Because I couch the announcement, generally, with some sort of “I’m terrified” disclaimer, I guess I want hugs and wind up with confetti, and am confused over the disconnect. But I also know that it’s all totally me, and I’m a hormonal mess anyhow. 😀
      We’ll get to congratulations.
      I hope.

  3. March 31, 2009 1:32 pm

    I wish I had his ability to keep things inside.
    I thought that’s what the uterus was for?
    😀
    *ducks*

    • March 31, 2009 1:40 pm

      You do know what hysteria is derived from, right? 🙂

      • March 31, 2009 3:07 pm

        You mean Def Leppard didn’t coin the term when they released that album? 😉

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