Thursday, July 22, 2010

Feeling Guarded

I work downtown. Colorado Springs’ downtown area is very typical of most of the quaint mountain towns in this state with a main drag that runs down the middle that houses lots of cute boutique-style stores, fountains, artwork and lots of people. I love walking up and down this street at lunch. It clears my head for my afternoon schedule, and being pregnant, it has been a great way to keep in shape since walking is the main activity I can do.

It seems like the bigger I get, the more and more people feel a strange sense of familiarity with me. They always ask me about the baby and who knows what else to do with my family, and my decisions around having him, etc. Last time I was pregnant, I found it mildly annoying but put up with it. This time, I absolutely hate it. I have a huge wall up. Inevitably, people will ask if this is my first baby, and then it all goes downhill from there. I will never deny Noah’s existence. He happened. He mattered. He is my oldest child and always will be. Aaron is his younger brother, and I love him tremendously. Watching him grow is one of the greatest joys of my life. The fact is that together (the boys, Chris and I) we form an unusual family unit. It is none of anyone’s business. I don’t want to have to lie. I don’t want to have to be bothered to talk about it to strangers either. Yet, people can’t seem to take a hint when I answer their questions as quickly as possible, and don’t ask any in return. Or when I quickly walk away as soon as I can. Or try to change the subject. They persevere on follow me and fire more questions at me.

Maybe they are too blinded by their own fond memories of starting their families to realize that I am trying to get away from them and dodge their questions. For me it Is extremely uncomfortable and stressful. I am too nice to fire off an unexpected response like “Um….I am not pregnant. Why, do I look it?” or maybe just to say straight out “this is my second child. My oldest died last summer when he was four days old.” As I have learned, the truth sparks on far worse conversation. The person I spring this on tears up, or grasps for words of comfort that are usually cliché and unhelpful, and I get stuck trying to comfort them when I am the one that lost the child.

So I guess the moral of the story is, if you see a six foot tall pregnant woman walking briskly through downtown, stay away. Let her go on. Yes she is pregnant. Yes she is excited about it. No need for you to jump in on it with your own commentary and line of questioning. All she wants is some peace.


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