The background to this is so much mush. Part of it is from the latest round of family ‘pregnancy reveals’ and the subsequent requests/comments/etc. And the other part of it was when I read a forum about women not revealing their pregnancy till late, very late, and not at all – during the internal incubation stages.
There was a whole lot of potential ‘grandmothers’ that were mortified at the selfishness and audacity of a mother. How dare she even consider that? How dare she deny the grandmother her grandmotherly rights to countdowns and prayers and opinions and worry. Echoed by a list of already angry friends about how devastated they would be because they could not ‘be there’ and ‘support’ their dear friend.
For fuck sake.
The self-centered-ness is palpable!
All of you outraged grandmothers and friends, why is this process about you?
My family members, why is this about you?
Has it never occurred to you that perhaps there is a reason you were not told? Perhaps the mother has a history of baby loss. Perhaps there is an uncertain future for this precious bundle. Perhaps she is being sensitive to what is happening in your world. Perhaps your relationship is not as good as you think it is. Perhaps it was actually healthier, mentally, psychologically, emotionally, spiritually and/or even physically that she not tell you. Perhaps if she wanted your support or prayers or worries or opinions she would have asked you…?
Just because you want to, or think you do have a connection or claim to the unborn child, doesn’t mean you actually have one. Just because you are related, biologically, through marriage, or even just a ‘practically related’ scenario, does not mean you are entitled to the unborn child. Or the mother. Or any of her precious energy at this special time.
None. No entitlements. Zero.
No I’m not ready to tell you I’m pregnant. No I’m not ready to tell you how far along I am, or when the due date is. No, I am not ready to tell you about my baby’s gender, or heartbeat, or sizing measurements. And no, I am not going to send you a picture of my baby.
Because frankly, if I wanted to, I would have done it already.
All of it. Any of it. And I didn’t. So I don’t.
This is not selfish or self centered. This is self care. Unapologetic and authentic self care. At a time when self care is imperative.
And before I get hit with it – yes, I have been on the receiving end. I wasn’t part of my friend’s innermost circle that learnt of her pregnancy before the ’12-week’ celebration marker.
I also missed hearing about a close relations pregnancy and subsequent loss. The only reason I know about it is because a mutual relation sucks at keeping secrets and wanted to talk about it. Even now – 6 months later, she hasn’t told me about the lost baby. She did only just tell me the other day about her new rainbow baby. But this was in her time, on her schedule. She didn’t need anything other than to process this her own way.
Sure, my ego was hurt. A tiny bit. But like, seriously, this has absolutely nothing to do with my (at times ridiculously fragile) ego. Does it matter? My hurt ego? Or either of them not telling me? No – because they did what they needed to. And I found out when they were ready. I was able to engage on their say so. And I don’t think that is selfish or rude or self entitled. I still think that it is self care. Important, valuable, supportive, loving self care.
I stand by this, whether on the hiding or hidden end of this.
No, you are not entitled to any part of my unborn child or this journey.