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Pregnancy's Line of Questioning


The Ups, Downs and Sideways of Working Motherhood

Pregnancy's Line of Questioning

Alex Steinman

We've been so excited to share our pregnancy news with friends and family. It feels great not having to waste wine by dumping it in the sink when the coast is clear (goodbye, sweet nectar).  Overall reactions have been positive from loved ones, ranging from high fives to hugs, shouts to enthusiastic whispers. The majority of folks know to keep questions to a minimum- How far along? When are you due? How are you feeling? Do you want to know the sex of the baby? Can I get you a donut?

A note to the curious: most mamas will share more details if and when they are comfortable sharing them, so no need to pry. 

With both pregnancies, I've gotten some reactions that range from the personal to the insulting. Here are a few responses to the most annoying:

Was this planned?

Would you like to hear more about my cycles and my sex life? Does it matter? We're keeping it if that's why you're asking.

This is going to be so hard!

First, thank you for the confidence boost; I am fully aware of the situation. Second, we are not the first people to have two children. We are going to survive (hopefully), and we will do our best to keep the old baby from killing the new one.

Weren't you just pregnant?

I was pregnant a year ago and then had sex again a year later. In the mean time, I raised a boy who says please and thank you, went on vacations, drank a lot of wine, bought a house, celebrated weddings, mourned losses, launched a blog and turned 26. But yes, in the grand scheme of things, I was also recently pregnant.

How are you going to pay for it?

With my paycheck like most parents do. I am neither a teen mom, nor a struggling adult. We are incredibly fortunate to have a mortgage, a savings account and a couch that's not from Ikea (it's our first one, so let me brag). I'm not sure why it's assumed a young family couldn't make it work. We understand having multiple kids means 2 daycare payments, double the extracurricular activities, and eventually multiple college tuitions. Priorities change over time, and sometimes we sacrifice shoes for extra life insurance coverage. Saving is sexy, and I'll be an empty nester at 46.

Isn't it early to be sharing the news?

I told my office I was pregnant probably earlier that what would be considered "appropriate." I'm nearly 12 weeks today and broke the news a few weeks ago. Here's why:

I found out I was pregnant in the middle of a pitch, followed by a win, followed by back to back to back travel, morning (all day) sickness, a sinus infection, the death of my company's founder, zero sleep and the holidays.

I know too much after having my first baby. I've seen the pain of a pregnancy loss with two close friends in the last year, I've read enough blogs and books of everything that could go wrong, and I feel much worse than I felt with the first.

I was physically falling apart and had so much anxiety about losing the baby, I needed to tell people.

If I'm sharing the news with you "early," it's because I'm scared. I would tell you if something devastating happened in the process, and it feels better for me to tell you before anything does.

There are also no rules for pregnancy. There are no preggo police who arrest you for sharing the news before 12 weeks. There are no reasons for why people lose babies or why people have perfectly healthy babies. There are no explanations for people who get pregnant on the first try (guilty) and people who try for years unsuccessfully.

If I'm telling you this news at all, it's because I trust you to be there for me if my world collapses.