It was mid March. I had all of my baby announcement treats ready to take to the lounge on Monday.
Then, on Sunday night, we received a text school would be out for 4 weeks. (Now we know school is out for the remainder of the year.)
During the previous weeks, I was certain staff and students alike saw me getting bigger, and I was excited to finally clear the air and announce my pregnancy with sweets!
No more. The sweets were mine.
I Guess Zoom is an Option?
I’ll be frank. The idea of announcing a pregnancy during a Zoom meeting feels awkward to me. People at work are trying to get things done. People are handling stressful situations all over the place. And my online students? I’m simply trying to teach them the best I can through the lens of our loud and unruly houses.
As for me, I’m awkward enough to begin with. Add a camera and it’s only exacerbated. I don’t know how to butt in and say, “Hey, I have a little baby brewing in here!” Points at belly.
Maybe… just maybe… to keep students motivated to come to online schooling the last week, I will tell them I have a surprise on the last day? Then announce I’m pregnant? I’m not sure.
Overthinking - Maxed Out
I’m probably overthinking it, but my reasoning comes from the idea of preciousness that happens when only you or your partner know about a little life in the works. I like being a private person. I like doing things for me. Not for the sake of announcing them.
Furthermore, I don’t like anyone to feel left out. So if I tell someone at this time, but then someone who was not at the meeting sees big ole me walking down the street (as many of my colleagues have - ha ha), I don’t want to offend them.
Offend them with what? I’m not sure. The awkwardness of my sudden largeness? (Everyone has learned not to ask a lady if they are pregnant, right? Right?)
My husband told me to treat it like some Cheers episode where it’s a social experiment to see just how big I can get before people say things. I’ve never seen this Cheers episode, but I have a warped sense of humor... so I’m totally down with this approach.
Vulnerability - Maxed Out
There is a certain undeniable biological vulnerability to being pregnant. It's 100% tied to evolution. As in, everyone can run away from the bear faster than me. I’m like a perfect snack. I’m two for the price of one.
Of course, this vulnerability is matched with an unearthly power to smell BS and turn what some consider a painful event into an athletic event to be celebrated (birth).
What I’m getting at, is announcing my pregnancy during a time of crisis makes me look more vulnerable than I feel. It’s as if people step extra far away from me. Or with a pandemic going on, I can hear them thinking, “Well, that must be stressful. Stinks for her.”
I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me over something I got myself into and something that I am genuinely excited about.
Happy for me? Feeling sorry for me? Completely indifferent? I’ll never know. Which leads me to the flip side of this.
Happiness - Maxed Out
All things considered, my life is actually pretty good right now. I’m a homebody with all the food I could want. The stresses coming my way seem pretty manageable.
That being said, all of the hardship and strife going on in the world is crippling to see and hear about. As always, I don’t feel comfortable celebrating anything specific to me when so much sadness is everywhere. (This has been a lifelong battle of almost debilitating empathy.)
I don’t want anyone to feel bad as I celebrate something or say something about myself, so I hide myself. I hide in books. I dive into silence. I find meaning and satisfaction in being quiet while trying to save everyone from... who knows what?
But currently - it’s pretty hard to hide myself.
The Unknown Future
Currently, I don’t know what my maternity leave looks like as someone due in early Sep. Do I even go back to school? How do I prep my sub for online learning (if all this shut down happens again)? Will my husband be furloughed?
I don’t know what to think about the fall in general after reading this scary yet realistic MarketWatch article.
I guess I’ll keep my aims simple. I simply want to keep my family safe and isolated in our happy hole. I want to do the right thing (if I can figure out what that is).
In the meantime, as I stand up to prevent my two year old from jumping off the couch, someone on the other end of a Zoom meeting might notice my ultra baggy clothes and extra pounds.
What a social experiment!