Monday, April 20, 2009

Pregnancy watchers

Many of our coupled friends share stories of the amount of pressure their family puts upon them to begin reproducing. The levels vary from simply and politely asking if they are planning on having children soon to what I am sure is legal harassment. With many of the couples, the pressure continued or increased when they expressed their desire to never have children. Neither Amanda’s nor my family ever brought up the topic of us having or not having children. Though I was grateful that was the case 99% of the time, I would sometimes wonder why. Two of my hypotheses (written in a faulty logic format) include: 1. Stefanie, my sister, has always been vocal about not wanting children. Garry and Stefanie are alike. Garry must not want children. 2. Garry and Amanda have been together more than a decade. Most couples have children within the first 5 years. They must not want children. Though I doubt either of those is true, it does seem that nobody ever felt comfortable asking us directly if we wanted children.

As more family members find out that Amanda is pregnant I have discovered that their not asking was not from lack of interest. It has been revealed that rather than asking us of our reproductive plans they preferred to carefully observe our behavior. For example, Amanda’s drinking habits have been closely monitored at family functions. Several family members, including my mom, have since revealed that they were disappointed to see Amanda drinking beer at my sister’s November birthday party. I found this quiet observation rather disturbing, but took some comfort (or maybe less?) when I realized this behavior was not reserved for us alone.

Spotting newly pregnant women seems to be a sport for many people. Nothing illustrates this more than the tabloids never ending search for new celebrity “baby bumps”. Other people just seem to intuitively know when a woman is with child. I am sure if our friend Briana still lived in Bloomington she would have known Amanda was pregnant by the 5th week. She’s great at spotting pregnancy. Though I have not seen her demonstrate this sixth sense, another friend claims she can tell when a woman is pregnant just by looking at her face. I do not have this gift. I am terrible at telling if a woman is pregnant or just overweight. So I assume nothing until told otherwise. I have noticed that since I have been thinking more about pregnancy I now tend to guess the stomach girth is a baby more often than too many cheeseburgers.

A: Me too – I think I’m just fat!

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