A: As soon as humanly, scientifically possible. (roughly two weeks after conception, which would be late January) I am utterly befuddled by people who claim to have gone months without knowing. I have a calendar; I am intimately in tune with my body's cycles. I can't see missing those signs for several months at a time.
Q: Oh, so I guess you've finally stopped riding your motorcycle.
A: That's not a question. And, no.
Q: Are you going to find out whether it's a boy or a girl?
A: Yes, we will be doing penis-counting later this week. I'm all about transparency, so why not have all the info?
Q: So, do you want a boy or a girl?
A: I really can't control that, so I will not state a preference. I tend not to state desires for things I cannot control. Ever. I think it's a power thing. At any rate, it's all Paul's fault, and whatever chromosome he put in, he's not telling. So we'll find out the old-fashioned way: ultrasound!
Q: Have you thought about names yet?
A: Yes, but we're not telling. I'll tell you things we're NOT using, but if/when we decide, it will only be announced after we've burdened this as-yet-unknown little person with our poor choice. So no one can feel like their opinion is needed. It's hard enough to choose without every random person's opinion. Take comfort in knowing that whatever we choose will be turned into a playground epithet regardless.
Q: So are you going to stay at home after you've had the baby?
A: Yes, for probably several days. Then? Um, hello? I love my job! Plus we can't both be at home. No one ever asks my husband this. WTF? Someone actually told him that he couldn't take care of the baby because he didn't know how. For the record, Paul is exactly 5.4 billion times better with kids than I am.
Q: How are you feeling?
A: I feel fine, thank you for asking.
Q: Did you get sick?
A: Not really, I just felt queasy and icky for a few months, but I never threw up. I lost my appetite for normal foods but never got tired of dessert. Go figure. (PS: SEND MORE DESSERT.)
Q: But I thought you said you were never going to have kids!
A: I never said that. I may have misdirected you, but I didn't lie. I think it went something like this "Are you going to have kids?" "I'm going to have puppies!" Actually, come to think of it, maybe it was a lie, because so far I don't have a puppy either. Dammit.
Q: But I just can't see you having kids.
A: I KNOW! Isn't it crazy? What a plot twist! What will they think of next?!
Q: I think you'll be a great mom.
A: That is so sweet, even though I can hear your teeth gritting. I have my doubts, but I assume we all do. Actually, I hate people who are just perfect at something the first time they try. I expect messes and mistakes. And cupcakes. And maybe later, therapy.
UQ (Unasked question): May I touch your belly?
A: OH HELL NO. And you really should have asked first, because I am vacillating between totally creeped out and blind violent rage right now that you touched me. Ask yourself first:
- Do I know this person well enough that I normally find it ok to touch her belly with no permission?
- Hey I heard womens' boobs grow during pregnancy too. Maybe I should grab those too?
If I have a kicking baby and say "hey wanna feel?" then yes, but otherwise, NO.
Remember, if I accidentally slap you, I can always just blame the hormones. What's your excuse?
Q: Can we talk about something other than your pregnancy?
A: YES! PLEASE! Truth be told, this has very little to do with me. It's not like I ordered parts yesterday, or like you should applaud me for negotiating a truly great deal on baby toes last week, or working out a successful project plan artfully balancing the triple constraints of time, money, and other people's bullshit. Getting knocked up wasn't a huge accomplishment (I can tell you how, if you're curious), and at this point, it's just sort of happening. I'm not going to be massaging this on my resume to say something like "Drove cardiovascular system building to completion on time and under budget while growing fetus 180% in three weeks" or whatever. I'm told this thing has, like, a nose, and lungs, and stuff, and I don't remember working on that part.
You know, let's talk about successes at work (I didn't cry at my desk once on Friday, despite being abandoned by my boss), or falling off of our dirtbikes, or that quilt I'm supposed to be working on, shall we? Or how great it will be when I can finally have beer again.