I didn't realize how mysterious people truly believe pregnancy to be, until I found myself on the receiving end of a barrage of questions having to do with my own. So many people want to know so many things about the new arrival, way in advance of the actual birthday. It can get a little — OK, a lot — invasive, which is why I refused to tell anyone when my baby was conceived. I’m an introvert, albeit a bit of an extroverted one, and I keep pretty tight-lipped about life in general, divulging info to only those I know well and trust completely (if such a thing is possible).
Only my closest friends know when my babies were conceived, and they knew me well enough not to even ask me (in so many words). Is there some kind of effect pregnant women have on the masses that make them completely tactless? I was seriously taken aback by some of the questions about my future child.
When I was pregnant people wanted to know if we were opting for a nanny or daycare, if I was planning to breastfeed, if I was going back to work after leave (like we could afford for me not to), and, of course, what the gender was of the fetus I was gestating. Mind you, not all of these people even knew my name (I’m looking at you, lady on the subway who practically stalked me on my commute home to Queens). What is it about pregnancy that puts a spell on people to ask annoyingly personal questions?
So no matter how often I got asked about my baby’s conception, I refused to share anything about it, and here are some reasons why:
Because I Don’t Need Anyone’s Opinions On Due Dates
I don’t want to know your ideas about summer babies, or winter babies, or giving birth when Mercury is in retrograde. I don’t want to know what you think about babies born under certain Horoscope signs. There is nothing you can tell me about a due date that will bring me some sort of necessary enlightenment.
Because Due Dates Are Bogus
They were in my case, anyway. My daughter was 10 days late (with my labor induced) and my son was three days late. Motherhood is all about seeing plans blow up in your face. No need to shine a light on that inevitable fact by letting others in on my gestational timelines.
Because It Will Conjure Up Images Of Me Having Sex
I'm really not one to openly invite people thinking of me getting it on. My daughter was conceived when I was ovulating. While that is not the case in all mothers’ journeys to motherhood — like, if they did IVF or adopted — I don’t need to open my bedroom to others’ curiosities. She wasn’t premature, so do the math and figure it out for yourself.
Because It’s Nice To Keep Things For Myself
I didn't realize was how much I had to share with others the moment I became am other. It was more than giving up physical space in our NYC apartment to a new tiny roommate; it was time, and energy, and our bed. It can really make me feel depleted. So it’s wonderful to just keep some things for ourselves, and hoarding information like conception and due dates is a way of protecting ourselves from feeling drained by the demands of others.
Because I Don’t Want To Get Into The Habit Of Oversharing About My Kid
My daughter will turn 10 in a few months, and it won’t be too far into the future that she’ll be interested in creating her own presence on the internet. I don’t want this to happen at all, for obvious reason, but I’d rather her do it in a smart and careful way, under her parents’ guidance, than deny her wifi access and believe she’ll never find her way online until she’s 40.
While I do post photos of her on my feeds, I don’t use social media as a tell-all about my kids’ lives. I also know that soon, very soon, I’ll have to stop posting without her permission and hand the reins over to her when it comes to managing her social presence.
Because People Will Creepily Insert Themselves Into The Story Of My Baby’s Conception
Whenever someone tells me about a particular event, at a particular time, I immediately consider what I was doing at that moment. I’m human, so I can't help it when I make things about me. I assume there must be other people who can’t help shifting the perspective to their own too, and even when they play no role in the other person’s story. This gets really weird, to me, when it comes to sharing details about a baby’s conception. It’s a very small cast for that, and the roles have already been filled, thanks.
Because I Want To Avoid Follow-Up Questions
- Was it planned?
- How long had you been trying?
- Did it make things less fun, or more fun?
“No comment,” for all the above.
Because I Don’t Want To Jinx Anything
I referred to each of my children in utero as “it.” My husband and I didn’t want to know the gender of our babies before they were born. My feeling was that should something go wrong and the pregnancy terminated early, I didn’t want to have grown so attached to something I had fully formed in my brain. Telling people when my baby was conceived was an overly confident move, I thought. I played it close to the vest when I was pregnant, and just made the conscious, personal decision not to tell anyone anything about it until I hit that 14-week mark.
Because I’m Actually Not Totally Sure When Conception Happened
I’m fairly positive I know what month of what year my daughter was conceived, but my partner and I were having scheduled sex every other night, as the books say, during the middle of my cycle for what we hoped for optimal results. So I couldn’t nail the exact day and also, why does anyone who isn’t my OB-GYN need that information?