Surprise disclosure

When K and I first started discussing the possibility of him trying to conceive our child, I envisioned a situation in which we were, if not shrouded in secrecy, extraordinarily silent on the matter of reproduction. We discussed a small, select group of people knowing about our pregnancy, and telling others on a need-to-know basis. It wasn’t shame, but rather need for safety, that was propelling our desire to remain very private.

The status of our disclosure about Falco is becoming so vastly different from what I’d imagined. Close family and friends knew we were pregnancy from practically the moment of conception. My coworkers knew when K was ovulating, for Pete’s sake. Recently, we told almost 40 additional friends. We have much larger network of support than we’d ever dreamed possible, and it’s nice to not have to be so quiet about something we’re clearly celebrating.

Yesterday brought, by far, the most random disclosure yet. I went for a dental cleaning and was surprised to discover that my dental hygienist, whom I’m only seen twice, was 34 weeks pregnant with her second child. We commiserated about the shitty lack of maternity leave coverage in our country, and about how this impacts our ability to nurture and bond with our children and leaves a lasting legacy of pay inequality over the course of our lifetimes.

Eventually, she turned to me and said, “You know an awful lot about this stuff for someone who doesn’t have children. Are you and your husband trying to conceive?” So I gave her a frank summary of our story. She was so excited for us and asked a few questions. Then, like she was speaking to any other first-time mom-to-be, we talked about typical parenting concerns. She gave me advice and encouraged me.

It was such an empowering and liberating experience! It left me with a sense of hope that the world isn’t filled with a bunch of transphobic assholes, that we might be able to fit in with other parents. The conversation with the dental hygienist also reminded me that, while every family has a unique tale about how they came to be, we also share so many similar challenges and joys and have the ability, if we’re able to celebrate and appreciate this uniqueness, to provide each other with very necessary love and support.

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