So I’m 13 weeks into my second pregnancy and its twins. What a double blessing, right? Time to spread the happy news!
But something’s different this time. People are having strange reactions to my joyous announcement. I know that look I’m getting… I’ve seen it before. Its the ‘you’ve gone too far Maxx’ look. My currency is crashing, in one wave of the ultrasound wand I’ve been changed from alpha lesbian into Octomom.
The first sign of trouble came during the I’ve-got-news coffee with Stella*. There’s a strange thing that happens between late 30’s-early 40’s women who have last minute kids, and the ones who don’t. Up until now we’ve travelled along sharing our experiences of lovers, relationships, careers, creativity in a kind of parallel insanity, pushing each other along. And then suddenly someone jumps off the baby cliff.
It doesn’t matter if they’ve chosen not to have kids and are doing something just as important and awesome with their lives. Most women are hard-wired to feel something weird when the option to give birth to a child tick tocks down to a slim possibility as 40 passes, and then disappears. And some women haven’t chosen it, it just happened thanks to flaky partners, overestimated fertility and career fast forward. Seeing your friends have babies is bittersweet. And I know this because I didn’t get pregnant until I was 40.
But since then I’ve watched almost all my childless friends go into overdrive when they hit 40 – major recognition, insane jobs, artistic triumph. There’s a reason men run the world and these girls have evened the score and are getting their share. And we, the lastminutedotcom mums, are not, at least not for sure, and not now. Those late nights in bars where the fun and the deal-making happens and the insane hours of the successful career monster can’t compete with the impulse to go home and feed your baby dinner. Not for most mums. Not for me. So the mums and the not-mums circle each other, eyeing off the grass on each other’s side of the fence. Hoping like hell we made the right choice.
“Stella I’m pregnant.”
“OMG no way congratulations”
Silence. Stella stares at me. Her brain is clearly grappling for the right response. And then relief crosses her face, she’s found it.
“Can you get an abortion?”
As I wandered off from coffee tugging at the waist band of my maternity jeans, already as tight as when i was 5 months pregnant last time, I decided that posting pregnancy news up on Facebook was a bit 2011.
* Names changed to protect the guilty.