What is This Thing Called Love?

January 18, 2012

At family dinner tonight (that would be me and my parents, not the Whole Family), my mom asked me a thought-provoking question.

But I think I need to take a step back first. There are a ton of apps to track your pregnancy. There are a ton of websites. There are a ton of analogies offered to give you an idea of just how big the little thing that’s growing inside you is. Courtney took this information and ran with it. She ran all the way to the produce department at Meijer. The result? A series of delightful pictures comparing her growing belly to produce. Well, that’s already been done, so I needed to come up with something different. I mean, it was obvious to me. And it was obvious to my mom. (In the movie version of this, I suggest the screenwriter do the old cliché of “we’ll say it at the same time and that way discover we independently came to the same idea”. My mom and I may be cliché in a lot of ways, but we’re not that bad.) I’m a knitter. Clearly, everything needs to be compared to yarn and knitting supplies. I’m currently knitting a beaded shawl, so the first picture? A tiny seed bead, of course!

So here was the question:

“Do you love this bead?”

Do I? I don’t know. It’s just a bead. I’m only 7 weeks pregnant, and that’s because you count the two weeks between your period and ovulation. It’s barely been a month since the IUI. I’m not even sure this is real yet. (Except for the morning sickness. That part is pretty real. Have I mentioned how sick I am of feeling sick 24/7? I have? Well, just in case you forgot…)

There was no judgment in her question. It was pure curiosity. Think about it. Back in the ’70s when she was having babies, she didn’t really know she was pregnant this early. It was pretty normal to be a couple months along before a pregnancy was confirmed. (And they sucked at due dates. My brother and I were both a couple weeks late and weighed in around 6 pounds. Clearly we actually arrived on time.) She’s just trying to understand how it feels to know you’re pregnant when the embryo is still no bigger than a seed bead.

So, no, I don’t think I love this bead yet. If, god forbid, I have a miscarriage, I will be sad. Of course, I’ll be sad. But I’ll be sad because I’ve lost something that had the potential to become a child I will love, not because I’ve lost something I already love. Ask me again when I’m safely through my first trimester. It will be bigger than a bead by then. It will be more real (I think) by then. Love may be the right word to use by then. Just not yet.

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