Late December

The husband and I are having a big fight. I am absolutely furious with him. It’s only been four months since I went off the Pill and it feels like Everyone Knows. It’s the last thing I want. I want us to feel no pressure. Not from family, or friends, or colleagues. It seems that pressure is the one thing that does not help get anyone pregnant and not that I’m in a hurry, but I don’t want everyone to know about my personal life. I’ve read enough of the desperate mommy web site forums that I know I don’t want people to feel sorry for me if I don’t conceive ‘according to schedule’. I do not want people talking about me behind my back and how ‘sad our situation is.’ I’ve heard enough talk like this to last me a lifetime.

To make things worse, it seems that sometime in the past two months, the husband has let the word slip to his mother. Every time she phones, there is a tentative and slightly insinuating, “Anything new?” I wondered what that was all about until I heard the husband and the mother-in-law on the phone the other night. “No, we’re not pregnant yet,” said the husband. “We haven’t been trying that long. Anyway it’s a major lifestyle change for her, so we’re trying to get her used to the idea.”

I almost freaked out right there.

Then tonight, the husband raises it over dinner. Over dinner, of all places! I almost slide under the table.

The odd thing is, our friends – who are really the husband’s friends so I don’t know them all that well – they were all ears. They are eager to hear all about it. It’s like we’re in some sort of “Trying Couples” club. They have lots of free advice to offer: stories of fabled conceptions, surprise miscarriages, the best herbs, foods, drinks, etcetera. I sit politely and stone-faced throughout this ordeal. I want to change the topic as fast as possible.

As we get into the cab on the way home, I spit my venom. I don’t care that I berate the husband in front of the cab driver.

“Can’t this wait until we get home,” the husband tries to shush me.

“Who cares?” I say. “Everyone else knows! Why not the cab driver?”

“Damn it! You’re blowing this all out of proportion. My mother deserves to know, doesn’t she?” I shoot him a dagger glance.

“No, no she doesn’t”

“Well, she’s my mother and I can tell her things that are important to me.”

“No, you can’t. Not if they have to do with me! This is between you and me and no one else. If someone is curious, that’s too bad. Maybe some day I’ll be comfortable speaking about it, but I am not. Comfortable. Right. Now. Can’t you understand that?”

“Alright, alright,” he sighs. “I guess you’re right. I can see that it’s not fair to you.”

“Damn right, it’s not fair!” I shoot back. “And what’s up with raising the topic with them? This is the 21st century – conception is not a community event!

“Oh c’mon. They’re good people. They care. And I didn’t raise the topic, I’ll remind you. They asked if we’re considering kids and I simply told the truth.”

“Well, sometimes you shouldn’t tell the whole truth,” I say acidly. “Sometimes one should avoid a conversation.”

I run up the five flights of stairs, let myself into the apartment and slam the door. We had agreed we weren’t going to be One of Those Couples…. And here we are. Our intimate details being shared with other couples that want to share their intimate details. I guess the husband got the message, because during the next conversation with the mother-in-law, I hear him telling her that he’ll inform her if we have news, and otherwise not to ask about it.