I Guess I Don't Know the Secret Handshake

Ever since I got pregnant—and especially since I started showing—I've been smiling at every other pregnant woman I pass as if to say, "Hi! I'm in the club, too! Isn't it neat?" To date, I've never gotten a smile back. Well, except from the mirror alongside the escalator at Macy's yesterday, but that doesn't count.

I've felt a bit saddened by this; I expected to experience some solidarity with my fellow pregnant sisters. Is it that they recognize me as someone who came to impending parenthood only reluctantly? Is it obvious that I'm a traitor to my original plan, an imposter? Or is it because, although I'm in my sixth month and no longer have a clear view of my feet, I don't look pregnant enough to warrant acknowledgement by women who've reached the waddle stage? ("Face it, honey," says Al. "You're mini-pregnant.")

I've gotten some acknowledgement in the form of wonder-filled questions about pregnancy from non-pregnant people; I'm beginning to think that I have more in common with these folks than I do with other pregnant women. I feel just as much awe as they do that anyone would take this on. Could it really be that the pregnant women I've encountered aren't feeling the same sense of wonder, the same incredulity, the same oh-my-god-I'm-not-sure-I-can-do-this anxiety that I am feeling? Is pregnancy really such a non-event for the women of Philadelphia?

Posted by Lori in pregnancy at 5:39 PM on August 15, 2004

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