Friday, June 17, 2016

Which One of Us Is Pregnant?

My wife and I are expecting a baby next month. (July 11—knock on wood! ;) )

We announced the pregnancy on Facebook, and right away, got hit with questions such as, “Which one of you is pregnant?” and “Who is the real mother?” Stuff like that. Based on the name on the ultrasound, some people made an assumption (that may or may not be correct) about who the pregnant woman was. That woman then got congratulated for being “the mom to be” and for being the “real mother.”

Marcy and I never planned to not tell people which one of us was pregnant but after being overwhelmed with such questions from people we barely knew and who seemed to be asking out of pure nosiness/bias, we just kind of naturally decided to take it slow. Do people ask a heterosexual, “Are you the father of the baby?” or “Is your husband the father of the baby?” No.

It does not matter TO US which one of us is pregnant, and honestly, I feel a bit sorry for anyone for whom it matters so overwhelmingly much that it is the first thing he or she has to ask. Both of us are the mothers of our daughter. Both of us are on the birth certificate. Both of us planned this child and want this child. So when “you” ask on Facebook a question like that, please think a moment about why you are asking. Is it because you want to identify with the physical ailments of pregnancy, the struggles, etc.? Is it because you are really close to one of us? (If you were, chances are that you would already know who was pregnant, but exceptions do occur.) If so, consider PMing instead of asking in public.

Are you close to either one of us? Do you keep up with either one of us? If not, if you barely know us, why is this question the first one you ask? Are you asking to simply be nosy? Again, we ask you to assess WHY it matters so much to you. Explore your biases. Explore why you ask this question and why it means so much to you.

Both of us are the mothers of this child, but we face the unfortunate reality that some people may see one of us as "more" mother based on the fact of being pregnant OR of being the biological mother. (In this day and age, the pregnant woman is not necessarily the biological mother.) One reason Marcy and I were relatively tight-lipped on the issue was to correct in part for such biases from other people. Obviously, people who know us in person and family members generally know which one of us is pregnant, and on occasion, we do share. We are much more inclined to do so, though, when it is in a private message and when it doesn't come with such naked nosiness or bias, and when it doesn't come from someone who has shown a propensity in the past for favoring biological-type children.

It has been an eye-opening experience to see people's biases float to the forefront. For each of us to be called "the real mother" because different people assume each of us is pregnant.

Examine questions before you ask them, and ask why it matters so much to you.

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