Sunday, April 1, 2007

reckless pessimism

The opposite of cautious optimism.

In thinking a little more about my statistics post, I've realized that I find it almost impossible to congratulate a blogger who gets a positive pregnancy test or a reassuring ultrasound scan. I want to and I know that it's really not necessary to type anything more than "congratulations" or "what great news" or "I'm so happy for you," but my fingers just freeze. Somehow, I think that "Well, I'm glad to hear that, and, with any luck, your baby won't die" would be inappropriate.

It's not that I think that my good wishes would jinx her -- though, to be honest, there is an element, however irrational, of that. It's not that I'm jealous, because, at least right now, I never want to be pregnant again. It's more that I keep imagining all the bad things that might happen and how her happiness could be snatched from her at any moment. And, if some disaster strikes, how ironic and painful and hollow all those words of congratulations would sound.

Hope hurts. Even someone else's hope.

5 comments:

LeRoy Dissing said...

Often times though, hope is all we have. When I think of everything that has to happen during a preganancy (and at the right time), I am amazed that any of us are here and that those of us that are here, that we are normal (okay, I know that is a stretch for me).

My father-in-law from Ireland would often refer to someone who was down on their luck - that they "didn't have a hope in hell". Maybe in hell there is no hope, but we aren't there yet even though there may be days we feel like it - at least for me.

Keep the faith niobe!

Aurelia said...

I couldn't do it IRL, for ages...too painful, and just too sad for me. (This was back before blogging.) Now, it all depends on my mood of the week. Sometimes good sometimes not.

JuliaKB said...

I have managed it, but I never say congratulations now. More like "great news" or "I am so happy for you" which I am, but also very cautious.
When my rabbi first told us that what you say on the news of impending, but not accomplished good things, like pregnancy and engagement, is "may it happen for you in good time" I thought that was a bit silly. Now I get it.

I spent the last couple of days scared shitless because a friend was just about due. I had a bad feeling, and it didn't improve with the news that she has less fluid than before and the baby is on the small side. So we waited and waited, but we finally exhaled this morning-- the baby was born and everything is fine. I am going to go see them today (just to make sure my resolve doesn't evaporate by tomorrow).

The saddest part is that my daughter was more sad than happy when I told her the baby was born. She said she wished our baby was born too. And that she doesn't like it the way things turned out. Seems my 5 year old is a typical infertile...

Sara said...

I understand what you mean, although for me it is also tinged with a bit of jealousy and feelings of inadequacy. I probably won't be "optimistic" during a subsequent pregnancy if have one, and that makes me sad.

Monica said...

Yeah, I get that way too. Like I want to tell them not to get too excited, or don't go out and register at BRU at 4weeks. I just say, "I'm so excited". And that's really a lie too. What I really want to say is, "good for you, now don't ever say another word to me about this"