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planned parenthood?

October 16, 2008

This reminds me of my first baby-related trip to the doctor’s office, wherein among questions about mine and D’s medical history, I was also asked sweetly, “And was this a planned or an unplanned pregnancy?”

I was already feeling a little awkward that I was there sans husband — a friend had said that “nothing really happens” at the first visit, so I discouraged him from coming along — because she asked whether I was married, but then seemed confused when I gave our two last names. (Yes, apparently it does still throw some folks for a loop.)

So, I told the truth, which was: “Um, I have to say it was unplanned. But not unwelcome!”

And for the first time, I felt strange about saying so. I’d been throwing that bit of information around pretty freely, given my situation (young, recently promoted, practically camping out in our home-under-renovation, and suddenly pregnant) and that my friends, mostly young and shocked, asked for educational reasons. I felt almost obligated to demonstrate through jokes and shrugs and wide-eyed expressions that I was surprised, too.

Somehow, though, at the doctor’s office it came off less funny (not because it was actually less funny but because NOTHING is funny in there) and more real. More accidental.

I’m sure medical professionals are compelled to ask to dig up any high-risk behaviors the accidentally-with-child woman has been engaging in. Mine included lattes, wine, one margarita night, days of applying polyurethane to the wood floors we’d recently refinished, weekends spent painting, and no folic acid supplement. They couldn’t have known that I’d already done enough realizing, worrying and crying about it for all of us.

I get the same feeling — the less funny, more serious feeling — when I recall my youngest sister asking “Mom, was I an accident?”

Then I realize that I have to figure out what on earth I’ll say if Jack wonders the same thing with his future siblings in audience. Because family tradition means a lot to me, I suppose I’ll go with my mother’s safe answer: “You all were.”

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 20, 2008 1:13 pm

    That’s a great answer!

    I finally told my mom that it would be nicer for her to say that I was a “surprise” instead of an accident. Puts a nicer spin on it. 🙂

  2. Elizabeth permalink
    October 21, 2008 2:41 am

    Love this, Leslie, because I remember also asking you if this was a planned pregnancy. I’m pretty sure your exact words to me were also, “Unplanned, but not unwelcome.” The perfect answer! 🙂

  3. November 3, 2008 5:02 am

    That IS a great answer.

    Plus, someecards … love them! Perfect for every occasion, I always say.


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