A month or two back, two girlfriends of mine announced their pregnancies in a single email (knowing a couple of us from the old gang aren’t on Facebook anymore). Recently, a few of the gang who are still near our hometown got together for dinner, digging up some tensions which our group hadn’t really acknowledged beyond a few one-on-one conversations and back-channel emails. One of the women who’s expecting mentioned it in passing, sounding puzzled and maybe a little guilty that two other friends weren’t sharing in the joy. I wrote something like this back to her (names and some details changed). I think it finally captures some of the way I’ve been feeling about pregnancy announcements since my cohort’s twenty-one womb salute to heteronormativity started when we all turned thirty. And maybe it’ll help some other old groups of friends cope with their own divisions. So I’m posting it here.
Well, you know, a few of us are just in very different places in our lives right now. We feel how outside the norm we are. It isn’t easy — most of all for Octavia, who’s really feeling the effects of how unorthodox her career path has been, while at the same time it keeps her away from people she loves. Herbert and I are kind of settled in our decisions to live different lives — his in his tight community of bears and leather daddies — so we’re not feeling as anxious. But pregnancy still feels pretty alien. (I’m pretty firm by now that I’m going to adopt, or even foster. This has been driven home by how badly Cassandra has been reacting to the hormone fluctuations she had when weaning… that’s where all her panic about ebola has come from, if you’ve gotten an earful of that on Facebook.)