Talking with my husband’s 90 year-old grandmother in Spain the other day, I was asked, again, “¿bueno, algunas noticias?” (“so, any news?”). She then began worrying at me, saying “and at your age you shouldn’t be wasting time”, and “you should look and see if somethings wrong, if one of you “no vale” (literally, “doesn’t work”). All I wanted to say was “mind your own business”, but at the same time, I want people to feel like they can ask how things are going, because it’s a big part of our life right now. This is a hard balance to strike, because I’m both wanting to share how it’s going, and not wanting other peoples’ anxieties to make my own even more pronounced.
Every other week or so my mom tells me about some naturopathic doctor she ran into at a farm market while selling her dolls, or an old midwife friend she saw who had some advice for getting pregnant. (The latest, told with a good laugh, was to eat goat balls. Yes, goat balls. According to this 40-year veteran midwife, it works every time.). It makes me realize my mom is bringing me up a lot, and it also makes me think how when you know someone who’s trying to start a family, they’re the first people you think of every time you see something related to fertility.
It kind of makes me wish we hadn’t said anything to anyone. But too late for that. On Halloween, grandma’s 91st birthday, it will be a year since we started, a year since we whispered in her ear on her 90th birthday that we were trying for that great-grandaughter she’d been asking us for. And in some ways that’s a long time, and I get anxious about it. And in other ways, given that this last year was very stressful and unsettled for us, it’s really not that long at all. So for now I’m trying to be relaxed about it, tell people how I’m doing when they ask, but avoid letting them get inside my head with their own worries.
Not an easy balance to strike, but it feels good to try. And I’m glad to be talking about it with people–it seems somehow better to be open about it than secretive, the way people used to be.