Being pregnant with your fifth child is harder than being pregnant with any other number (1-4), mostly because you don't get any attention and nobody really cares. This is not a cry for help, just the way it is. Case in point: when I announced my pregnancy over dinner in a hip LA hot-spot in front of my family, everyone sighed an obligatory "Ohhh," like they had just seen an interesting looking caterpillar. I was expecting cheers, and maybe a little clapping. At LEAST an extra dessert. But you feel really comfortable around family, right? You can say anything you're thinking without fear of being misunderstood, right? Like when I ASKED, outrightly, "Aren't you guys so excited!?" and my brother said, "Well, I though it was about time for you. You know, how you've been going." Like I was announcing changing the sheets off the bed or getting my oil changed. I looked at my sisters for support who just looked at me apologetically, shrugged their shoulders and said "Well. . . " like you've-put-yourself-in-this-position-it's-who-you-are.
People sometimes tell me--like at church this very week--how they didn't know I was pregnant, which is funny because they're really admitting that I look fat. It's not like I haven't gained, gulp, any weight. It's noticible. (and a special shout-out to the "I'm only being honest" Gina for confirming my fears. I can always count on you and Dad!) So their response is more relief, like "oh THAT explains it," than congratulations. (But I must admit that my weight gain makes my impression of Brittney Spears on the MTV Music Awards that much funnier. Anything for my art.)
I also get the tilted head and squinted eyes response when I confirm their suspicions which I've learned is the "do you believe in birth control?" or "how many children are you going to HAVE?" look. That response is also not congratulations.
Contrary to what you might think, and what Gina WILL think, I'm not looking for emails and comments with any sort of attention or congratulations. YOU'RE TOO LATE. It is what it is and I'M excited, and TOPHER's excited, and most of my women friends who are in the fertility stage of their lives are genuinely excited.
I do plan on being one of the mysterious-women-with-older-children in the near future, whose ways are so foreign and intriguing to me, who says congratulations upon learning of an impending birth, but in their minds sigh a deep "good luck!" or "you have no idea. . . " But I WILL say congratulations, right after I go to a movie by myself.