Earlier this afternoon the phone rang. It was the genetic counselor from Kaiser, calling to tell me that the amniocentesis results came back normal. By all accounts we've got a healthy baby on the way.
I thanked her tearfully, had a little cry, and then pulled M away from his travel preparations to give him the news.
He was relieved, but the news heightened his stress-level. Now he has to start telling people. Like his grandmother.
M is one of the most intensely private people I know. He's a closed book to most people because he shares so little of himself. I know that it is a habit formed in childhood: he was the small kid in classrooms with kids a couple of years older than himself, kids who resented the protective delight their teachers took in him. Mentally, he was light-years ahead of his peers, but socially, well, he wasn't ready for the older age group. In addition to being incredibly brilliant, M is a highly sensitive person (HSP), and his sensory processing sensitivity makes him uncomfortably aware of what other people are thinking and feeling. It's always just been easier for him to keep to himself than to push through the discomfort of relating to and with others unlike himself.
Fortunately for him, his father (and grandmother) understand this about him. His mother, not so much. She's often upset with him for not telling her things she thinks are important, but as he's reminded her, she does the same thing, so she's one to talk :)
So... M keeps to himself. Small social circles, few overlapping, with little information exchange. His introversion means he has difficulty determining where his differences from others lie, and since being different was always a painful thing, I think it is just easier for him to assume that other people think and feel the same way he does. He's never been one to talk about his romantic relationships, not to anyone. I think I'm the only exception to the rule. And, interestingly enough, he prefers not to hear about others' relationships, exploits, etc. It makes him uncomfortable, the thoughts and mental images that scroll through his mind, so he prefers not to know the intimate details, and has difficulty understanding why anyone would want to know such details about him.
Which is where telling people about the baby is difficult and stressful for him, I know. I'm trying not to take it personally, trying not to make it about me or the baby, when it's really about him. Telling others about the baby means he has to reveal the true nature of our relationship to people who, in the absence of details, will fill in the blanks themselves. It is one thing for people to assume he's sexually active. It's quite another for others to know that he is, to know who he's with, and for them to imagine what may or may not go on in the privacy of his bedroom. He says he's prim. I say he's prudish and quaint. It's a part of who he is, and I get that about him, even though we're quite opposite in that way. Hell, I'm a sex educator, among other things :)
He's taking his grandmother to Vegas this weekend. She loves casinos and slot machines, and seeing as she's 89, he isn't sure how much longer she's going to be able to travel and get around under her own steam. So he's planned a fun, memorable weekend at the Mirage in Vegas. He's thoughtful that way.
On our way out door, M asked his grandmother how many great-grandchildren she wants. I think she said four. He reached out and put his hand on my belly and told her she'd have her first great-grandchild in May. She lit up and looked sly. She said she'd thought I was pregnant -- she knew the signs -- and was very happy to know she'd read them right. We've spent a week together and had some conversations, and she's seen us together, so she knows the love that is there between us.
Hopefully, they'll have an uneventful flight to Vegas, and I'll have an uneventful weekend. I'm feeling a bit tired. Must have been all the flowerbed weeding I did.