Sisterhood Blog

My Good News Isn't What You Think It Is

By Gabrielle Birkner

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“You’re pregnant!”

That’s the response I’ve received, over and over again, when I’ve called a friend or family member to say that I have “good news” or “big news.”

“No,” I tell them, “I’ve been nominated for a journalism award” or “Jeremy [my husband] won an Emmy” or “We bought an apartment.” To which the person on the other end of the line always seems a bit let down. Sometimes it feels as if the only accomplishment worth sharing is having a baby on the way, which we don’t; it’s as if everything else pales in comparison.

Maybe it does. I’ve never been pregnant. I wouldn’t know.

But what I do know is that most of the women in my life have a lot to celebrate other than their pregnancies and their children: One of my girlfriends, a talented musician, is recording a new album; another one, a mother of four, has taken up competitive weightlifting; another still got a big new job, after an extended period of unemployment. (Not surprisingly, some advised her to take advantage of the time off, and have a baby.)

Becoming a mother is a cause for celebration; it’s not the only cause for celebration. But so long as that’s lost on so many, my good news will come without a preface.


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