Brace yourselves, you’re about to get a little personal with me. I was back and forth about actually writing all of this down and sharing it with everyone, but my hope is that this will help me get over a mental threshold and help those close to me understand.
When I saw the headline for the article “Should You Feel Bonded to your Baby Bump?” during my usual am news reading, I immediately clicked on it. This has been a question that has rattled through my mind for a couple of months now, and growing more so as my own baby bump has grown.
I’ve felt so guilty for so long about my reactions to being pregnant. And I think that guilt hasn’t helped me feel happy or comfortable with myself, which just leads to a snowball effect of the two just going around and around in my head. I’ve heard so many reactions from friends, co-workers, and those I workout with like “Your belly is so big!” or “Oh, I see the baby now!” or “You’re still so small!” And with each comment, I do a half smile and just go on with what I’m doing. I don’t know how to take those types of comments.
The article goes on about how actresses like Vanessa Lachey felt guilty with her first pregnancy because all she heard was how you’d feel this sudden love and bond with your bump, yet it never came until they found out the gender of the baby. I’m the same way. I don’t feel a love or a bond…I feel frustration and fear. I feel uncertain in my abilities and future and uncomfortable in my own skin. I don’t feel strong, or sexy, or that I look decent in any of my clothes—not even my sweats. You won’t see me rubbing my belly while sitting in a meeting at work, or talking to the baby (except for the occasional, “Will you stop kicking me there?”). I just feel…nothing.
The article says: “As many women can attest, impending motherhood is rife with expectations. It’s often not enough to maintain a healthy pregnancy — many women feel pressure to have their maternal instincts flow from the moment the pregnancy stick turns positive, and they feel confused and disappointed when those feelings don’t materialize. To be fair, pregnancy is a deeply personal process and there are plenty of women for whom the experience is wholly transformative.”
It doesn’t help seeing how celebrity moms sport their baby bumps proudly and how people say they’re “glowing.” Celebrity moms don’t have to stress about the fact that they only get 6 weeks of maternity leave, and that’s only paid at 50% of your measly salary. Celebrity moms don’t have to worry about how they’ll pay for daycare, let alone the rest of the expensive things baby needs, when currently we’re doing our best to just afford the two of us. Celebrity moms don’t have to worry about a lot of things that those of us on the lower rung have to. So of course they can glow and splurge on expensive maternity clothes, personal trainers for after the baby comes, etc.
I’ve been asked why I haven’t posted any baby bump photos on Facebook…well I think what I said above explains all of that. It’s not my thing.
Perhaps a small part of my feelings is because we weren’t trying for this to happen. I know quite a few people who all they want is a child, and they struggled for years. Once they conceived, they were so jubilant and ready to share their journey…and you can’t fault them for that. I applaud them. Then there are those who try and try, and just can’t, for some reason or another, and they’re heartbroken. I’m heartbroken for them. And I feel guilty because my pregnancy just happened.
For me, I never saw myself as a mother. M and I had been talking about the possibility of having children, but I never saw it in my future. We were so wishy-washy. I’ve been told that perhaps this is the best way for it to happen—extreme accident (trust me kids, we know how babies are made and how to prevent them, and we were doing that) that will make you make the decision right then and there.
As I prepare for my baby showers, which I am ever so grateful for my family and friends who love me enough to want to celebrate this monumental event and help me prepare to be a mother, I’m hoping in the next couple of months my feelings and thoughts will change. I know the stress will always be there. I know the uncertainty will always be there. But maybe…just maybe…I can accept it, let go, and be that glowing mother-to-be everyone talks about being.
Or maybe not…
( Thank you to some of my fellow bloggers who showed me you can bravely share your struggles to help others, like my girl