Support from my Bump Post

I took the big leap and posted my piece on “Why Don’t I Feel Bonded to my Baby Bump?” piece on my personal Facebook page a week ago. I don’t do that often, for certain reasons, but I felt like I needed to share my story with the people that knew me best. If they wanted to read it, they were welcome to. I was just hoping to share my personal feelings with those around me to help them understand what’s going on with me.

The response was massive. I was truly overwhelmed by the support and the reassurances from friends who had been there before, or maybe they were just happy I confided my personal feelings to them. I wanted to share some of the comments from my FB post on here, in case anyone else ever felt alone in this endeavor like I did.

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I was in the EXACT same place 19 years ago. My world changed when he was born.

Girl don’t feel guilty at all!! We all respond differently to pregnancy, and I was right there with you not feeling the whole “glow” of being pregnant…..I just felt like a blob. But the minute I met the little girl who was in there all those “mommy” feelings hit, and I hope they do for you as well, but even if they don’t right away, again, it’s different for everyone. I know people who didn’t feel a bond until their child was interacting some. It definitely is a very trying journey, and you will always second guess yourself and wonder if you are doing things “right”. But the only right thing is what works for you guys, and I promise, the journey ends up being amazing despite all the trying times. Best wishes as you finish your pregnancy journey and meet your little ‘bump’.

I never felt the swoony love everyone said I should have when I was pregnant. I gained 60lbs and I’ve never weighed more that 130 my entire life, so I was miserable and definitely didn’t want my picture taken. I always had doubts whether I could be a super mom and the night we went to the hospital, I said, “Brody, can I do this?” He said, “It’s a little late now, Jen!” It wasn’t until a few days after Saer arrived that I realized, wow, I really, really love this tiny human and I will kill anyone that tries to hurt him. Parenthood is exhausting those first few months, but you just do it! Every day that he’s here on this planet, I fall more in love with him and his little personality. Brody and I have become those obnoxious parents we used to HATE at dinner, because Saer will be blabbering loudly and we laugh and tell him how awesome he is. So, rest assured, you are not lacking any special mommy bonding feelings. It will probably hit you before you leave the hospital though

You are not alone! I can remember being all over the place with my feelings during my pregnancy. I had a miscarriage first, so my second pregnancy (first full term) I wouldn’t LET myself bond for the longest time. I felt like I was waiting for the “other shoe to drop”, so to speak. It was only at the end of the pregnancy where I bonded, and even then, I wasn’t the glowing, happy, maternal vision that I had expected to be. With my second, we were not trying at all, and I think the first three months of that pregnancy I walked around in a daze – as stupefied, terrified daze.

There were times when I would feel maternal, lovey, and excited about my “bump” or the baby. But I would say that was about ten percent of each pregnancy. Especially towards the last few months, I felt fat, clumsy, and I even voiced aloud to my husband that it felt like I was a prisoner in my own body when I had to have help to roll over at night, when the babies kicked my ribs constantly, when my insomnia brought me to tears. Literally, as a mother, your body is not your own any more. Like your heart beating, your body just…creates without you giving instruction. And to some, that is a wonderful feeling. But to me, 90% of my pregnancies were panic and confusion and a loss of control that was foreign.

Megan: you are an amazing woman. You are smart, motivated, kind, and dedicated. I have no doubt that you will be a FANTASTIC mother. Own your feelings – if you are frustrated or not feeling “maternal”, that’s ok. And it’s totally normal. The bonding will come, maybe not during the pregnancy, maybe not at the hospital, maybe not for a while! But it WILL, and it will be marvelous. Love you, girl!

I really liked being pregnant, and what I remember being really weird was this complete disconnect on the day Nora was born between the bump that was gone and the baby in my arms. Intellectually I knew they were the same, but I really missed my “inside baby.” Hormones are weird…

If you’d like to share your story, please do below! Reading everyone’s accounts made me tear up every time, and helped reassure me that I wasn’t alone. We had our first baby shower the weekend before Thanksgiving, and I had hoped to share some photos from it, but forgot to take very many! (FAIL.) I’ll take some of some of the swag Baby A&W received (though some is still in Indiana because we couldn’t fit it in the car) and share a little about the shower.

 (Off Topic, but timely: Don’t forget about my special offer to get 40% off ProCompression items–Use discount code “PINK2through Dec. 15 to get 40% off ProCompression Marathon Socks or Calf Sleeves–great gifts for the runner(s) in your life and yourself!)

Why Don’t I Feel Bonded to my Baby Bump?

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.

Baby A&W has already been learning how to handle a dog on an agility course, as you can see here (yes, you can see my baby bump!).

So far this has been the closest you’ve gotten to seeing my baby bump

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