being a mom
I’m Done Having Kids But I’m Jealous Of Your Pregnancy
Even thoughÂ my baby making days are done, I get jealous when I see or hear about someone getting pregnant. I didnâ€™t understand what my green eyed monster was feeding off of, since Iâ€™m perfectly content with my two boys. But the feelings keep coming, every time I see an ultrasound picture on Facebook or glance at theÂ cover of a magazine in the checkout line. And finally it hit me- Iâ€™m not resentful that these woman were having babies, I am envious of their actual pregnancies.
Iâ€™ve written before about my use of advanced reproductive technology (ART) to conceive twins. AfterÂ fighting so hard to get pregnant in the first place, I thought karma would decideÂ I deserved a smooth pregnancy. And I had one, until I randomly started to dilate at 27 weeks. I was also diagnosedÂ with a rare liver complication that meant the longer the babies stayed inside me,Â the higher the chances were that they would be stillborn. IÂ spent the next seven weeks in and out of the hospital on strict bedrest, clenching my thighs tightly together as though that and sheer force of will would hold my cervix closed while obsessively prodding my belly to make sure the babies were still moving.Â I also spent those seven weeks mad as hell.
It wasnâ€™t about missing out on the attention, while being offered a seat and snacks are great, having strangers touch your belly is not.Â I felt like I failed as a female, since this isÂ something my body was designed to do. I consider myself to be more spiritual than religious, but stillÂ I wondered if IÂ deserved what was happening because I had â€œcheatedâ€ by using every available scientific method possible to conceive in the first place and now this was some higher powerÂ saying â€œI told you so.â€
I was pissed that I was denied the excitement of the final trimester I had envisioned- packing my hospital bag, indulging inÂ some fancy meals and watching R ratedÂ movies. In reality I spent almost two months not only in bed, but in constant fear, that each contraction would be THE contraction, that standing to the bathroom would start a chain reaction. All the movies,Â magazines and websites had made me think this was supposed to be the fun part, the time when I would float around in a stylish maternity outfitÂ with my basketball belly, enjoying the anticipation of my baby while savoring my last few months alone with my partner. Instead, atÂ time when other preggos areÂ dithering over the coordination of the cribÂ sheets and wall color, I was marooned on my side clutching my belly, willing the babies to move so I knew they were still alive.
I am fully awareÂ that I sound like a sulky, privilegedÂ brat. I want to grab myself by the shoulders and shake until I can see how luckyÂ I am that I was able to conceive in the first place, how fortunate it isÂ that my boys, while born prematurely,Â are healthy with no complications. I know many woman want to get pregnant and never do. I know some woman have truly tragic experiences that result in miscarriage. I loathe myself for being so self-absorbed. But I still can’t seem to move past these feelings.
I get that the third trimester is not all foot massages and ice cream sundaes. I’m lucky enough to have friends I can be brutally honest with who are honest with meÂ in return.Â My closest girlfriend is due in a few weeks, and she feeds my curiosity about the final weeks of pregnancy by telling me all about the insomnia, theÂ swellingÂ and other more ghastly symptoms that I wonâ€™t mention because IÂ want her to stay friends with me. HearingÂ stories from others about how Â pregnancy and laborÂ was harder and differentÂ than they imagined- anÂ unexpectedÂ tear or episiotomy with countless stitches, having to useÂ suction or forceps to deliver the baby-Â helps me see that for many momsÂ the realities of bringing a baby into the world does notÂ live up to expectations.
I am slowly starting toÂ realize that no pregnancy is perfect, that everyone has things they wish had gone differently.Â It’s difficult with the media portrayal of the seamless transition between blissful pregnant lady and joyfulÂ momÂ but I’m learning that I can be dissatisfiedÂ withÂ my pregnancy and still be ecstatic about my children, that IÂ can unbundle the twoÂ as separateÂ experiences with different emotions attached to each.Â BeingÂ honest with myself about having these feelings and opening up to friends and family seems to have taken away some of the resentment.Â Â And itâ€™s getting easier for me to read those Mila Kunis and Scarlett Johansson headlines without wanting to throw my Ipad against the wall. But I still canâ€™t help but get a little wistful when I see a melon bellied momma to be waddle by.