My husband thinks it’s funny to look at me and ask, “Are you sure you’re pregnant?” This usually with a goofy smile just after I’ve commented that I’ve gained in boobage/ stomach-size or something similar. I don’t know why, but I don’t think it’s funny. In fact, it usually makes me mad.

You think I’m faking this for fun?

Really, though, I’m just very, very, very bad at transitions. While showering this morning I was thinking about how similar – but different – being pregnant and being engaged are. Both are the predecessors to huge life changes, both take the better part of a year, both have big looming deadlines involving families and details and lives changing.  Both require financial planning.  Both promise awesome rewards in return for your sacrifices – or so people tell you.

But when you’re engaged, people ask, “Are you nervous?” When you’re pregnant, they ask, “Are you excited?” I don’t answer the excited question very well. Sometimes I go with, “I’m not really an excited kind of person, but I am anxious.” Other times, I say, “Yes!” knowing full well I’m not convincing anyone. To my closest people, I might admit that I’m really just kind of freaked out, to which they nod in understanding, having known me for a while.

When you’re engaged, everything is about the details, the event, the stuff. When you’re pregnant, everything’s about your body, the lack of sleep in your future… and, well, the stuff.

Nobody’s asking me if I’m ready to be a mother, except my husband, whom I made promise not to ask that again. Do I have a choice? Nope! Will I figure it out once I get there? Yup! Is there anything I can do now to minimize the chances of meltdowns later? Nope!

So I’m spending my time just being me and paying attention. I don’t handle internal dissonance well – that feeling that I’m doing something that doesn’t feel at peace with who I am or how I am. I don’t handle lack of control well – this doesn’t bode well, I know. But I know how to love, and when I manage to keep my head out of the way, I do it really well.  I’m trying to spend more time getting my head out of the way (or at least playing nice with everything else).

~~~

This pregnancy has felt very surreal. I haven’t had a big emotional Mommy Moment – not when we say the heartbeat on the ultrasound, not when we saw the actual kid on the next ultrasound, not when the little dude started kicking the heck out of me. I’ve gotten used to it like I’ve gotten used to heartburn and nausea and indigestion, as a byproduct of this alien life form that is Pregnant Me. I wonder if I’ll be one of those women for whom it doesn’t feel real until she’s handed a baby… or later.

I walked past the mirror today and did a double-take. Wow, I really look pregnant. Not tubby or chubby or round, but pregnant. I had to laugh at myself for thinking, “I guess I’m sure I’m pregnant.”

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7 thoughts on “

  1. I felt similarly with my first pregnancy and was so apathetic that friends and family were extremely worried about how I would react once the baby arrived. I never felt that fierce, mama bear-like protectiveness of my baby (which I generally regarded as a parasite that was making me fat), I didn’t have that pregnant glow, I didn’t feel beautiful or magical or whatever it is the TV shows and books portray. The only thing I successfully felt like was a bad mother, a bad person and deficient woman. I don’t know how common it is, or how often it happens but I just wanted you to know that you’re not alone in feeling like your pregnancy is surreal. And, so you know, once my son was born the realness of it all hit me like a ton of bricks and I’d never been in love with any person (not even my husband) more in my life. It’s different for every woman and every pregnancy (I loved my second pregnancy, was completely terrified with the third) but I wish I’d known someone who’d felt similarly when they were pregnant.

    • @tonkelu, Thank you, this is really helpful. I kept trying to make myself feel more, I don’t know, into it, but I’m just not, and maybe that’s a blessing too. We’ll see!

  2. I usually don’t like it when writers I like reading get pregnant, but you’ve kept your voice. I can totally relate to how alone you’re feeling, and I love your writing.

    • @Mary, Oh, thanks. It’s funny – it’s so low on the list of Things That Should Matter, but I’ve not blogged a bunch bc I kind of feel like I’ve lost my voice. I used to write thoughtful essays, and now I just puke my thoughts out, but hey, it’s where I am, I guess.

      Anyway, thanks.

  3. During the first ultrasound, everything was just a blob and I felt nothing. At my second one just a week later, it looked like a baby! I totally felt “that” moment at that point. BUT, I just want to warn you that now that my baby is 1 1/2, looking back on pregnancy, the whole thing is STILL surreal. I think “Did I really go through all that?”

  4. I felt exactly the same way during my pregnancies.
    Then, once I got my kids home, I felt (at first) like there was a stranger in the house. Here was a new little person that I needed to get to know. There was no big bang of emotion the minute they were born, but a huge fierce love that started small then and grows bigger every day.
    I think that people put a bit of a trip on pregnant women, implying that it should be 9 months of Hallmark moments, but really, everyone goes at their own rate. Keep being honest about your feelings – it will make you an even better parent!

  5. Whoa. Just found your blog via blogher. You totally just put words to all the things I’ve been feeling (I’m 27 weeks and it’s a boy for us too). Pregnancy is such a strange thing–it’s one giant transition, and I’ve never done well with transitions either. I am just starting to get used to the belly, the heartburn, and the exauhstion, and am kind of disappointed that in three months I’ll have to start another transition all over again! Thanks for your blog…I’ve appreciated this post 🙂

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