I’m not sure how to talk about pregnancy. I’ve basically hit the same wall as I did with being engaged in talking about the wedding. You’re preparing for this big thing, and it kind of takes over your whole brain, but you don’t want to let the world in on that. Oh this being that is kicking around between my organs? I almost forgot it’s there! So you suppress your urge to talk about it and instead it spills out in moments of weakness, like when you’re in bed, telling your husband as he’s trying to go to sleep that Google says the fetus might be licking the inside of your uterus right now.
I don’t know how to talk about being pregnant, not only because I’m afraid of being boring and self-involved, but because I’m highly aware of how charged of a topic it is. For those who are, for those who wish to be, for those who don’t but still wonder. And yet I want women to be talking to each other about this stuff honestly – hopefully bonding over common ground while respecting our unique perspectives.
So here are some of my honest experiences of pregnancy from around the midway mark.
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I’ve always had this fear that once I was pregnant I was going to realize that it was all a horrible mistake and now I’m trapped with no way out. I used to have dreams of it. And I won’t lie, those thoughts did occur to me early on. But they were fleeting and I could recognize them as dripping with the anxiety I spray on every life change as soon as I spot it. I’ve learned over time to not give thoughts like that too much power.
Instead, I’ve been surprised to start feeling things for this creature. Like nurturing, caring types of feelings! It probably makes me sound like a cold-hearted soulless human being to admit that this has taken me by surprise, but I did say I’d be honest. I don’t let myself feel very easily. I let every possible “what-if” stand in the way of my feelings for as long as I possibly can. But apparently hormones are a potent form of mind control that can overpower my pathetic defenses (for good and bad).
Like apparently I now cry if I can’t find an ingredient in the fridge. Also if I feel mildly too hot, the TV remote is out of my reach, or someone stood in my way when I was getting onto the train. Yeah, I cry a lot now. I also like pickles and asked my husband to bring me ice cream in bed last night. I am a fucking living, breathing stereotype.
I’m still scared of the changes happening to my body. So far they have been minimal and gradual, but inevitably my body is morphing into a vessel. I’m scared of seeing my body take on an utterly unfamiliar shape. But even more so, I’m afraid of the permanent changes it might bring with it. Apparently women aren’t supposed to worry about these things because “the miracle of life” and whatnot. But just because making a baby is a worthy thing to do doesn’t make my body irrelevant. We are capable of more complex thoughts than that. I can love my kid and mourn over the physical sacrifices necessary to bring them into the world.
Bring her into the world.
I’m still working on saying her. Not all my defense mechanisms have collapsed yet.