December 1, 2011

Floundering*

I debated writing this post for a lot of reasons, & I am still having this discussion internally as I write now. So bear with me as I fumble through this. I realize that the things I might say aren't standard for what *should* be said from a pregnant woman, but alas, it is what it is.

But I sort of feel like the way I'm feeling isn't normal, because nobody really talks about it. But there is no way that I'm the only one out there that feels this way. I can't totally be alone, right?

The past couple of weeks, i have felt that I am floundering just a tad during this pregnancy. As it stands, I am six and a half months along. While the end is in sight, I am feeling sort of lost & hopeless. Like I am in this rut, where I should be happy but realistically am NOT and I can't seem to dig myself out of it. I know that some of this may come with my history of depression. I made the choice to stop taking my prozac when I found out I was pregnant, and I don't regret that for a second. But I would be lying if I said I didn't miss it, and that I wasn't counting down the days until I could start taking it.

But aside from that, I'm just feeling lost. And scared. And slightly confused. Pregnancy is a big deal. I know this. When I think about the “what if’s” of that, then it spirals me into all these other thoughts … will I be a good mom? Will I love my baby? Am I as emotionally attached to this pregnancy as I should be? Is there something wrong with me because I don’t particularly enjoy being pregnant? (ok, I’m not going to lie. I pretty much hate it.) Am I resenting this kid already for making me feel so crummy and will that translate after birth?? Is it weird that I don’t talk to my belly or read it stories or play it music like so many other people do? Or am I normal for not doing these things? Normal for just accepting that I'm not pregnant and not relishing in it the way so many other women announce to the world that they are. The list goes on and on and on and on …. Just question after question that keeps popping up in my head. I know they are stupid, and I know that I am probably very normal in feeling a lot of the ways that I am feeling, but I just don’t REALLY know and maybe I’m just hoping I’m normal. I hate asking other people about it because the people closest to me all LOVED being pregnant. And it was so great and wonderful for them that it almost makes me feel bad/guilty for having any negative thoughts at all.

So I don’t know.

But the other part of me realizes that plain and simple, I don’t have time to enjoy it the way most of the people in my life do. I work full time. I am not a stay at home wife. When I get home from work it’s time to feed the dogs, and make dinner, and take the dogs for a walk, and get some laundry or cleaning done. And then I'm so exhausted by the time everything is over and done with, that I have to go to sleep. Obviously not every night is like this, and I wouldn't trade it for anything because I LIKE working, but there are things I have to do because I am not home during the day to get all this crap done.

Please don't get me wrong. I am not at all ungrateful for what we have. I know how lucky I am that our first IUI was a success. I know that so many other women out there have struggled through so much more for a pregnancy. I know that what we have is special and wonderful. I love feeling the movement, and there is something so amazing with the fact that yes, I am growing HUMAN BEING inside me. And the way that this has changed my relationship with my husband is amazing all on his own. The love that is between us right now is so unlike anything that we’ve had before, and in a very, very good way. I see him as a totally different person. One who is strong and amazing and will be the best father I have ever known. But pregnancy is also intensely scary & it freaks me out on so many different levels. And that fear has definitely taken over lately.

I know I can’t be alone in feeling the way that I do and I really wish that more women would be honest about how hard this shit is. Somewhere along the line it became too taboo to say that the miracle of life makes you miserable. If you talk about how miserable you are, it makes you ungrateful for what you have. At least that’s the perception. And I can definitely understand that, because being part of the infertility community, there was a time where I would see someone bitching and say to myself “lady, you’re pregnant. And I’m not. So deal with it.” But now that I’m on the other side, I’ll be the first to reaffirm to someone else that they aren’t the only one that feels this way.

But there aren’t that many out there that are brave enough to voice that opinion. And I hate “mommy” blogs, that are all “look at my KID! ISN’T IT THE CUTEST THING EVER?????” I want to be somewhere in the middle … yup. I’m pregnant. Yup. My kid is cute. But hello, I also have a life and am still a person!! There seems to be this idea that you cannot be both. That there is no middle ground. Either you are 110% about your kid all the time, or you’re a crap parent because you’re not plastering photos over facebook.

I know [at least I hope] that the closer I get to my due date, this feeling of loneliness and hopelessness will go away. That at some point I will enjoy this more than I am now. That I will accept that I have nothing to worry about and will figure it out just like millions of other women before me have done. But for now, I just don't really know how to deal with all of this.

Please, somebody, tell me that this worry is normal and that I'm not the only one!

12 comments:

medicalwife said...

Aw sweet friend. You are SO not the only one. Granted, i'm not NEARLY as far along as you are, but I would be lying if I didn't admit that I spend most of my time feeling terrified that I'm not normal for not feeling all happy and ecstatic. I worry about whether or not I'll be a good mom. I worry about how much I'll love my kid. I worry that since I don't feel all that attached it now (to clarify: very attached to this pregnancy, don't want to lose it, but don't really feeeeeel any strong attachment or relation to the human growing inside me), that I won't be attached to it when it's here. It's a terrible feeling to worry about what you'll feel about your kid, you know?

BUT. If everyone in your family LOVED being pregnant, and can't relate, I'm here to share my family with you. My mom HATED being pregnant. My MIL HATED being pregnant. Both of them have admitted to me that they were pretty miserable for the bulk of their pregnancies, but both have also admitted that for however blegh they were while gestating, all of that washed away as soon as the baby was put in their arms. I've been told over and over that it's unexplainable. So then, of course, the worry becomes that YOU won't be flooded with the same kind of love that everyone else was as soon as the baby is delivered. It's a lot of pressure. But you know? Everyone is different. And I don't think there is anything wrong with you if you take some time to adjust to this HUGE new role.

Also- I think there IS a happy in between in mom-land. In fact, I think mom's that make their life 110% about their kid are missing some other important things in their lives. Like good friendships. And a solid marriage. I fully intend on doing my very best to keep my marriage #1, even after the baby is here. And I fully intend on keeping my friendships as stable as possible. Because having a baby, while it changes EVERYTHING, should not take away from what good things are already in your life- only add to it. You CAN have a normal life, and be a good mom. You can, and you will. : )

One last thing, because I've been rambling so long now! I've felt weird about my feelings about being pregnant for awhile now. I've worried that I have no connection to this baby, etc. So every night, when I'm laying in bed with my eyes closed, before I fall asleep, I put my hand on my stomach where I assume my uterus is, and I think about that kid. I think about what I want to do for it when it's here. I think about goals I have for myself as it's mom. I say prayers for it's safety, well-being, and comfort both while in my belly and when it's in this world. It takes all of five seconds, but in some weird way, it's slightly helped me feel more like a mom and less like an alien host. Just a thought. : )

You are normal. You are going to be a wonderful mom. You don't have to FEEL a certain way while pregnant for either of those things to be true. I promise. : )

Brandy said...

Thank you for this post. I have very similar feelings to yours. I already have a 2 year old, and I am also 6 ½ months pregnant. I love my son with a depth that I am not even completely comfortable with, but sometimes, I need to be away from him. I work from home, but he goes to fulltime daycare so that I can actually be successful with my job. I feel guilty about it sometimes, but it is what works for us. People automatically assume that I work from home to keep my son at home with me, but that is not the case. I work from home because I like it, for me, no one else. Selfish? Yes, but true. My career is mine, and no one else’s. It’s the only time I am not someone’s mother, or military spouse (dependant – ugh – hate that term,) but I am just me. Brandy Niemeyer, Actuarial Analyst. It is satisfying to me, and I need that in my life to be a good mother, wife, friend, and person in general.

As for the feelings with this pregnancy… Guilt is a big one. I feel guilty for several reasons. I don’t think I am as attached to this pregnancy as I was with my first. In fact, I know I am not. I love my baby, and I am so grateful that he is growing inside of me, but I don’t have the connection I did with my first. I am not sure if it is because of the miscarriage in March, or because I do have a 2 year old tangible child to compare, but for whatever reason, the connection isn’t as strong. Also, I have done nothing yet. At this point in my first pregnancy I already had the nursery complete, laundry washed and folded and organized by size, pre-registered with the hospital, check, check, and CHECK! This time, we maybe have a name picked out, and that’s about it. I feel guilty that I question if I will love this child as much as my first. I question if we did the right thing by having another baby. I question if I will be able to handle TWO BOYS, two dogs, a military husband, a full time job, and still maintain who I am as a person, as a woman. I feel guilty that some days I am so busy, I don’t remember to take my vitamin until I am collapsed in bed and too exhausted to walk to the kitchen and get it. I feel guilty that I have gained 22lbs and am still shy of 26 weeks of pregnancy. I feel guilty that I really just want to sit in a hot bath, with a nice big glass (or bottle) of Pinot Noir. I feel guilty that I calculate the days it has been since I have been intimate with my husband to see if I should give in, or if I can hold off for another day because I just can’t fester the energy to perform. And then, as if to complete the vicious cycle of it all, I feel guilty for feeling guilty about it all.

So, thank you again for this post. Thank you for the outlet to tell someone how I feel, and know I am not alone. More importantly, you are not alone.

Nikki said...

Every experience for every person is different. Pregnancy is NO different than that. There is no right or wrong way to feel (unless you are having homicidal/hateful thoughts, which I know you are not). And in my opinion, any woman who says she loved every part of being pregnant is telling a fib. They had at least one aspect of it that made them unhappy; whether it was morning sickness, the constant peeing, or the growing pains and swelling.

Also, I know from personal experience that once experiencing a miscarriage, pregnancy is very different. I had a miscarriage before I had my son (he is now 19 months old) and I was waiting for something bad to happen up until the point I was holding him in my arms for the first time. I’m now 4 months along with my second, and that feeling has not changed. It’s also overwhelming thinking of raising a baby. I’m not going to tell you that all the feelings go away once you are holding that baby in your arms, because it doesn’t. Raising a child is hard and stressful and sometimes, extremely overwhelming. But there will be more times when you realize that all of it, every single pain, was all worth it.

Hang in there. What you are feeling is normal for a lot of women and there is nothing wrong with you. It doesn’t mean you aren’t bonding or loving your child, it just means that sometimes, pregnancy and everything that comes with it, sucks sometimes.

Sunny said...

You are so not alone. And second you are so normal. You would be abnormal if you weren't having conflicting feelings. Becoming a parent is the biggest life changing event you will ever experience, at least it was for me. The doubts and worries get easier as you settle into your new life and kick ass. But being a new mommy is hard, really hard. And the ones who say different are liars! I can tell you are going to be an amazing parent just based on your ability to self-reflect and be authetic with yourself and others. What a wonderful example you will be for your child. So let those feelings roll, write about them, talk about them, and remember feelings are like farts, they will pass eventually. Also I loved loved loved the book, What no one tells the mom, and also good was "what no one tells the bride." xo

Brittany said...

Thank you, ladies. I really appreciate the comments. I really, really do. I hate that I am feeling so blah about all of this right now, and I wish it were easier. But it's not, and I don't know how to fix it. Thank you all (and for those who have sent me emails!) for saying the right things and making me feel so completely less alone in all of this. Everything that y'all said, I can relate to. So thank you.

Sunny said...

and ps I HATED being pregnant despite feeling like I should be floating on grateful for an easy conception at 38, and then I HATED breastfeeding despite feeling it was the best thing for the baby. Hang in there, I promise it gets better, then it gets worse, then it gets better, and eventually it balances out. xo

Lauren said...

I wish I could offer some great words of wisdom, but I don't have any for this situation. All I know is that you're a wonderful person, wife, friend, and you will be a wonderful mommy. I can't wait until ninja baby gets here.

P.S. - I gave you a blog award!
http://notjustanarmywife.blogspot.com/2011/12/blog-award.html

Heather said...

Don't feel like you are alone. This process is fraught with a whole lot of emotions. Even though I have wanted to be pregnant for so long, now that I actually am and I see pregnant people or kids I think - omigosh, this is what is coming, and am I ready?
Thank you for your very honest and true post, you are very real - keep writing about it, people appreciate authenticity.

luckyme said...

I'm glad I found this post. I haven't logged on my blog much because most of my followers have deserted me since my BFP as I daren't express any negativity as I'd probably lose all followers all together. Maybe we can follow each other? You are not alone, I can relate to every word you said even after M/c and failed IVF cycles. I think the world of pregnancy post loss/IF does not invite honesty about the hard part of pregnancy/motherhood and I'm grateful to my friends who've shared that they hated pregnancy, often and some took years to bond with babies.
One interesting thing I read recently said that some Mums who sail through an effortless pregnancy feel well connected to baby and prepared for motherhood only to be v shocked at the reality over fantasy while other Mums who struggle and question can I do this? It's already such hard work, will it get worse? ...are able to appreciate the baby more as they were more prepared emotionally for ups and downs...who knows but sounds like u are asking all the right questions and you will be all the better for it x

Tsoniki Crazy Bull said...

You are normal times fifteen.

I liked being pregnant, but not because it was fun times. I liked it because my pregnancy's were easy! I lucked out and didn't have morning sickness or back pain or whatever else there is out there. Sure I was huge and waddled, but I wasn't barfing or in pain. LOL

And like someone else said, babies are hard work and I think you will be prepared for the reality of it, rather then the fantasy of a baby who sleeps all night at three weeks old.

I stand firmly in the middle - I am my own person and throw down when someone criticizes me. I remember saying (on an online message board years ago) I didn't like only being known as so and so's Mom and didn't others feel the same - and people jumped all over me because I dare say I had my own identity. Looking back on it, those women lived through their children, which I've never been interested in doing.

Hang in there! :)

Staci said...

Brit- You are so normal! I never read to my belly or played music to it- that's SOOOO lame (but to each their own!) ;-) In all seriousness- I think the things I said most were "hey you in there! Stop stretching out sideways!" or "OUCH! That's my bladder!" I worried too about loving my kiddos- especially after giving up C for adoption. And even after having E and realizing how much love I had, I worried that I wouldn't love J as much when he was born, and then worried that I wasn't loving E enough because of J. (My head was craziness during those times!)

I get tired of the "look at my kids" crap too, so don't be afraid of emailing/texting/calling me once in a while to say "Ok Psycho-momma! I've had enough of the bragging!" You're not alone- There are plenty of us working/normal moms who enjoy (gasp!) our "alone time" and being ourselves (you know- like how we imagined ourselves to be in college/pre-kid/pre-marraige/whatever).

Hang in there! Love you miss you!

vmichelle said...

I'm not totally hating being pregnant, but many times my emotions aren't all high and glowy like I somehow thought they were supposed to be. Some days I just feel overwhelmed or blue or moody and I have no idea why. And then when I see people like Beyonce say stuff like "Now I feel like a real woman. Now I feel powerful. Now I feel really confident, blah blah blah" I just think "Huh. Why don't I feel that way." Because when I look at my back fat, I ain't feelin' it. And as much as I love that I'm finally having the child I've waited so stinking long for, I still feel kind of down that my stomach is going to stretch out from here to Timbuktu. So no, you are not alone!