Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Love it, or hate it?

I’m not sure if anyone else has noticed this, but once you've been dating someone for a while, and it gets serious, there are a series of questions that people feel they must ask you – in this order:

      “Are you going to get engaged?”

Then once you are engaged:

      “When are you getting married?”

Then once you are married:

      “When are you having a baby?”

Then once you have had a baby:

      “Are you going to have another baby?”

It seems to go on and on, with no end to the personal probing from family and friends. Of course I’m guilty of it myself, and the other week when I caught up with a friend who’d just had her second baby, I found myself asking the familiar: “Are you going to have any more kids?”

Whenever I am asked that question these days, I pretty much recoil – hold my hands out at arms length and say “NO!! No more babies, I’m done!” LOL!

Much as I absolutely ADORE my children, NO - I’m not having any more.

Seriously though, we always thought two was perfect. The fact that we have the pigeon pair makes the decision a lot easier. But somehow, I feel that even if we’d had another girl, we’d still be done. We confirmed it with each other over and over when I was pregnant with Koby, before we knew he was a boy.  We feel that our family is complete.

But when I asked my friend this question the other week, she hesitated. She said:

“I’m not sure. I always thought I’d have 3 kids, but to be honest, I don’t like what this pregnancy has done to my body… plus, well… I hate being pregnant”.


Wow – that thing that nobody ever says out loud - somebody actually said it. Someone, other than me, said they hated being pregnant… Did I actually hear that right? I actually rejoiced that she’d said it, and we had ourselves a good old whinge about how we both did not enjoy our pregnancy experiences and were so happy to have our bodies back to ourselves again once our beautiful babies were born.

There seems to be this unwritten law somewhere, that you never say that you don’t like being pregnant. Its an unspoken rule that you are meant to be radiant, blissfully happy and full of exquisite joy when you’re expecting. You are supposed to glow, feel amazing and full of wonder at every turn.

Random strangers smile at you at the shops, rub your tummy, reminisce with you about their own pregnancies… now and then someone will make a small complaint that their back aches, their hips constantly scream at them, or that they are so tired from getting up 5 times a night to pee – but it’s a given that even then, you’re supposed to be in raptures about being pregnant for the entire 9 months.

I enjoyed the first pregnancy more than the second, perhaps because I didn't have the added demands of a toddler to contend with. 

I did like some parts of being pregnant. Like knowing that I was creating life inside me. Like feeling baby move for the first few times (but I suppose I’m weird that I didn’t enjoy the constant movement, 24 hours a day). Playing “name that body part” towards the end…

Me at about 36 weeks pregnant with Koby... trying not to look as miserable & ehxhausted as I felt.

Once or twice, when I’ve actually voiced my opinion out loud, people always looked at me like I had two heads. I felt judged. It got to the point where I would just shut up and say nothing when other mums went in raptures about their pregnancy experiences, because otherwise I seemed to signal myself as an outcast, some kind of weirdo – perhaps not a good or deserving mother?

I’ve read many pregnancy and birth forums where once mums have given birth, they actually physically MISS being pregnant.

I’ve read many Facebook fan pages (for parenting magazines, Huggies etc) where they do pop quiz’s asking everyone about their pregnancy experience, what they loved etc. Not often does someone say they didn’t like it.

So is there something wrong with me and my friend? Does that make us bad people? Or are there plenty of others who feel like this, and just don’t say anything? Don’t get me wrong, I realise that I’ve been blessed beyond measure, twice now. And my kids are my world, I cant imagine my life without them now. But surely we aren’t the only ones who feel this way??


Kristy said...

It doesn't make you a bad person at all Hilary, I don't know how I will feel not having been pregnant, but have always thought I'd like it, but won't know, but I have a friend who really didn't enjoy the pregnancy thing at all and expressed it to everyone. Just each person'a feelings, which we are all entitled too... :)

I love reading your honest thoughts on things Hilary :)

linda said...

Well- if my memory serves me correctly ( and it was a looooong time ago!) I did actually enjoy being pregnant. For me- it was one time in my life when I didn't have to hold my stomach in!! ( I may have conveniently forgotten about all the aches and pains!)

Francesca @ Francesca Writes Here said...

I'm with you, Hilary. I didn't like being pregnant, and I know a few other people who feel the same way - you're not alone!

It can obviously also depend on the pregnancy - some people's experiences are easier than others. And there were aspects of the pregnancy I like - just not very many of them.

There are quite a few ladies at work who are pregnant at the moment and, having recently come back from maternity leave, they would be excused for mistakenly believing I want to talk about it. But I don't much! I can't help thinking how glad I am that I won't be doing that again! Tiredness, nausea, bleeds, gestational diabetes - no way. I'm happy with my family the way it is :-)

Hilary said...

Thanks Kristy, maybe its just in my circle that everyone loves it! Its certainly more enjoyable the first time around, I think because as I said, you have more time to relax and take it all in!

LOL Linda, yes I'd agree with you there, nice to eat with abandon for a while! I think you do tend to forget the bad bits though, its like trying to remember what childbirth actually felt like... You know it was painful, but its hard to remember it exactly.

Oh I hear you Francesca!! Sounds like you had a tough pregnancy, isn't it nice to sit back and think "Ah I'm glad I'm not doing that again?"!!

Hilary xx