corpse dads and faking sonograms


normally i ignore the annoying flashing news feeds i see on my computer, but i saw one article "no, i'm not fat, i'm pregnant" that caught my eye 

it's nice to read stories from other mothers who are encountering the onslaught of ridiculous things people say when they see a baby bump, or in her case, when they aren't even sure and still say some of the stupidest things. i'm amazed at how many strangers suddenly need to see me smile about this, or want me to be as excited as they think i should be. it's a lot of pressure to perform, and reminds me of miranda on sex and the city having to fake a sonogram. i knew i was somewhat like her, but i didn't realize how much my experience would reflect her story line

 
most of my discomfort comes from multiple physical ailments that i won't outline in full, but suffice it to say i still vomit on a weekly basis, and there is a laundry list of people who hope every time they see me this has ended. i can't bring myself to say anything i'm thinking, but i can't help referring in my mind to the layman's definition of insanity: repeating the same behavior over and over hoping for different results. if they would simply stop asking, we could stop that cycle of annoying insanity. this is simply what pregnancy looks like in my body, and i have accepted it. i just wish they would

i also found this article by a woman who wasn't going to procreate, but ended up changing her mind. i've often imagined someone glaring at me in public, and in their head calling me a vicious name like "breeder." i like the author's humility in admitting she ended up wanting kids, and the interesting facts she includes about processes i had no idea existed. for instance:

"Israel is the world capital of reproductive technology, and a legal group called New Family wanted to give parents who had lost adult sons the right to extract their sperm and create grandchildren. I have mixed feelings about making dads out of dead men, particularly if they hadn’t donated their sperm while living, but I remember being seized by the realization that if my husband were to die young, I’d want to be able to do it to him."

the more i read her article the more i found myself reflected in her musings about herself and what she thought her life would be: alone in an apartment with her work. i had resolved myself to living in my studio apartment a few years ago before matt came along and changed everything, which i'm very glad about. it is nice to find other moms in the world who are still themselves, still creative and working, and expressing some of the internal struggles that occur during this process. i've spent much of my pregnancy alone, contemplating how insanely my life is about to change: my loss of autonomy, my loss of alone time, my loss of freedom to do what i want when i want (a luxury afforded me by my self-employment that up until marriage left me largely in poverty but living a very full and rich life that i loved, and being with another creative, well it may always just be a glorious uphill battle that we lock arms and wage). but those are losses i'm willing to experience in order to have a new phase of life start, and i'm happy to share, or at least i'm learning to share

i'm glad to see how the author's perspective changed, and humbled by her honesty about her own experience. i can't say i had quite the same struggle with not wanting kids, or miscarriage, but i was certainly ambivalent.  that makes my pregnancy hard when i know people around me who desperately want children, and i feel twinges of guilt since we weren't even trying for this yet. and i think that is part of what affects my enthusiasm, along with physically feeling like garbage much of the time.  had i been trying to conceive for months or years, i'm sure my level of joy would be quite different, and perhaps that would help my encounters with strangers who long for this response from me

 i'm lucky to have had moms my age, or thereabouts, around me for over a decade exemplifying grace and courage and the ability to endure through hardship, or glowing through the joy they clearly experience in their life as mothers and women and wives and sisters and lovers. it's a good thing to be reminded of in the face of any fears i may still be harboring, and a reminder to try and put on a smile when i think i can muster it



Comments

  1. It's good to hear your thoughts on these matters. Have you tried telling people directly how you feel about their conversations with you about your pregnancy? The "hoping and asking" that people are doing, at least my case, is out of love, empathy and wanting to be part of your life. The last thing I'm thinking when I ask you how you're doing is that I am annoying you. It would seem jerk-like, in my mind, not to ask you how you are doing, how the barfing thing is going, etc. But now knowing how you feel, I will stop asking. I can relate to this, because after getting sick/injured, the first thing people ask is how I'm feeling. Sometimes, it feels bad to be asked that question, because it shows me how much a part of my identity it's become and it's not a fun thing. But more often than not, it feels good to know that people care enough to ask. So, I guess what I'm saying is that people don't always know how to support each other unless we tell them. I bet other people in your life that care about you would appreciate hearing from you about how you feel and would love to support your wishes. You are so loved xx Jillian

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