~* written from my perspective; pregnant for the first time, nervous, and hormonal; take these posts with a grain of salt please *~
Week 9, Written early April.
There are so many things that surprise you when you are pregnant, your body, your hormones, your feelings, but what surprised me the most was the reactions of friends/family. I noticed pretty immediately that things with all of our friends changed after announcing the pregnancy, we didn’t get emails about happy hour or late night gatherings that we might have usually received, I didn’t receive congratulations or even a word spoken from several friends who don’t have kids. Yet, I got a lot more emails, calls, and visits from friends with kids who were checking up on me, asking how I was doing, bringing supplies and nausea friendly foods. This really bothered me because I don’t feel like a mom yet, I just feel like me, but with restrictions and I felt like I didn’t really belong anywhere. Not with the moms yet, not with the ‘kids free’ friends either. It was like getting kicked out of a club that I always belonged to, and initiated into a club that I never really knew existed. *Now, certainly every person’s life is busy and I am generalizing as a whole with what I say here, if you are reading this and you are a friend, don’t take it personally, combined with my body surging with hormones makes a person a little more sensitive to the little things; see disclaimer above.
When I found out I was pregnant, and my anxiety hit an all time high I tried to reach out to some of my friends who I felt comfortable sharing my worries with; and while they were sympathetic initially, I didn’t really hear from them after that. I had friends congratulate me; promise to call since we needed to catch up anyway, and I heard nothing from them and that was weeks and weeks ago. So what is going on here? Are mommy groups and friends with kids my only future? I don’t really know yet. In some of my sadder and more hormonal moments during the first trimester I wondered if the ‘no kids’ friends thought pregnancy was actually contagious or something, I can assure them it is not; since we tried for over a year with everyone around us was pregnant or getting pregnant and we were not. Or maybe they were nervous that I would pressure them to have kids; well, if you have read this blog at all, you know that I am not comfortable with the baby pressure. Do they think I don’t want to go out anymore (it would be nice to have been asked), or that I don’t want to be around alcohol or I don’t want to talk on the phone about their kid-free lives anymore? I have never felt bad about others drinking around me while pregnant, (Josh does it every night) I miss beer and wine lots, but it doesn’t upset me or anything; maybe that’s the issue? Pregnancy is such a huge transition to go through and any sense of normalcy helps, those calls and happy hours would have made all of the difference to me during a time when I just wanted to feel normal. Maybe I can’t drink a beer, but I can eat that popcorn or pretzel J
Of course, the thing I could do is reach out to them, contact them; if it really bothers me then I need to ask or do something about it and good communication is key. Unfortunately, I just don’t feel strong enough yet, and in my hormone induced state maybe I am just being oversensitive, something that I am prone to anyway.
On the other hand; being pregnant welcomes you into this world of ‘mama-hood’ and it seems like other mothers are so glad to have another person joining their club. My friends with kids have gone out of their way to welcome me; my friend Mary brought by books, fed me ice cream at her house, made chocolate sauce for us prego gals, and kept us all feeling good. Other friends have offered up maternity clothes and baby supplies; even my family is more overjoyed than I could have imagined. My mom said something pretty neat (I am paraphrasing); “it’s like you understand the circle of life now, you are a mother and you can think of all the other mothers out there who have birthed and loved their children, your mother, your grandmother, your grandmothers mother and so on…..” I like this a lot and it helps remind me that women have been birthing children forever and I can do it! My friend Laura’s who is also expecting mentioned her mother saying something similar like ‘you two created this little life out of your love and it’s such a miracle.’ (I think there was more to that quote, but I don’t remember it)
So I try to think of the bigger picture and that being pregnant connects me to all the other mothers out there in the world immediately. It’s a pretty amazing thing actually; except, I still don’t feel quite like a mom yet and I am not sure when that will happen; so for now, I am in this limbo state; not cool enough to hang out with the old friends and don’t quite fit in with the mom’s yet.
(at this time I am in my 14th week of pregnancy, and I don’t feel as upset about the views expressed above, but I still wanted to write about it and share this with those gals out there, pregnant or not, because it is a transition that all new moms have to go through and it’s not easy! )