People, who tell you pregnancy is all about the glow on your face and excitement about that miraculous life growing within you, are definitely men or sadist women, who are lying or perhaps even a woman in denial or playing a joke at you. Despite years of debates and discussion with my spouse, surviving societal expectations and pressures, things definitely don't seem rosy and romantic to me, now that I am pregnant. There are times you feel lonely and then you realize there is someone within you (like that someone is right now kicking me from within). But then you wonder will this mere realization suffice? or am I subjecting myself to the romantic notions of pregnancy my subconscious has gathered from books, movies and wisdom of elders. I guess some of us fall in love with the notion of motherhood that we believe it's gonna be a romantic phase. When you visualize yourself in a pink checkered frilly frock (with those rose buds and bow ties) with a bowl of strawberry and a bulging tummy it appears cute in your photo shopped mind. This post has been in the draft mode for 6 long months. I have never found it so hard to verbalize something before.
Frankly I wanted all that glow and when I looked devastating I was told it's a boy by many (these 'many' are like oracles in demeanor but as competitive as stock brokers when it comes to speculating the gender of the baby), as if it would pacify my aching heart. During our daily morning tea time conversation I asked my hubby my greatest fear- " Are we ready?" " Are we ready to accept we will never expect anything in return for all these aches and pain I go through?" "Will I be able to resist myself when a rebellious teenager asks me someday why I gave birth to him/her?" Long time ago a couple visiting us were shocked that we harbored such thoughts even before conceiving a baby and they told me that people don't think so much. That's exactly my problem, that we don't think at all and hence that teenager someday is right to ask why the hell he/she was made in the first place. I have asked my parents too, in my teenage rage, and so if what goes around come back like a boomerang, I am expecting the same.
I also get pissed off when people tell me 'enjoy!!! it's the best phase of life'. I don't understand what they mean. I don't think peeing 20 times a day or sneezing and finding yourself leaking is exciting. Neither do I think struggling with a numb hand (Carpal tunnel syndrome- and now it's infected both hands) or bee hive kind of rashes all over our body (please google - PUPPP) is exciting. I cannot whip, or fold, type, or lift an object with my right hand (and now the left hand too) so imagine me typing this post :) I don't expect graces from heaven for going through this phase it so happened and I am learning to cope with it. So next time you see that stupid Johnson's ad and feel all teary remind yourself it's a hoax. Chances are that you will throw stuff at your hubby in pregnancy rage rather than sit and knit purple booties :) and that's normal. You won't say gaining weight brought happiness, you would sigh at the swollen feet that does not fit into your pumps (I don't have such issues but have friends who suffer from swollen feet). You are going to hate yourself on those sleepless nights trying to restrict yourself sleeping to the left while your partner tosses and turns and even lies on his tummy.Bliss!!! Let me tell you it's not easy. You definitely need a lot of contemplation before you decide to get pregnant and family and societal pressures should be the least of your reasons to conceive. Because if you are unprepared two souls bear the brunt the most- the hubby and the baby and that's just unfair.
I don't mean I regret this. I just hate people telling me to enjoy this. Despite all odds I have been surviving this all alone, I did not employ a helper. I still manage everything home with the help of my supportive hubby, I am still editing my thesis. Pregnancy has made me love and respect my man even more. Unlike many lazy men I see around me, he wakes up early enough to help me with chores around. He is away mostly compared to others who get back home by 6 and relax, and yet he chooses to support me in everything I do at home from cleaning, massaging, washing to cooking. He makes me realize we are in this together and had he the option he would share the numbness, the itching and the labour pain. And that's love.... and that's why I believe it's worth to bring this kid into a world where he/she can see mutual respect, love and care right from home. But that does not lessen the aches and pains and mood swings and nausea and weakness.... it does not mean we should glorify them and wear them as jewels. It need not be recounted 100 times in future to tame our kids- because we did choose this on our own for whatever reasons we have.
Each experience is unique so I am all ears to mothers who have pleasant stories to share but I just want to remind them, that its just not the same for all, we do experience joy with those occasional kicks and flutters but we hardly have any control over our emotions ranging from anger to depression. I think comparing one's pregnancy to somebody else's is the biggest sin ever, trust me pregnancy can get competitive too, I see women compare baby weight, length, circumference and what not? Personally I would stay away from such competitions.
Something that has soothed me throughout is maintaining a baby journal where I record my thoughts, my daily mood fluctuations and ailments. It helps one bond with one's baby and would make the best personalized gift you can give your kid some day. Many friends who heard this laughed at me. They believe nothing beats money and investment. But I disagree. Despite the numbness, I never quit the journal, and I even jot down my inhibitions about being a parent. And frankly I love being cathartic that gives me sanity.
The biggest lesson I learned from all this is that there would be a load of useless people who would ask you why you don't have kids but you won't find a single soul when you are at it. I don't remember a single person from this clout calling me up and asking me about my health but they were the most determined of souls to convince me on the bliss of motherhood. So if you want to take this bridge it's a long solitary journey and it's not the last phase that hurts- the whole thing hurts in bits and pieces. So next time someone asks me when I am gonna have the second one- I am gonna shove some Mississippi pie down their @###