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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Why can't expecting parents be honest?

I read an article on yahoo Friday. This one. It's an article from a mother expecting twins - a follow up from her husband's article.

What really struck me about the article were the comments in response to it. Now, I know that user comments tend to be extremist and crap. When you are posting anonymously to someone you don't know, you feel more free to say whatever you want, I guess.

I only have never had twins. I've never tried IFV or any fertility method. My daughter was not exactly planned, but not exactly unexpected.  Throughout my pregnancy everyone wanted me to be excited and happy. Every time someone mentioned my soon-to-be baby they would stare at me. Waiting for me to jump with joy or burst into spontaneous giggles. It was like if I didn't act happy enough, I was judged on it. There is so much judgment in parenting. As soon as you tell people you are pregnant, they start telling you what to do, what not to do and how to feel. So we hide. We hide that ham sandwich, because you shouldn't eat cold cooked meats. We hide our uncertainty because you are supposed to be happy.

Well, here's my dose of honesty.

I wanted my daughter. I love my daughter. I wouldn't change her for anything. I love her when she smiles. I love her when she says "Night night. Love you." I love her when she screams and when she throws up on me. But I hated being pregnant.

I hated every second. There was no part of it I liked. I was not even excited to have my baby. I just hated it. I quit talking to people and going places. If I had to talk to somebody, it wouldn't be good for anybody. I practically breathed fire and shot lasers out my eyes.

When I was about 7 months pregnant, I ventured out to my nephew's birthday party. I settled myself in a chair I knew I would not be able to get out of. My back hurt, my allergies were bad, I couldn't breath and my hands and feet were so swollen they hurt. My sister-in-law came in, rushed up to be and put her hands on my belly. "Oh my gosh, aren't you so excited!!!"

I almost punched her in the face. I couldn't even respond. I ended up just staring at her like she had grown a second head until she gave up waiting for a response. Excited? No. Heck no. No, wrapped in no, with some no on top.

This was all besides the worry. What will we do for childcare? How will we afford the things we need?

People would ask me things and the answer was always "I don't care." What color are we going to paint her room? I don't care. What kind of cake do I want at the shower? I don't care. Even when we were picking names; we kind of chose her first name together and then I just agreed with the first middle name my husband suggested. Because I didn't care.

But I couldn't say any of that to people. I had to be excited.

We had already decided we would only have one child. And I'm glad. I love her so much I can't even describe it, but with my difficult recovery and how much I hated pregnancy...I am just not willing to volunteer for that again.

And that was all without the added stress of dealing with a young son, the guilt of feeling responsible for unintended consequences, and the fear of dealing with two babies with colic. I was lucky to have avoided that with my daughter, but I know colic - it's not for wimps. A baby that screams 23 hours a day, every day? It's enough to make you lose your grip on reality. If I thought I was facing that, times two, at the end of the pregnancy I hated? Well, I would be less than happy about that prospect.

So, I say good luck to Paula and her husband. I hope these boys are born sweet and colic-free. Chances of that are pretty good. But if they aren't, you'll get through it anyway. Everything comes to an end. Even long nights sitting up with screaming babies. And miserable pregnancies.  I think having at least some sense of dread is ok...normal even. So I also say thanks for not sugar-coating things - for being honest.

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