So, about a year ago now, my husband and I decided we would try for a family. It is at this early point in my tale, that I must admit that this decision came from a place of deep love and mutual respect between us and helping each other fulfil our life dreams as best as we can – he dreams of having at least one child of his own; I don’t.
Don’t get me wrong, I always thought I would be a mum, but as I grew up and saw just how awful pregnancy seemed to be, and how many children there already are in the world who need a good home, the less interested I was in becoming a human incubator for, well, more humans who need incubating … but alas, I love my husband more than life itself and while he wholeheartedly supports my wish to adopt, he shared with me honestly how much it would mean to him to have at least one child of his own. I greatly appreciated that honesty, because I want there to be nothing “festering” between us in the long run, and I just could not deny him at least a chance at that wish.
(NOTE: Before any feminists jump into the ring here, to defend “my choices” let me be clear: I was not coerced, guilted or forced in any way shape or form. We were having an honest exchange among spouses, with ongoing conversations that lasted well over a year and he wanted me know that while he would support me no matter what my decisions were [my body, my rules after all] he just wanted me to know, that he still really wanted to be a biological Dad. I chose that I wanted to give this a try, since I want him to have happiness in his life in what ever form that may take. So please, let’s just not even go there, ok? Okay, thanks.)
Moving on… The idea of pregnancy has freaked me out for years. As a child I was fascinated with it, as most kids are, but as I grew older and watched my first friends go through it, I took up a thorough interest in the subject of human procreation (and even developed a relatively deep understanding of the material, for a non medical student) in my post-high school Biology class. However, the more I learned, the more weary I grew of the process. The physical changes alone (and that’s completely ignoring the gruesome birth part) seem awful; organs out of place, skin stretched beyond repair, feet that can’t be seen, leaking nipples, uncontrollable food cravings, gargantuan mood swings and needing to pee every 5 minutes being just the tip of that particular ice berg! Add to that the borderline sociopathic way in which our society treats pregnant women, and I realised very early into my 20’s that I wanted nothing to do with that circus.
(What do I mean by “how we treat pregnant women” you ask? Well, very long list super short – the way they are treated as stupid, incompetent and uneducated invalids, that’s what. Telling them what to eat, what not to eat, what to wear and what not to wear, that they’re too feeble to carry near anything at any given time, or just do their normal jobs and worst of all, treat them as though their mental faculties and personhood has gone out the window!!! “Don’t tell Sarah her favourite Sushi place has a new menu – you’ll hurt her! She loves Sushi and we shouldn’t talk about it in front of her while she’s pregnant!” –> that BTW was an actual thing someone said to me once, [except I changed the name] when I wanted to tell a pregnant colleague about the cool new dish I tried at her favourite Sushi joint, so that she could look forward to it for later. But apparently being pregnant means you can’t process new information like a rational human being, so I was “put in my place” by other people.)
Despite all this, for the reasons stated at the start, my husband and I decided we would give this grand adventure a go. And everyone around us was thrilled. Unsolicited advice on how to best get knocked up started flying in as soon as anyone knew we’d quit the birth control… unnaturally personal questions, from people whom I would usually not even go to coffee with like “Have you tried doggy style?” “You should be tracking your cycle.” “Try shoving XYZ magic product up your vagina.” and “Have you had your period this month? wink wink nudge nudge” … FUCKING EXCUSE ME?
Of course everyone (with exception of a select few best friends who know me intimately well) assured me that, once I was actually pregnant, my feelings on the matter would change instantaneously. I was supposed to be mythically aglow, floating on a cloud of happiness as I cared for a budding blossom of life that was “miraculously” going to be growing inside me. I would love the bump instantly. Feel defensive and protective, naming it even, as the “mystical, magical, motherly bond that defies even time and space” would take a hold of me. That sounds like a gold coin shitting Leprechaun astride a silver unicorn, but sure, I would be waiting for that.
Ironically enough 9 months since we first decided to start trying we discover that – *overdramatic drumroll please* – I am in fact pregnant. I did not want to publish anything online until I was past the notorious 12 week mark (don’t worry, I have a whole set of controversial opinions there too – they’re coming in another post) but now that we are, and we’ve seen the Dr. and everything is fine, I am happy to start sharing my experience.
And guess what? It’s exactly as fucking awful as I expected it to be. Don’t get me wrong, I am very much looking forward to having a little “mini-us” at the end of all this, and seeing the glee on my husbands face every time he looks at my belly now and the way in which he skips through the shops picking out baby pyjamas just makes my heart skip a beat, but I have only (consciously) been at this for a few short weeks now, and already I want to punch anyone who is not my Dr. or my Husband who talks to me about this damned pregnancy square on the sniffer. That’s what this mini series is going to be about. A dreadfully honest, blow by blow account of this pregnancy.
If something does turn out to be lovely, or magical in any way, I will of course be objective about it and let you all know, but so far? Yikes.
I wasn’t able to find much comfort in books or online, everything just blabbers on about the magic… so to soothe my own mind and maybe even reach out to some other expectant human incubators who are not enjoying the ride, I hope this might be helpful. xx