My husband and I always wanted kids but struggled to conceive. When I did get pregnant I expected what everyone said would happen: you’d fall in love, it would be magical and amazing! It wasn’t like that for me.
After the initial “Omg I am pregnant” when I saw two lines on a pregnancy test, I was excited. For a few days. Then I started to think about all the things I was going to have to give up and miss out on. Plus I had a ton of decisions to make now, and that was stressful.
I was blessed to not have any problems while I was pregnant. Other women would tell me I was lucky. I never felt pregnant physically or emotionally for a long time. I never had morning sickness, never threw up. I was just tired all the time and wanted marinara sauce. It wasn’t until I started getting bigger that I physically felt pregnant. Pretty much the last few weeks. The last month is the hardest.
I never felt a bond with my baby while I was pregnant. The bigger I got and the more movement I felt I wondered why I didn’t feel much emotion. It didn’t go any farther than “Oh cool, he moved, is that a foot?” Sometimes I would even get frustrated when he would move because it hurt. His favorite spot to kick me was my right rib. I swear there had to have been a bruise in that spot. And hiccups annoyed me. I hate continuous rhythmic physical feelings like that and I just had to wait for him to stop. During labor I had to tell Dyllan to stop rubbing my leg in a patterns; it was distracting.
For a long, long time I felt incredibly guilty for how I felt and kept it to myself. Surely something was wrong with me for feeling this way. Why don’t I care? Why am I so unemotional and disconnected? I was ashamed and didn’t want anyone to know how I was feeling. The only person I opened up to was Dyllan (my husband) for a while. I was even afraid to tell him for fear of him thinking I was a terrible mom or I was crazy.
Eventually I got the courage to post on some pregnancy pages and found out how common it was for other women to feel this way. Then I felt less crazy, but I still felt like my emotions were wrong.
Part of my problem, I think, is I’m a very visual person and seeing my belly get bigger wasn’t visual enough for me. When I saw ultrasounds I was excited because I could see actual human features. There was a baby in there after all, I’m not just getting bigger and wider!
I was also scared to be a mom. I didn’t know how to do it and didn’t want to fail. By feeling the way I was, I already felt like I’d failed.
A big thing I struggled with was should I go back to work or not after having him. I loved my job. I was a registered vet tech and loved every second of it and enjoyed being around the people I worked with–that’s a rarity these days to like your coworkers. I was blessed!
I always said I wanted to be a stay at home mom but then I fell in love with my career and became confused and conflicted. I’d made a decision to not come back, but every emergency that came in or every pet I helped nurse back to health made me question that. Then on the flip side I felt bad that I wanted to work and be away from my baby. I was so confused and I really didn’t have very long to make up my mind.
Then I started to resent the fact that I even had to make the choice between working and staying home. I didn’t want to make the decision. God did it for my when the military gave us orders to another state. God knew my heart I guess.
Then came the struggle. Acceptance.
I had to now accept that I really did have to leave my job. Let me tell y’all, that was hard for me to accept because I loved it so much. I cried over having to leave my job way more times than I cried over having to move.
I also felt like I had to grieve my relationship with my husband. It wasn’t going to be the same anymore. Babies change everything. Nothing about life was going to be the same and that scared me. Change always gave me anxiety.
I wish it wasn’t taboo to talk about feeling this way. I kept it to myself for fear of being judged or labeled as a bad mother, but keeping it in did damage as well. Your own mind can be a dangerous enemy sometimes.
I had to let myself grieve everything I was losing before I could accept everything I was gaining.
How you feel is how you feel, don’t lie to yourself. And talk about how you feel. Bottling it up only makes it worse.
And you will fall in love with your baby. Just maybe not the second you pee on a stick and that’s ok.