Still pregnant, still struggling.
Still pregnant, as far as I know. I’ll be 9 weeks on Friday, and will have a totally pointless OB appointment. Here’s your due date! Let’s weigh you! Come back later!
And I’m still struggling. Thank you so much for your kind words. It was so helpful to hear that other people might have the same reaction, despite the suffering involved in getting from 0 to 1. And those of you who commented on the lack of control I might be feeling, how this is the strange other face of not being able to get pregnant…OH YES.
To stop the endless flailing around, I pie charted my feelings. At first every category felt like 100%. But eventually I arrived at a sort of ranking. Go round the pie with me, won’t you?
The physical stuff: I came down on the 2 is enough side of the fence in large part because of the physical dimension of motherhood. In the past year I have become stronger and healthier, even feeling the vague stirrings of a desire to take better care of myself, to become strong and sort of faintly…FIT. And it’s not like a person can’t be strong and healthy while gestating. It’s that I had a shift in my self identity when I decided not to have more children. I was rediscovering ME. And now ME is gone, and Incubating Milk Bag is back.
I can’t handle 3 kids: Another reason that I opted to stop at 2 was the belief that I am not a good enough parent to have more children. Observe that my most recent posts were about HITTING MY CHILD. It does not make any kind of sense for me to subject another child to my parenting.
Okay, that’s a little dramatic. I know on some level that I am a good parent, that my children are happy and strong, that having some perfect mother of the sort that exists only in myth would not actually be better for them. But these days I am mostly scratching my eyes out or catatonic or mean, and that carries more weight than any supposed good qualities I may possess.
This one is hard to articulate, but I’m sure I’ve given you a sense of what that slice tastes like. Bile, basically.
Logistics: OMG I have to buy a minivan. It might sound silly, but the little things really were part of the reason we decided to quit the baby making. Of course they are trivial, but they can also be overwhelming.
Don’t like change: I just…always have a tough time with anything other than what I planned.
Career takes a hit: On Friday I had a meeting planning out a great study that we’ll start up in the spring, and as we ran wild with all sorts of exciting ideas it didn’t even occur to me that, of course, in spring I will be nursing an infant every two hours. And then it did, and I was all FUCK.
The upside of the timing of my babies was that it didn’t interfere with my tenure process because I handed in my file and went off to become a mother. The downside is that in a period of my career where I am supposed to be accelerating, I am…coasting. I felt like I was just starting to get moving, but now…
I suppose I can convince myself that this time will be different, and I won’t be totally unmotivated and exhausted. And maybe that’s true. I’ve learned a lot about project management since Bun Bun, and presumably Bunter will not be as all-absorbing as Bun Bun and Bunlet were because I’m bored of babies.
Or it will be just like last time. That’s my guess, knowing me.
Fear about a new family: I like my children so much as individuals, and am loving the sight of them playing together in a pro-social fashion, becoming part of each other’s reality. I don’t want to change any of those dynamics.
Mr. Bunny said something generic about more siblings being maybe a good thing, and Bunlet said NO! I want it to be just me and Bun Bun. In such a hurt little voice. What if this lovely thing we have is utterly destroyed?
I was talking to a friend who chose to have only one child. She said part of her decision was that she really likes the relationship she has with her kid. I was thinking yes, and I bet you’d like the relationship you had with another kid and the relationship they had with each other, too. But I kept my trap shut because I vividly remember how guilty I felt when I learned Bunlet was on his way, so worried that I’d destroy the special specialness Bun Bun and I had. It’s a transition I couldn’t really imagine until it happened. Now I am so, so grateful for Bunlet, because without him, life would not be life.
So that will probably be okay.
Toddlers: A huge portion of my time with my children involves defiance, boundary testing, screaming, squabbling, and me straining every nerve to not lash out physically…I hate it. And every time I took down a baby gate or was able to unchildproof a cabinet I would rejoice at the thought that someday all that would be over. And, of course, it will. But not for so much longer. It’s making handling the current toddler bullshit harder, knowing that there is no fucking end in sight.
Anger and shame: Y’all, I am so, so MAD at myself for getting knocked up. I don’t even want to come clean about how I ended up pregnant because I am too ashamed. Ugh. Okay. I had unprotected sex on day 11 of my cycle. *Dies of shame*
I wasn’t ambivalent, I wasn’t flipping a coin to see how I felt, I was just…careless.
So every time I feel shitty about any of the other slices of pie, this one smacks me in the face. It’s YOUR OWN DAMN FAULT.
So. I believe I will come to be glad about this. I do. I DO. But I don’t yet, and feeling all this other shit is very tedious, particularly when I don’t know how long it will go on.