Why I Feel Like a Terrible Person

Happy Friday the 13th! Or is it Merry Friday the 13th?

My new rocking chair, custom built by my father-in-law. He even painted it black and avoided southwest carvings (his typical style)
My father-in-law made me a rocking chair.  And he even painted it black for me. “Paint it Black” is kind of my motto when it comes to furniture.  I need to find a cushion for it. I don’t want something that is cutesy and country looking though.  I’m already assuming that what I would want is impossible to find… of course I haven’t tried looking either!

Today I am 22 weeks along in my pregnancy.  As of this week, I have pretty much stopped wearing “regular” pants and started wearing maternity pants all the time.  I could probably still wear my jeans and leave the button undone or do some rubber band trickery… but I just don’t see the point.  It’s not like I find maternity pants super comfortable… I don’t. I feel like they are simultaneously falling down and pulled up to kingdom come*. That transition seam between “regular” pants and the stretchy maternity belly portion just seems to feel weird to me.

(*Wait a minute… that can’t be right. When I was little, I remember being told that if you sit with your legs apart while wearing a skirt people could see “all the way to kingdom come” so I guess that’s not where my pants are pulled up to.)

I think part of the reason that I had to make the maternity switch has to due with the fact that (WARNING: potentially TMI!) pregnancy has made me constipated.  I’ve NEVER EVER EVER been constipated before this, and suddenly that’s all changed.  And the other day, I finally had a good BM and immediately felt like I had lost about 10 pounds.  Suddenly I could breathe easier, my pants felt looser and my overall mood improved.  (Apparently all of your bad mood is kept in the colon.)

So this week I’ve been realizing all the ways that being pregnant makes me feel like I am a terrible person. I know that people are justified in having their own feelings and shouldn’t be told their feelings are wrong or invalid… but I do feel like some of the feelings I have make me… well, a jerk.  I don’t know if other women think/feel this way… but they definitely don’t share it (or I haven’t seen it shared) so in the interest of full disclosure:

I don’t feel love for this baby yet

Emo #jadetheboxer
Really truly, I don’t feel any connection to the baby.  Perhaps the fact that I call it “it” most of the time.  Or that I haven’t felt any movement inside yet.  Or that I spend so much time by myself lost in my negative thoughts as opposed to spending time with Kevin as a partnership working toward the arrival of this kid… no matter what the reason, I can’t say I love the kid.  I love Jade The Boxer far more than I love the baby right now.
Consolation: I never realized I could love a doggie so much.  Jade The Boxer is one of the best things to happen to my life and my heart swells with love every time I look at her.  It took a couple of weeks for me to love her that much though, at first she was cute but HARD work. 

Sometimes I wish I had lost the baby

Sometimes I have a small bit of pain in my lower abdomen and when that happens, there is always a glimmer of hope that perhaps I will miscarry. And then I immediately tell myself, “No, you don’t want that.”  And while it’s true, I don’t necessarily want that to happen, there are days that I wish that it maybe had happened early on so I wouldn’t be dealing with the reality that life is fundamentally changed, even now life is super different.
Consolation: The fact that I immediately rethink that thought every time it pops up. Because deep down, I know that’s not really what I’m feeling.

I resent the situation

Coach Jersey
Because of this baby I haven’t been able to do the things that I want to do.  Things like running long distances and entering races and coaching Team Challenge. (Yeah, I ended up having to back out of this season… I would have been too far along to fly out to the race in July and the Saturday practices in May up to the actual race probably would have been dangerous for me to even be exercising in due to the heat.  Not that I could run a lot with the team anyway.)  The baby makes me feel crappy a lot. I wonder if I give the baby heartburn? Probably not.
Consolation: The kid is going to get to scrub toilets to make up for all the ways pregnancy makes me feel awful and all the grief it is bound to give me. And will still OWE me. (Oh crap, that probably means I still OWE my mom.  Maybe this grandchild will be the final “payment”.) 

The Money Suck

I have to buy all kinds of things for this kid, I hate spending money.  And seeing the massive lists of everything that you’re supposed to have for a baby makes me jittery… especially when my first reaction about the things I need are:
– a new iPhone that takes better photos than my 3GS does
– a car with a hatchback so I can keep Jade The Boxer separate from a baby in a car seat (I have nightmares of them both in the backseat, Jade licking the baby, the baby crying and me trying to not drive off a cliff.)
For some reason, I’ve never seen those listed on the “Must Buy” lists.  Apparently those items are things like: car seat, place for baby to sleep, diapers, etc.
Consolation: Maybe I’ll get a new iPhone anyway. I’m crossing my fingers the next iPhone will be released in the summer, but I have a feeling it won’t be until the fall.  The baby can have my old one.  (Actually, it will probably get my old old iPhone as a white noise machine for sleeping.) 

I think about contraception

At my regular doctor’s office appointments I look at the flyers and posters for contraception.  Although, I don’t ever want to go back on a hormonal birth control because that masked some serious eating disorder symptoms in me in the past.  And while my husband is already planning on “the next kid”, I’m planning a vasectomy for him.   If I have to do some “baby bunching” I think I will cry…. LITERALLY.  Yes, my brother and I were born close together (17 months) and we get along great.  That doesn’t mean I want to emulate that. I used to think that you couldn’t have an only child, that a kid needed siblings.  But now I’m thinking that an only child would be fine.
Consolation: Perhaps both of us are thinking too far in the future on this one and not spending enough time in the moment.

I wish away the time

I keep thinking, “I wish I could go to sleep for the next several months, just ignore all this time where my body is uncomfortable and changing.”  But then I think, “Oooh… but I’d wake up and have a tiny baby, so perhaps I should sleep until the kid can talk.”  And then I realize, “The kid will need to be potty-trained… and then have to go to school… and then it will turn into an annoying middle-schooler… and then it will be hormonal and hate me… and then it will be a teenager… Perhaps I should just sleep for the next 18 years.”  Honestly, there is nothing about having a baby and raising a child that I look forward to right now. It all just sounds so… big.
Consolation: I got none. 

I briefly considered putting a poll at the bottom of this post: Is Jill a jerk for thinking this way?  But I’m scared of those results!

PS – In regard to last week’s pregnancy update on counting wack, I just found this article and thought it was fitting: Your Children Want YOU!

ADDENDUM: I just wanted to add a little aside here… I don’t mean for this to sound like a major downer. I really don’t feel AWFUL. But putting these words down helps me to process my feelings and share them is also part of that healing process.  I also hope to let people know that despite some of the sites that make it sound like every woman is baby-hungry and loves every moment of pregnancy, that’s not the case.  I’m pretty certain that a lot of times people are saying that “everything is great!” because they feel like that’s what is expected of them. It’s okay to have your own feelings.  I write these posts with a sense of optimism. that even though I have a wide range of feelings, I do have hope that we’ll come through this and life will be a whole new kind of happy that I can’t fathom or understand without experiencing it.

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11 comments

  1. Jill, I’ve been reading about your journey with this pregnancy and I have to say I admire your honesty. You’re going to be a great mom when ‘it’ arrives 🙂 and I’m sure many people had the same anxieties you are having. It’s got to be really hard losing the ‘control’ we are so used to having over our bodies. I can’t speak from experience however, since I’m not a mom… but I know what it’s like to be sad, frustrated, disappointed, uncertain. So I just wanted to let you know I’m reading, and sending hugs. 🙂

    (PS. And speaking as a fellow TC coach – I am certain your team is missing you this season!)

  2. What you are feeling is absolutely natural. There were many times that I had the same feelings. When it comes to loving your child, it happens but sometimes gradually. The idea that babies mean instant love, excitement, and a overwhelming feeling of joy is most times a myth. It’s complicated, sleep depriving, and stressful. But it’s the dirty truth of being a parent. No worries, you are not alone girl! Keep strong.

  3. Girl, I am right there with you. I am not pregnant but these are things that go through my mind about pregnancy. Thank you for being brave enough to write about it. All the luck in the world is getting sent your way…you’re gonna be fine 🙂

  4. I’m sure TC misses you, too!!
    The older my son gets the more I love him. So maybe the love/connection starts out slow? Try not to be so hard on yourself – everyone is different. 🙂

  5. I love your honesty, Jill. I think these are feelings most people have, yet they are unwilling to be as honest as you are.

    To be equally as honest, I had these same feeling for a few weeks after my daughter was born. I felt no attachment, I didn’t have that “instant love” that you assume you are supposed to have, and I regretted having her. It took weeks–maybe longer–for that rugrat to grow on me.

    Five years later, she is the best thing in my life and I live to hear that laugh and see that smile. Yesterday she got to see a rainbow for the first time. You should have seen the joy in her eyes.

    Your feelings are normal and natural. I mean, you’re a woman; by design you are emotional and a little crazy. That was a joke, ladies. 🙂

  6. i read this post and the newer one that has the comments closed.

    as i feel i must always say—disclaimer: i am not pregnant and have never been pregnant, haha. so i know my thoughts/opinions don’t mean much.

    anyway, i just think that you are NOT the only person who has had these thoughts. i am sure that some people who stumble across your blog might read this and think “OMG HOW AWFUL”, but *i know* that you do not feel this way ALL the time. it is common to get a negative thought here and there, the important part is that you immediately go WTF JILL what are you doing 🙂 just like with running, we think we might quit sometime. ok, that’s not nearly the same as being pregnant/having a baby/raising a child, but maybe you get what i’m trying to say. we all have negative thoughts at times, but most of the time we snap ourselves out of it.

    and you’re right, it’s important to be honest and to be able to talk about your feelings. it is never good to leave them pent up inside. i’m glad hubby was there to listen and give a little encouragement!

    chris is right too – we are crazy and emo 😉

  7. Cool rocking chair! I’d put a really crisp, clear colored cushion with it. I agree with staying away from cutesey. 🙂

    Ditto to what everyone else said. 🙂

    • LOL! Gotta love those types of slips, huh? I’m planning on using primary colors in the nursery… since I definitely don’t want it to be a gender-specific theme! So your suggestion goes exactly with what I’m hoping to accomplish.

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