Today I watched a segment on This Morning with the infamous Samantha Brick, this time she wasn’t telling everyone how beautiful and amazing she is, but how she is desperate to have a child and hates it when she finds out about people who fall pregnant easy…so I guess she’d hate me if she met me! One of the most unlikely people EVER to have a child. This blog is effectively me saying how little I know about having a baby, and I’m sure will continue to say how little I know about babies and what they do. All I know at the moment is they poo, they smell funny, and they make a lot of noise, and occasionally sleep apparently. I’m 39 weeks pregnant today. I don’t know anything about labour, I’ve got a ‘take it as it comes’ approach, and I google EVERYTHING, or just rely on the babycentre website!
The real reason I’m writing this blog, is that I kind of get where she’s coming from, I can imagine how difficult it must be for people to go through IVF, my Godmother tried for years and went through so much IVF it’s unreal. She gave up all hope of ever having children, and was looking into adoption when she fell pregnant, and now has two children. I can only imagine how difficult it was for her to be my Godmother – I also found out a few years ago that she had miscarried around the same time that my mum was pregnant with me. The reason I get where she is coming from, in a way, is because of the sheer GUILT I felt when I found out that I was pregnant for several reasons, but I basically spent the first half of my pregnancy worrying that I’d upset several people, and couldn’t really enjoy it. It took me ages to get over these feelings, and I don’t really know why it hit me so hard, but I needed constant reassurance that it was ok that I was pregnant, and that I deserved to have a baby just as much as anyone else on this planet.
The feelings stemmed from a few factors… just before I found out that I was pregnant, a lesbian I worked with had just had a baby – or rather her wife had – and one of the people I worked with had hated it, because she fell pregnant first time trying, and thought it was ‘wrong’ (but that’s a whole other debate). One of the other reasons was that this person who hated it had apparently had a miscarriage a couple of weeks before, it was really bad timing. I say apparently because she was one of those people you never really could believe 100% and she went to work the day after it had supposedly happened, and the length of time she was pregnant changed a few times. But anyway, this same person had held a grudge for the whole six months since finding out that a ‘gayby’ was on it’s way into the world. It just so happened that when I was newly pregnant, within the first 12 weeks, this person also had a cyst on her ovary and had to have it operated on, and now has a 50% chance of conception. I was nervous about telling her, but when I found out about the cyst and the operation etc I felt awful, and I actually feared for my safety, everyone at work that knew told me not to go near stairs if she was around. She actually took it really well, and I felt a bit stupid for feeling so bad, but she understood.
Another reason was that my best friend, who I’ve known my entire life, had miscarried a couple of years previously and found out at her 12 week scan that the baby hadn’t developed. Not only did I have to tell her I was now pregnant, but that I was going to be pregnant at her wedding, and I’m a bridesmaid! I found that really difficult, knowing she wanted to have a baby, and was probably worried that she wouldn’t be able to because of the miscarriage. Luckily she is now pregnant, and I couldn’t be happier for her! It feels amazing that I can offer advice, though I always feel that it should have been the other way around. Like I’m telling her how it is after the 12 week landmark, when she should have a small child by now. As I’m not close to my family, sometimes it’s like she’s the closest thing I have to a real family, and it really hurt that she might feel hurt by something I couldn’t control, and something I essentially didn’t want at first!
Another one of my friends has a child, she’s 6. She had an awful relationship with her daughters father, who happened to be an ex of mine, so needless to say I was not a huge fan of him. Anyway, we grew apart while they were together, but still remained good friends. When he left her, she was pregnant, and made the decision to have a termination, which wasn’t a straight forward termination, and it hit her really hard. I was there for her, despite being at uni, my boss gave me time off to go home and spend time with her if she needed me, and I’ve always supported her. I have no doubt that her life wouldn’t be what it is now, and that her daughters life would not be what it is now. Mentally, she wasn’t ready to be a single mother of two, and she definitely made the right decision. I guess I felt guilty because for the whole of my pregnancy I’ve been saying about how amazing my boyfriend is, he really is my rock, and I feel that although she has a child, she could have had two, and she can’t remember a lot of her pregnancy because of the emotional strain it put on her due to her partner being something I would not like to write on here because it wouldn’t be very ‘family friendly’. So really I feel guilty about the fact that I have a great relationship, and I can enjoy my pregnancy. All she ever wanted was to be a mother, and she is, but she never got to enjoy the process of getting there. Meanwhile, I’ve never been drawn to motherhood, I’ve always assumed that one day I’d probably have kids, cos that’s what people do, but it’s never been an essential part of my life, and here I am – pregnant – with an amazing boyfriend, who is amazingly supportive and who I know I can trust 100%, who I know will look after me after the birth of our child…
The final reason I felt so much guilt is my friend’s cousin, the first friend who I’ve known forever, well, I’ve known her cousin since primary school too. Not as well as my friend, but we know each other. I’ve got her on facebook, and we know enough about each other to sit and have a conversation without it being weird. She had been trying to get pregnant for ages, and had gone through IVF, and it worked, only for her to have a miscarriage. She was also a bridesmaid at my friend’s wedding, had the IVF worked and she hadn’t miscarried, she would have been about 6 months pregnant at the wedding, so it would have been her who couldn’t have champagne, and would need a dress bigger than usual, and all of the other stuff you look forward to at a wedding that you can’t do when you’re pregnant. I felt awful that I was in the position that she SHOULD have been in, purely by accident. I even told my friend that I wouldn’t tell anyone at her wedding that I was pregnant if it really hurt her cousin and if she didn’t want me to. It did really hurt her cousin, and she couldn’t face me for a few days, it really worried me that I was going to ruin my best friend’s wedding. I was 16 weeks pregnant at her wedding, and it wasn’t until I got over that guilt a few weeks after her wedding that I really started to be happy that I was pregnant. In fact, it was probably only when I felt the baby move and kick really hard that I truly felt happy that I was pregnant.
Now I feel guilty that I have this little person inside me, that is coming out really soon, and when I first found out it was there I didn’t want it, I was gutted… I do worry that one day he/she will grow up and find out, and feel that the feeling never left me. But I really am happy to be having a child, I still don’t quite believe it sometimes…but I really am happy. I still have worries, because I don’t know what to do with children, and I worry that my parenting skills will be like my mother’s, and that my child(ren) will grow up to resent me.
My only hope is that one day I stop feeling guilty for the fact that I am having a child, with the person I love, in a fairly stable financial situation and with a supportive network around me…