May 10, 2010

Mekate just wrote a post wondering when her pregnancy will truly feel real.

For me it was so incremental, or rather it happened in fits and starts. Every time I would see the fetuses on ultrasound it would become a little more real. It felt more real once strangers started noticing that I was pregnant (which didn’t happen until almost the time I went on bedrest, so I didn’t get much of it). It was decidedly more real once I reached viability. It was all too real when I was in an ambulance trying to stop preterm labor, and when I was drugged up attached to catheters and IVs.

But it wasn’t really real until the birth, the moment I heard Burrito cry.

I have moments of unreality still, when I wonder if they really are mine. I mean, I know they are, and Tamale looks just like me (and Burrito looks just like DH) so who else’s babies could they be, but in a cosmic sense I wonder how they ever got here, how my luck finally changed.

A few days ago I took them for a walk and an unfamiliar neighbor was in his yard gardening. For a moment I felt like I was playing house, as if I was babysitting someone else’s kids and he might see us and haha mistake me for their mother. Like when DH’s siblings were little and people would mistake them for our kids. “I hope that neighbor looks at us and thinks that these are my babies.”

What I don’t know is whether this unreality is exclusive to those who had trouble becoming parents, or whether everyone feels this way. “You may tell yourself this is not my beautiful house; You may tell yourself this is not my beautiful wife.” Maybe everyone feels like they’re playing house sometimes. Maybe everyone has a hard time assuming new identities: grown-up, single person, married person, TTC person, infertile person, pregnant person, parent person.

Or maybe it’s just us.

(And don’t get me started on Mother’s Day. All I will say, to those with and without children, with and without mothers: I hope your Mother’s Day didn’t suck.)


11 Responses to “Reality”

  1. Heather Says:

    The Mother’s Day thing I wonder if it is an infertile thing, but I told my DH I didn’t expect anything extraordinary. I told my family I feel like they love and appreciate me every day and I them, so I don’t need a special day to celebrate me being a mom.

    And it took me many years to feel like a mom. Our daughter is over 9 years old now and a lot of the time I felt like an impostor. And I felt like my pregnancy with the boys was the shortest pregnancy of all time. It went for 31 weeks. I started telling people at Christmas and it was over a few days after Memorial Day. I tried not to worry, but I had my moments, between having a friend that lost one of her twin boys in childbirth a few years before I was pregnant to their NICU stay and Liam being hard to gain weight.

  2. Two Kayaks Says:

    I feel the very same way. About it all. When I’m out with the babies, I wonder if people really think I’m their mom. Some days it feels so surreal.
    All through my pregnancy, I worried that they would die. When they were born, I worried that they would make it home safely. I don’t know when it will truly and consistently feel real, but I’ll let you know when it does.
    Oh and as for Mother’s Day…my love/hate relationship made it very difficult for me to enjoy the day. We spent it quietly without pomp and circumstance. I just can’t flick a switch and suddenly love the day. I just can’t.

  3. Kristin Says:

    Pregnancy after infertility is a truly surreal thing.

  4. strongblonde Says:

    i am always in denial or disbelief about my reality. Is this my job? Is this my husband? When did I finish my PhD? Where did these kids come from?

    I am not able to future think very well, either. I can’t think about what I think the future will be like.

    I’m sure I’m stuck in some weird developmental stage somewhere….I should be able to believe the reality that is my life and think about what my life will look like in the future, right?


  5. Dora Says:

    Yup. That’s why I stare at her while she’s sleeping. Mine? She’s mine?

  6. Photogrl Says:

    I’m so glad to hear that I’m not the only one…

    Ever since the positive beta, I’ve woke up every morning wondering if this was the day the other shoe would drop. I hate that my prior losses have made me so morbid.

    At first, I thought hitting 12 weeks would make it real. Then I thought knowing what they were…no. Then hitting 24 weeks…28 weeks…still no security.

    This is not to say that I’m not enjoying everyday that I am pregnant or relishing in their movements…I love those moments.

    It’s just that it’s hard to believe.

  7. Wishing4One Says:

    Thanks Cassandra. Thank you because you know what, I will so feel this way when my baby comes, God Willing. I think its ok too. Heck, I feel that way now, even after each ultrasound. Super S said to me today, “today was the first time I really noticed your stomach getting bigger…” Now that was an amazing thing to hear. xoxo

  8. Sara Says:

    I felt that way with our son, who we got pregnant with easily, and had a groovy pregnancy until his sudden pre-eclampsia- induced birth at 37 weeks. With our daughter, who came after a series of miscarriages, it started to feel real, or real-ish, after we announced it at 20 weeks or so. Still, six-and-a-half years after our son’s birth, we still look at each other and say, “Can you believe we made him out of things we just had hanging around the house?”

  9. Ana Says:

    Ha ha! I like this because I feel like this about most of my life. Sometimes I just forget that this is truly my life, that I am “all grown up” with the husband, the job, the house, the KID. Especially the little monkey. Pregnancy was surreal, but actually having the living breathing giggling and squirming wonder in my life—so so hard to fathom. When I get called “mom” by anyone, I still look around.

  10. Sara Says:

    One other thing…

    A friend of mine was filling out the initial paperwork in her pediatrician’s office. She went up to the nurse and said “I filled in MY parents in the mother/father section, but where do my in-laws go?” The nurse told her – very slowly, apparently, “No, YOU are the mother, and your husband is the father. You write your names on those lines.”

    Oh, yeah, right….

  11. strongblonde Says:

    are you ok? where’s the thoughtful thursday?????

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