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Negativity during pregnancy?

I'm still bitter about my pregnancy experience and I'm struggling to let go of the resentment. My experience:

I got pregnant at 22, going on 23, with my boyfriend of 5 years. I didn't accidentally get pregnant, I wanted a baby, and although it wasn't drawn out like a business plan, I was in a monogamous relationship and we had the resources to make it work. My DD is one year old and we HAVE made it work! BUT here's the thing: I have my BA in English and my mom's side of the fam is extremely ambitious, high-achieving and most of them are engineers. My older sister is an accountant and has an MBA and most people I knew at the time were planning on going to grad school. My sister's first words upon hearing I was pregnant were "Oh boy... that is big news!"

Not to mention, I was also raised Catholic, although I have not practiced in several years, my family was a little irksome of the idea of sex before marriage.

I think everyone felt slightly bad for me and just generally not proud or excited, even though it was a conscious decision I made.

Although I am more proud of myself than I've ever been, I never got to celebrate and be utterly joyful during my pregnancy, like others' seem to feel during theirs. I felt a lot of shame for my age as well. People are still under the impression your competence and performance as a mother has to do with age...HA! My friend's mother had her second child at 41 and gave him cold showers and used a belt as punishment!!

I went through pregnancy doubting myself, doubting my ability to be a good mother, feeling shameful for not getting a high paying job before even thinking twice about having kids...and worst of all, I fear I'll have trouble being happy for those that were hard on me when they get pregnant...although it would be big of me, it doesn't seem fair. Pregnancy is hard and terrifying enough so it should be celebrated by everyone you know and it should be an extremely positive experience to prepare you for the radical transformation of parenthood.

Enough ranting...What's your experience???

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 11:33 PM on Oct. 24, 2013 in General Parenting

Answers (5)
  • I got pregnant by surprise at 35, after struggling with infertility for many years. So in one sense, I was thrilled beyond anything the naysayers could take away from me. But I had gotten pregnant with a man who was married, albeit unhappily, to someone else. There were a lot of emotional upheavals to work through, but the worst ones came from my own family. I was treated like the village whore by the people who should have loved me and emotionally supported me, no matter what. I had to throw my dad out of my house for getting inches from my face and bellowing about how I'd been taught not to commit adultery. The first thing my mom said on hearing the news was, "Your body couldn't hold the last baby you conceived, what makes you think you'll do any better this time?" My brother and sister wanted me to let one of them adopt my baby because they doubted that a blind mom could raise a child safely. (con.)

    Answer by Ballad at 12:30 AM on Oct. 25, 2013

  • So anyway, my pregnancy was tearful and dripping with drama. It was all worth the pain when my daughter was born, and parenthood has been the most amazing journey of my life. But I always feel a little jealous of the ones who get fussed over and celebrated as they step into motherhood. I always wanted to have others experience my joy with me, instead of watching my sister give my cousin a baby shower because she was due three weeks before me, and then refuse to give me one at all. I would have liked to open a holiday gift or two for my unborn daughter, instead of lying in bed crying and watching the Flying Nun Holiday Special on TV Christmas morning because my family wouldn't have me around, disgrace that I was to them. I understand how you feel. I've tried to let go of as much of the hurt and anger and bitterness as I can, for my own sake, but it's one of the most difficult grudges I've ever had to try and get over.

    Answer by Ballad at 12:39 AM on Oct. 25, 2013

  • Those are painful unresolved feelings. It's true that they can interfere with your ability to be responsive to others. I don't think you can healthily "let go" of feelings of loss, hurt & resentment without really honoring your experience and processing the emotions. It is possible to let go of anything (truly "get over" it) but you don't do so by coercing yourself into "letting go" of feelings that haven't been fully processed. They (the feelings) resolve themselves THROUGH being processed. If you're still "struggling" with feelings of resentment, it's a signal that there still is something to process.
    I think pressure to let go, or get over things, is disrespectful, whether it's coming internally or from others. The desire to be past something is a good impulse, and one to honor, but pressuring ourselves to be what we're not (when, at the moment, we still ARE our hurt & resentment) undermines the very process that will help!

    Answer by girlwithC at 7:11 AM on Oct. 25, 2013

  • The first one was sort of an accident. While I was ready to be a mom and in a monogamous relationship, we weren't married. That changed in about two weeks time once I told the boyfriend he was going to be a daddy because abortion is not in my vocabulary. I promise you there was no joy in being bent over the toilet for 12 weeks. The second trimester went ok. Except for the MIL constantly on me about my weight and what I should or should not be eating. The last trimester brought no joy either. MIL being in the delivery room despite my wishes to have her booted. When the baby was born she dropped my numb leg and rushed over to see the baby. I bled almost to death.(not because of her) Eight hours later I was finally able to see my baby. The consecutive pregnancies were worse because everyone thought one bad experience was enough. MIL kept trying to tell me we were done having kids.

    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 8:34 AM on Oct. 25, 2013

  • All in all pregnancy is NOT a joyful experience. The end result makes it all worth it though. Sorry your family couldn't have been more happy for you, but that's just the way they are sometimes. Let it go and move forward. You move to the beat of a different drum and that is perfectly ok.

    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 8:37 AM on Oct. 25, 2013

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