Monday 28 February 2011

week 34 - Little melancholy

Over the past few months, without guilt, I wrote about my nipples, my pubic hair, my sex life. However, I feel uncomfortable writing about something that went through my mind this week because I'm worried that some people might questioned my pregnancy...I should know since I did it to other expecting couples in the past!

I was ready to get in the shower when Dan showed up in the bathroom. Since I was facing him, he could see the reflexion of my I-don't-look-pregnant back in the mirror. As a joke, he looked at the mirror and said "freedom" than turned my body 90 degrees to expose my big naked belly and said "no freedom"!

This innocent joke slowly transformed into a debate in my head. Is it bad for a pregnant woman to feel melancholic because she (Claudia) won't be able take a trip to Scandinavia, get this great event planning job or even sleep until noon on Saturday because, well, just because she (Claudia) feels like it?

Until this week, I always believed that expecting couples that would think about their freedom were just not ready to be parents. It is so easy to judge: How can you think about your freedom when you will soon welcome a baby into this world? You have to change your priorities!

Now entering my 35th week, rolling my hips on my exercise ball while holding the laptop, I truly think that this questioning about freedom is actually part of the process of becoming a sane parent. As far as my mental debate went, I concluded that parents don't have to become slaves to their kids, they just have to include them in their hopes and dreams.

Call me naive but hopefully in a year, with some planning, we might have a fika in Stockholm while our little Alice is quietly sleeping, with us, in her baby carrier!


Jennifer said...

I suppose my experience is a bit different because our little guy was 100% unplanned (yes, we ere taking precautions -- I guess I'm just that fertile).

I went through a horrible depression during my pregnancy (right up until the third trimester) due mostly to the idea of losing my freedom. All I could think about was all of the things I would be missing out on and all of the things I wouldn't be able to do with a child.

Having a kid is a big freaking deal! All of s sudden you're needs are no longer your priority. It really does take a a big effort to wrap your mind around that fact (at least it did for me) and it's an ongoing battle.

Our little Guy is just over three months and I still battle with the fact that I can no longer sleep as much as I want, whenever I want. It's frustrating to be responsible for the every whim and need of another human being.... alone time becomes almost nonexistent.

But my husband hit the nail on the head when he said that our kiddo is the absolute best part of the day AND the worst lol.

Ali said...

I think you are right - there has to be a phase of saying goodbye to the you before you were parents. Because children do change things. For me, what we gained far outweighs what we lost. But we did loose some things and I think it's appropriate to feel a twinge about them.

And d'you want to know something really really odd? After I gave birth, I missed my bump. So stroke yours a lot for me, okay?

oneeyedrabbit said...

I remember being really sad after I gave birth because it was the end of my old way of life. Adjusting to caring for a baby took ALOT of adjusting! Despite the fact that I was happy to have my first child, it was just hard to accept that my life no longer belonged to myself and that now I had this new responsibility that took of most of my time. You get used to it though so that by the second child (if you have one) you don't have that sadness anymore but now you have the stress of dealing with two kids and the new dynamics that go along with it. As for the baby carrier, I don't recommend the baby bjorn one. I heard a lot of people found it uncomfortable and the baby will out grow it fast. I highly recommend getting a sling. I just bought the balboa baby one and it works wonders. We didn't have it for our first child and I wish we did. Also, I highly recommend reading the book, "The Happiest Baby on the Block." It explains the "fourth trimester" and how you need to imitate the womb to soothe your child when she has crying fits. These are just suggestions... Take care.

Lin said...

I'm a mum of two with another on the way. I think this is completely normal - and don't be surprised if you go through this many times over the next few/many years! Like the others have said - everything changes when bub comes along. Your hopes and dreams will start to evolve and change and whilst some will stay the same, others will pop up along the way. There are times when your dreams will try and fight their way to the surface, and depending on the age/stage of your children you may have to push them to one side - you hear mothers going on a lot about 'dying to self' and you'll learn the meaning of this in one way or another! We all reminisce about how our DINK lives were before - but we realise how much more meaningful our lives are now. I think it's something we'll be proud of in years to come - putting our children ahead of our own dreams. I think in some way our children replace our hopes and dreams - and our new dreams becomes those of our children.
On another note - this kind of anxiety is great - you're realising the enormity of how your life is going to change. Better to do that now than when the baby comes along!
Best wishes!

Julia Edna said...

Gros calin et dis-toi que Fika avec un poupon c'est réaliste. Nous l'avons fait pour son premier anniversaire. 13 heures d'avion et il a fait ca comme un pro. Stockholm est une ville hyper praticable en poussette. Des ascenseurs dans TOUS les metros, des rampes pour les poussettes dans les escaliers, des places aménagées dans les autobus. Et en prime, avant 2ans, ca coute presque rien pour un bébé. British airway était aux petits soins pour le notre.

Anne said...

During all those months I tried to get pregnant and it wouldn't work, I tried to imagine how it would be never to have children.
I knew the list of things we would have been able to do was long, but like the anonymous comment above says, we would have felt like egoistical teenagers, with only very shallow things to care about.
I guess I would have started volunteering for charity work or something,to feel of some use.
And you're so right, let's not be slaves to our children but include them in our dreams!

Kine said...

I know how you feel. A year ago I was 2 months pregnant and a little freaked out about the prospective loss of freedom. I love to travel and i've been all over the world, and this was going to change. But here we are, a year later, my little girl is 5 months old, we moved from to Germany from Ottawa two months ago, we're travelling all over Europe this year. You'll have an extra person to share your adventures with. And trust me, you won't remember or miss a single thing from your former lifestyle.

Sid. said...

I second the comments that it's normal to be mourn the loss of freedom but keep in mind that it's only temporary, they do grow up, very quickly in fact. Also, I found that didn't really appreciate that freedom when you had it. Now when I get a spare minute to myself, I enjoy every second :) Also, it's very easy to take them all over when they're small, sleepy and portable. There's actually less freedom when they get a bit older and aren't content to sleep on your chest throughout a nice dinner!

Julie Alvarez said...

Having a daughter changed my way of judging (well, not so much because I already felt this way, but a little more now) people who choose not to have kids. Every person's center IS him/herself. No matter how we want to disguise it, or how hard we try to look family-lovers, tender and sweet, etc. And I think it is OK to feel that way. It's much healthier and real and truthful.
Also, I don't think that children should "rule" the way we do everything and how we manage our daily lives; as you put it, we just bring them along in our lives, until they are old enough to do it for themselves without primal risks.
I think that parents are more "keepers", or "carers" of the little souls. So, we shouldn't be their slaves at all (neither the opposite way, of course...).
Everything is a transition, and we walk across time, as kids grow, understanding how they are not OURS to keep, or to shape.

Anonymous said...

Totally normal feelings........I always felt that people who claim they NEVER worried about any of that "loss of freedom" were telling little white lies. Every pregnant woman and every family is different and how much adjustment they feel the need to do in life-after-baby varies. Some continue like 'nothing changes', i.e travel the world, take the baby everywhere and don't find that a hassle at all, whilst others totally flip their life around after baby comes along. I think the main thing I wanted to say is that I recommend you feel however and do whatever YOU feel is right and not worry so much about what others might expect/think.

Cal's mum said...

I think eventually it becomes more of a nostalgic feeling, remembering all the time spent lazing around reading the Sunday papers or just being able to leave the house without bringing a trailer of equipment. You'll always have a weird sense of loss that the just being you time is gone. But this new time, this new baby time, it's so much better. There'll be plenty of days when you forget that it's better but then you'll remember again how much more wonderful the world is now because of this little person and wonder why you ever thought just doing whatever you wanted was so good.

cara said...

I think you would be nuts not to worry about that.

But aside from sleeping until noon you can do those things with a baby, I promise.

Lindsey [homegrown spud] said...

aww i love that you posted about this, awhile ago...and I am now able to look back on your posts and relate them to the stages I am in now. Thank you...I wonder how different life will be, and how our ideals of still being able to go camping, have outdoor BBQs, go biking around town...I think we can still do those things with a babe, and not be aweful, boring, hateful parents. I hope this all came true for you with your babe now...