Baby Fat: I Need A Vacation…. From Getting Pregnant
When I (finally) decided I was ready to get pregnant, my mental process went something like this:
-Date to “start trying” decided – CHECK!
-Next nine months mentally blocked off – CHECK!
-One full year mentally blocked off until I would feel 100% like myself again post-baby* – CHECK! (*I realize this is veryaggressive, but a girl can dream.)
Clearly I hadn’t fully taken into account how long it could take to actually get pregnant. Or the mental drain of “Am I?” or “Am I not?” each month.
And I’m not talking about the stress of wondering: Why it’s taking so long? Because that’s a whole other discussion. I’m talking about the day-to day whiney stress of:
Should I buy a new pair of nice jeans or will I be pregnant by next month and won’t be able to zip them up for the next year?
Getting invited to a wine tasting weekend early fall and having no idea if that will be such a fun activity when the date actually arrives.
The hot yoga studio I want to join has a 4-month initial commitment. Will they refund my money if I get pregnant? They better refund my money if I get pregnant!
And of course there’s just the constant conflict of treating my body like the baby making temple it could be one minute…and then deciding to just go about my life and not think about it at all the next (the latter is a proven approach for many people! And so is the former…)
I always assumed that once I got pregnant it would obviously consume my thoughts. But the “Seriously, just tell me so I can mark my freakin calendar already!” I was not prepared for. Like I said, it’s not the “Where’s MY baby!?” thoughts. It’s just the annoyance at the inability to fully plan my life without a huge lurking unknown that is really starting to get old.
So a “vacation from getting pregnant” is a great idea if you’ve been at this for a little awhile. You don’t necessarily have to go anywhere either if that’s too hard. But just putting a designated mental “timeout” on the process can be healthy for everyone involved. Even just for a few days. It’s easy to get tunnel vision about this and sometimes it’s just nice to get back in touch with the person you were, before you were the person trying to get pregnant.
I have a friend who recently had to have non-fertility related surgery but was told not to try for a baby for at least six months afterward. They had been trying for a while leading up to this. Afterwards she said that the surgery happened at the perfecttime. They were given permission to take a break, or a forced “vacation”, and just shelving getting pregnant was beyond refreshing. She had no idea how nice it would be to take a hiatus from the unknown.
I have a number of new mom friends that have begged me to enjoy the fact that it’s taking some time to get pregnant. They must have all talked because they say the same exact same thing – “Enjoy it while it lasts because your life will never be the same!” Though some women without children might not want to hear that advice, I do think it makes a lot of sense. It’s easy to focus on what you don’t have and forget how much you do. And to be perfectly honest, the extra non-pregnant time that I didn’t know I was getting has really been a blessing and time well spent. It’s prepared me well for when the big day finally arrives when I find out I actually am pregnant.
That’s just my how I’m seeing things today. But if I can indulge in just one more whiney moment about all this uncertainty – my wardrobe really is suffering because of all this baby limbo!