Pregnancy

Unbearable: I Refuse To See ‘What To Expect’ When I’m Not Expecting

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Having a child is usually a happy time in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, as we wait longer to have children, infertility and trouble conceiving can become a part of the family making process. Unbearable addresses these difficulties.

In 2007, I was unmarried, pregnant and a little scared about how I would handle motherhood. That same year, Knocked Up hit theaters and made the world love Judd Apatow just a bit more. You would think that an unexpectedly pregnant woman would be happy to see a movie version of her story where the endings were happy and the whole situation was a lot more funny than life-alteringly terrifying.

Not me. I felt like the whole thing hit a little too close to home. I refused to go watch Seth Rogen turn from a man-child into a responsible human being. I refused to see Katherine Heigl‘s prosthetic tummy, which was probably dressed a whole lot better than my real one. To this day, I haven’t seen that freakin’ movie.

Now, five years later, I find myself in the opposite position when it comes to pregnancy movies. Before, I didn’t want to witness fake pregnancy while I was struggling through the truth of it. Now, I don’t want to watch fake pregnancy because I’m jealous of it. No matter how funny it might be, I don’t want to go to see What To Expect When You’re Expecting because I’m not expecting.

I’ve been pregnant before. I would obviously be able to sympathize with all of the “real pregnancy” gaffs. The sweating and swollen ankles would still be pretty familiar. But none of it would be entertainment. Movies are made to lose yourself in. But pregnant women just serve as a glaring reminder of my own reality.

In fact, it’s not just ensemble movies that I have to ignore. My husband tries to screen even kids movies that we watch with our daughter to make sure that I won’t be confronted with a random preggo, happily welcoming her new bundle of joy into the world.

There is one bit about these movies that serves a purpose for me though. When I find out that a real person, a friend or a family member, is pregnant, I have to tell myself that jealousy and envy are completely inappropriate. I have to bury thoughts of coveting someone else’s good fortune. I would never wish to take away those people’s joy, but it’s hard not to think, “Why not me too?” These emotions immediately make me feel guilty. It’s all so horribly selfish.

But movie and television pregnancies aren’t real. I can be envious without a bit of guilt. I can look at Brooklyn Decker and her fake bump and think, “I deserve that too.” I can hear Elizabeth Banks complain about all the horrors of pregnancy that people don’t like to talk about and think, “You should be grateful for how lucky you are!” They’re all feelings that I don’t allow myself to feel about real people and real pregnancies. So it’s nice to indulge in them with made-up characters that I don’t have to feel sorry for.

In the end though, a little wallowing in jealousy doesn’t make up for the fact that watching actresses lament about fake pregnancy pains is like a slap in the face to someone who really can’t get pregnant. There’s not a lot of humor to be had when you’re busy wishing that you could be one of those women, blissfully complaining about back pain and comparing body pillows.

(Photo: Celeb Archive)

9 Comments

  1. jessica

    May 17, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    While I sympathize the fact that you’re battling infertility, you did a WHOLE lot of unnecessary bitching. They’re just movies. You really didn’t have to write an entire article about it and I regret wasting my time reading this. PLUS if you already have children, stop being so selfish. Others have NO children and are still trying to conceive. smh.

    • Michelle

      May 18, 2012 at 3:36 am

      Wow, Jessica, that was really mean. If the article doesn’t interest you, stop reading it. No one will make you finish it. I appreciate Lindsay’s article because I have gone through a lot of those same feelings.

      Thank you, Lindsay for another open and honest account of what you are going though. I look forward to them every week and I can’t wait to see the one that says you’re finally pregnant.

    • NotThumper

      May 19, 2012 at 8:06 pm

      While what Jessica says IS harsh it isn’t exactly untrue. That being said I have seen Lindsay acknowledge the same sentiments, that she knows these things and is grateful for her daughter but that she still can not help how she feels.

      So even though on some level I agree with Jessica I respect Lindsay for realizing how she sounds and still being honest with her true feelings.

      I struggled with infertility so I know how bad the pain can be when all you want to be is pregnant and that is all you see around you and so with that I sympathize.

      I’m also not planning on seeing this movie but mainly on the grounds that it looks horrendous.

  2. Lindsey

    May 17, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    I refuse to see this movie on the grounds that it looks like a piece of crap. It’ll have all the same movie cliches of a screaming woman demanding an epidural, men who used to be too cool now regulated to fatherhood, thin and beautiful Hollywood actress who only gain pregnancy weight in their prosthetic bellies, blah blah blah.

  3. Michele

    May 18, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    I sympathize with you… I haven’t battled with infertility, but in my heart I desperately want another child. Unfortunately, my husband doesn’t feel the same… and with my 45th birthday approaching in a month, I don’t think anything’s going to change. I loved watching pregnancy shows when I was pregnant…. and have a beautiful perfect little boy that I adore… but I can’t watch them now. And as happy as I am for my (younger) friends, it’s harder and harder to relate, and challenging not to feel jealous.

  4. Fiona

    May 18, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Secondary infertility is awful and you have my complete sympathy. I’ve been there too (a combo of being unable to get pregnant easily and three miscarriages). Just because you have one child doesn’t mean you don’t want another. Jealousy is also so normal – there is nothing wrong with wanting to be pregnant too, so I don’t think you should beat yourself up about it at all.

    Jessica – you have no idea what you are talking about. Surely there is enough sympathy to go around for everyone rather than just saying someone should be happy because someone else is worse off? There is always someone worse off. If someone’s brother was died suddenly, you’d hardly say “oh that’s ok, you’ve still got your sister”.

  5. Dawn

    May 20, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    I can sympathize with avoiding pregnancy in all aspects of life. During my struggles, I didn’t even want to see sitcoms with pregnant women. But I’m not avoiding this movie because of infertility.

    I’m choosing to avoid this movie because it looks like a steaming pile of shit. I hate Cameron Diaz with the fire of a thousand burning suns. This lame ass genre has been done to death and this crap can go in the same category as every Miley Cyrus movie: the “I would rather lick a septic tank than see this movie” category.

    and ps- Jessica: you are a bitch. If you don’t want to read Lindsay’s articles, then don’t. But you don’t get to make someone feel bad because you clearly have your own demons that need to be addressed.

  6. Eileen

    May 21, 2012 at 12:09 am

    Why exactly are they making a movie out of a title famous for a guide to pregnancy from the ’80s? What next – It’s Your Body: The Woman’s Guide to Gynecology – The Movie?

    • Lindsay Cross

      May 21, 2012 at 8:15 am

      I might actually see that…

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