Tag: I’m not pregnant

Our secondary infertility story: Part 4 “Don’t forget – you’ve never been clucky”

This blog post was written in November 2015, during our journey with secondary infertility. We decided not to talk about it much back then (to protect our privacy and because today’s topic was really difficult), but I just couldn’t stop writing. 

Catch up here…

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

My mum looked at me and said, “But darling, you’ve never been clucky.”

In that moment I was a little taken aback. Oh yeah. That’s true. How did I forget that?

What the hell were we talking about, you ask?

Well, I had been talking to my mum about how it was really difficult to see so many people around me having second babies. It was something I’d kept to myself a lot and at the time of our conversation I was really struggling. I told my mum that I felt awful because when I thought about those lovely little babies (and the ones that were yet to arrive), I felt NOTHING. Nothing. Was I some kind of cold hearted monster? Was I so selfish in my own pain that I had stopped caring? I felt horrible about it. I was beating myself up.

I felt left behind by everyone. I felt a little resentful – why was it so easy for them? It’s like they planned their second babies perfectly – oh look, their babies will have the perfect age gaps between them. Because that’s what they (the parents) decided. How lovely for them. I fought those bitter, jealous feelings every single time another announcement was made. Luckily that phase did not last too long (although it felt like an eternity for me) and the bitterness disappeared (even if the sadness remained). Bitter is not who I am and I am grateful for that. It didn’t sit well with me at the time and I knew I was not willing to let it eat away at my soul. I didn’t need that on my conscience. Those people were lucky to give their first children siblings. I would never begrudge them that.

I’ve never felt such mixed emotion in my life. It is actually possible to be genuinely happy for somebody as they grow their family at the same time as feeling incredibly sad for yourself. It is very difficult to explain but it’s true. My sadness for myself does not in any way diminish the joy I feel for someone else, yet it feels grief filled and all consuming sometimes. How does that work?

So there I was, feeling horrible because I didn’t feel anything. I didn’t care for people’s pregnancy details. I didn’t always ask after their brand new babies (I am so sorry). I had trouble remembering their names (well – there were a lot of them).

I felt like an awful, selfish human being.

But the moment my mum said those words to me, I felt a huge weight fall off me. She was right. I was never clucky. I know that sounds weird because I loved being pregnant (even when I hated it) with the Little Mister. I have ALWAYS wanted children. I have a strong maternal side. I love children. I think kids are cute. I think babies are amazing.

But…I lack the real cluck that a lot of women I know seem to have.

I don’t always need to know every little detail. I can’t talk about baby stuff forever without my eyes eventually glazing over. I like figuring out what works or being able to share what I know with others, but only because it serves a practical purpose. I love my friends’ and family’s babies because they’re my friends’ and family’s babies. Not just because they’re babies. I liked my own kid as a baby because he was my baby. I was NOT impressed with being a big sister when my baby brother came along so many years ago (and yes I still feel bad about that – love ya bro). See? Not clucky.

When people have brand new babies, I am not running as fast as I can to the hospital to meet the little thing. I’m all chill. Like, I’ll meet the kid eventually. Of course I’m very moved and feel honoured to meet a brand new baby while they’re…brand new, but I don’t feel that overwhelming NEED to just because they’re a baby. It depends on who that baby is to me and what their arrival means for their lovely family. I feel like Miranda from Sex and the City sometimes haha (I hope you get that reference).

I still find holding babies really awkward even though I’ve had one. Sure, I’m probably out of practice at this point, but I think it’s also because I lack that cluck. If a new baby is doing the rounds, I can happily not have a cuddle that day. I don’t feel like I’ve missed anything. I know my turn will come. I am not rushing towards the mummy trying to get dibs. I can think they’re just absolutely gorgeous but I’m not going around sniffing heads like a deranged maniac (haha – kidding – be that maniac – good for you – you’re the ‘normal’ one)!

Of course that doesn’t make me a cold hearted monster (I hope). I hope I’ve been the best friend I can be at this time. I hope nobody has felt hurt or has taken it personally when I just couldn’t be there. I do think babies are a miracle of life. Trust me – I’m holding out for my own second miracle. I wouldn’t try this hard if the desire wasn’t so powerful.

It’s just that sometimes I struggle with other people’s baby news because it’s painful for me to care so much. Other times it’s just because I’m not a clucky person.

And that’s OK.

I was putting so much pressure on myself to be someone that I was not. To feel things that I didn’t HAVE to feel. My mum’s seemingly off the cuff remark released me from that pressure. A lot of healing was done that day.

Are you a clucky person? Are you like me and lack the ‘cluck’? 

FAQ: So…when do you think you’ll have another one?

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The Little Mister is now 20 months old (in normal people’s talk that is 1 year and 8 months). So naturally, the topic of subsequent children is always sure to pop up. Hell, sometimes I’m even asking myself and my husband that question in private, so I guess I can’t blame the whole world for wondering.

You all know the drill. These types of questions are like a rite of passage from the moment we become adults (whether we like it or not):

Single: So when do you think you’ll find a nice person and settle down?
Coupled up: So when are you getting engaged?
Engaged: So when’s the wedding?
Married: Where the hell is your baby bump?
Have your first child: So when’s the next one?

So I’ve reached that last one. Is the next one after that, “when are you having grandkids?”

As many of my friends with toddlers are already pregnant again, I can’t say I feel no pressure at all right now. I get paranoid that my winter comfort eating will put me on bump watch and that my denials of pregnancy will only make people believe I’m protesting too much (I probably am protesting too much but it has nothing to do with any baby news – just my paranoia)!!

Sometimes I feel like people think I’m waiting too long, but everyone has differing views:

  • Get all of the baby stuff out of the way at once, do it while you can’t remember your pre-baby body (so you’re just in the swing of the whole baby thing) and have your children growing up in really close succession.
  • Have a slightly larger gap between kids, because by the time you have the next one, your firstborn will be walking, talking, hopefully out of nappies and may even be a little bit helpful. Not to mention, almost ready for kindy/school, leaving you time to bond with, and enjoy, your second one’s infanthood during the day.

All of this is of course is assuming that life goes to plan and sometimes factors such as fertility, age of the mother and all sorts of other things can happen that weren’t expected.

So where am I at, you ask? 

Let me just start with this official (and true) answer: I am not pregnant and we are not trying yet. We’re not even doing that not not trying thing either. In fact, I’m religiously taking my (full) contraceptive pill and…actually, let’s just leave it at that for the sake of privacy/modesty, shall we?

Also, when we do decide to actually try or if I am ever in the really early stages of pregnancy, I’m not that likely to tell you about it unless necessary…HOWEVER, when the time is right, I promise to shout any announcements from the rooftops. Well, not literally (that’s probably not safe for pregnancy – or any other time). So don’t worry that you’ll miss out on the news. You’ll know. Trust me – I’m a blogger. Until then, please refrain from analysing my tweets and Facebook comments and staring at my belly every time we meet up 😉

Look, don’t get me wrong. I’m quite clucky. I look at new babies and I reminisce about the Little Mister’s baby stages (with rose coloured glasses almost intact of course). I get teary when people get pregnant (a combination of my happiness for them and a little sentimentality for what it was like with the Little Mister) and I think about the good parts of my first pregnancy, wistfully dreaming of a little baby kicking inside me. That’s encouraging, right? After my pregnancy and birth of the Little Mister, I really am so glad that my brain (and heart) can still find the positives in trying again one day. I just stop short at the actually putting the trying into motion. I’m obviously not quite ready yet.

I think of the sleepless nights (we have a usually-sleeps-through-the-night-er now) and the idea of waking three times (or more) just make me feel tired and grumpy already. I think about the big questions like C-section versus VBAC (vaginal birth after Caesarean) options and have no idea what I’d prefer. I imagine the awful hospital bed. The countless blood and urine tests. The idea of dragging a toddler around to numerous appointments. The fatigue during the first trimester of pregnancy (and beyond really). The list of things I’d have to do to adjust our home/routine/Little Mister’s life for a new baby. I think about how my life schedule/demands can overwhelm me now with one child, then imagine a second one. Two children to pack for, transport and keep happy in the shops.

It’s enough to make the mind boggle!

I don’t have enough arms, energy or brain cells!

Obviously I don’t want to wait forever to try again (ideally I’d like it to be not long enough to forget everything but long enough that I feel like my body and I are ready to be warriors again), but let’s just say I’m still processing the idea.

There are also some things you should know about the non pregnant me:

  • I get weird food cravings all the time.
  • I have a round shaped paunch – especially after my bad habit of eating enough for two, despite knowing better.
  • I’m going through a nesting phase, because I may soon have the ability to spend a little moolah on my home decor (I am “pinning” up a storm).
  • I am always tired (perks of being a parent of a toddler).
  • I don’t drink much anymore, if at all. I’m a light weight.
  • I pee a lot. Small bladder, I guess.
  • I am clucky, but that’s not to be mistaken for pregnancy excitement.
  • I have weird dreams. Like, all the time.
  • I’m not immune to mood swings…
  • I can be quite forgetful or scatterbrained.
  • I think a lot about what it would be like to have another baby (can you tell by this post?) but that’s not to be confused with actually being preggo in the eggo with one.

Basically, analysing my behaviour won’t help haha.

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If you have more than one child, what can you tell me to sell the idea of a second one to me (not to be confused with actually selling me your second born because that would be creepy and wrong)?

(seriously – leave a comment – my future family planning depends on it)

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