Friday, May 18, 2007

overheard conversation

Two men, maybe in their thirties, drift towards me as I stir sugar into my tea and their voices eventually reach my consciousness.

First Man: ... she told me she really misses being pregnant...

Second [with an air of shock]: Really?

First: Yeah... I mean, she didn't like the beginning because she felt sick, and she didn't like the last month, because she was really sore, but she loved the middle...

Second: Oh yeah?

First [like he's impressed by this woman]: She loved how she felt. She LOVED the way she looked....

They drift away.

I was both fascinated and repelled by these two men talking about an absent woman's experience of pregnancy. I fought the urge to burst into their conversation since I identified with this woman and felt maybe I could represent her somehow. I felt I understood her.

In those weeks right after Swee'pea's birth, I looked back on my pregnancy as the easiest part of motherhood. All the feeding, cleaning and keeping warm was done automatically without any conscious effort on my part. Sure, I didn't know the magical unique things about Swee'pea or about the joy of holding him, of basking in his love smiles, or any other aspects of our physical postpartum relationship. But I also didn't have the sleep deprivation, the pain of recovering from major surgery, the panic induced by his cries, the sore nipples, growth spurts of near-constant demands to literally suck me dry or any other of those wet milky scary heady sleepless early postpartum emotions.

11 comments:

Bon said...

i am not very good at pregnancy - high-risk, requiring bedrest after about five months, always in a state of half-terror - and still i know exactly what that woman the men were talking about was feeling, and still i long to do it again.

my pregnancies were the only time in my life that i didn't hide my belly in shame. i loved the shape of me, and the feel of little flutters from the inside...i felt beautiful in a way that nothing else can compare with.

and as much as i feel much safer with a breathing baby safely delivered, the quiet of the waiting and the symbiotic relationship of mother to unborn is much more peaceful and complete, with no ragged edges where i'm sure i'm doing everything wrong and might lose my mind.

bubandpie said...

I felt just like that when I was pregnant with Bub - even the first-trimester nausea was thrilling. Second pregnancy? Exactly the same (mild enough) symptoms, but not NEARLY so much fun.

I often think now that I look really, really good for a four-months' pregnant woman. Nice round belly, perfect for framing with an empire-waisted blouse.

Beck said...

Like Bon, I have cruelly high-risk pregnancies - but there always was that feeling, immidiately post partum, of regret for no tbeing pregnant, only because the baby was so much easier to take care of there...

cinnamon gurl said...

I wondered how people with high-risk pregnancies felt... if you felt the same as I did or not.

I did feel anxious during my (low-risk) pregnancy, although I felt better when I could feel regular movement. I remember thinking I would be able to stop worrying once I had a breathing baby in my arms, but of course, that was not the case. This anxiety is here for life I think.

Suz said...

My pregnancy was pretty high-risk all along. I don't know whether it was the risk or just the feeling of being so out-of-control of my own body, but I can't say that I really enjoyed any of the phases of pregnancy. I felt much better with the twins on the outside were I could manage and care for them myself, with far more certainty.

Christine said...

There was some time in the middle there that was pretty cool. The kicking and movement was the best part for me. It was also one of the first times I actually felt like I was important for just existing. I felt useful and productive just sitting there!

slouching mom said...

I remember feeling just so alive in the middle of pregnancy. If I could bottle and sell that vitality, I'd be a rich woman.

Mimi said...

Ah yes. I really liked not being cold for a whole winter. But I did not like having to wear flip flops because I grew out of all my shoes. I loved the glowing, I loved taht there was a little baby in there keeping me company, a little baby not rebuking me or terrifying me with her cries and a little baby all of whose needs I met so easily then. Now? Not so much. But my shoes fit, and that's something.

ewe are here said...

The last trimester my second time around isn't something I'd want to repeat. Too much discomfort, pain and poor sleep I'm afraid...

It's interesting to hear men's 'take' on it all though...

Denguy said...

Sometimes we men are actually in awe of the wonders of pregnancy. We can never understand it, ever.
I see pregnant women often and their beauty radiates.

MG said...

There is no end to the wonders of pregnancy. Although mine were not as easy as I had hoped, I loved every minute of feeling the power of the process. Even when I was on "floor rest" (there is no "bed rest" when you've already got kids), doing puzzles with an ├╝berintelligent three year old and trying to keep a fifteen month-old from bouncing on me ... that my body was designed to create life was just awe-inspiring.