Well, thank you very much.

D being pregnant has been a lot different from her trying to be pregnant.  Right.  I know.  You’d think I’d have figured that out by now.  In the FIFTH month.  I think…  And, I did figure it out (not the month thing, no, dream on) but the jealousy part.  You heard me.  I’ve known I was jealous for months and I didn’t tell you.

Don’t be jealous of my jealousy.

When she was trying to conceive, she filled me in on every last sensation.  I got great detail on what was swollen or achy, lumpy or pale.  The night Vegas sank his blastocyst teeth into her uterine lining, I got a thesaurus worth of description.  In fact, I’m still hearing about that.  I wanted to carry this baby ten thousand times over and each symptom and sign got me a smidge closer to knowing how she felt.

It’s hard to keep that sort of thing up over nine months (ten?).  And in the middle here, there’s not much going on.  He’s moving a lot and he’s causing all sorts of aches and pains.  And he’s doing that today.  And tomorrow.  And you get the idea.  I’ve felt a nagging frustration that she’s feeling the baby and I can’t do anything but watch them get more in sync.   This is compounded by hearing more than a fair share of anecdotes lately about how babies only want mom to put them down, or only mom can do the feeding, or that mom has some mysterious bond with baby that no one can ever approximate.  Way to go, everyone, thanks for making me feel completely irrelevant.  Unless, of course, I want to rub her feet, bring her ice cream, or do all the housework/cooking/repairs/cleaning/shopping/adoring while she sits upon a throne of pillows cuddling the child.

I haven’t wanted to mention it, partly in fear that giving the feelings voice would make them more permanent and, in turn, make me more frustrated.  It turns out there’s a temporary vaccination though.  It doesn’t cure the jealousy, but it keeps it from getting worse and makes the symptoms seem a little better for a while.

I felt him kick.

I don’t want go on about no other feeling and so on and so forth but wow – I got to feel him kick.  Thanks kid, I’ll turn the thermostat back up now.

11 Responses

  1. You should talk to J. No, really.

    I’m glad you got to feel Vegas kick, though. 🙂 There was nothing better than when J could feel that.

    And if D is anything like me, that transition is hard, too. It was so hard for me to not have new, exciting things to share. To only have “the same as yesterday” to answer the questions of how I was feeling, what was going on.

    And if it makes you feel any better, J is both feeding the baby, and very very well bonded with her. Possibly more than I am right now (see yesterday’s post).

  2. Please do e-mail me if you want. I’ve gone through most of the jealousy/invisibility stuff, learned how to advocate better for my rights, and have totally bonded with our daughter (we share parenting pretty equally). Shared feeding was a big issue for me, but right now we’re in a good place. I recommend equallysharedparenting.com… they made me feel better.

  3. Go Vegas! Kicks!

    Yeah, there’s nothing like having a pregnant wife to make you feel pretty darn irrelevant and expendable as a mom. Putting furniture together only gets you so far.

    That can and does change once the baby is here. For some people it changes slowly over years. For some, like the Two Hot Mamas, it changes quickly. For me, it changed fast, on the order of months, as I spent more and more time with our daughter.

    Have I nagged you yet to take leave? Not sure what state you’re in, but if you have second-parent-adoption you are entitled to FMLA, likely unpaid. But if you can finagle any way to afford it, it’s worth it. Even better if you can tag team leaves like they did over at 1 in Vermillion, really get some parenting chops on your own and put off childcare and extra three months or so. No, it’s not essential, but it really does help.

    • Thank you! and I am going to take leave, though the how of it is dicey. I work in a forgiving organization (and, incidentally, the same one as Debra) but it’s a state organization in a state with no second parent adoptions and, well, no actual rights. Still though, there’s vacation to be used and telework proposals to be made and I think it will happen.

      • Fingers crossed on the leave. If you really can work from home,or arrange a compressed work week, you might even be able to work something out long term which would be even better.

        Like J, we’re also big fans of Marc & Amy at equallysharedparenting.com and have read their book (we were actually interviewed for the book, and there are a couple bits about us in there). It’s really good.

        I also had trouble with the Aizley Other Mother Anthology, though I know some women like it and feel like it reflects their experience. I do think the authors themselves were writing honestly and there are some good essays, but taken as a whole, it really does reflect a deep assumption that as a non-bio-mom you are relegated to a secondary status, almost as a matter of course. The “Boppies” essay had me scared half to death right before our daughter was born. It doesn’t have to be that way.

  4. Violet is not even pregnant yet, and I totally get where you are coming from.
    Even though this is not helpful info in your situation now…this post made me think about how after reading “The Other Mother”, I decided that I wanted to induce lactation to help the bonding, reduce jealousy and the whole “only his mother can settle the child, etc” train of thought.

    • No one — NO ONE should read “The Other Mother” and take it seriously. It presents a really politicized view of things, limits the possibilities, and takes a chunk out of your NGP self esteem. I only feel this more strongly since our Figment actually arrived.

      • Dear g-d I can’t explain how much I hated “The Other Mother”.

        I don’t have any smart or intellectual comments- just- I feel ya. I already get jealous that all of the dogs prefer Janet… When Andrew comes I bet I’m going to need counseling.

  5. I had similar concerns before our son was born – and sometimes it feels as if the whole pregnancy was all about her…..with me being chief baby wearing researcher, cot put togetherer and so on…

    But I found that the reality was that caring for a wee child is such a big job that, after the first 2 weeks (where I found him just quite boring)it seemed to not make a huge difference. We had our own routines going – I did all the bath and bed stuff, she did all the feeding. I think I did virtually all his baths for at least the first 6 months. I’m also the one to get up first thing in the morning (he has woken between 5.38 and 5.41 virtually every morning since birth!). This gave me lots of one on one time and loads of cuddles.

    Now he is nearly 2, and goes through phases of preferring one of us over the other, although one of his very favourite things is to be sandwiched in a kiss between the two of us! I am constantly referred to as his Mum when out and about, even though he looks not a thing like me. It probably helps that I am the softy and he knows if Mummy says no then Mumma will prob say yes!

    Hope this is helpful. Us non bio mums need to support each other.

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