Her Craving

I keep trying to figure out what my pregnancy is like, and what it’s supposed to be like. It’s not going all that well; so far I’ve tried my other pregnancy, my mother’s first pregnancy, my omi’s pregnancy with my twin uncles (one of whom is disabled), and several crisis pregnancies that I’ve only read about. None of them really fit, and I’m trying to instead figure out why I need to do this.

My pregnancy with Cricket does seem like the most obvious model—I am having a boy again, I am pregnant by the same person, I’m due right around the same time, and my parents are being completely weird about the whole thing. On the other hand, I really need to think of this as importantly different, and of course it is; no one is going to take my son at the end. My mom’s pregnancy with me is appealing in some ways—she ended up starting a family, I was a very wanted baby—and I even bought a Cadbury Fruit & Nut Bar when I went grocery shopping last entirely because my mom talks about eating them all through her pregnancy in Ireland. But there are some pitfalls, too. My mother drank (moderately) throughout her pregnancies, and she went on to have a really rough time as a new mother. I want to be different. I don’t think I’ve talked much about my omi, my grandmother, but trust me when I say that you do not want her for any kind of role model under any circumstances.

Why do I need some kind of Jungian pregnancy? One of my less attractive qualities is a need to feel safe that tends to manifest as a need to have a lot of control over my environment. I have gotten less and less bonkers about this over the last several years, thank goodness, or I’m sure my sweetheart would have given in and smothered me by now. I need to know what is going on. And now, when I’m pregnant, I really have no idea what’s going on—I check in every month or so with people who have some reason to believe that things are fine, but that’s all I get. Going off of antidepressants (just one so far, I’ve stayed on the second one for awhile longer) has added to my anxiety; almost every day I decide at some point that the little bird has died. If I have some model for this pregnancy, then I can believe that I know what’s going to happen, and I can relax a little—except that none of my models are relaxing. And I know, of course, that parenting is going to be hundreds upon hundreds of days of having no idea of what comes next. I am going to need to let go even further so that I can be a good mom. But my God, right now I can’t even check his breathing, and I don’t even really like Fruit & Nut bars. I want a thread to follow.

I think that’s what pregnancy books are supposed to be for, and I read mine bit by bit, over and over again: this week he is able to feel my movements, next week he hits the one-pound mark. Having information about what’s going on and what’s coming is good, which is why I already have a stack of parenting books as long as my arm. But I’m realizing what I need more than a model pregnancy is to pay close attention to what is actually going on, and what I’m really feeling and wanting, and find a way to just let the things that I can’t force happen. And then, probably, I’ll be able to fly.

5 thoughts on “Her Craving

  1. I think you need a real live pregnant friend to go on walks with & tag sales & drink tea with. I saw two pregnant women yesterday strolling together & I was hit by the memory of how much having a friend–lasting, not lasting, new, old, often new because the circumstance kind of draws you together–helps. One of Ezekiel’s best friends is the son of one of my best friends & we met in childbirth class (otherwise, the class really had no information just a lot of congratulations you guys & the best best slide show, every creature you can think of even spiders giving birth; it really put me in the context of all living creatures & was the single best animal related anything i can recall). Anyway, I digress. That’s the leap because you’ll create some new models by living them with some peers. The pregnancy you last had isn’t necessarily a model in that you couldn’t bond with peers over the next phase the way you can now when the bird will nest with you.

  2. I have never been pregnant and can’t weigh in there, but ever since our little cat died last fall, I’ve had at least a little moment practically every day where I’m sure his big brother has joined him. Occasionally this manifests in running around calling for him with my heart racing (and why WAS he hiding in the cabinet in the basement and not coming out even when I put out food??) but usually it’s a moment of panic I can talk myself out of or find some proof that lets me not worry. But that doesn’t stop it, day after day and more often or more intensely if something has triggered that.

    I’m also the oldest child of a somewhat messed-up mother, though I know she tried hard to be a good one as she understood it. One story from my babyhood that I really like is when she went to the pediatrician and talked about all the books he was reading and asked what she should be reading. He said, “Ah, that’s a problem. There are so many wonderful books out there, but none of them are about your child!” I was thinking of that as I read this, that the only way to get little bird’s story will be to “write” it yourself (or in combo with him, obviously, but you know what I mean).

  3. I had a terrible time of anxiety during my pregnancy with Noah because of my history of miscarriage. I constantly felt like I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I should (and I did enjoy things more once I could consistently feel him kick). I was really afraid it would translate to a difficult post-partum but (thank goodness) it didn’t. I don’t know what helped. I was also very lonely during my pregnancy even though I had lots of friends and lots of support because I felt like when I was in that place of fear, I was totally alone.

    Wish I could be there for you in real life, dearest Susiebook!!!!

  4. I am OBSESSED with worrying about what this pregnancy SHOULD be like. I’m convinced I’m not big enough, which MUST mean that there’s something wrong with the seabass. How am I supposed to know?

    We should really start up a mail exchange of chocolate when it gets cooler. I will hunt around NYC for cool chocolate, and you can hunt around Portland (that is where you live, right?). I bet both cities have super awesome reserves of chocolate.

  5. “But I’m realizing what I need more than a model pregnancy is to pay close attention to what is actually going on, and what I’m really feeling and wanting, and find a way to just let the things that I can’t force happen. And then, probably, I’ll be able to fly.”

    Sounds like you’ve really already found your own answer to your problem…be in the moment.

    Accept what is without worrying about what might be.

    I can empathize because I’ve experienced some of the same struggles – letting go of wanting to control everything and just being in my own experiences…just being in the present moment. Something that has helped and is helping me tremendously are the weekly talks given by Buddhist Teacher Gil Fronsdal. He’s very down to earth, easy to understand, has a lovely sense of humor and makes the study of Buddhism and the practice of mindfulness joyful. You can download the talks for free at http://www.insightmeditationcenter.org/

    Very much hope that you can start enjoying every moment of this pregnancy.

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