“A woman becomes a mother when she gets pregnant, but a man becomes a dad when he sees his baby.”
What’s the rule for when someone who doesn’t feel old enough to be a woman or ready to be a mother gets pregnant. When does she become a mother?
I’m 25 weeks pregnant tomorrow. Do I feel like a mother? Um… in short, no.
I don’t know if it’s the hangover from when relinquishing the baby for adoption was something we considered seriously, or if it’s nerves, or if it’s something else, but I don’t feel like this baby’s mother. I feel like I’m carrying it. Not necessarily for someone else, I don’t think… I’m just carrying it, and then one day I’ll wake up and they’ll say “That’s great, thanks, you’re not pregnant anymore. Get on with your life”.
But that’s not going to happen. In less than four months time I’ll be left with a baby that I don’t know how to care for, and at the minute, don’t feel any particular strong attachment towards. I like feeling it kick and I like that it’s growing well, and I worry for it if I feel like something is wrong, but I keep doubting whether I actually love this baby. And if women are supposed to love their babies from the minute they find out they’re pregnant, what does that make me?
I want this baby. I want to raise it and look after it and make sure it has everything it needs, because I’m bringing it into the world and it’s the least I can do for forcing it into this less-than-perfect situation. I just want someone to tell me when it’s going to start feeling like my son or daughter. At the minute I feel like I’m saying all the right things to people, but not feeling all the right feelings inside. And it’s easy to hide until I start talking to my mom or D, when it all comes out, and even then I feel horrible for saying it. I know there’s so many people out there who’d do anything for a baby, and I know that the opinion of most people after reading this would be that I don’t deserve mine, and they’re probably right. But D does, because he does love this baby and I know that, and our families do and our friends do. So even if I don’t deserve this baby, they do.
Sometimes I wonder if feelings like these ARE the reality of being nineteen and pregnant and others I know are just more skilled at hiding it, or whether there’s something wrong with me. It’s not like I hate this baby, or don’t want it, because I do. I didn’t at first, so that’s progress, isn’t it? But it just feels like while I see all these others making this amazing transition from person to parent, I feel like I’ve gone from fairly clueless teenager to fairly clueless teenager who’s growing a baby.
I’m just holding out hope now that maybe I have more of a ‘dad’ brain. Maybe when I see our baby, I’ll fall head over heels in love with it, and I’ll feel like a proper mom, and I’ll do everything right.
These next fifteen weeks are going to be hard.