Currently, I am freaking out that I might be pregnant. Pretty typical week-before-my-period stuff:
- Constantly squeezing my boobs to check if they’re really as big as they feel and being horrified at their outrageous size every time, even though I just checked them like 20 minutes ago and totally knew they were going to feel outrageously huge
- Being so hyperaware of any possible morning sickness that the stress is actually making me nauseous (I hope)
- Apologizing to my baby that I’m 90% sure is there for desperately wishing it wasn’t
I didn’t have sex as a teenager, so I guess I can’t compare how this feels to how that would feel, but I do have another point of reference: my friends and all their babies. Right now, I have one friend who is raising an almost 2-year-old, another who recently and somewhat spontaneously decided to have baby #2, and another friend who is ecstatic to be pregnant after several stressful months of trying.
When I think about them, I remember that I’m not at an age where getting pregnant is the end of the world anymore—supposedly. It honestly just makes me feel crazier for how much I don’t want to be pregnant. It surprises me, because I want kids. Lots of kids. I’m infamous for claiming that I want twins. And I’m not in high school, or even in college. I could feasibly have a baby and things would be fine. Except that my husband and I are living with his parents, and I’m still learning how to not be a college student (read as: how to sit still and actually work for 8 hours in a row), and I thought I had more time for other things.
I don’t want to make it sound like having a baby makes you a shut-in, but when you have a baby, you can’t close down the bar with friends anymore. You can’t take spontaneous road trips. I don’t do those things anyway, but I could. I guess in the back of my mind I always thought I’d do them “later.” When you have a baby, your whole world revolves around keeping your precious bean safe and happy. And that is lovely. But “later” sort of goes away, you know?
My husband and I were in a long-distance relationship for 6 years, constantly putting off adventures and dates and alone time, constantly making plans for “later,” when we would finally be together “for real.” Now that we finally live in the same city, we live with my in-laws. Which is great, and they are saints for helping us save for a house, but we just keep accumulating more plans for “later.” We’ve never lived together, just the two of us. If this month’s pregnancy scare is more than a scare (seriously, how are my boobs this big??), we’ll never get “later.”
That’s what I’ll miss: my 20s with my husband. Am I selfish for wanting to keep that? For a lot of people my age, it doesn’t seem so bad, getting married, having a baby a year later, being a family. But I am not ready to have my own family. I’m a dysfunctional person with dysfunctional coping mechanisms and dysfunctional feelings about herself. I don’t want to pass those on to my kids, and honestly? I am terrified of the emotional stress of being pregnant, and even worse, being a mom.
Mom. I know, I’m being dramatic, it really wouldn’t be that bad if I were pregnant. But that word feels so out of character for me. I’ve always been told that I’m a nurturing presence, and I love babies and their adorable little toes and heads that smell like love, but “mom” is not the right title for who I am right now. “Tall child” or “on fire garbage can” could work, but “mom”? No way.
I would adjust. That’s what I keep telling my baby that I feel terrible for hoping isn’t there. I will love being your mom, it just wasn’t the plan right now so I’m freaking out. Mommy does that a lot. But she loves you. Then I go back to feeling myself up or wondering how I’ll ever make it across the chasm between who I am right now and who I would need to be to raise a child.
Update: Not pregnant. Relieved and weirdly sad. Being a woman is living an absurdist performance piece, I swear.