On Not Feeling Connected to Your Baby
I am sometimes struck by one very vivid memory of being pregnant with my firstborn, riding home from the ultrasound with the woman who would eventually become my daughter's mother. My daughter was kicking my bladder and ribs and everything she could so fiercely. My daughter's potential adoptive mom asked if she could touch my belly, I agreed, and as she did... my daughter stopped moving. I watched as my daughter's potential mom's face fell. She longed for some kind of connection. It made me sad for her.
I had similar feelings when I first began to feel the kicks of our oldest son long before my husband could feel the flutters on the outside. Being my second pregnancy, I was able to feel those kicks much earlier this time around -- even though, let's face it: they kind of feel like gas bubbles at first! I would grab his hand as he sat next to me on the couch, slam it on to my belly, and hold my breath. Nothing. Nada. He'd just look at me with his eyebrow arched and a look on his face that said, "Oh, my crazy pregnant lady." Until he finally got kicked right in the face, that is. Then he got it.
I read Lindsay's post at Making Lucky Number Seven and wondered if my daughter's mom and my husband felt similarly to the way she feels while her partner Andrea carries their baby. Did they really long for that connection? Did they ever feel jealous that they weren't as attached -- literally or figuratively -- to the baby as I was? Her words pulled at my heartstrings as I thought of my past pregnancies and the ways we tried to connect those in our lives to the babies.
I am not going to deny there have been moments and days where I have been jealous. Though it has taken a different form than I ever thought it would. I want to be pregnant with *this* baby, our baby. Not just generically pregnant, though I don't think I would turn that down either, but I don't get the opportunity to know our baby in the same way Andrea does. This is what causes me to be jealous. Not the kicks I miss out on, though that would be cool too, not the attention from others (though being ignored kind of sucks), its just the fact that I will never know a piece of my child that Andrea knows so innately now.
You can follow along with the rest of their pregnancy journey. I'd love to know if you felt that way if you didn't conceive and carry your babies -- either via adoption, surrogacy, stepparenting, or because your partner carried the pregnancy. Is there a way to forge a connection if you aren't pregnant? What did you do?