I’ve Been Pregnant for Five Years
Sounds dramatic, doesn’t it? Well, it is, for the most part, entirely true. You see, about halfway through 2010, I got pregnant with Henry who is now 4. He was born in 2011. Then, in fall 2012, I got pregnant with Lauchie, who was born mid 2013. Again, in fall 2014, I got pregnant and am due to have a baby in aproximately 7 weeks (but who’s counting?).
Five years of pregnancy, fourth trimester, nearly one year of postpartum depression and anxiety, 4 solid years of breast feeding (6 month breaks between kids, each time). I’m going to be 36 this year and a big part of me wishes we’d started this journey a little bit earlier, but another (huge) part of me is anxious for the future.
Kids are expensive (duh) and we’ve basically come to the understanding that until the smallest is out of full-time care, we’ll be broke. So, we’ve got another 5 years of FT Daycare costs or so until we’re only paying for sitters/after school care programs. This is not something that we ever thought about before having kids, but I wish more people would talk about it.
That, and the being pregnant for five years part.
We always talk about what women give up or lose when they start having families (if they choose to go that route), but we rarely talk about the amount of time that it takes. In the prime of our lives. Motherhood is challenging, but even more so when you think about the sheer physicality of it. Which we don’t. We don’t even talk about it, for the most part.
Instead, we focus on arguments about working at home, staying at home, working in an office and more. We argue about nannies vs. daycare. We argue about who has it worse and who has it better. Is this our way of externalizing the fact that for many of us, and in ways we can’t even really put into words, we’re having babies in the prime of our lives and don’t even know what to do about it?
Starting a family is a choice – whether you plan on having kids, you find yourself pregnant unexpectedly or whatever other way, we make the choice to welcome people into our lives. But no one ever talks about what that takes and how it will truly affect us.
Which is why, I think, we’re spending so much time and energy arguing over things that don’t matter in the long run. No one should care whether a baby is bottle or breast fed. No one should care whether mom or dad stays home or goes back to work. No one should care whether baby has two mommies, two daddies or only one parental unit. Adoption, surrogacy, IVF, whatever. These things do not matter.
What matters is that your kid (kids) are loved. What matters is that we support each other as parents of all stripes because this shit is fucking hard/awful/the worst/the absolute best thing ever. What matters is that we stop acting like it’s 1952 and start getting real. Hemmroids, skin tags, stretch marks THESE are normal. So are bounced back bodies, night nurses, pelvic floor physiotherapy and late night junk food sessions.
What I’m trying to say is that after being pregnant for 5 years, I can safely say that the only thing that matters is that your choices, whatever they may be, fulfill you and your family and that you feel whole. I support you and your choices and hope that you truly do the same with me.
Because, after five years, I could really use a hug, a stiff drink and someone to walk the dog for me.