On one pregnancy shared between two women.

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I remember reading the blog of a pair of moms-to-be when we were about to try to have a baby, or maybe when we were first pregnant. The non-bio mum was writing a lot about how it felt to be ‘the other woman’, the non-pregnant expectant mum, and how left out and funny it all was. I remember then getting very worried about TMD – I didn’t want to leave her out in any way, these kids were as much hers as mine, she was an integral part of the process.

I read her bits of this other blog aloud, I considered ordering a book from Amazon written by non-bio moms about their experiences, I was convinced she couldn’t be as okay as she said she was.

TMD was there for every single appointment. She didn’t miss even one, and she was the one orchestrating things, 100%. Whether I was half doubled over in pain, laughing in the middle of the road and demanding we buy veggie sushi after egg collection, whether it was flagging a taxi for me to ride 20 feet to the clinic after the accident for our first ultrasound as moms-to-be, whether it was always buying in bulk whatever food was least likely to make me throw up …. and then being the one having to ‘eat it up’ as I would inevitably switch to a new food about three days later.

She slept on the floor next to me (I was on the couch) for virtually the entire pregnancy. She was huddled in blankets, multiple layers of clothes, and winter hats while I lounged in bra and panties and screamed at her to turn the fan up another notch because I was boiling.

TMD laughed with me when I stuck the MRSA stick up my cootch instead of rubbing along my pubes like I was supposed to. She kept bringing me new vomit bowls even though every time I heaved she was gagging along with me, so grossed out was she.

Now another friend is an expectant mother, only she’s not the one who is pregnant. It is fascinating for me to read her side of the story – I don’t know what it is. Her writing is pure and elegant, but it is more than that. I think it is that you don’t often get to read blogs by women who happen to be the non-bio mom/mum (this time around, in this couple’s case). But this mom is the one who is documenting everything online, who is talking about peeing on sticks, who is thoughtfully examining what it means to be the non-pregnant partner and how she is perceived.

I think perhaps I am so drawn to this because I imagine I would have had a pretty fucking hard time with things if TMD was the pregnant one and I wasn’t. TMD kept saying the end result is the baby/babies, and that was what was important, but at the time the pregnancy was hugely imnportant and emotive for me.

Now I look back and can barely remember it, and the end result is staring me in the face every day.

(And lucky for me, so is their Mummy’s!)

Edit: Was just telling TMD about the entry I linked to, and she said, ‘The way you feel about your partner’s pregnancy, whether you feel you are missing out or not? Probably depends on the pregnancy – not that yours was a ‘bad’ pregnancy, but it certainly was very difficult.’

I think she would have been as involved either way, but perhaps she was intertwined in my mind with this pregnancy was BECAUSE I was so sick and disabled by it. She was the hands and feet, and I was the belly. Just a thought.

The only time she mentioned missing out was when the babies first started kicking. She said she would really like to be pregnant for 24 hours, just to see what it felt like to be kicked by a baby or two….and as my pregnancy (and now post-pregnancy!) wore on, I think she became less and less interested in being pregnant. I think my pregnancy scared her. It hasn’t put me off wanting to be pregnant again, but I do think the effects pregnancy has had on my body have made that a distant possibility in reality.

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8 Responses to “On one pregnancy shared between two women.”

  1. Natasha Says:

    Having been pregnant, I don’t think I could be the ‘non-pregnant one.’ I think there is an aspect of my personaly that would feel left out and jealous.

    This blog entry has made me think about what it must have been like for my husband through my pregnancies. I know he found it especially at times where I was sick / in pain / in labour and there was little he could do. When I was in labour, and a c-sec became necessary, he was asked to leave the room, I’m sure I saw him cry.

    I’ve never really thought before about how hard it can be for the non-pregnant partner in any pregnancy. But if I picture myself in that situation I know I would struggle with it.

    I think I just found a little more respect for my husband, and I take my hat off to all the ‘non-bio’ mama’s out there. I think it must take a certain strength of person to be able to look past peeing on sticks / pregnancy / baby kicks / breastfeeding etc and focus on the end result being having a BABY and being a MUMMY. I think I know I couldn’t do it, so kudos TMD and other non-bio mummies 🙂

    • existere Says:

      Yeah, I know my BIL would have loved to be pregnant!!!

      I think it has an additional level of SOMETHING when it is a mom who isn’t pregnant, because women are ‘supposed to’ be the ones who carry the baby. I know she wanted to be pregnant, but not as much as me – she also is very special. I’m like you. I would have been jealous!!!

      All partners of all genders who treat their babymamas right during tumultuous pregnancies and labours deserve awards, though..

  2. Natasha Says:

    That was meant to say: “I know he found it especially difficult* at times…”

  3. Natasha Says:

    I think if I were in a same-sex couple I’d want us (me and my imaginary lesbian life partner) both to be pregnant at the same time. I got pregnant at the same time as my mum when I had Anna (there are 3 weeks between Anna and my baby sister) and it was fantastic to share the experience with another woman so close to me. We were both able to offer support to each other and we double-booked our antenatal appointments so we were seen at the same time by the same midwife. It was awesome!

    I don’t know how realistic that is, though. My mum and I falling pregnant at the same time was an incredible fluke (she’d been trying for years, I’d been on the pill and had one ‘unlucky’ (not!) month where it didn’t work, and it happened to be the same month that we caught!) but obviously it would be much harder to plan something to work out like that. Not to mention expensive if you are following the IVF route or any private fertility treatments. I don’t know much about it to be honest.

    How did you get pregnant (only if you don’t mind me asking!)? Was it like sperm donation and a syringe or more complex than that? Was it expensive, or can you get help through the NHS? I’m completely naive and ignorant when it comes to same sex couples getting pregnant!

    • existere Says:

      I think both partners being pregnant at the same time would be a nightmare!! I think there needs to be a non-pregnant person to support the pregnant one emotionally, physically, and maybe financially. I don’t think two preggos go together – if they are married. Now what you & your mum had sounds fab, though!!

      We decided to skip straight to IVF and did so at a private clinic in the city. It was expensive, but not horrifcally so as I shared half my eggs and that makes treatment affordable. We wanted a clinic, a screened & healthy donor, etc so that there would be no possible legal wrangling about the resulting baby or babies. Many couples try at home first!

  4. ryuk Says:

    My partner and I were lucky enough to have the equipment to get pregnant the ‘normal biological’ way. We’re unlucky in that she can’t carry, but would have loved to, and I can (and am), but would have preferred to be a father in a more normal, non-pregnant way.

    It’s early days for us yet, and I’ve worried a lot about it, but so far my partner has been stunning – like your TMD, she also said that it’s the baby that’s the important thing, and I’ve been trying to keep that in mind. Just wish I could swap sometimes.

    • existere Says:

      I always find the variety of family types amazing and lovely!!

      I guess pregnancy (and parenthood) always have things we will feel guilty about, or regret, or wish it could be differently. I think that’s the challenge. I do think TMD was right – I was obsessed with and very focused on the pregnancy, but now ten months after the birth the pregnancy seems a lifetime ago. Once they are born, we can choose whatever roles we wish to define for ourselves and our children.

      I hope you guys have a happy, healthy pregnancy. Keep your eyes on the end goal – a lovely baby who’s got two fabulous parents who love him/her to …jesus, I was going to say ‘oblivion’ but actually that’s terrifiying. So I’ll say love her/him to ….the sky? Infinity and beyond? Something like that!

  5. Andrea & Melanie Says:

    Hey …. i just came over from Cats n Cradles blog as you were linked there; I just wanted to say I LOVED ‘She was the hands and feet and I was the belly’. I hope to back-read on your blog soon 🙂

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