As some may have seen.... I am somewhat unexpectedly pregnant. I know, I know, I’m not as active as I used to be back in the old days of GT. Mainly, because my life is weird and I also have to be careful what I share. Anywho, I have very mixed feelings on being pregnant and I feel like I need to get them out there. Lots of TMI ahead.
To say this is a surprise pregnancy isn’t 100% accurate. I stopped taking birth control about 2 years ago now and we were of the mindset that if it happened, it happened. But then it wasn’t happening, so I kinda wrote it off as ‘this won’t easily happen’. Ok, not a problem, free fun time in the meantime. Then quarantine happened and apparently the answer to ‘this won’t happen easily’ was just.... we needed to have more sex. Well played, quarantine.
We’ve been on the fence when we’ve vaguely discussed having kids lately. When we first got together, BellaFella said he wanted 3, I wasn’t sure. Then it’s drifted to... I think I want kids? Maybe? I’ve said within the past year that I think if we don’t have kids, we may regret it later. I also don’t want to be a 50yr old mom. I think the biggest reason being we have a very interesting and “free” life without kids. There hasn’t necessarily been the ‘something missing’ that many speak of. We get to travel the world, live overseas, have awesome vacations.... it’s been pretty awesome on the whole. Kids just seem to bring those things to a halt. We have friends that have young kids and still travel, so we know it’s possible. I have to keep reminding myself of that.
So getting a positive pregnancy test 6 weeks ago was HARD. We were both in shock. I’ve come out of the initial shock but I’m still not onboard. We’ve limited a lot of our conversations in-depth about the future because it usually causes me to start to freak out. Did I mention that the timing sucks? Because it REALLY sucks.
I know people say there’s no good time, but this is a really bad time. We’re in the middle of a pandemic that is happening during PCS (permanent change of station) season. We were supposed to leave Argentina on July 13th, head to Hawaii for 2 weeks after dropping the animals in Florida, come back to Florida for 3 weeks, then do training and work stuff for 4.5 weeks in DC before heading to Rwanda. It took a LOT of planning to get to that point to make everything work out and keep the animals with us. Because of the pandemic, all those plans are out the window. We’re not sure when we’re leaving now. And we don’t know what we’re doing for our home leave (congress-mandated 20 workdays in the US) or where we’ll go. I’m also starting a new, higher position as the IT section head in my new post. So now with this timing, I will have to depart Rwanda in mid-December and spend 4-6 weeks hopefully teleworking before giving birth. Then it’ll be 6 weeks minimum of recovery time before I’m allowed to go back to post. If I don’t get there until mid-September, that’s 3 months on the job before leaving for 3.
I also feel like I’m losing autonomy over my body. This is like puberty where my body is changing, I have no control and don’t really want the changes. I’ve read so many horror birth stories and even regular birth stories that have shit doctors that don’t listen to their patients. I also can’t eat what I want and do what I want. I’m going to get even more unsolicited opinions than normal. I’ve heard people want to touch your belly. WHY. Stay the fuck away.
There’s also the sleep factor. Everyone talks about not getting any sleep and being sleep deprived. I have enough issues with getting enough sleep because I’m always tired and seem to need 9 hours a night. This absolutely scares me. I need sleep.
I guess for people that have wanted kids forever this all falls by the side. For me, I guess it will eventually fall by the side as well. But for now, it’s stressing me out. I’m firmly in denial there’s a 10wk fetus in me, though we do call it Schrodinger.
We haven’t told our families. My 2 best friends know, 2 close couple friends that have younger kids that know us and are very similar, and now a few work colleagues because it was going to become apparent and my top boss already knew based on an ask 6 weeks ago to start limiting my exposure to other people.
Telling our families adds a lot of pressure. And I think pressure to be happy. I’m not there yet. We also have the concern that something will show up on the genetic testing. We’re both on the same page that if there is something that will cause a great loss in quality of life, I will have an abortion. BellaFella has a sister that requires 24 hour care and though it couldn’t have been foreseen, we know what it does to his family. If there are major known issues ahead of time, it means I literally will lose my career. Myself and everyone traveling with me gets a security clearance and any learning disability, long-term health issues, or things requiring a specialist can greatly limit postings or curtail your career to DC-only. Being DC only means you essentially need to find another job. I’m the breadwinner and BellaFella follows my career right now. Obviously there is still a chance of this happening, even with genetic testing. But BellaFellas family are Republicans, religious, and anti-abortion. My parents would probably just be very sad as I don’t know their stance on abortion, but I’m fairly sure the answer is ‘I won’t share my opinion because it’s BellaDella’s body and she will rip me a new one and disown me’.
BellaFella and I have been more or less on the same page with everything so far. He told me he supports me if I want to get an abortion but would hope that he could also have input even though it’s my body (in our initial discussions). I think he’s a smidge more excited, but that’s mainly because it’s not his body LOL.
I’m privileged in that I can even have these thoughts when I have a stable job, am married to a wonderful guy, and am of an age where this can be a consideration. I’m also privileged in the fact that the fed gov’t has enacted parental leave that will cover what was previously a large amount of leave required. I have great health insurance that has covered 100% of everything so far. When (if) I give birth and go back to Rwanda, we will be able to afford to employ a housekeeper and/or nanny to assist us going back to work and caring for a baby. I’ve joked about also needing a night nanny but I don’t think I’m that needy... but who knows how the sleep deprivation will be.
I guess what I’m trying to say is tl;dr I’m not excited yet. And it’s hard to hide that fact.
Sorry or the long rant or whatever this is.