I was consumed by baby envy

I WAS CONSUMED BY BABY ENVY

There was a time that I thought I didn’t want children; I was in my early 20’s living a carefree life. I had no responsibility other than making sure my bills were paid on time. I wanted those days to last forever, just me. I didn’t like the idea of being responsible for another human, probably why I hate being in management roles, I don’t want others to see me fail.

That all changed the day, I witnessed my nephew enter the world.

I wasn’t supposed to be there, my sister and I, at the time, didn’t have a relationship. It’s funny looking back now, but we didn’t talk, it all stemmed from the fact that basically, she didn’t like me. It didn’t matter that I was her sister, she has no time for me in her life, and I had given up trying to be part of it long ago.

When I found out she was pregnant, it was a shock. Well, for one thing, she hadn’t been with her boyfriend for long, but she was young. 23, which at one time would have been seen as an old age to have a child – my mum had me at 23, but nowadays it seems young.

My sister went into early labour on the mainland (she is lives on an island on the west coast), and the only person who could come to her rescue was me.

I was there when that wee squidgy baba entered the world, and that was it. I was baby daft from that moment!

baby envy

It was a great being there for Iain’s birth, but when I had to leave the hospital, I got this bizarre feeling, I felt that I was leaving empty-handed. It was like my body had had the chemical reaction of giving birth, but I then had no baby to take home with me. It was a sad feeling.

Suddenly, women with their bulging bellies seemed to be everywhere. Parading through the aisles of Tesco’s. Marching past me on the way to work. Every celeb seemed to be welcoming little bundles. For the first time, I felt something I’d never felt before. Jealous.

I WAS CONSUMED BY BABY ENVY

One of the hardest parts about not being pregnant when you want to be so severely is watching people. You’re close to experiencing new parenthood and feeling a mix of joy for them and sadness for yourself.

When my best friends, one after another told me they were pregnant. I felt jealous, angry, and frustrated for myself but thrilled, relieved, and even a little worried for them. I knew that as much as I wanted this thing they were getting; it was new territory for them. Honestly, I didn’t handle it as well as I could have. I cried a lot! And because my partner wasn’t ready- I was driving him away.

I got real baby envy. Every time one of my friends announced she’s pregnant, I become super obsessed with her. I wanted to hear every single detail; I wanted to walk through the experience with her and live vicariously through her. I thought I was so ready for this next stage of my life, and I was being left behind.

pregnant woman

I got angry sometimes. I heard about another person having a baby, and I would think, Lord, why them and not me? It made me mad that it was not my time. It made me angry that my partner wasn’t ready.I found myself thinking “I deserve that baby more than she does”, I’d think darkly. I’m more this or more that. Or really, deep down, I’d simply think I’d love it more. That I wanted it more.

I was shocked at the sheer size of the jealousy and resentment I felt towards some of my friends, I did truly loved them deeply. 

I remember talking to one at a wedding, she was heavily pregnant, and she was moaning about the pains of pregnancy. I had to hold myself back from shouting at her. Of course, I wouldn’t have done this, but I was shocked at the strength of my feelings.

Then one day, out of nowhere I just relaxed and thought “hey, my life is pretty good…I don’t need a baby just now.” It was like the obsession had passed and I was ready to move on to the next one.

Then BAM! My husband turned to me while I was watching yet another episode of One Born Every Minute and said, “If you turn this shite off, I will put a baby in you!”

I WAS CONSUMED BY BABY ENVY

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