Google+ Authentic Parenting: Baby Envy

Monday, May 3, 2010

Baby Envy

I have a confession to make. It is something I am not proud of, so if you want to get out your rotten eggs and tomatoes, go ahead, I'll just hide behind my screen here, in utter shame.

I have serious baby envy.

No matter how hard I try, when someone announces me that they are about to have a baby, I cringe. I think "Why not me?". My first thoughts are always envious, jealous ones... and then maybe after that, I can bring myself to feel a little bit happy for them... But most often I cannot.
It's even harder when it's not an attached parent that had a baby or got pregnant. When they announce proudly that they're not going to breastfeed, or they're already planning day care for when the baby is three months old, as soon as they have a positive pregnancy test... I really get angry, desperate, frustrated, confused...

I feel like my intestines get ripped out through my throat and are tied around my neck. All I can do is smile and say "How lovely for you", but all I really want to do is cry... Or hit something... Or kill them and snatch their baby. Ok, maybe not that last one... just yet.

My husband asked me this week why we're being punished. That it seems so totally unfair that downright abusive parents get a baby in the blink of an eye and we have to moan and sweat (lol) to get one.
I told him he cannot think such a thing because he's an atheist - which kind of leaves you with noone to blame. Nor does it give you happy positive thoughts. Being religion-free can suck sometimes.

It makes me wonder why... Why do they have it so easy to conceive, and we just have to wait and wait?

We have wanted a second baby for one year and three and a half months - not that I'm counting. I had some kick-ass breastfeeding hormones that made my periods stay out for 20 months, and I suspect my first two periods to have been false.

But ever since there's the waiting and anticipating and the hope... to only get shattered as I bleed.

On top of all that, I've got this freakishly long cycle, between 35 and 40 days, which make the odds even smaller. (And have led to the wonderful comment "Oh, then you have even less chances of getting pregnant any given year" - thank you, that was just what I needed).

And just so the circle is round, I feel guilty. Guilty because Iknow in time there will be a baby. we've made one, we'll have another, we just have to wait. So I feel guilty that I feel like this while there are people who know that having their won baby is not even a possibility.

But doesn't it seem just a little unfair that women who don't breastfeed, or stop really early on can conceive earlier?




  1. I can relate! That's often how I felt before I got pregnant with my second. My first few cycles weren't fertile because the luteal phase was way too short (like 3-4 days long, instead of 11-16 days like it needs to be). Oh, and my cycles were anywhere from 35-60 days, too. Charting helped, though, so we were able to take advantage of it when I noticed I was about to ovulate. Didn't help shorten the cycles or lengthen the luteal phase, of course, so that part was still frustrating. Anyway, I'm being long-winded, but just wanted to say that I do understand.

  2. I understand. My children are both through IVF, I actually had to wean my first (at 21 months) to go back on. I had so many conflicting feelings - I didn't want to wean but I wanted to have another baby and then it took several cycles, plus we live in the country and we had to either travel or I had to stay in the city. I was lucky my eldest actually came back to breastfeeding after about 4 months weaned.
    But really I just wanted to say, it's hard and we understand.

  3. i am so sorry you go through this. I have so many friends dealing with infertility issues of varying degrees. I felt so guilty announcing our latest news. I will be thinking "knocked up" thoughts and sending them your way!!

  4. I too felt like this just after I lost a baby at 20 weeks.
    I So wanted another but knew I had to wait for me to feel in a head space to be a proper mum.

    I really hated feeling so horrible to people
    I'd hide from friends if I knew they were expecting or due to give birth the bravest move was buying a close friend a card & present - all I could do was sign it love xxxx normally I like to write a passage
    but it does get easier with time and at least you have each other cliche yes but a true one.
    Time will come it's just getting through the waiting game
    Take Care

  5. Believe it or not I know how you feel. Breastfeeding always messes up my cycle. I understand the baby envy. All of my warm thoughts and fertility wishes are rushing your way right now!!!!

  6. wow. TTC can be so emotionally draining when it takes time. Though as a bf'ing, cosleeping,babywearing,delayed solids,cd'ing, stay at home attached parent I find it offensive to say that moms who don't breastfeed are less deserving of a baby. Or moms who put their babies in daycare (some DO have to work) are less derserving. Shame on you.

  7. My heart aches for you reading this.
    It took us 15 months to finally fall pregnant with Madelyne.

    I completely understand the want to take someones child when you feel you could give them the love they deserve, the milk they need and the security of loving home care.

    The need to hold that urge back and not act on it. To not ask the parent if they realise the impact their blind decisions have on that precious innocent child.

    We're not suppose to judge other mums for their decisions, but it is hard when you feel you know about what should be right. When you know in your heart that those parents decisions are potentially harming their baby. The best we can do is to inform them nicely of the information they most likely don't know and hope they make the right decision for their child.

    Feel secure in the knowledge that there is a child who is recieving all those good things because you are that childs mother. You will have your new baby. That baby will be ever so lucky as your first child.

    My arms are around you in spirit. I am sending pregnancy vibes your way.


  8. Thanks for the tomatoe and rotten eggs, dear!
    Way to go posting that anonymously! If you want to bitch at me go ahead, but don't put a paper bag over your head.
    Can you point out where exactly I say they are less deserving? Nowhere. I just say it hurts me even more.
    Read the article!

  9. It was implied with comments like "But doesn't it seem just a little unfair that women who don't breastfeed, or stop really early on can conceive earlier?" and "It's even harder when it's not an attached parent that had a baby or got pregnant. When they announce proudly that they're not going to breastfeed, or they're already planning day care for when the baby is three months old,"

    if you didn't feel more deserving then why cringe at that? Attached parenting isn't THE parenting style, it is ONE parenting style. Being envious because you want a baby is understandable. Don't put down someone's parenting choices because you have to wait.

  10. I won't post anonymously but I read it the same way.

  11. I am so sorry, you are going through this. I know how you feel. I once was there as well. It sucked and was so hard. It took me only 8 months to get pregnant with my daughter, but those 8 months were the worst of my life. One day, I want to be a surrogate, for that reason. I wish I could do it now. I want to be able to give that gift to someone who wants it more than anything, but can't get it for them selves. Keep your head up. I know it sucks and it is so hard, but keep your eye on that baby that will be in your arms soon. Good luck!!

  12. Maybe it read that way... I can understand... I've written it from a sore place and I had someone in mind when I made that comment and yes maybe I feel like I deserve to have a baby more than they do... because frankly, what they are doing to their child and how they think about their unborn, that's not a parenting choice, that's neglect, maybe even abuse, and I am very sorry, but neglect and abuse are not valid parenting choices in my book

    I might have had to write more concrete things than the daycare and the breastfeeding thing, but I don't want someone to recognise herself in it so.
    I am sorry for those of you who stopped breastfeeding for a valid reason, for those of you who couldn't, for those of you who need to put your child in daycare and for those of you who are not attached parents, but did choose a accomodating way to parent your child

  13. Enojoy the beautiful child that you have right now. After many years of trying to get pregnant after easily getting pregnant the first time, I realized that I was not embracing today well enough. I understand the emotions you are having, they are normal. Continue to live as an example to the mothers around you - you will influence many more than you know. But, don't dwell on how others are doing it, because you yourself are making such a difference.

  14. I understand where you're coming from, and think it's brave of you to be so honest. Trying to conceive is so full of emotions, and they aren't very often positive. I hope you get your positive test soon.

  15. I absolutely feel you! I have been there.. done that.. MANY times!!! It got to the point I could not go out in public. Seeing all those moms pushing a baby in the stroller just KILLED me! Hubby would hold me and we would cry and cry. To top it all off I have a condition where I skip periods... so you NEVER know if I am pregnant! We get so excited.. no period. Ok, the test is negative. No big deal... they usually are until around 10 weeks... fingers crossed.. then either the blood comes OR a blood pregnancy test confirms it is not to be again...

    I have had great success two times now with Chlomid. You take one pack of birth control pills so that your period is sure to come (in your case you would start the first or second day of your period when it does come... depends on your drs wishes). Then you take the pill for 5 days and wait and see :) With Aiden it took three months.. the pills are NEVER covered by insurance but it is only $25 for round one, $50 for round two, etc. (Higher doses each round). When you think of the cost of diapers, clothes etc that $25-$50 seems like a drop in a bucket!! :) I don't like to take meds any more than I have to but these were very effective, cheap (ish) and got us where we couldn't get alone... you might look into it :) Good luck my love!

  16. I get the wanting a child thing. I went through infertility treatments, through the psychological and emotional turmoil. It took me almost 5 years to have a child. And it is very difficult to go through. I understand the pain and longing, and I sympathize with that.

    However, if someone doesn't parent the way you do or isn't an "attached" parent, then they are neglecting and abusing their children and don't deserve to have them? Wow.
    --Clare (so that I'm not anonymous)

  17. I'm confused- WHAT is neglect or abuse? Formula? Disposable diapers? Daycare? Get a clue. Maybe there is a reason your aren't pregnant. It's called Karma. That's all we need in the world- another closed minded human who thinks everyone one is aweful for not thinking "THEIR" way...Get a clue.
    PS- I am a extended BFing, babywearing, CDing, cosleeping,SAHM, loving mom who has FF and *gasp* sent a child to daycare. Two in fact. And the one who is is school is way beyond average in her class, healthy, and absolutly loved-FAR from abused and neglected.

  18. I'll admit the initial post annoyed me a bit. To imply that those parents who are non-AP are less deserving is pretty insensitive. However, I can appreciate the pain that comes with a difficult time TTC.
    Then I read this comment, "yes maybe I feel like I deserve to have a baby more than they do... because frankly, what they are doing to their child and how they think about their unborn, that's not a parenting choice, that's neglect, maybe even abuse, and I am very sorry, but neglect and abuse are not valid parenting choices in my book."

    Wow. Now before you assume I am a person against attachment parenting, you should know I'm a breatfeeding, baby-wearing, co-sleeping, SAHM. But to say that people who don't share in my choices do not deserve to be parents is just absurd. My first son was rarely worn, FF, slept in his own bed from day 1 and (ghasp!) went to daycare for a short time. To imply that my first child was somehow neglected, or even worse, abused and parented in lesser way is highly offensive to me.
    I'm sorry for your troubles, and I did see your attempt at an apology but I think the words have already been said. It is comments like your inital ones that give AP such a bad reputation to those who do not understand it.

  19. Don't apologize for YOUR blog. That's my own personal opinion. If people are offended easily, then they shouldn't read. That's just my own opinion.

    I completely understand where you are coming from. It took us close to 3 years to have a successful pregnancy and in that time two of my teenage cousins got pregnant. One of them had 2 babies in the time it took me to have one! I'm not saying 17 year olds can't be good parents, because they are great moms...but I was 25...26....27...I felt like my clock was ticking. We were having NO luck and my cousins were in no way prepared or wanted to get pregnant and it seemed like they were just crazy fertile. I had a friend who got pregnant and had an abortion during that time and two people who had affairs while their husbands were deployed got pregnant and all I could think was REALLY? GOD? WTF?

    Then my best friend got pregnant and waited a while to tell me (because I had miscarried shortly before she found out), I was happy for HER but sad for me. On Thanksgiving my OTHER best friend announced she was pregnant and when they left, I just layed on a couch and bawled. I LOVE my best friends, but they weren't even trying and we'd been trying for sooooo long! As luck would have it, I conceived two weeks later and had my first child 3 weeks after I turned 28. We are trying for our second...have been pretty much since Dominic was born because of how long it takes us....

    Wow..that was really long winded, but when I read your blog, it just brought back so much because I understand where you are coming from and I pray that you will get pregnant soon. *hugs*

  20. Just to set the record straight, am I correct that when you mentioned "abuse and neglect", you weren't referring in general to daycare, or formula feeding, or any of those kinds of choices, but that comment came because you were defending the abrasive tone of your blog, saying that you had someone SPECIFIC in mind and that the way they acted and treated their unborn child (not specified to us readers) was abusive and neglectful.

    Just seemed like some ppl were taking your words and totally twisting them, hopefully clarifying what you meant by that.

    BTW, great blog. I have been 'blessed' with two accidental pregnancies, and when I've had the 'woe is me' thought for my unplanned (the first as an unmarried woman) pregnancies, I remind myself how blessed I am to be able to get pregnant relatively easily. I can't imagine the pain of wanting a child and knowing that it may not happen. Namaste,Sarah (listed as anonymous because i don't feel like creating an account on here)

  21. I thought that "karma" comment was pretty harsh and unkind, saying you didn't deserve to have another baby. Who would say that about someone? But then, I thought, isn't that pretty much the same thing she is saying? That someone else doesn't deserve to have a baby because she doesn't like their parenting? Might want to think about how it made you feel to read that comment and then realize that is how you make other people feel when you say that THEY don't deserve to have children.

  22. The kharma comment is below the belt and I hope the person who wrote the comment apologises.

  23. Oh girl! Can you believe there are people who actually take you up on throwing tomatoes and eggs? Geesh. Your post was clearly written from sorrow - it wasn't a thesis on parenting. /eyesroll.

    Someone who doesn't understand attachment parenting (as several commenters obviously do not) wouldn't understand how you are feeling. Regardless - feelings aren't right or wrong - they just are and good for you for voicing them.

    As an infertile - for 10 LOOOOONG years - I understand the feeling. I believe in God and it was hard not to be really angry when my cousin got pregnant with her THIRD and continued to smoke right through the pregnancy. SOME women *have to* work but MANY choose to. SOME women *have to* formula feed but MANY choose to. SOME women are never given the information about a gentle/attached way of parenting but MANY know the difference and still choose to parent in a punitive way. These are the people that hurt and make me bristle against God. I read your post as you meaning these people too.

    ((hugs)) and babydust to you. When you get pregnant I will be sad since lots of babies are not in my future as I desire. But, I will also be happy that such a wonderful woman is going to be a mother again.

  24. I believe there are those who do not deserve to have babies.. I believe that parents who smoke and drink excessively through pregnancy and around their children do not deserve to have babies, people who abuse drugs do not deserve babies, neglectful and abusive parents do not deserve children. It is really hard to see friends go through fertility problems and then see a pregnant woman on the street with a child on the hip and a lit cigarette hanging out of her mouth. I do understand how you are feeling and the frustration of not being able to conceive, but do you think that the non breast feeders and the early admission childcare parents are perhaps undereducated and unsupported? Perhaps we should try to support more and judge less? I hope that you find yourself 'with child' very soon and in the mean time thoroughly enjoy the blessing that you already have.

  25. OKay I think a few people have misunderstood. She wasn't saying those choices to parent non-AP were neglect and abuse. She was saying the specific person she was referring to also neglects and/or abuses their current child and already shows signs of wanting to do the same with their future. Lay off her. She's tried to say she didn't mean it the way it sounded.

    I can completely understand the hurt that comes with wanting a baby so badly and not having one. It took us a while to conceive as well - considering I only O'd like once a year we were very blessed to fall PG quickly (roughly a year TTC). I hope things work for you quickly.

    Also be very weary of clomid - please read all the warnings in advance if you choose to take it. When we did fall PG both DH and I were on the fertility diet.

    It's normal to feel envy, anger, sadness etc when you find out someone else is PG and you aren't - only a parent who hasn't been there would suggest otherwise - it is a form of loss every time, each cycle you grieve. A truly honest and brave woman will admit those feelings to the world.

  26. Indeed, I meant specific people when I wrote the daycare and BF thing
    No, I didn't mean FF and daycare are abuse and neglect

    The Karma thing: he who is without sin cast the first stone... You are doing the same to me as I am doing to them, the difference is that I - in the first line of the post - say I feel bad and guilty and ashamed for feeling that way, while you, Karma person, are apparently happy to kick me while I am down. Go you. All good Karma your way!

    I think I haven't cried so much i a long time. First while writing the post, and then while reading all your beautiful and sometimes heartbreaking comments... It is so sad that there must be so much loss and so much grief among us.

  27. Of course I should be happy with what I already have. I am most days.

    But I am only human... And it is human nature to compare and to ask why. If you want the musings of a superhuman or god-like creature, this is not the right blog for you. I am sorry... Ican try but I am still faulted

  28. I appreciate wanting a child; I am currently on hold from TTC but to be as capricious as to who deserves a child less than YOU? I don’t think so.

    Well, what about all the people that stay at home with their children and then let them sit there and watch TV all day long? Wouldn't an interactive daycare situation be a better place for those children? I mean, I am sure that there are women out there that are attached parents that make decisions like that all the time. So I don't believe your blanket statement about attached parents being better really works, there’s good and bad about all parenting styles.

    I really don't think it matters, if you have true love in your heart for a baby and you have to go work to make the money to pay for all the things that the baby will need why shouldn't you have a child with a clear conscience. People make the best decisions for them and judgmental people like you are what makes other people feel guilty about having to work and that’s crappy of you and makes you not such a great person.

    I am an attached stay at home parent, I breastfed until my child was 16 months old, I wore her everywhere and she slept in my room until she was 14 months old.

    I don't think that any of us have room to judge anyone else because we could all do something better with our children. But given the cost of college and other costs that kids require some people have to work. If you feel as though AP is the best are you also planning on paying for college to give that child the best start? Maybe some AP want to do that for their children and need to work for that. It’s an interesting dialog you have created here though!

  29. SJ, you are completely right.
    I will once again repeat what I stated in previous comments:
    No, I do not think that attachment parenting is the One True Path to parenting, or even that such a thing exists
    Nor do I think that all attached parents are necessarily perfect parents.

    I do not have anything against non-attached parents
    I do not think formula feeding parents or parents that put their child in daycare must be shot, or exempt from having children.

    As I said before, I wrote that thinking of a couple of people I know, and I might have been more clear.

    BUT I also stated in the intro of the article that I am not proud of how I feel...

    I do however feel that some people parent in a way that should be unacceptable. Is that their fault? Sometimes... Sometimes parents do have the means to parent better... Some parents take their children for granted and even see them as a burden. That's sad... And hard to take for someone trying to have a baby.

    But it is also often a failure of our society. A lack of support or information...

  30. Maybe you need to learn to be happy for others and not judge them, then you'll receive the blessings you are looking for. I'm not sure what is worse, someone who doesn't breastfeed or someone as judgemental and negative as you!

  31. Who's being judgemental here Christy! The blog states very clearly that she doesn't like her feelings but here you go. I think if we're honest with ourselves we all have feelings we're not ok with. But you are judging the author for having these feelings and you are also suggesting that her punishment is her inability to receive the 'blessings' she wants.
    Mamapoekie speaks from the heart and we should offer her understanding and support while she struggles with this- not unkind judgements and harsh punishments.

  32. Honestly, you should switch off anonymous comments. They're terribly cowardly! But that's not what I wanted to say :) I wanted to say that I actually came home from a walk today and told my husband that my blood was boiling I was so angry - there were three (seperate) heavily pregnant women on my walk all SMOKING! I try to be very non-judgemental, and I firmly believe that everyone must and will do whatever works best for them, but I cannot abide a smoking pregnant woman. I honestly do not believe that they have a right to their child, because how can they say they'll do their best for that child in life if they couldn't even while it was in the womb?? Anyway, as you can tell I'm still riled up from that one. I went off contraceptives six years ago and we only just had our daughter last year - I cried many bitter tears for not being pregnant. I totally relate. *big hugs to you*

  33. Luschka, I don't want to turn of anonymous comments, because that also turns off name/url and a lot of fellow bloggers like that option. But I agree that it is sad to hide behind anonymity to attack people. I think if you want to make some nasty remarks, own up to it.
    I totally agree with you on the smoking thing. I am in the process of writing sth about choice, but it will probably stir the pot again.
    So happy for you that you finally had that sweet angel. I cannot imagine the pain of having to wait that long

  34. First of all, don't apologize. Many of us feel the exact same way about daycare, ect. (I worked at a daycare and it's dreadful...)

    I get the same way. My baby is only a little over 3 months old and I'm dying to be pregnant again. I don't know why. My hubby and I have been trying for a while now and nothing happens... and I haven't resumed my cycle at all. :(

  35. Everyone should stop judging you. I venture to say that EVERY SINGLE ONE of us mothers have seen other parents do things that we disagree with and thought negatively about it. You just had the guts to actually spill it instead of hiding it. Good for you. :)

  36. no idea how to become non-anonymous on here!!! I am writing to let you know, as many others on here have, that I also know what you're going through. My husband and I tried for 3 years to get pg...we'd actually made plans to start the adopting process the christmas before I had my oldest! I was shocked when it finally happened!!! Another thing that really bothered me was my foster sister in law had accidentally gotten pg while we were trying and had had an abortion!!! She didn't care, but it seriously killed me inside! I guess the stress and such really held me back. With my second daughter, I was surprised...I didn't realize that we could get pg while I was bf full time!!! I was wrong. Although, my youngest came at a not so good time (found out I was pg the day we got our eviction notice from our apts), I wouldn't change her for the world! My youngest just turned 2 yesterday...I'm having the "baby cravings" like bad lately again!!! I know we can't afford another one right now, but that doesn't take care of it! It might help that almost everyone I know either just had or is having a baby right now!

    On another note, I agree with one of the people above...if some of these people don't like what you're saying, they shouldn't be reading your articles!!! I for one, take them for exactly what they are....your opinions/thoughts. I LOVE your articles/blog!!! Please keep sharing with us! I would hate for a few peoples' negativity to hinder you and your writing!!! thank you so much for being willing to say what so many of us have thought at times!!!

    Elizabeth Walker

  37. I feel your pain, mamapoekie. I've wanted to be pregnant again since my baby girl was born. She turned 4 months old last weekend. I was just told about an unwed high school girl I know being pregnant, and it was like a kick in the guts. I saw it all in a flash, the negative pregnancy tests, how lovely it was to feel my daughter kicking inside me, ect. ect. I still get this sick feeling when I think about it. :(

  38. I just want to tell you how brave you are- there arent many people out there willing to express such pain. I think everyone (negative) needs to understand that you were writing from a painful place, and just needed to vent and get it off your chest. Good on you. We too tried for 18 months for our firt (now 6 months) I'd love another but am willing to enjoy my little boy for as long as possible. While we were ttc- I hated seeing and hearing about any teenage/ not trying/ easy/ smoking/ drinking etc pregnancies- it just makes you so mad! All that runs through your head is 'but I would care for that baby so much better, and I'd give anything for that to be me' Anyone that has hard a hard time ttc can relate.

  39. I really like reading this blog because it makes me think. Reading your feeling about parenting and parents and pregnancy, as well as the comments and perspectives from others helps me to evaluate my own feelings and judgments, recognize my biases. For me it is great, validating even, to read things I agree with, but it is equally valuable to think about those things I don't agree with. They help me to reevaluate my opinions and where they come from. Thank you for that.

  40. I can't relate on the TTC front, but I felt a very similar way when we found out that our daughter would have a serious birth defect. My sister smoked (and probably drank) during pregnancy, ate like crap, didn't take care of herself at all, and would have gotten an abortion if she'd had the money (she was looking for a provider as late as 16 weeks!)... scheduled a c-section for 36 weeks, "tried" to breastfeed for maybe 2 weeks (without ever actually latching baby on- she just pumped and bottle-fed)... and still she had a healthy, perfect baby.
    I did everything right- eliminated all of the toxic things from my diet, bath & body products, and home, ate a very good, balanced diet, drank RRL Tea every day, took fish oil and good prenatal vitamins, and I really wanted this baby, and desperately wanted the homebirth we were planning... but somehow I was the one who ended up having the "deformed" baby, and having to have a high-risk pregnancy and hospital birth.
    I really don't understand why things happen that way, but I like to tell myself that we are given the experiences that we need to grow and become better people, or to gain perspectives we might otherwise not have had.
    Having my perfect little girl (she was perfect even though her intestines were hanging out of her abdomen!) has taught me so many things that I could never have imagined knowing; I have grown as a person, and I know that I have a perspective from the experience that will greatly benefit my practice as a birth doula.


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