Almost every day it seems as though someone is doing a pregnancy reveal announcing that they’re currently pregnant.
Whether it’s with a picture of an ultrasound, a positive pregnancy test, or a cute little onesie that says “Mama’s got a bun in the oven,” the reveals tend to keep coming. Don’t get me wrong, the ability to bring new life into this world and care for them is nothing short of a miracle and anyone who wants to do that and has the ability to, whether it’s biologically, adoption, fostering, etc.—I truly am happy for them.
But I am also jealous of them.
One year ago, I welcomed my own bundle of joy into this world, and nine months before that I had the same social media reveal to all of my family, friends, and followers. I was so excited to share our news with everyone and really enjoyed the conversations that were created around conceiving, my pregnancy, and birth. Now, I sit here on the other side of that reveal thinking back on everything we’ve been through this last year and realize that whether I want to or not, I’m not ready to be pregnant again.
So, why do I feel jealous of moms who already are? Here’s why.
1. I loved being pregnant
I know that not everyone enjoys the pregnancy stage, but I actually had a pretty enjoyable pregnancy. Sure, the first 14 weeks I had bouts of morning sickness and a few food aversions, but I truly loved seeing my bump grow, seeing him on the ultrasounds, and feeling each and every kick and squirm.
I also loved being pregnant because that is one of the last few times that people go out of their way to help you, the mother, rather than just focusing on the child. When I was pregnant, my husband would open car doors for me, people at the store would help me pick up something if I dropped it, and family and friends called to ask me how I was feeling (rather than only seeing how the baby is doing).
Now that our son is here, most of the attention has all turned to him, and while he is pretty darn cute, I do miss the extra help and care from others.
2. I’m worried about my mental health
I’ve been struggling with postpartum depression and anxiety for the better part of this last year. Thankfully, I’ve taken the steps to get help, and I am learning how to take better care of myself as I continue to heal, but I can’t help wondering if I got pregnant again if I’d be right back here again.
Also, I wonder what mental state these new moms-to-be are in. Did they struggle with PPD and are on the other side of it? Did they not struggle with mental health and started excitedly trying again right after their first child? Are they concerned about the transition to more children in their family? These are questions I think when I hear their exciting news.
I went to the doctor around five or six months after giving birth to get back on birth control because I knew I was not mentally ready for the possibility of getting pregnant again. The thought of having postpartum depression after baby #2 scares me, and I wish I had a crystal ball in my back pocket to know if my fear is real or not.
3. My marriage needs more time
My husband and I got married two months before our son was born, which means we had very little time to be a married couple before becoming a family of three. I didn’t realize how much this would affect us until it was our reality.
We had a simple courthouse wedding with just us in attendance due to our families being quite scattered, and while we may not have the opportunity to have a traditional wedding, there are other things we want to still do as a married couple before expanding our family. We’ll always be parents now, but we want to take more time for our marriage away from our son so that we can still have alone time and connect even if it’s just for a few hours at a time.
I often wonder what the marriages are like of the families who are newly expecting. How much time did they have to soak up their marriage before becoming parents? What trips did they take by themselves? What brunches or dinners out did they enjoy without needing to endure the chaos that comes with going out to eat with children? What is their marriage like that they are ready to expand their family even more? I often wonder.
Jealousy is a weird feeling, and now that we have a peek into everyone’s life via social media, we assume a lot of things without ever really knowing the truth. I know my feelings about someone else’s pregnancy, mental health, or marriage don’t have a lot of facts behind them, but that doesn’t stop the feelings from existing.
Nonetheless, no matter what happens with my family and whether we decide to expand our family or not, I truly am happy for those families who will welcome a new bundle of joy into their lives very soon.