I have a million things I’d like to write about (Baby’s two brand new teeth, the horrible cold we’ve endured this week, the constant struggle to get this kid to eat enough to gain weight, etc.). Instead, I’m going to write about how much I’m looking forward to being the Non Gestational Parent.
First, let me say that I LOVE being mommy to this baby girl. I love that she seeks me for comfort, our breastfeeding relationship, how intimately and instinctively I know her and her wants/needs, etc. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love that there are moments when she looks just like me (even though she has blue eyes and blonde hair and I have green/brown, er…grey?). I love glimpsing certain quirks of her personality that I already know and understand because they are oh so familiar. I also love watching her relationship with her Momma, the NGP. I love how funny she thinks Momma is, and how they share a special cuddly and silly dynamic.
But can I say? I cannot WAIT to be the support parent during those first few days, weeks, and months. I cannot wait to NOT have the burden of making sure baby is fed enough, with all the right nutrients, from my boobs every day. I cannot wait to drink coffee or wine everyday and not have to worry about whether it will cause reflux. I cannot wait to offer the support pillow, a glass of water, a snack to my wife when I know she’ll need one because I’ve been there, attached to a kid who is sound asleep and needs sleep as badly as mom needs a stiff drink. I cannot wait to not shoulder the guilt that comes with feeling like the it’s my sole purpose in life to ensure that this child eats, breathes, poops, and sleeps to her maximum potential or I might damage her. To be fair, maybe I’m being overly optimistic and the NGP DOES feel this way. Maybe I’m being short-sided and this is a feature of my personality that will come through even if I don’t birth the next baby. Of course it does not mean I will love a baby that I don’t birth any less, but maybe I’ll be able to just enjoy the ride more. Maybe I’ll be able to have a healthier and more balanced approach to parenting – doing the best you can every day and letting go of the rest.
I’d love to hear the thoughts of others – do you think you feel more responsibility or guilt when you birth versus when you don’t? Do you think this has nothing to do with birth and postpartum hormones and more to do with who we are as parents? Or are there pros and cons to each role, inherently different?
All this to say, I am putting the cart WAY before the horse. We are 1DPO on IUI#4 (first medicated cycle) and the lining was only 6 mm at insem, so I’m not SUPER hopeful for this cycle. However, hopefully in the next few months I’ll get to start experiencing the other role. Even if it’s not as carefree and delightful as I hope, I cannot wait to find out!