I know biomum is desperate for me to impart the wisdom (and hilarity) of our first insemination attempt but I actually feel like exploring some of the feelings I have about not only not expecting a child (yet) but being the prospective nonbiomum around pregnant women.
Short version – it sucks. Not only do you have the we’re not yet expecting a child jealousy but as a woman who isn’t going to carry her child it is so, so hard to be around pregnant women.
This is in no way meant to be a negative reflection on my female friends and relatives who are or have been pregnant. Even ones whose conversations have revolved around pregnancy for 9 months. It’s a huge thing in their lives and totally fair that they should want to share it with others. However, as someone wanting a child but not being the one to carry that child it’s hard, really hard. There is the usual jealousy, mixed with being overjoyed for pregnant friend of course, but jealous that it is not you that is about to become a parent. This is even worse around first-time mums as every experience is new and whilst sharing in that is great, a small part of me (sometimes a large part) weeps inside at every shared pregnancy joy.
Add to that the fact that when it is our turn to be expecting a wee one (hopefully soon) I still won’t be experiencing the same things. I won’t be pregnant. I won’t be the father. I will have no genetic or biological link to the child my wife will be carrying. What does that make me in the pregnancy? A birth partner? A helper? I will be a mother without any of the experiences that go into that as the foetus grows. Some people have said it is like being the father – the father doesn’t experience pregnancy first-hand. But unlike a father, I have no input into making the baby – other than inseminating biomum with the aid of syringes and speculums. I know it sounds like I’m hung up on genetics but it feels like it matters, and at the point of preparing to be nonbiomum around pregnant friends, it feels like it really matters.
You could say it is no different to adopting a child but for the most part that is at least a shared experience with your partner. Neither of you go through pregnancy and neither of you are biologically the parent.
It feels isolating to be in the situation of being nonbiomum. biomum has pregnant friends and friends who are biological mothers to share experiences with – this is not her sharing her experiences but having ‘the shared experience’ of being a biological mother. Fathers have other dads and dads-to-be to have that shared experience with. That ‘you can only truly know it if you have lived it’ thing. I don’t know anyone in my situation to share it with. I don’t have anyone who has been through this to give me advice and to bounce thoughts and ideas off. This is why I started this blog – so that anyone coming after me might find some ‘shared experience’ to cling to.
So. Some statements. I am nonbiomum and I am jealous of pregnant women. I find them hard to be around even if I love them dearly. I am scared of being forgotten about during the pregnancy. I don’t yet know what role I have in the coming journey. I am frustrated that this all has to be so hard.