Friday, February 8, 2008

Love Isn't Like A Bowl Of Sugar

One of my favorite series as a child was the Ramona Quimby books by Beverly Cleary. These books were written about a young child's perspective of the world. Some pretty funny things happened to Ramona, usually because she was a bit too inquisitive. My mother would read the books aloud to the whole family, usually every night. Even when we would go camping, she would read around the fire until the light got too dim. I remember these times as very cozy family moments and I would like to do the same for my child(ren) some day.

My all-time favorite Ramona book is the one where her parents have another baby, usurping her place as "the baby." Her mother is giving the new baby all sorts of attention and Ramona gets jealous. She worries that her parents won't have enough love for her. In a line that I can still hear my mother reading aloud to us, Mrs. Quimby's response was, "Dear, love is not like a bowl of sugar, only so much to pass around the table. My love for you has no bottom or top, no end. It will never run out, no matter how many people I have to love."

Even though it was written in a children's book, I think that those words are something that even adults need to remember. Love is something that you can give and give.

Now, I am sure you are wondering why this post is on my IF blog. . . wait for it. . .

I have to confess a mother's worst admission. I have favorites among my children. What is she talking about, you might justifiably be wondering.

Well, here is the nitty gritty, down and dirty truth: I loved Gummy Bear so much. And I haven't let myself grow as attached to this baby. Even with all of the great ultrasounds, I still fear the pain of losing this baby. So, I have a wall up. I do the same things with this baby as I did with Gummy Bear, I talk to it, I say goodnight to it, I have rubbed my stomach. But as I am doing it, I feel like a pretender. I feel as if I am only doing it because I should. I fell asleep with my hand on my stomach every night of Gummy Bear's pregnancy. I don't do that with this baby. And I can't seem to give this little one a nickname, despite my best intentions (Pickles was my latest idea). Nothing seems to fit. I feel bad even typing this, it is an evil thought that has been lurking in my head these past few days. It's definitely not something for the baby journal.

So in the words of the great Beverly Cleary: Love isn't a bowl of sugar. I have plenty of love to go around. So why am I with holding back from loving this baby?

13 comments:

A said...

for protection. i think its very normal to feel a little distant after experiencing a loss. i lost a pregnancy last summer before moving onto IVF. after that incident, i couldnt attach myself to this baby for a long long time. even now, the baby is kicking me regularly and i'm about 23w along - i'm still not "in love" with the baby yet. i guess i just wont believe that a baby will be here until he actually gets here.

-A

waitinginline said...

A's right. You're protecting yourself and there's nothing wrong with that. I don't know from personal experience, but I've seen it all over the blogosphere.

You're OK!

Chris said...

You are holding back to protect your heart. And nobody can blame you for that. I tried to protect my heart as well. It didn't work. Give yourself permission to love. As you said, you have plenty to give.

alison said...

I think it's your subconscious trying to protect you. Even though, intellectually, you know you "should" be doing all of these mommy-things, your heart has been bruised before, and it doesn't want to be broken again. When you did these things with Gummy Bear, it was all shiny and new and you were just doing what felt natural. Now the newness isn't there, and you're hesitant. But that's ok. I think your heart is just having a bit of a disconnect between itself and your womb. It's like that old saying, fool me once shame on your, fool me twice shame on me... Things will come around, but don't feel guilty, you can't force yourself to feel differently right now. Once you have this little one in your arms in 7 months it won't matter.

Laura said...

What your feeling is completely natural for someone who has suffered a loss. It doesn’t make you evil. I feel the same way about this one – and I know it is because I am trying to shield myself from getting hurt again. I think it just takes some of us a little longer than others.

Fertilize Me said...

I think everyone has already said everything in my brain - and i couldn't agree m ore . i feel the same.

Antigone said...

Oh yes the Ramona Quimby books!

We haven't even started to try to conceive again and I already know that if there's another pregnancy I won't love it has much as I loved the one I just lost.

The evil twist for me is that each pregnancy keeps getting longer. The first miscarriage was at 6 weeks, the second at 11 weeks, and now my third loss was at 22 weeks. With each pregnancy I would hold out til I passed the previous age of loss. So if I get pregnant again, I'll have to wait til after week 22 before I start letting myself care very much about the baby.

I know its a surivival instinct on my part, that I'm just trying to protect myself; but it doesn't seem entirely fair. But then again, the dead baby didn't get much of a fair shot either.

Ally said...

Oh, Katie, you're doing this because your human. You adored Gummy Bear with all your heart and it was so painful to lose that baby. It's only natural to feel this way now. I have no doubts that you will love and adore this sweet child, too. It will just happen on a different time schedule than it did last time.

Mrs. Piggy said...

Couple comments...from you last post,I can assure you I am 21 weeks and still dont feel "safe" in the pregnancy. I still feel like a fraud, walking around with a pillow stuffed in my shirt, I just cant see me actually HAVING these babies.
And I too feel like I'm not as attached to them as I was my last pregnancy. I know the minute I see them I will love them to death, but I am keeping my distance. Its too scary otherwise. I go through the motions like you, but I'm still keeping my distance. I feel like my twins are getting jipped.

Polka Dot said...

Mind of Olivia Drab talked about the same thing - not really bonding with her daughter until after she was born. After several miscarriages, she was too afraid to really really believe in it and feel it.

I'm going to echo the others - you're protecting yourself and it's normal. You will bond with your baby. Maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow, but you will.

Optimistic said...

I understand completely. You’re definitely protecting yourself. As unfair as it is, I think we get to this point of not letting our guard down and so afraid of another disappointment.

My Reality said...

If something were to happen to this pregnancy, you would be just as devastated as you were when you lost Gummy Bear even if you don't think you are as attached.

Your bowl of sugar will be overflowing soon.

chicklet said...

Just caught up with your u/s pics - they're awesome. On the holding back, I can't blame you, how could you nto after all you've been through? When you're ready, things will change, and you'll be more open. For now, just take it one step at a time.