It’s Pregnancy Season And I’m Not Pregnant

I’m at Target to pick up diapers and I’m pretty sure every other woman in the store is pregnant. I pass them everywhere: in the grocery aisle, in the baby clothes, wandering home decor. It’s 87 degrees with 95% humidity outside and all the pregnant women are wearing tank tops and pushing toddlers in their carts stocked with goldfish crackers and beach buckets and ice cream. To me, they are all glowing and adorable and lucky to have so much to look forward to. But I know they probably feel enormous and uncomfortable, cursing themselves for a summer pregnancy, crossing their fingers that their toddler will take a nap later (or at least eat their goldfish for lunch while zoned out in front of Disney Jr so mama can lie on the couch under a fan).

My last baby is almost a year old now. I am far enough removed from being a pregnant woman at Target that I silently think “enjoy those moments” but still close enough that I know better than to say it out loud. A woman is not going to suddenly realize being hot and swollen and sore and tired and nauseous are all such blessings just because a stranger says “it goes so fast” or “I miss those days”. I am close enough to being a pregnant woman at Target that I know that is not entirely true. I do not miss those days. I do not miss being hot and swollen and sore and tired and nauseous and wondering how, exactly, I was ever going to manage a newborn when I couldn’t manage to put on pants every day. Not only do I not want to a pregnant woman at Target, don’t actually want to be pregnant at all.

And I’m not. I will most likely never be pregnant again. (I would say NEVER with 100% certainty but I know better than to tempt fate like that.)

What I do miss is being in that season of life. It doesn’t matter if those pregnant women at Target are technically older or younger than I am in years. They’re still at the stage where they will have a newborn. That’s a stage before the one I am in. New life is in their future, the moment when they meet a new little human they created. I don’t long to be pregnant again, but I do feel nostalgic for that particular flavor of joy. It’s not baby fever – I am thoroughly immunized against that particular strain by four children who all insisted on growing up – but it’s like a bruise. You don’t really notice it until you bump into it by accident, in the checkout at Target, and then it’s a dull ache that says “you’re not in this club anymore”.

I suspect these feelings are just biology, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling them. So this is me acknowledging it, writing it down in words, trying to explain it to you so I can explain it to me. Instead of being sad, I will let myself drift further towards the stage of life where I become the person who says “Oh it goes by so fast, treasure these moments” to pregnant women in Target. I will recount stories about my newborns in absolutes: “Oh my baby was such a good sleeper” “oh my baby loved being swaddled “oh my baby hated tummy time”. I will forget how much being pregnant sucks and only think of it fondly. And when gray-haired grandmas at Target look at my four not-babies and say “Enjoy these moments, it goes so fast”, I will smile and nod and say “It sure does.”

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7 Responses to “It’s Pregnancy Season And I’m Not Pregnant”

  1. Liz says:

    Well-written.

  2. This is so beautiful. My heart aches at the thought of this season passing.

    -The New Mom At Target
    Sarah | Baby Brain recently posted… What’s The Best Double Umbrella Stroller?

  3. Erin says:

    This is so well said!!!! This is exactly how I feel.

  4. Sara says:

    ❤️❤️So well said. Made me a bit teary. I get very nostalgic for that “newborn flavor of joy”. I enjoy reading your thoughts.

  5. Chris says:

    Oh- this captures the feelings so well! I’m quite a bit farther along than you-my 3 are 16, 19 and 20 (so two are in college!) but I keep wistfully thinking of babies and newborns. I don’t ever want to be pregnant again and I can’t imagine that I really want to start all over with another baby. So what is this? Well, you’ve put into words exactly what I’ve been feeling. It’s a passing of a stage of life and that’s all behind me now. Thank you for articulating what I’ve been trying to understand about my own feelings.

  6. Emily says:

    I’m one of those pregnant ladies walking around Target right now at 36+ weeks. I have a 3 1/2 yr old and a 20 month old. To say that this inspires a lot of comments and looking is an understatement. Honestly, I understand the staring, it’s become ridiculous the belly and the barely being able to push a cart because of Braxton Hicks. And on top of all of that we move in a week. And it’s 105 out. And my husband has been gone a month. I know these times go fast and I know I’m blessed. This will all pass and one day I will laugh, and hopefully not pee my pants.

  7. Jija says:

    Thank you so much Suzanne, this was so inspiring. By the way, your kids look adorable in the picture. How did you manage to get rid of the pregnancy weight after the baby? 🙂 Any tips 🙂

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