There are certain expectations the world has of pregnant women. As their bellies grow, so presumably must the love of that unborn child. But what happens if it doesn't? What happens if that bond never manifests? That was the brave confession of one Hollywood star. Kristen Bell says that she felt no connection to her unborn child during pregnancy.
I was floored by this admission -- not because of what she said, but by the fact she had the nerve to say it at all. That is something you don't hear very often from new mothers. Regardless of how tough pregnancy can be, we are hesitant to complain. We don't want to look ungrateful -- or worse, like a bad mother.
But I love that Kristen is lifting the veil, so to speak.
I love people the more I know them, and I didn't know her. It could've been a water bottle in my belly, that's about how connected I felt to her during my pregnancy ... But within about 24 hours after she came out, my hormones reset, and they reprogrammed my feelings about her.
I am sure she is not alone. When you are planning a family or first learn the news you are pregnant, you have these idyllic visions about what the experience will be like. You imagine your heart being filled with joy, delighting at every single moment until the baby arrives. Of course, reality is rarely so perfect. And for some -- even though they are happy at the thought of becoming parents -- the experience feels more like your body has turned into an incubator and little more. And for too long, there has been a sense of shame associated with feeling that way.
Kristen goes on to explain,
I kept saying to Dax in all sincerity during my pregnancy, "I just don't know how I'm going to like her as much as I like the dogs." I was being serious ... Because I f--king love my dogs; they are my children.
It's a reasonable fear. If you haven't felt that intense bond during pregnancy, it's normal to wonder if it will ever manifest. Fortunately for Kristen and most women, it kicks in soon after the baby is born. There is something about cradling that cute, little, helpless being in your arms that makes you want to protect her and make her life as wonderful as it can possibly be.
Though, I hope with Kristen's honesty, more women are encouraged to be open about how they really feel during pregnancy, regardless of what they are "supposed" to say.
How did you feel about your baby during pregnancy?
Image via vagueonthehow/Flickr
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside