22 August 2009

Bumpaholics Anonymous

Hi, I'm Rebekah and I'm a . . . a bumpaholic. I've been pregnant or nursing since March 2002. Sometimes I was pregnant and nursing. I may have been clean for a few weeks in July or August of 2005, but I can't really be sure. It's that bad.

I'm really glad I found you guys because I knew I had a problem but I couldn't nail it down. I know you haven't actually been able to research this, but it makes so much sense I know you must be right. I mean, you're experts on psychiatry and everything so you know how to connect the dots. People who do things that are weird must be crazy. You don't need research to prove that.

You've already helped me so much. I can see now that I'm living a lie. People like me whose higher brain function doesn't work just don't get it. I thought the presents and the showers and the attention would keep rolling in if I were pregnant all the time, but they don't. I haven't had a shower since Baby 3, and that was only because we had just moved and my husband's new employer was nice enough to figure out we probably needed some stuff. In fact, I didn't even have a shower with Baby 2. Isn't there a name for that? . . . Diminishing returns! Hard to believe it applies even to a universally revered condition like pregnancy. No one saw that coming.

My friends and family have gotten bored with me being pregnant all the time, so they're not taking me shopping for new clothes any more or asking what the baby needs. And the thing is, the things we need now are so big that nobody could really help us with them. I mean, we can't expect Grandma to bankroll a bigger car or the triple bunk or an addition to our house. But I was so obsessed with being pregnant I couldn't see what it would really be like, because my brain doesn't work.

Wow, this is so hard. Does anyone have Kleenex?

Ok, thanks. Sorry. It was also really flawed of me to think that I'd keep getting all that special attention that pregnant women get. You know, like people holding doors for me and offering to load my groceries and stuff. That happened so often the first time I was pregnant, just all the time. I especially remember when I got a job toward the end of my second trimester--when my trainer realized I was pregnant she got really worked up about how I hadn't mentioned it in my interview. I could tell she cared so much.

But now I don't leave the house that much since I'm just here taking care of our other kids. I really miss all that attention and help I used to get from the general public, since people in our society are always noticing pregnant people and helping them.

I will say that having strangers and acquaintances rub my belly has an effect on me that makes me feel more like hitting that person than hugging her . . . but I'm sure I'm just weird. I probably have a problem with violence, too. Your research will prove how much most bumpaholics love being groped by people, when you get around to it.

This is going to be hard to explain to my husband. He thinks our having babies is, like, a religious conviction. But I guess all religious convictions suggest some kind of higher brain malfunction. It just doesn't make sense to do things that are hard for me and stretch our family's finances and strain the environment. I can see now that it's time for us to start thinking about all the stuff we could have and awesome things we could be doing and how great it would be to be skinny all the time. I really haven't thought about any of those things at all, I just love being pregnant so much. I mean, I hardly even notice how painful it is to walk after 20 weeks. I've just expected my husband to roll me out of bed in the morning and push the kids in the stroller for me when I can't do those things myself for four months.

Maybe we could start sleeping in on Sundays as a family, that would be a good place to start.

So I'm going to have to be pregnant until January. I guess until then if anyone says anything to me about it I'll just have to explain my problem. It will be hard, but I think it will help everybody, me included. Everyone needs to be aware of bumpaholism, that's the first step.

Thanks for understanding my situation so well and helping me. Thanks for giving us all a better life through speculative projectile psychiatry. Thank you! (Dissolves in irrational, pregnant tears.)


Tom Bombadil said...

Pregnant, nursing, or both since September 2001 here. Obviously I am crazy, too. I am guessing that their cost per child of $950/month must include something like daycare, because our family with three kiddos manages to scrape by with $3600 a month GROSS income, before all the lovely deductions for taxes and insurance and the like.
I have three daughters, and I hope that I can set an example of cherishing the vocation of motherhood. (Though "cherishing" is not necessarily how I feel about it all the time!)
Their argument falls apart totally at the end:
"It's only when you have a balanced life that you can be sure the inner call for a new addition to your family should be answered." I wasn't all that "balanced" with one kid (or even none) and last I check a command from God was not the same as an "inner call".
(Ceasing to rant and sheepishly apologizing for writing a novel in the comments!)

lisa said...

I am stunned. Really. Stunned.

Melrose said...

This is really a shocking development...I mean it's one thing to have religous convictions, it's another to be addicted to masochism*. Sick, just sick.

*dissolves into own puddle of irrational, pregnant tears*


I've been pregnant and/or nursing since March '05.

Gauntlets said...

Wow. Business must be slow for good old puhsychology.

I know I'm not allowed to say this, but ever since the psychiatric community took homosexuality out of the DSM, pop psych has been getting more and more misogynistic.

Monique said...

"ever since the psychiatric community took homosexuality out of the DSM, pop psych has been getting more and more misogynistic."

Gauntlets, you hit the nail right on the head!

I thought the same thing when I saw this. These women truly hate anything feminine and certainly anything pertaining to motherhood.

I read a quote in a great book that said something like, the ironic thing about feminism is that there's nothing feminine about it!

Rebekah said...

Angela, feel free to carry on all you want, especially about inner calls. :D

Too bad no one remembers any more how homosexuality used to be euphemistically referred to as "misogyny." What do women have to offer anyone who considers himself to have no need for them? Should have seen where that would end up.

Anyway, to be fair to the psychiatric community, as far as I can tell the whole idiotically named notion is a few people trying to make their private hypotheses sound legitimate by signing their names, "Baby Hater, PhD." There was no study or other publication cited. The whole thing should have been a post on someone's personal blog, not a "news" story.

Pam said...

Since October 1997, people.

Melrose said...

"These women truly hate anything feminine and certainly anything pertaining to motherhood."

what women? Just feminists in general? Just wanted to make sure this wasnt referring to me as a previous commentor and that my comment did indeed come off as a joke as it was meant to. :D After all anyone who "loves" pregnancy this much if not a religous nut is at least a severe masochist :D

Reb. Mary said...

Um, yeah. Anyone who thinks PP is a great road to personal fulfillment (apart from eschatology) and extra TLC from the world in general obviously hasn't actually tried it. (Diminishing returns--and how!)

Limiting kids so I could have more money and more "me" time--gee, now why didn't I think of that?

Monique said...
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Monique said...
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Anonymous said...

Debbie said...
Pregnant, and or nursing (sometimes even nursing 2 + pregnancy) from 1976-2004 and I am here to tell you that I survived,! with a smile and joy in my heart. We have a total of 13 children and I have been greatly blessed because of this experience. You too will survive, and you will one day look back on these years and call yourself blessed as well. God never gives us more than we can handle... "The woman's task is not an easy one ... but in doing it . . . there shall come to her the highest and holiest joy known to mankind... she shall have the reward prophesied in Scripture; for her husband and her children, yes, and all people who realize that her work lies at the foundation of all national happiness and greatness, shall rise up and call her blessed." - Theodore Roosevelt

lisa said...

Debbie, I love when you post :)

Pam said...

Me too. Say, Debbie, I think I may have seen you on a video recording from a looong time ago at the FW sem when there was a wives' to-do listening to Dr. and Mrs. Robert Preus speak about life in the parsonage (with a large family). Awesome panel session; my dh made a copy for us, and we watch it now and then.

Anonymous said...

Debbie said ..... Yes that was me on the recording, glad you liked the panel session! The Preus family had a vast wealth of knowledge and wisdom to share and I am glad others are finding it helpful.

Rebekah said...

Monique, the "religious conviction" explanation is one I'm also surprised not to hear more about in stories like this. Not sure if that's because it's so far off the radar screens of the general populace or because most secularists think it amounted to bashing Islam (the most prolific religion, I think), which is verboten among them these days.

Dakotapam said...

So that is why I've spent all Summer puking and or sleeping, or wanting to do the above...I'm insecure...yeah, right!