My brain was blank as I stared at the pregnancy test at the bathroom at my work. I had some minor spotting a couple of weeks after the embryo transfer so in a panic I quickly went to the pharmacy to get the pregnancy test. I was advised not to take the test until my next appointment but the wait was unbearable. Everyone in the IVF community had the name for it – Two Week Wait or TWW. It felt like the longest two weeks of my life.
It was positive! Faint but positive.
As ecstatic as I was, the truth was that I didn’t really have a great pregnancy.
One unexpected discovery that I’ve found was that pregnancy and marriage is a really bad deal for women. The more pregnant I was the more heavy this felt.
Why? Because I was gone, and everything else was more important:
Tradition was apparently more important:
- Baby’s surname: I was expected to use my husband’s surname and so was our baby. Where is me in my baby’s name? “Tradition” deemed that my surname wasn’t important enough to be there.
- I wanted to use certain words in bub’s middle name but my parents had all kinds of crazy rules about this – it drove me crazy and so I dropped it completely.
I earned less so my career mattered less:
- I earned a little less than my husband and therefore I would be the one to stop work and miss out possible work opportunities. I couldn’t help but feeling that I was going to be lagging behind. Work structure was built and ran by men so of course money and income was more important than parenting. Both parents having time off to look after a baby? Yea right. In New Zealand women get 16 weeks of paid maternity leave. Men get a pathetic 2-week-unpaid leave.
I wasn’t as important as my income:
- I was about to purchase a hand bag when my husband said that I shouldn’t buy anything because “I” soon wouldn’t have an income. I felt as if I wasn’t making money then I was not equal in a relationship.
- People no longer saw “me” – they saw my baby only, like I wasn’t even there.
- Sacrificing my body, career, money and time… under appreciated and if these things were just “expected” of me. This really pissed me off.
I fully realised that I was never equal in the relationship. Women already earned less than men in general and having to give up possible opportunities meant that I was even further behind.
These things weren’t exactly news but they really hit me hard this time.