Pregnancy Conversations in ED Recovery
I’ve chosen to avoid pregnancy conversations over the years. I hesitate even to broach this subject in therapy sessions, and the reason is simple: I'm ambivalent about motherhood. The irony is I love children. I am a huge fan of my friends' little ones. I find my nieces and nephew irresistible. But I don't feel strong maternal instincts, and I lack the desire to parent children of my own.
There's also the issue of pregnancy itself. I have been in eating disorder (ED) recovery for a long time, but I still harbor complicated emotions about the physical changes I would experience if I were to conceive. All of that used to feel abstract and theoretical—a matter to shelve for now and worry about later. But recently, I've had to confront this fear of pregnancy conversations in ED recovery.
Pregnancy Conversations Scare Me—But I Am Facing the Fear
I am 31 years old. My husband will be turning 31 this week. All of our friends in this stage of life are parents already. To be honest, sometimes it does seem like we're behind the curve. But societal pressures aside, my interest in becoming a parent is much lower than my husband's. I think he would burst with excitement if I were to show him a positive pregnancy test tomorrow, whereas I might collapse in terror. He knows how I feel and continues to reassure me it's not a deal-breaker for our relationship. However, within the past month, he has been eager to discuss it more often than we ever have before. Despite my fears, I understand it's crucial to wade into this pregnancy conversation—both for the sake of my marriage and ED recovery.
So, as uncomfortable as it feels, I am not shirking this topic of discussion anymore. With a new year around the corner, we have agreed as a couple to reach our final decision about pregnancy in October 2023. We chose this date because it coincides with our anniversary and a bucket list vacation to Nepal that we've been saving to take next year. I'm not sure if my current outlook on pregnancy will shift by then, but I am committed to exploring what it would mean to overcome the fear and imagine myself as a mother. Could I embrace those physical changes as remarkable and miraculous parts of biology? Could I marvel at this feat my own body is capable of—the power to create another human life? Could I learn to be curious about pregnancy rather than afraid? These questions are uncharted territory, but I can have an open mind.
I Can Enter into More Pregnancy Conversations in ED Recovery
Sometimes I wish life would continue indefinitely with just me, my partner, and our cat. But I also recognize my husband wants more, and I love him enough to seriously consider making the transition into parenthood, no matter how ambivalent I personally feel. This will require confronting the fears, insecurities, body image distortions, and other complex emotions I still wrestle with. But the first step is a willingness to enter into the discussion, so over this next year, I'll stretch myself to have more honest pregnancy conversations. And who knows—maybe becoming a mother will be the final frontier in my path to ED recovery.
Schurrer, M. (2022, December 13). Pregnancy Conversations in ED Recovery, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, December 7 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/survivinged/2022/12/pregnancy-conversations-in-ed-recovery