Identity Crisis? Naaah.

Let me clarify that, taking into consideration my appearance description in the previous post, I am definitely not as butch as they come.  I have long since retired my leather jacket and chain wallet.  My hair has never been particularly short.  I’m not stick-thin with bound breasts.  I do, however, open doors, lift heavy things, wear a baseball hat (all the time, often backwards), kill bugs (especially in the middle of the night), connect the tv/cable/playstation, drill holes for toggle screws, and drive 93% of the time.  I’m also in a Rock Band.  No, not the video game.  An honest-to-goodness rock band, complete with late nights, smokey bars, shots of Jager, pints of beer, and jumping around on stage.  I’m the singer, the front-woman.  For all of my life, I have been “one of the guys.”

So as much as a mere wardrobe change seems daunting, believe me that there is much more going into maintaining my identity while being pregnant.  I’m sure my mother waiting patiently as I grew up, hoping that one day her tomboy daughter would embrace (or, rather, willingly accept) wearing a dress.. a skirt.. perhaps a shirt NOT from the men’s section?  Here we are, 32 years later, and I think she’s finally given up hope.  But here we go, folks.  Maybe it should be butch versus pregnant.  Round one. Ding ding!

I’ve never felt so much like a unicorn in my whole life, something that, I’m sure, will become more pronounced as my body and emotions start to change.  I’m so incredibly fortunate, however, to have my partner by my side.  We’ll be our respective unicorns together, looking for relevant community, support, and information, perhaps even reluctantly pushing our own envelope.

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Posted on October 12, 2009, in identity. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Agreed, identity issues were probably one of the worst things for me about pregnancy. I’m definitely not butch, but I hate lace and floofy ruffles with the best of them, and that’s about all there was in the maternity stores. I sewed a lot of A-line dresses for myself out of “homespun plaid,” the uglier the colors the better. The other day my son got into the trunk with my old maternity clothes, and I was struck once again by how awful they are. I’m not looking forward to wearing them again, but at the end that was all I could fit into.

    One way I combated my loss of identity was by doing all the things I ever did, maybe moreso. I dug in the dirt with a vengeance, planting for spring. I stood on ladders with a paint roller at 34 weeks. I carried boxes of books (we were moving) until I started bleeding from the lifting and the midwife scolded me sternly. I ran up and down flights of stairs at work and sat on the floor, insisting it was more comfortable than chairs (it often was). I ran the cat-5 and speaker wires in my house before the drywall was installed, and taught classes until 5 days before my son was born.

    There’s definitely no reason why you’ll have to become a soft, helpless girly girl. Unless you have unusual health issues, you can keep doing everything you normally do, with the exceptions of drinking and perhaps hanging around smoky places. You can still kill bugs and wear baseball hats and drill holes and crawl around wiring electronics. You should even be able to find maternity jeans, and look for bigger shirts from the mens’ department. Also, remember that it’s temporary, and while it may feel eternal sometimes, it WILL end eventually.

  2. Hi!

    First of all, congratulations. Secondly, I am so glad to find someone else in the same boat. What a funny thing this is, to feel like a unicorn. All this sudden attention I’m getting from ladies who now accept me into their club, when I’ve always been more in the boy’s club (never totally, though). Sometimes I wonder what I look like to people at the movies or the grocery store, tight fade and this oh so womanly body. I get more smiles than scowls, so that’s something.

    I’m also reaching the point where strangers are touching my belly without any sort of explicit permission. I mean, I’m practically stone, I don’t particularly like being touched, and yet being pregnant turns me into someone so much more accessible to everyone around me. What a trip.

    Anyway, it’s good to have found you, especially since you’re still pregnant. I wonder if our due dates are really close? I got pregnant on Sept 3. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of yr posts.

    Honey

    • Wow – it’s so awesome to hear from you. Been checking out your blog, and really appreciating the similarities. This unicorn thing is really taking some getting used to, but it’s refreshing to not feel so isolated.

      We’re due on 6/23, as we conceived a little later in Sept. than you, so we’re really pretty close! I’m lucky that folks haven’t started touching me yet, even though I’m really starting to show. The bass player in my band touched me when I first told him really really early on when there was nothing to show. Awkward. I expect now with some warmer weather, plus less coats/sweaters, multiplied by even more belly growth that people will start to get super touchy. Can’t wait for that.

      And absolutely – this new admissions to the straight pregnant girls’ club is something I didn’t realize came with the territory. It’s not awful… just, taking a little getting used to.

  3. Coming to the party a bit late, just saw your blog linked on First Time Second Time… anyways I am a butch (no doubt about it butch) who got pregnant and gave birth in 2006). These days my blog is pretty much about watching my 4 year old run around Boston/cambridge but if you look in the archives I wrote a lot as I was pregnant. I am looking forward to catching up on your posts. Best of luck in this journey!!!

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