There is No “ME” in UterUS: A Tale of Uterine Envy

by Jamie Grayson

There are many reasons I’m jealous of women.

You can wear more clothing that shows skin in the summer and it’s still appropriate.

As long as you don’t look like a damn clown, you’re able to wear makeup to cover blemishes.

You can blame mood swings on an “Aunt Flo.”. Who the hell is she?  Why don’t I have one and why doesnt she send me birthday cards???

You can carry a child.

The other day I was on a train and a pregnant lady sat across from me.  She was wearing a skirt and tank top, so she looked like many other pregnant women I see on the train. As a matter of fact, she looked like many men I see on the subway. It’s New York. Expect the unexpected.  But then, she changed.

She moved her hands over her stomach and immediately started glowing. I shit you not. It was as if a connection had been made that no science or religion could argue about.

She is a mother.

I sat on that train trying not to cry.  Sometimes I get emotional while working with clients. The first time I see a new baby I’m usually a wreck. But that’s ok in that situation. Crying on the subway, not so much.  It has been a nutty few months and I’m just a little bit more susceptible to my feelings right now.

I realized a long time ago that I physically couldn’t carry a child. I know, it’s a shocker.  I feel completely blessed to be able to work with and around expectant and new parents daily. The greatest honor of my life was being able to spend six months in Minneapolis with my family and those two nuggets I’m obsessed with, as well as being my sister’s labor doula.  It was life-changing.

When female friends complain about something, I often respond with:    “Yeah. But I can’t get pregnant.”

I know it sounds ridiculous, but I mean every single word.

I know women have to deal with many things I’ll never understand:  training bras, heels, haircuts that cost too much, highlights, menopause…the list could go on and on. However, you’ve also the ultimate blessing:  you can carry life.

I know all women cannot do this, and my heart goes out to them. That’s a topic that deserves an entire post on another site.

This goes out to the guys.

I’ve not met many guys who feel this way, so I definitely feel as if I’m in the minority.  Most guys I work with or meet are actually ecstatic that they’ll never be pregnant. I honestly cannot say I blame them for feeling that way, but I’m wired differently.  I dont know when these feelings started. Was it the birth education center?  Maybe. Was it working with my clients?  Mayhaps. I do know that one item I hold near and dear is a video of my sister, Jennifer, and I walking into the delivery room after my sister Olivia was born.  I remember sitting outside and hearing her cries for the first time. Walking in that room blew my mind. What my 16 year-old brain could only understand as something growing inside my mom was now here.  I could touch her and hold her and hug her.  For sixteen years she has constantly amazed/bewildered/aggravated/enraged/enlightened me. She’s my rat girl (long story) and always will be  Sixteen years later I’m amazed at what she’s become, and thrilled by what my youngest sister, Elizabeth, continues to be.

I’m starting to ramble.

I’ll never know what it’s like to be that connected to a life. I’ll never know what it’s like to feel someone kick me from inside.  My loins will never produce my offspring. Women always complain about “the curse of Eve.”

What about the Curse of Adam??

 

Jamie Grayson, known as TheBabyGuyNYC, is a nationally-recognized baby gear expert and baby planner, and has been featured on Martha Stewart, Today Show, and several regional news programs.  Traveling the country speaking at expectant parent events and product launches, writing forStrollerTraffic.com as well as other media outlets, and working with expectant families takes up most of his time–although he still makes time for a movie and a cocktail on occasion.  Questions?  He’s always available on Facebook or Twitter.
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Comments

  1. Jamie! I love you! You know this already! I love your realness. Your awesome! How is your sister doing with the cookies ;)

  2. This is a beautiful point of view. I had never thought of it this way before, but now I feel even more blessed for my beautiful little girl whom I felt grow inside of me and now get to hold in my arms. <3

  3. Kirsten says:

    Jamie, thank you so much for writing this and sharing your perspective and pain. I’m one of those women who has bitched about my uterus, begged to be “spayed” (I’ve worked with animals), cursed my menstrual cycle and basically taken my womanhood for granted. My husband has wistfully expressed that he wishes he could breastfeed our daughter, but never once said he wished he could carry or deliver her when I was or even after I was pregnant. It never even occurred to me that a male would be so jealous. I’m very glad you are at least helping families and get to spend a lot of time with little ones. Best to you.

  4. Oh, Jamie. You never fail to wow me.

    You are an absolute gift. <3

  5. subtle dawn says:

    this made me tear up. I wish more men were like you.

  6. Amanda says:

    You may be in the minority but I’m pretty sure my boyfriend sympathizes. I know that even if he doesn’t envy me my ability to grow, produce then feed an entire human being, he admires it to no end. Its wonderful and heady to have that kind of support.

  7. I would trade both of my brothers and my Dad for ONE JAMIE!! This is a beautiful post, you have a special heart. Embrace it all. xx

  8. Tasmin says:

    Strangely, my heart goes out to you. This is something that I have thought about many times. I’m very happy to be female, and despite cursing my horrible, horrible periods, I always desperately wanted to have a baby and experience being pregnant. To think I may never be able to carry my own child scared me. I loved my baby sisters, I loved my animals like nothing before. I’d have loved an adopted child but would I have loved it differently if I hadn’t carried the child inside me, felt it grow and kick. I wondered how fathers could love their children as much or feel such a connection as they hadn’t carried them and birthed them. A strange thing to think, but I am an over thinker. I thought maybe men just don’t think about this stuff. I think it’s a shame men can’t experience this amazing part of life. I know not all men think (not even all women) think/feel this way, but I wish I could gift you the experience.

  9. I have had three HORRIBLE pregnancies, not one thing did I enjoy except maybe the feel of my child inside me. But I have never ONCE looked at it this way! thank you for this!

  10. Gretchen says:

    Forget the men… I wish more WOMEN felt this way :) Beautiful!!!!!

  11. So very touching, Jamie.

  12. Oh Jamie…this is beautiful. I could babble on like an idiot, but I’ll spare you. I’m a little teary right now.

    I love this piece, thank you for writing it and most importantly for sharing it.

  13. Jamie, you are amazing. Love this.

  14. This is so beautiful, and something that I have never paused to think of. Thank you for that precious perspective. I’m going to go find a tissue now!

  15. This is insanely beautiful. <3

  16. Wow. Honestly, I never thought I would EVER hear a guy say anything remotely like this. Despite the fact that I was sick as a dog while pregnant (hello, hyperemesis gravidarum), I would never trade the experience for anything. It is nothing short of amazing. As are you, for wishing you could experience it too (because I am pretty sure my boyfriend would never wish for such a thing after seeing me puke as much as I did while pregnant).

  17. this was beautiful and made me cry. thank you for sharing with us, Jamie. you are truly special. even though you can’t carry a child, I know you will be a terrific daddy one day.

  18. Oh snap. Onions. You are an amazing man for sure.

  19. Pregnancy has it’s ups and downs. I am pregnant with our third, and final, child. And I am 28 1/2 weeks along, but I am 37 years old. So having more babies could cause them to have issues. But I keep thinking, these next 10 1/2 weeks, will be the last in my life that I will ever feel a baby move around and kick me from the inside. Being pregnant and carrying a child, is certainly an honor, that’s for sure!

  20. Loved this! Just another reason why I think you are amazing! Be pregnant truly is the most amazing thing I have ever gotten to experience in my life. I’m sorry you can’t have that same experience. Hugs! You are such an amazing person and if you could do it I know you would do it wonderfully. :)

  21. Lisa S. says:

    My husband has expressed this same sentiment… perhaps not as passionately, but he is sincerely a bit jealous that he can’t grow and nurse a baby. (Well, he COULD nurse a baby, but I think it’s social stigma more than anything that keeps him from trying!!) It really is frigging awesome. I still marvel that I basically created 3 actual human beings.

  22. beautiful and so touching. We get so very busy with our lives, that we do not always stop and think about the other side. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  23. so beautiful <3 You are so amazing!!

  24. Ken Schaaf says:

    I have an interest in envy. Perhaps more so because its an unpopular topic, something we are not likely to feel proud of and comfortable with. These I consider good places to mine for wisdom, I’ve made good discoveries in such spots. I’ve learned to become a fairly good master of my own envy but now I feel it might be a good idea to back off this a bit, give up a bit for the gals, let myself feel a bit of it.

    Two hearts will never beat within my skin. I am the less for this.

  25. Oh Jamie, I think you and my husband are cut from the same cloth. I am just into my second trimester (17 weeks pregnant) with our first and my husband, not in words as beautiful as yours, said that he wishes he could carry and birth our baby. It seems unusual when men say these things especially coming from a construction worker and farmer like my husband. We are a first generation farm and he wears many hats on the farm- some include mowing hay for their winter food, fixing fences and his favorite part- being the midwife to our cows and goats. I think this has given him a soft spot for pregnancy and birth. He checks them all for a month before they are expecting until everyone has birth. I was surprised when he expressed he wishes he could carry and birth a baby and he 100% wants to have a homebirth while I am the one that is hesitant on that.

  26. Danielle says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart, this made me tear up.

  27. Your loins DO create offspring! Don’t you know without an Adam there would be no EVE???