The INTJ Pregnancy: Trimester 1

I assumed, as an INTJ, that I would probably not react to pregnancy with the typical mentality of “expectant mothers” – in part because I am so uninvested in maintaining societal norms that I won’t force myself to conform to some expected set of behaviors, and also because my mind does not work in the same way as the “typical” female’s. A quick summary of my mental state going in: I have long assumed I would have children, because I would look back as an old lady and regret not doing so (or at least not trying), and my husband and I have gone through the progression of “worst thing that could happen!” to “not ideal but we would deal with it” to “it would be okay if it happened” to “let’s make this happen” during our decade+ together. The last was as much a rational decision as an emotional one; certainly I have never yet experienced the “omg i need baby now!” emotion that some women report. Eh. No. If we tried and it didn’t happen, then that would be that, and we would go on living our rich lives with just each other.

I am nearing the end of trimester one, and so far I am progressing typically on physical symptoms and getting annoyed by the tone of baby and mommy blogs, that, frankly, have piss-all to do with my mentality or lifestyle. So, since I seem to attract so many other INTJ ladies (and possibly also the gentlemen who love them), I thought I would offer as a public service a series of articles on being pregnant (and presumably a new mother) as an INTJ woman.

So here we go:

Early Pregnancy Fucking Sucks (Especially for INTJs)

1. Work n shit

I assume because you are an INTJ that you are employed, and possibly also investing gobs of your free time into projects that fulfill you and might, with luck and dedication, lead to self-employment. Prepare to have your productivity decimated.

You will feel like shit for weeks to months on end (7 weeks straight for me, and going strong!). At first your discomfort will distract you at work so that you can hardly do your job. Then you will realize that your tolerance for other people’s bullshit is now zero, and your uncontrollable annoyance with your coworkers will ruin your ability to focus instead.

It won’t matter, though, because you quickly realize underpinning the short temper is a vast and unquenchable need for sleep. You will be so exhausted you can’t do anything besides eat dinner and go to bed because you have that job to go to so early in the morning. Your creativity will disappear. Your life will narrow to work, sleep, and a few stolen hours with partner and friends because you just can’t stand doing nothing but working and sleeping. Any side projects will sit untouched. Your self-esteem will plummet because you are being unproductive and inefficient. You will feel like a failure because you cannot force yourself to ignore the physical needs of your body the way you normally can. Sure, you can force your body to get up an hour early, but you can’t force your brain to think straight if it’s not ready to be awake. You will try anyway, repeatedly. Maybe you will succeed where I could not.

Forget trying to be the super employee or the woman who proves that pregnancy takes no toll at work. When your employers find out you are pregnant, they will expect you to take extra sick days and leave early sometimes. Take advantage of this to keep your mood and health (or just mental health) up. This is one time you can convincingly pretend to be a normal female, because your body will be doing all the normal pregnancy stuff, and regardless of your mental state, your physical state will be typical and beyond your control. So let yourself act like a normal woman and puss out. When every Wednesday feels like Friday of hell week, standards and pride become remarkably hard to find.

2. People

Be prepared for all of your friends and co-workers to be more excited than you are about your baby. First, your rational mind will be considering the statistics of malfunction in the process, so you might not be willing to invest emotion into a probability as quickly as they do. Second, you probably do not experience a rush of emotion at the mere word “baby.” Nope. Does nothing for me, even now. Third, even if you feel very deep and real emotion about your condition, you are probably not used to flaunting it or sharing it with non-intimates. Your friends will understand that your understated reaction in no way reflects your actual emotions (or perhaps I mean state of mind. I am glad of my fecundity but still have no effervescent emotions about it).

Your coworkers hopefully already find you a little cold, so they will not expect you to cry when you break the news. They might. They might also try to hug you. It will be weird. Just smile and let them project the emotions they think you should be feeling onto you. For the reasons above, I recommend waiting until you are in a really good mood to tell your work. Do it all in one day (go hierarchically, top down) and get it over with.

Whom do you tell when? I did it based on whom I would cry to if I miscarried – those friends were told almost immediately. Everyone else was top down importance to me – parents, wider friends, family, then work, over about a 3-week period after my first visit to the doctor to make sure it was really there and in the right place and an expected outcome rather than merely a probable one.

3. Reading

You will find yourself wanting to read at least enough articles/progression descriptions to know you are progressing normally and to be able to plan for what is coming. Systems evaluation and all that. Most of the resources out there will have an insufferable tone. The self-important privilege of mommy bloggers who can dole out advice like “take naps as often as you need to!” (in what fucking employment utopia can that happen between 8 and 5?!) and recommend combatting your physical discomfort “with happy thoughts of holding your baby!” will make you feel like a man who mysteriously got pregnant. Seriously. Where the fuck do they come up with that drivel? How is that remotely fucking helpful to me when I am waking up shaking with exhaustion every morning and feeling nauseated for 10 of my 12 waking hours? There is no actual advice to help you through this trying time, only the feeling of walking on the beach alone as rain falls in icy sheets around you. Complain to your friends until you get paranoid that they will think you are an asshole for never saying anything else, and them do your best not to mention it unless they bring it up. Wallow in the paranoia of becoming That Crazy Pregnant Bitch Who Doesn’t Talk About Anything Else, because you always swore you would not become that person. Constant Vigilance!

Make yourself some obscure motivational posters that only you know are about your pregnancy. Use them to remind yourself of who you are, that person you do not want to lose to the state of motherhood, that person you like who you thought would make a good mother without compromising herself.

  • Keep Your Eye on the Prize.
  • To Thine Own Self Be True.
  • You’re Only Saying Never Because No One Ever Has!
  • Constant Vigilance!
  • Ow! My Balls!
  • The Problem with You, Locke Fucking Lamora, Is that You Have No Circumspection.
  • Falling Outside the Normal Moral Constraints

That sort of shit.

4. The Dos and Don’ts

Oh, God, the restrictions of what you aren’t supposed to do and eat and be around! Get on the internet and see if anyone debunks them…or if common sense does. Some of the restrictions are legit, some are quackery, some are risk-benefit ratios no one but you can calibrate.

5. Education

Start educating yourself now about what you want from your birth experience. My impression of most hospitals is that they infantalize women giving birth and take their agency away – informed consent is a joke in the delivery room – and they do so with the permission of most patients who either don’t know better or want to stay above the whole barbaric process and be “too posh to push.” I am hardly one to judge choices, I just expect other women like me to want to make an informed choice, whatever it is, and not be told what to do like a child because doctor knows best.

A final word on that – doctor may or may not. If I were not actively participating in my health, and only followed doctor’s advice, I would likely have lost this baby or be on the verge of it. I have a slow thyroid, supplemented with meds, and this is in my chart at my OB’s. Nonetheless, *I* had to ask for a TSH test with my initial bloodwork because she didn’t think to. Her dose increase when my level came back elevated was double what I actually needed it to increase. Her monitoring suggestion was every 3 months – not monthly as is SOP according to my regular physician. Had I not researched my condition and consulted with the doc who had been treating the condition (she had assumed OB would want to take control of thyroid during pregnancy – I promptly gave it back to her!), then I might have taken wrongful advice from my OB in any of three places that could have caused me to miscarry. So trust, but verify. No doctor will ever know your entire medical state as intimately as you will. Their advice might be well-informed and exactly what you should do…but it might not. With something this important you want to take no chances.

I mean, just think of how horrible it would be to go through this misery only to lose the baby because of someone else’s mistake. Intolerable! The height of inefficiency! If I fuck it up, so be it. But no one else is allowed to.

6. Any other pregnant INTJs out there?

We can commiserate about the puke-inducing state of mommy blogs and other people’s enthusiasm for this most selfish of all possible undertakings.

7. Congratulations!

…you had so much sex you win a trophy!

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27 Comments

Filed under Ramblings, Rants and Storms

27 responses to “The INTJ Pregnancy: Trimester 1

  1. ABE

    Love #7.

    And I am so glad my three are alive, and two are settled in the world, while the daughter finishes college.

    I would not go back and do it again for… not for ANYONE.

    Enjoy every minute of him/her/them – it passes WAY too quickly.

    And I haven’t yet made up the sleep.

    It should also explain why things with your writing are, well, different. That, too, shall pass. It takes a while. My only regret? That I didn’t learn baby massage and think of that when they were cranky. Don’t know if it would have helped, but I didn’t even know enough to try.
    Alicia

    • Oh, yes, this is definitely why I’ve had so much trouble writing lately. That was an entirely unexpected consequence and probably the worst symptom. I don’t like feeling ill and tired but I can deal with it…what i can’t deal with is having an intrinsic part of me, and my life, and the things that make me happy about being alive, cut off and made inaccessible. If I didn’t have a dayjob I don’t think it would have happened, but when you have only so much energy to go around and some of the expenditures are immutable…sigh.

      baby massage. hm. will look into that! it sounds like a useful trick to have in the pocket!

  2. I loved this, even though I’m not and have never been pregnant. I really related to point 1, just from being around work and life while being ill, not pregnant. And I’ve imagined all the other things. I’m lucky in that my GYN will, one day, also be my OB, and she’s familiar with both my case history and my ruthless constant questioning, even when I’m so low on iron standing up is a tricky thing. I also train my partner to be ruthless with medical professionals, by leading by example, as while I’ll be planning to have my GYN & Haemotologist in the delivery room (or at least on the phone), who knows what will happen.

    • Hi Jenna!

      I would imagine that anyone with our personality would have similar reactions to a chronic (or just malingering) illness with respect to work and personal-work-projects. I think I was genuinely depressed for a few weeks there because I could not force myself to do what I wanted to be doing. The best thing I did was face my limitations and decide what I COULD accomplish in this state rather than continuing moping that I couldn’t do everything I wanted. At least this way I can some things done, and I feel better for that.

      I had to find a new doctor for this. The GYN I’d have for about 6 years was in the town we used to live in, and for the past 4 years I would just drive up to see her for my annual and have a day in the old homestead. But I didn’t want a 90-minute commute to my OB, given all the appointments you have, plus the hospital she practiced at and she herself are not the most natural-birth-friendly, and that is a path I am very determined to follow. So I had to find a new one. She’s as close to a midwife as an MD can get…but it does mean that she’s great at low-risk, low-complication pregnancies and not experienced with things like, for example, my thyroid condition. The more I have learned about pregnancy and birth, the more I am questioning doctors and common medical practices in general. I feel very lucky that my GP is good about explaining what she wants to try and why, and talking to me about options, instead of just giving me marching orders and telling me to call if it doesn’t get better.

      When the time comes (whenever it is for you), I really recommend that you educate yourself thoroughly. I would encourage you to join a natural-birth listserve or FB group if you can find one. Even if you don’t want to go that route, you’ll find a lot of resources about how to be an informed medical consumer and what kinds of questions to ask…what sorts of tricks hospital staff will try to pull if they think you are not well-informed about birth and your rights as a patient. A lot of things I would never even have thought to ask have come up in mine…it’s been eye-opening and a little horrifying. I understand a lot better why my parents chose home births; i might if I didn’t have a progressive birthing center and the right kind of doctor to support me.

      • You know, its stuff I’ve heard about on various blogs and I’m convinced that including things like a lower pressure setting, meditation etc is going to put me in a place where ripping and bleeding is much less likely to happen (and any bleeding is a huge issue for me, as are surgical interventions!). Whether I can convince my doctors of that is the next step! But I have lots of time to read and learn now!

      • I had not thought about a natural (or at least less-interventioned) birth being good for side conditions like yours but that absolutely makes sense. My perspective on it is that our bodies were designed to do this, and medical practices that interfere with what our bodies are trying to do are actual detrimental. Epidurals and being confined to a bed actually slow labor and prevent your body from doing everything it needs to do to get ready…not being able to feel what’s going on in your body and relying on someone outside you to give you directions on when to push and for how long means that you might be pushing at non-optimal times for your body (hence more risk of tearing, complication, etc)…having the pressure of hospital staff looking at their watch and telling you you aren’t progressing according to the “schedule” (which is an amalgamation of averages from other women compiled 50 fucking years ago!, as opposed to any type of scale specific to YOUR body and YOUR process) only raises anxiety and stops the process… I’ve seen conjecture that having the husband there slows things down because it takes your focus away from the birth. My husband doesn’t want to be in the room, anyway, and I am fine with it for that reason, as long as I have my bestie or mother with me. I dunno. I grew up on a farm, I have seen livestock birth, and while as a younger woman I assumed I would want the med’s and the hospital, when I’m staring the process in the face I realize I want it to be as short as possible, even if it means it’s more intense and painful. I am not afraid of the pain or the process, whereas almost every woman I know who has given birth WAS. I got my mom’s old hippie yoga pregnancy book, and it basically says there’s a huge difference between going into a non-medicated birth prepared (aka trained in breathing and meditation) versus unprepared, and the key to making it through without intervention is that mental preparation. so…SAY YES TO MEDITATION lol

  3. INTJ

    I feel like I just read a blog from my future.

  4. I appreciate and identify with this post sooooo much. I’m a solid INTJ, almost at the end of my first trimester, and already the discomfort is making me wonder how many INTJ women manage to propagate the species. Pregnancy is so miserable and avoidable, and plenty of other women actually seem to enjoy martyring themselves, bless their hearts. My decision about whether to have a second child is going to depend on how awful I feel in the third trimester (yesterday when I read somewhere that morning sickness can come back in the endgame, I just about flipped shit). It’s comforting to see another INTJ who’s been through the process, especially with all the analysis about miscarriage risk, etc — I’m driving my sweet ESFP mother crazy with my calculated neutrality, and she keeps fretting that I’m “negative” about my future child. I’m not negative, I just don’t feel like investing myself emotionally in a situation until I have more information to go on. It was nice to find out that the fetus was alive a couple of weeks ago, but that doesn’t mean it’s still alive now, etc. You get it. Anyway, thanks for these honest posts.

    • Hi Merero,
      Glad you appreciated my post(s)! And listen – you are, good lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise, almost through the worst of it. For me the second trimester was better physically, my writing even came back for a little while, and while the third was pretty miserable it was mostly from exhaustion. I know you CAN get the morning sickness back, but…the same way you are reserving feelings on the child, reserve fear/dread of that possibility until it actually happens. Because statistically it probably won’t. Don’t burn that bridge before you get to it (intentional derivation of the phrase), etc.

      As to second children….the misery of pregnancy was absolutely worth it for me. I have been SHOCKED by how much I have taken to motherhood. Part of it is probably because it IS something I’ve always wanted, and something that I think I expected to be way way way worse than it has been (in terms of taking a toll on me as a person) because of all the dire warnings i’ve read. I think INTJ’s are old souls who take that kind of warning to heart without realizing it’s aimed at other types who have never once considered things that are to us utterly self-evident in a situation. So for me it’s been better than expected, and so absolutely amazing on an emotional level that I would literally have a dozen of them if i could. So your reaction to the child once it is extant might surprise you 🙂

      That said – I know at least 2 other INTJ women, and at least one is staunchly anti-child. I think our type tends to not kowtow to pressure on it, either we want to enter the yoke of service or we don’t, and make that decision and stick with it. I STILL have yet to get the “i need babies now” emotions….

      Are you refraining from giving it a name even if you know what you want to name it? I could never bring myself to call the baby by his intended name in utero. My bestie made up a great nickname instead. Curious if other INTJ’s use the same defense mechanism to keep from attaching to a probability instead of an actuality…

      Thanks for the comment and for reading, leave a comment on any post or email me any time if you need encouragement or just want to vent to someoen who will get it.

      And I would recommend this – I didn’t think to – so some reading on how to focus on your SE function and bring it to the fore. I think it would have been really helpful for me in pregnancy but didn’t know/think to look at things in that way. But since you are in a phase where your body is taking you on a journey and not the other way around (the way it normally feels for us), it’s actually a really important time to focus on your body and the external physical world. It might help you relax and stay grounded and reset, when you are unable to be the person you normally are bc of your physical stress. Might help. And now i’m really done. 🙂

  5. Yes, excellent points all around. I do try not to burn bridges before I get to them (haha!), and I agree that I’m probably pretty well-prepared for motherhood just because I’ve thought about it so long and hard at this point. Thank goodness the body-possession bit is the shortest phase, and afterwards we get our bodies to ourselves again while we raise the kids. I’m totally looking forward to the baby/kid/teenager stages. Still, if this pregnancy makes me miserable enough, I’ll adopt my subsequent kid(s). I’m excited about babies, but I don’t NEED them to come from my body; I just figured I’d give it a go. This is where I differ from the aforementioned mommy-blog “all the puking and misery is worth it; my body is only an incubator; working on Our Little Princess #7; who needs hobbies or a career?!” attitude, heh.

    My husband is an INFP, and before we were married, we went through some relationship counseling; understanding our MBTI differences was a huge reason that we managed to get married instead of giving up in frustration. There was a revelatory moment when the therapist asked what we would do if we had an unplanned pregnancy (we’d been arguing about whether/how to plan for having children), and he said he’d want to keep it, whereas I said I’d want to abort it because I wouldn’t be ready. We were stunned by each other’s answers. Perfect example of how he prefers to have things happen to him, and I prefer to be in charge of the sequence of events. (Of course, there’s also a biological factor at play here, since it’s MY body that will literally carry the burden. But still.)

    It’s funny that you mention the nickname thing. As soon as I found out that I was pregnant, I insisted that everyone who knew about it refer to the embryo as The Blob. That way if it died or turned out to be otherwise inviable, I would only ever have thought about it as a sort of temporary pet that lived parasitically in my body for a time. It’ll be The Blob until the third trimester, and then I’ll probably think of it as a nameless baby until it’s born. We have name ideas, but yeah, probably won’t use them until post-birth.

    I appreciate the tip about developing Se. I’m pretty new to the hierarchy of functions, but I’m starting to dig into them a little more, now that I’ve worn down all my friends by pointing out how MBTI explains why I seem like an asshole but am actually a genius. 🙂 (My siblings and friends, as well as my husband, are pretty much all NFPs). I’ll check out the Se stuff.

    I also noticed your post about a long-ago visit to Austin, which is where I live! Let me know if you’re ever in town and wanna grab coffee or something!

    • Ugh, i think i promised a reply and only emailed you instead. lol.

      The Se stuff has been pretty fascinating to me. Since I am in the middle of so much personal upheaval, I figured I might as well look at the breaking apart of everything as a chance to renovate and improve myself. I have never really studied the functional stack side of MBTI before, other than to know what mine are and where they diverge from the other people in my life. Supposedly the goal for healthy psyche is to have the inferior function fully integrated and utilized, so I started doing reading on it. What really struck me is how little I was paying attention to that side of myself, even though it is clearly important, given how strongly it can “act up” if not tended to (not to mention that the vast network of knowledge Ni depends on is input from little ole inferior Se!). Thinking back on my pregnancy, I can say that I did not engage in a particular regime of self-care, and even when I tried I didn’t maybe know what the best approach was in a pyschological sense. I think back on how hard I was trying to force myself/my body to do what I wanted it to do, how much energy and heartache I expended trying to force it, instead of giving in gracefully and treating my body with a little more consideration, and I kind of cringe. I think INTJs are as a group kind of self-abusive bc we are so disconnected from our bodies we just get mad at them when they don’t do what we think they should be able to do. I wish I had taken better care with myself during that period (since god knows no one else was taking care of me) but I didn’t. My body won anyway, I just got mad at it for it. But if you think of your body as a separate entity like a car, would you run your car into the ground when it’s the middle of winter and the engine’s barely working or would you treat it with more consideration? When i think in those terms about my physical shell I realize…i should be more sensitive to its needs. So (to come back to the main point) focusing on Se is one way to do that, and for me, at least, a really effective way to that, that relaxes my body and mind both.

      Hope you have by now passed into the slightly less exhausting second trimester! 🙂

      • This is all really good advice. Thank you. I’m sorry it took me so long to get back to you; I ended up having a miscarriage in the second trimester. Luckily I was obsessive about getting “optional” blood tests and learned that the baby had a 1:2 chance of Down Syndrome; when we went in for an ultrasound and amnio to confirm the diagnosis at 17 weeks, the baby had been dead for a week (and did indeed have DS). This was in late November. All I can say is that I’m glad I didn’t let myself get too emotionally invested in the pregnancy, and I had tests done so that I couldn’t be taken by surprise — typical INTJ self-protective measures that really saved my sanity in this situation. It has been excruciating and horrible, but it would have been so much worse if I’d believed everyone who kept telling me to stop worrying, everything will be fine, etc. Gonna try to conceive again in a few months, more realistic and pragmatic than ever. :/

      • Wow. I am so sorry to hear that you went through that. I am also so happy for you that the decision to terminate/not based on a DS diagnosis (or, worse, possibility) was taken out of your hands. In that sense I am certain the situation was made easier for you. I am certain such a diagnosis made the aftermath of a miscarriage easier – and don’t feel any guilt if what you primarily feel is relief at having escaped a living hell. I admire people who make the choice to sacrifice themselves to such a child; I could not. I hope that your next conception is quick, easy (fun ;)), and most importantly HEALTHY.

      • You nailed it, on all counts. I scheduled an abortion after getting the blood test results (my research showed that even if it wasn’t DS, my proteins and hormone levels were all way outside the normal bell curve and indicated terrible problems), and I was glad that I ended up being spared from the decision myself. It’s made it easier to go public about the experience, because while miscarriage is somewhat stigmatized (and EXTREMELY common but very little discussed), abortion is obviously even more so. The D&C surgery was horrific, and of course there was shock and grief, but I also felt like I had dodged a bullet…having to make a decision about termination, or giving birth to a child with devastating developmental problems. After the surgery, we named him and had him cremated, so we had some closure, and the only lingering guilt I feel is that he possibly realized I wasn’t going to keep him and chose to die. That’s a very woo thing to theorize, I know, but it still haunts me somewhat. I just hope his little life-energy was able to move on to a better-formed body somewhere. And our genetic counselor says this was a fluke — there’s one in every low-risk population — so we have the green light to try again. I guess we’ll see.

      • Don’t worry about woo talk here…regardless of belief (which is agnostic anyway), i am always open to ideas of the beyond (since as i’m sure you can relate new experiences/knowledge might change my belief). If the little one DID choose to go it was an act of love (to spare you pain), and an act of self-identity (to choose to act vs being acted upon). But from what you say it was likely just his time, because too much was going wrong regardless.

        It is interesting how little EITHER m/c or abortion are discussed in our culture in real terms, as in this happened to someone you know. I have had friends, people i thought trusted me with everything, tell me years after the fact that they’d had an abortion. Of the friends I know who’ve had kids or tried only two have discussed having had a miscarriage; i have no idea if they were the only two it happened to or if others had it and didn’t say. i suspect the latter. it’s an intensely private burden to carry, most of the time – becuase so many occur before everyone has been told. In your case presumably everyone in your life knew, so you’ve not had much choice but to discuss it.

        I am glad you just drew the unlucky card (vs having an elevated risk). There’s a lovely healthy baby in your future. As one of my friends says, “i am a firm believer of the right kid coming to you at the right time.” So it just wasn’t quite the right one.

  6. I’m agnostic too; I think we all choose what to believe (including people who are convinced that their holy book is the One True Way), and most things can’t be proven one way or the other. What you said about love and self-identity hit me straight in the heart; I hope that his leaving was an act of love — just as my choosing termination would have been an act of love, however demented that sounds to people who disagree — and it certainly was an act of self-identity if it was chosen. Thinking about it in those terms makes me so proud of my almost-son, for the tiny ways he took charge of his tiny life. Then from a sheerly scientific perspective, of course it’s most likely that he was not aware of anything, and his body had done all it could, and my body (bless it) carried on heroically as though nothing was wrong. The whole thing defies comprehension.
    I posted on Facebook after the miscarriage and was heartened to get a flood of fellow-miscarriage comments from people who are always posting pictures of their cute babies and kids. It was encouraging to know that so many of my friends went on to have healthy kids after tragic losses, even though I was frustrated at the way they usually broadcast a sort of effortless family-building that makes the rest of us feel alone. But they probably didn’t feel safe speaking publicly about their experiences until they saw me lay myself open like that. And yeah, somebody will be the right kid at the right time, no matter how s/he gets here. 🙂

    • Supposedly INTJ’s get weird insights and knowledge they can’t identify the source of. I say, if it comforts you to believe it was a willful act, do. It might be resonating with you precisely because there was some interplay in your body that you couldn’t possibly recognize consciously that supports exactly that narrative. Moreover if you believe in the concept of a soul, why could a soul not make a choice independent of a flawed/underdeveloped shell’s ability to comprehend?

      I have promised myself to spend this year listening to those intuitions/imaginings more closely and with more gravitas. I had been using my rational intellect almost exclusively, and that path was not right for me. So maybe I am currently *too* open to such notions. But I think mothers should always be able to feel pride in their children.

      And for the record – i agree with you on it being an act of love, and kindness, to avoid. It is not a full life. It does not allow for the full spectrum and glory of the human experience. Just bc value can be found by those who choose to shepherd such a life doesn’t mean the life itself finds any value. Sometimes that “I can’t harm a life God wanted me to Have” mentality is so utterly selfish (I refuse to act in a way I will feel guilty for) that it’s stunning. But obviously my perspective is dissonant and harsh vis a vis theirs.

      • As always, you’ve described exactly the way I feel. I’ve long realized that I’m able to synthesize insights and information in a way that seems unfairly advantageous (even my mom, who had never had a miscarriage herself and had been so upset about how she perceived my practicality to be “negative” during my pregnancy, said that the calm and sensible way I handled the miscarriage ordeal was “magic”). Gotta love MBTI for, despite its shortcomings, making it possible to find strangers who process things in the same way. I’ve also taken your advice about developing Se to heart, and I’ve enjoyed working on it as a way of reconnecting with a certainly neglected part of who I am. Hope you are doing okay with all you’re dealing with, too, and let me know sometime when you’re in my neck of the woods!

      • That’s probably been the best part for me about learning the MBTI stuff! I think part of the reason INTJ’s love it so much (some types apparently don’t get much out of the classifications) is that we are all so used to having no one around us think like we do and constantly being told how weird we are for the way we think that…meeting people who just fucking GET IT without a dozen caveats or a five-minute background lecture is like…mind-blowing.

        Things got delayed a bit from the timeline i had emailed you…we are just now getting the house on the market. Hopefully still back near you by March/April though! And we’ll definitely meet up 🙂

  7. I’m currently a pregnant INTJ and found this blog post on a whim. This first trimester has been hell for me for all the reasons you mentioned (and then some). Thanks for sharing your perspective and partially restoring my sanity.

    • Samantha, I am so happy you found the post and that it helped you regain some mental balance. If you ever want to talk/ask me anything/just vent to someone who might understand (here or via email) please don’t hesitate to reach out! We INTJ ladies gotta stick together on this shit.

  8. Katie

    You nailed it! We just found out — I’m 8 weeks. The hardest part for me has been respecting the authority of my doctor, when it seems clear that I have much more knowledge/an open-mind based on all of the researching I have been doing. My first appointment where they run down all of the things you can’t do… I was like “this is bullshit.” That must come from my hatred for authority if I deem then “incompetent.” The nurse was simply reading through papers she had clearly read through thousands of times before. I was like “C’mon, shouldn’t you know this by heart already?” I haven’t even met the doctor yet, but hoping I get a better impression from her, or else I’m seriously considering a more tailored midwife/doula experience so I can truly have it “my way.”

    • Katie, I would recommend a midwife or at the very least a doula if you are interested in having a say in your birth experience. Also if you have ANY underlying medical issues please ask your primary care physician for his/her recommendation for that condition in pregnancy, even if your OB is already giving you instructions. My OB didn’t know WTF she was doing with thyroid monitoring/dosages and I would likely have miscarried unnecessarily if I had followed her advice vs. double-checking with my PCP.

      Even if it’s a midwife at a hospital (which is what I will do next time) vs a home birth (since that way you would have the option of epidural and the just-in-case-of-true-emergency fallback) a midwife is IMO a better choice than an OB for having someone who actually listens to you and explains things to you. There are some OB’s/hospitals that really do work with their patients, but there are plenty that don’t. And even the ones that say they do, or that have a reputation in the natural birth community as doing so, don’t always in the moment or in your particular case. My birth story is posted somewhere (just follow the INTJ pregnancy tag), and it did NOT go according to plan – even with my having a “things happen” attitude, my labor was not how I wanted or expected things to go. And the majority of it had to do with the attitude of my doctor and the L&D staff, who basically went, “Oh your water broke and you didn’t immediately go into labor? Then you are going on Pitocin without any explanation or true option to decline, because we know best honey *head pat head pat* and while we’re at it we are going to make fun of you for being afraid of augmentation and tell you it’s super-common and no big deal at all, and ignore you when you say you are in an unnatural amount of pain, because, well, you’re dumb enough to not want an epidural so this is probably a normal amount of pain for being induced and you just don’t know what you’re talking about *head pat head pat*.”

      I am still resentful of the way I was treated during labor. I had no consent – I was only able to submit to The Machine – and no one really listened to me when I told them about my fears or my pain. A doula would have at the very least been able to point out to the nurse the things that were not going normally and have those addressed, and probably would have been able to make me less afraid of the way the Pitocin was making me feel physically/mentally.

      I don’t have a lot of respect for the obstetrics community at the moment, and if you are already skeptical of the person you are seeing, I would seek out an alternative provider sooner than later. If I had listened to my gut instinct I would have switched away from my OB to a midwife at the hospital, reputation or no reputation, but I talked myself into staying with her because of her standing in the natural birth community. But she and I did not deal well together, and the ONLY point of praise I will give her was her patience during actual delivery. Otherwise? All she did was frighten and stress me for reasons related to her own need to CYA and her own experience with patients who don’t mind their own health vs someone like me. I wanted to switch the entire time I was seeing her and by the time I decided I should listen to that fear it was too late to do so and I was stuck. In the end I got a vaginal birth, at least, but it was in no other way what I was hoping for (and I don’t even mean being stuck on a particular outcome so much as how I felt about the process and how it went down).

  9. Ashe Skyler

    It is always such a relief to find mother and wife blogs by other INTJs. I feel a lot less like a robotic asshole. I’m neither rejecting my baby nor a control freak, I am simply a well-researched woman with a marked interest in what’s best for me and my family even if I’m not squealing like a schoolgirl, just like my fellow INTJ ladies. 🙂

    • He ha, yes, exactly! This post really has turned into a public service announcement for my peers. I don’t know if you know any other INTJ ladies IRL or have an online community of them, but it is AMAZING how much we share in terms of those “not like the others” experiences. Glad you stopped by. We rational mama’s gotta stick together. Fo sho.

      • Ashe Skyler

        Most folks I know in person are sensors of some flavor or another who have adapted well to my ADD-like qualities when I get interested in something, but I’m recently finding some good INTJ women blogs and I’m really enjoying the confirmation I’m not just crazy. Much to my husband’s amusement. “See! See! I’m not the only one who noticed the conspiracy with women’s pants pockets!!” Okay, so maybe I’m a liiiiitle crazy. I blame my ESFP grandpa!

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