Pregnancy has been a journey. One with very few words. As if writing out my fears, my excitements, would somehow bring to light some horrible truth or shining star that would be far too much for my tired brain to handle. By putting down words in black and white I would illegitimatize some of my feelings in pursuit of convincing myself of the others to be more true. For these reasons I have not written down many of my thoughts, and to some extent that is a true regret. But I really believe that I’ve needed this time in my own head, in my own body, to process this journey. Because while things still aren’t clear – far from it – it’s certainly feeling like a more complete picture as the days wear on.
I’ve been somewhat reluctant, on this journey to motherhood. To be honest, I don’t think I’m there yet. I’m not sure I’ll ever really feel like I’m the “mom” that women are supposed to be. But I’m not sure I’d want to be that woman anyway. So far I’ve been blessed with a complication free and relatively easy pregnancy. Sickness and pain aside, she’s been pretty good to me. But that doesn’t mean I’ve necessarily enjoyed it. I’ll never forget, in the throes of my first trimester, my friend asking me why I looked so sad, and simultaneously exclaiming about her own pregnancy “I was puking, but I was SO happy about it! I mean, I was pregnant!” My own misery, despair, and outright depression that I was going through certainly paled in comparison to her rainbow colored vomit, and I knew then that my journey was to be very different than the glitter show that most women think when they think about having a child.
The first few months were spent alternating between giving food horrible death stares and sobbing hysterically in a pile on the bedroom floor. My poor, sweet husband, who I will forever be grateful for, didn’t skip a beat as he made me home-made pasta, and then took it away immediately when I looked at it, turned green, and started crying for no reason. He bought me pounds and pounds of apples and pretzels, the few things I could eat. He put blankets on me when he found me sleeping in random places in the house in the middle of the day. He sat on the floor with me the night I sobbed and told him horrible things about leaving him to run away and get an abortion, how this was all a huge mistake, my fear and hormones overwhelming every logical part of my very self. He heard all the words I didn’t say, and he knew exactly what I needed. He listened and hugged me and never once said or gave me anything but positive love.
This was our second pregnancy. Our first ended just weeks after it began, with a horrific amount of blood and so very many confused emotions. We both spent quite a few nights staring at each other, not knowing the words we wanted to say, not knowing the feelings we should be having. Christmas came and went, and it helped us get distracted, get back into normal life. Sometime after that, he bought me a small ring, two interlocking circles of diamonds. The larger loop of black diamonds and the smaller of white. It mirrors our wedding rings, and he chose this as a symbol of our unity, of us as a team. We had already been through so much, and knowing first-hand how crazy this journey could end up being, he gave it to me immediately when we found out I was pregnant the second time. I sobbed, of course. It was so thoughtful, so incredible. And those early days of long nights on the bedroom floor, I stared at that ring. I had a tendency to get lost in my own head, unable to find the air for the water filling my lungs. I had forgotten that I wouldn’t have to raise this child on my own. That the entire reason this was happening was because of the love between the two of us, our amazing spirit together. He has been my rock this entire pregnancy, and I can only imagine that he will be my rock throughout our lives. I am so incredibly lucky to have him, it physically hurts sometimes. And for some odd reason he seems to feel the same way about me.
The second trimester was much easier for me, I slowly got some energy back and some food even started sounding good again. I continued CrossFit, one of the few things outside Neil that I can say really helped with my sanity throughout this journey. There’s something liberating about throwing heavy things around that makes all of the demons in your head go into hiding. I “came out” at work, and was met with support and excitement – something I wasn’t expecting, considering almost none of my colleagues have children of their own. For a while things felt great, I was in the sweet spot of pregnancy. There’s really not much I can say except that I think this was a very necessary break to get my head back together. This is really when I started getting excited, when I sorted out my emotions and got myself back into reality.
This last trimester has been challenging, but much less-so than the first. I’m big, I’m uncomfortable, and I’m in pain almost constantly thanks to where she’s decided to hole up in my pelvis. But my head is wonderful, and I will take physical pain over mental anguish any day of the week. I wear the ring on my left hand now, we had it re sized when my wedding ring stopped fitting. After she is here, we’ll have it re sized again for my right hand, and I will forever appreciate the thought it invokes, the love and the memories of this crazy journey we are on. The incredible team that we make.
Neil is still amazing. He cooks, and cleans, and still finds me sleeping in random spots in the house. He spoils me rotten, helping me up and down from stairs and chairs when I’m in too much pain to do things myself. And he constantly reminds me, in little ways most likely unbeknownst to him, of our love and excitement. I think I love him more now than ever, and I only imagine how much that will grow once our daughter is here. He will be the most incredible father, and I am so excited to see him with his daughter.
I wish I had the words to write her a love letter. All about how amazing she will be and how there are so many magical, shimmering pieces of the world that I want to show her how to love. But even now, with a matter of weeks left, she is still so intangible. Which is ironic, given that she routinely tries to break my hip bone, gets hiccups and then gets irritated and squirmy about it, and generally is showing signs of some sort of – dare I say personality? It’s true I can’t wait to meet her, but it’s also true that I feel like she’s not really real until I do. Like I just happen to have a huge belly that once in a while starts to salsa dance all by itself. I can tell you things I hope for – that she loves learning and reading, crunching pine needles and the smell of a campfire. But as far as things I know to be true- it boils down to nothing more than that she will be so very loved, and we will do our very best to teach her how to make her hopes and dreams come true.
And maybe that’s enough for now.