I am a fraud.
I post about the good days, the easy days, the ‘ok’ days, the days where even with the rough moments are ‘worth it’. What I don’t post or talk about are the days where I lose my cool. The days when nothing that happens the entire day feels ‘worth it’, when no matter what I try – the day just sucks. I talk about how happy and how blessed I feel with our current situation, but in all honesty – I feel kind of indifferent. I feel sad more than I feel joy, I feel anxiety more than I feel relief and I feel like crawling back into bed more than I feel like celebrating the new life we’ve created.
This pregnancy, the pregnancy we tried so hard for, has been nothing like I expected it to be. I thought I’d be happy and feel excited that I finally got pregnant, and that each week the baby grew, I would feel at ease and calm. But that’s not the case. I sit here day after day in a listless funk, unable to drag myself out of the dark thoughts. Because, yes, I am halfway, and yes, my last midwife appointment looked good, but what about tomorrow? And the next day?
The ‘what ifs’ overwhelm me and drown out everything else.
As my husband and I pulled up to the front of our house last week, we both sat in the front seat for a minute – quiet. The words were building up inside of me, wanting to burst out, but too afraid to say them out loud and admit what I was, and am, feeling.
I’m not quite sure what I expected, but when he turned to me and told me he’d been feeling the same way, a wave of relief came over me – like I didn’t have to put on airs anymore and pretend. He confided that he, too, feels like our loss has tainted this time for him as well. That it’s hard for him to get excited about what the baby, when just a few months ago one was ripped away from us without warning.
I do feel lucky to have been able to get pregnant so fast after a loss, really, I do. However, I wasn’t quite anticipating the open wounds that didn’t have time to heal, because of how quickly it happened. In retrospect, I wonder if we should have waited longer to start trying again. We were in such a dark place as a family, it felt like getting pregnant again would be the bandaid to fix the misery, but instead all it has done is cover up a gaping wound that neither of us has had time to doctor and mend.
At this time in my pregnancy with H, I felt so connected with the baby I hadn’t quite met yet. I had dreams about what he would look like, visions of him meeting my grandparents, and felt the weight of him in my arms. I was so sick with Hyperemesis Gravidarum, I should have wished it over, but I didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I was miserable (as would anyone be when you’re constantly puking), but I was also so amazed at what my body was capable of, that the awe overshadowed any discomfort I was feeling.
With this baby, I ashamedly, feel no connection at all. I feel like I just want to get it over with. I wish the minutes and hours and days and weeks and months away. I do not want to go into preterm labor and have to experience the pain of the NICU, I just want to be at the end of this 9 month journey, holding a healthy baby in my arms. I want to be able to look into his or her eyes and I want to feel something – anything towards the baby, not this detachment and alienation I feel now.
Even writing these feelings down feels shameful and taboo. I’m not supposed to say that my soul feels heavy or that my heart isn’t in it. I’m not supposed to say that I worry about bonding with this child. I’m not supposed to say that this pregnancy has turned me into an anxiety ridden mess. But all these things and more are true. So I post about how glad I am to feel kicks, and how blessed I feel to be pregnant, and how excited we are to have this new impending baby’s arrival.
But these words and these statements are a hoax.
This is my truth. This is my struggle.