Getting pregnant was hell. Staying pregnant was hell. Losing our daughter was heart-wrenching.
I knew pregnancy would be hard, but I think on some level I thought/hoped/wished maybe it wouldn't be quite so rough for me since it had taken us so long to get here.
I'm ready to be a mom. Yes there are going to be sleepless nights, and tears, and doubts and worries that are probably going to make the ones in this pregnancy look like child's play (pun definitely intended) - I don't expect it to be a walk in the park. Bring it.
But for some reason, I can't wrap my mind around that for pregnancy.
There are moments when I have to take a breath because the amount of things I summon to worry about overwhelm me. I'm active in the infertility community, and because of that I know incredible stories of hope, and horrifying stories of loss. I know someone who has lost a child at every stage of pregnancy and beyond, so the "out of the woods" feeling has yet to sink in.
Of course I'm grateful to be pregnant, and I love this little boy so fiercely that it sometimes takes my breath away; yet there are times when I am so miserable I don't know how I'm going to do this for another three months. Then I immediately think, I'm sorry, I can do this, please don't take that as a sign that he should come early or anything bad should happen. Some days everything I say is with a caveat - I don't want to seem ungrateful.
However, there are days when I think oh my gosh, this is why I was never successfully pregnant - I'm simply not cut out for it.
For all intents and purposes, I've so far had a pretty textbook pregnancy, which is fantastic! But the fear is there. It's there and it's real, and it's not me simply thinking, "oh I hope nothing bad happens." It's me thinking of friends and family and knowing their stories of loss. It's me thinking if I don't honor their loss in my mind, it will happen to us too.
I start to get excited about my baby shower and then check my ankles for swelling because I'm paranoid about preeclampsia.
I feel happy and excited, and then temper it with "well, so far so good. Let's hope it stays that way."
I sleep with a humidifier every night, yet my nose alternates between being runny and so dry it's bloody and painful. I get leg cramps at night and I stretch and drink more water, yet that only makes me wake up more times to go to the bathroom, which then makes me aware of how sore my hips really are every time I turn over.
The other day a friend of mine said, "Becky, give yourself a break - you're building a human!" I laughed, but it's true. There are changes that are happening I can't see, and there are things that will happen I have no control over - and at some point I need to believe everything is going to be okay.
I want to be clear - this is not my outlook all the time, or even half the time. Yes, it's going to be another three months of frequent bathroom breaks, and uncomfortable aches and pains. But I also recognize it's another three months of feeling more and more movement, finalizing his room, and making preparations so when our son is here all we have to do is focus on him.
I tell myself, It's okay that it's hard. It's okay that you're not happy all the time. It's okay to have a slurpee
Tomorrow is a new day. I'll be 27 weeks, and I have a prenatal massage scheduled that I hope is going to alleviate some tension I've been carrying. So today I will rest and relax, and pat my stomach each time this little man moves around.
The worry is there, but so is the joy.
Early on I realized just because I wanted something, doesn't meant it wouldn't be hard. I promised to be honest even if it wasn't pretty - thanks for granting me grace to do so.