Jan 18, 2015

Granting Grace

This post could also be called "how week 26 kicked my ass."

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 two three days in a row.

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.


Kelly said...

Pregnancy is sooooooo hard, so hard. Even if you want it. Even if you have hoped and wished and prayed for it forever. I know some people "love pregnancy" and those people can bite me haha.
I've been thinking a lot about those last few weeks of my pregnancy where I was just paralyzed with fear that something bad would happen because of my liver. I can't imagine how hard it has been for you to feel like that for this entire time.
All I can say is, it's about to get so much better. The newborn days are nothing compared to a tough pregnancy. You will feel better. You will be able to see that baby breathing and hear him crying. You will be forced to actually rest on the couch for hours on end. Sometimes you won't even mind waking up several times a night because Lemon will be soooooooo cute.

Kelly said...

(I think you blog just cut me off for talking too much. I will not be swayed!)
It's about to get so much better. You can do it!

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I may have had more than my share, your share and someone elses share of large sweet teas while pregnant. The leg cramps were killer. I feel like it was a nightly wake up that would make me hope(hahah) out of bed and dance around and of course it wouldn't coincide with bathroom trip(S).

Prairie Anonymous said...

When the guilt over not loving every moment became too much, I adopted the mantra that I must _apprectakr_ every moment. It fits for both pregnancy & parenting. Both are damn hard. Both can make you miserable. But I found no matter what I could absolutely appreciate what was going on.

Nora said...

Real & honest is better than sugar coating and lying to our faces about how things are, ya know? I can't imagine what it must be like to have all of your energy and resources going towards being the original 3D printer, not even a little bit. I'm in awe of my friends who are pregnant and all that they sacrifice before the baby arrives. You're doing an awesome thing and a big hell yes to cutting yourself some slack. <3

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I am glad that you have a space where you can share your experiences and thoughts... because when something is hard and you feel fresh to make it out to be easy, that makes it even worse. I can't wait for Lemon to be here as I know there are so many worst case scenarios you can imagine between now and his arrival. I am praying for a safe, full term pregnancy for you! And I'm always here if you need to vent!!

Amber said...

Aw I'm sorry you had a crappy week friend and that things have been so rough lately. You are absolutely justified in thinking those thoughts and I'm glad you have a place to vent it! I've had a few friends who've had hellish pregnancies and some people who have sailed through pregnancy and loved it. It's so crazy how different it can be for each individual person. Thinking about you and Lemon and I hope the next few months go by before you know it! xoxo

Katelin said...

"I feel happy and excited, and then temper it with "well, so far so good. Let's hope it stays that way."

Yes. I seriously read this post and nodded along the whole time. I even made Matt read it because it's basically like I wrote this. Sending a whole lot of love and can't wait for baby Lemon to make his arrival! xoxo

Charis Faith said...

When you write to express your emotions it's hard sometimes because you live every day life and mostly you are ok. Then when we write it's when the quirkiness arrives. I can hide my feelings well in every day life but it's on the pages of my blog where I let go of what I'm processing. I'm thankful that I can look back and understand where I've been and realize that what's ahead is going to be challenging and there will be more hurts but there will also be triumphs and love and there is so much hope and the knowledge that I'm not where I was and I am so thankful for that! I know for my friend whose first little boy arrived at 30 weeks this second pregnancy has been so much more difficult emotionally. She knew what she didn't know the first time. Now that she's past that 30 week mark she's now trying to wrap her brain around the fact that there is going to be a baby :) Sending you hugs!!!

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