I know I’ve been gone for awhile. And the longer I’ve been away, the more foreign it feels to write, and yet this morning I felt so lonely that I knew writing would be more therapeutic than talking to anybody about it.
I’ve been sick. The kind of sickness that normally comes with weight gain, cramps, forgetfulness, and a parasite that finally leaves your body after nine months.
Yeah, I’m pregnant.
In the midst of the nausea and vomiting, I started reading “mommy blogs” in order to make sense of it all and in hopes that I would find one I could relate to. I found two types of moms – ones that were angry and hilarious, and ones that seemed so happy it made me wonder if they found rainbows at the toilet bowl (Morning sickness is great! Your child will have a higher IQ! Consider yourself lucky!!!!!).
I couldn’t find a blog that could just be real, without the embellished drama. I wanted to read about someone who, like me, was filled with uncertainty and fear despite the recognition of the miracle at work. I just want to know that it’s normal to break down in front of your husband and sob that you’ll never have the same body again, that you’ll never have spontaneous dates again (or at least, for 18 years, if you can survive that long), that you’ll never have the same life again.
And I want someone to tell me all that without adding, “Oh! But it’s all worth it in the end! (insert row of smiley emoticons here).” Because you know what? I’m not yet at the end. And I’m sincerely glad it was all worth it for you, but what if… it’s not for me?
Because, you see, you can’t draw that same conclusion with everyone. My mother made it clear to me having children was not worth it for her “in the end.” She said it calmly, on her way to driving me to school one day. I didn’t know how to respond. Her advice to me before I got married was, “Well if you must get married, whatever you do, don’t have kids. It’ll ruin your life.”
So while I have had moments of joy in hearing my baby’s heartbeat and seeing its skeletal structure (pretty crazy what you can see in ultrasounds these days!), and while people congratulate us with huge smiles and blessings, I have moments when my heart just feels devoid of emotion.
I have wonderful friends. There are days when I can be strong, and I find myself believing them when they remind me, “You are not your mom. Lean on your faith, not your understanding.” But then there are times of weakness like this morning, when a little voice inside asks, “Who are you kidding???”
I may be the only person I know who is going through this. But hopefully if you find yourself in this place one day, you’ll remember this post and know there is at least one person out there who understands.
You’re not alone.
I’m just wondering if you heard those words from your mother all those years ago that you felt unwanted in any way?
amy @ one artsy mama says
Oh, Jen…big hugs to you. I remember feeling that way shortly after finding out I was pregnant with my kiddo. I sat on the couch just sobbing, mourning the life I knew would go away once he was born. My body did basically go back to what it was before, but not entirely. There were lots of sleepless nights and no, even now, seven years later, we can’t just pick up and go on spontaneous dates like we used to. There are definitely things I miss. Things I wish I could have back, even just for a day. But, then he smiles at me. He cuddles me as he falls asleep and I stare at his perfect face. The days definitely do feel long sometimes, but the years are incredibly short. Before I know it, he’ll be a teenager, falling in love, going off to college, getting married himself. I can’t tell you what you will feel when your baby is born, but for me, it was the start of a love I never knew I was capable of. He can get on my every last nerve and drive me to drink some days, but I love him absolutely unconditionally. And I wouldn’t trade him for anything. Not my body, my independence, nothing. He’s the one person on earth I’d give my life for. I hope you find the same.
That’s so funny that you wrote this. Not funny that you’re going through this. But I feel the same way you fee. Why can’t there by a realistic blog about what you’re going through, esp the first trimester? I’ve been meaning to blog about my first trimester, as I entire into my second, but work has been so busy and I haven’t found time to do anything for myself. Maybe I’ll do it this weekend. Chin up, it’ll get better. I thought I was going to die during week 6-8 as the nausea got progressively worse. But it will start to get better after week 16. I still have occasional nausea. But slowly eating again. And it’s becoming more “real” as this “parasite” grows.
just saw your post via our mutual amigo j. so sorry you are going through a torrent of mixed feelings and emotions. that is natural, especially considering your mother wounds, words moms should never say to their kids and you are hormonal. you will get your body back depending on how fit you are but i must say after my 2nd child, i was back to pre-pregancy weight but then five years later it was all downhill…but that’s most likely just due to aging!! just know you and your baby forming inside you are “fearfully and wonderfully made”. don’t lose the date nights even after baby is born and you are exhausted. it will just be a different kind of dating for a season in life. congrats & hugs!
Kristen C says
Praying for you friend! After reading your post, I went back and re-read the one I wrote when I was 15 weeks pregnant. Despite our very different life experiences and personalities, I was actually surprised at how much similarity there was. (Hopefully it does not come across as rainbow barf or angry rant, either!) Maybe it will also be an encouragement that you too are not alone. Thanks for writing this, because many many moms-to-be (and new moms) need to hear it. http://mindbodymusings.blogspot.com/2015/03/pregnancy-experiences-of-mind-body.html
Delighted to see that you have made the decision to have a child! I did not make that decision and am often sad about it. It does sound like it is harder than you imagined. We have a God who can be trusted with outcomes. Let’s see how you feel about the outcome.
Jen, congratulations to you! But I also want to send hugs of support for all of the mixed emotions and fear that you are experiencing. I hope that you will fall in love with your little one and find that at the end, it was worth it for you. After I gave birth to my daughter, it took months for my life to feel “normal” to me. Four and a half years later, I *still* miss the quiet life that Hubby and I shared. Lots of things aren’t the same again (like spontaneous date night) but you will find new ways to do the things you did before. I hope you find peace and I wish you (and the baby) good health.
Woah! That was fast! Feels like yesterday that I read the “Should I have kids?” post. I’m glad that blogging your thoughts out helps. Gosh, being pregnant is so different for each person! Kind of sucky that your mother was not a nice mother to you If anything, it’s good that you recognize it and think about it, cause it means “you have the power” to be different than your mother! Maybe that’s God’s blessing or path for you! To give you the chance to be a better person than your mother was… to use your “power” to overcome the negative. Oh, I’ll be praying for you too! And praying that because of the icky things you have to endure, the sacrifices you have to make, that this “parasite” is going to grow into something unique and beautiful for you only…like the love your husband has for you, like the love your friends have for you…like the love YOU have for others
It’s so exciting to hear that you are expecting! I have probably no idea what you are going through right now because I have never been pregnant, but I do know that if my mom had told me that having kids didn’t pay off for her, I would feel totally unwanted, unloved, and angry. Aren’t you happy that your mom chose to have kids because now you are alive to pass on the same gift of life regardless of whether or not is pays off? Also, did you feel this way after you got married? Were you wondering that you may have just destroyed your life because you are now bound to someone? Maybe, but I doubt it. You love your husband, and I can almost guarantee, that you will come to, if you don’t already, love your child. Having a child is like getting married only you create a person instead of choosing one. I know that you will be an excellent mom! I hope that you feel God’s hand working in your life though your child
My mother said similar things to me so I can relate with your anxieties. Having carved out a wonderful life with your loving husband and friends and even a career you love (hard to do!), you’ve got so much wisdom and love to pass onto your child. As an introspective thoughtful person, you won’t end up like your mother blaming everything and everyone but herself for her misery.
Looking forward to your insightful reviews on maternity wear and toys!
Congrats! I feel you! No matter how much joy this baby will bring, your life will never be the same. I don’t think I’m going to be the motherly sensitive emotional type of mother. You can do “dressing the bump” series now! Haha.