Thursday, February 4, 2010
This pregnancy isn't like the others. I don't wake up in the morning, rub my belly, and think about the beautiful life growing inside of me. I'm not "glowing". I'm struggling.
From day one, I didn't believe I was pregnant. I mentioned in my announcement post, how within hours of taking the pregnancy test that would confirm the idea of our little bean, I had convinced myself that it was a false positive. Even after taking another home test, going to the lab for blood work, seeing an ultrasound, going through 12 weeks of morning sickness and exhaustion... I still don't believe it. Its almost like, I'm numb.
Christopher couldn't come with us to our 12 week checkup yesterday. He had class, so I took the kids alone. Charlie stayed strapped into the stroller beside me, while Eleanore pranced around the room getting into trouble, occasionally sitting in the chair that I had told her to sit still in. When the doctor came in (we have an amazing doctor by the way, him and Eleanore are the best of friends), I went blank.
I layed back and revealed my much-larger-than-it-should-be belly for the ultrasound, making a comment about how I was never this big with the other two. The doctor touched the machine to my belly, and I stared at the screen. Just waiting for it.
I can't believe I'm about to type out the awful thoughts that have been going through my head, I'm embarrassed and ashamed of them, but I can't keep them bottled up any longer. I feel guilty for how I feel. I hate how I feel. I want to feel differently. I feel like something is wrong with me. Is this normal? Do other mothers feel this way? Why. I pray every night, in the shower, while I'm driving- for God to give me strength and open up my heart to this baby. And I beg for forgiveness.
I expected to see an empty cavity, where a baby once was. And if a baby was still there, there wouldn't be a heartbeat. My baby, doesn't exist. During the few seconds while the doctor gave Eleanore instructions on how to turn the lights off, so we could see the picture on the machine better, my heart stopped, and all of the breath that was once in my lungs, escaped. I was ready to hear it. I was ready for somebody to tell me that I wasn't pregnant, and that all of this would soon be over with. I continued to stare at the screen, not seeing a baby, when my hypnotic daze was interrupted with... "Elie, quick, look right here... are you looking? Just watch".
The Doctor moved the wand around on my lower abdomen, and into view, came a baby.
"But, how?", I wondered. I had no words to say anything out loud, just thoughts racing through my shaken up mind.
Alright, so there is a baby, but, there wouldn't be a heartbeat.
And then the baby, that I had previously told myself wouldn't be there, started kicking. ...my little bean. Again, I asked myself, "how"?
I wish I could type now, how I felt relieved and instantly bonded with the baby that I saw. But I didn't. I went numb again. I put on a happy face, for Eleanore and Charlie's sake, made comments like "awwww, look at the baby moving", using an excited tone of voice. And I partially meant it. I know that part of me was honestly excited to see the life. The miracle. But the other part of me... wanted to cry.
You see, it seems like everywhere I turn, there is death. I can't even tell you how many blogs I've clicked on recently, that tell stories of miscarriage, or stillborn births. My heart literally breaks in half for these women, for these mothers, and I sob uncontrollably in my hormonal state. I sit on the couch in my pajamas after the kids have gone to bed, my netbook on my lap, just crying out for these strangers who have shared their stories. And I just keep coming across them. I know that when I click on something of that nature, I should click away. I know I should turn my head, and not let myself get attached to the story, to the realism, to the people. But I can't help it. For some reason, I keep reading.
I guess what it comes down to, is, I feel guilty. I am so blessed. I have more now, than I've ever had in my life. A husband who loves me, a wonderful house to live in, plenty of food on the table, two smart/beautiful children, I'm healthy for the first time ever, I have confidence, I have things figured out, and- it just doesn't seem fair to me. Life can't be this good, for me. Why do I deserve to have so much, when some people have so little?
I know that might seem ridiculous to those of you not in the same frame of mind that I'm in, especially since you've maybe never seen this side of me. You might be rolling your eyes right now, thinking "Tia, come on, this isn't you". But this is a slump, a depression, that I've been sitting in for weeks now. I think the earthquakes in Haiti are what pushed me over the edge, and sank me to the bottom. All of the death and destruction. Its not like the movies. It was just so real.
Christopher says I'm protecting myself. He says I'm putting up a wall, between me and the baby, so that I don't get hurt if something bad happens. And I think hes right. Because for some reason, I'm convinced, that something bad will happen.
Look. That's my baby. That beautiful baby (even though in the picture, looks more like something out of the world, than something that growing in my womb), in less than 6 months, will be in my arms. I'll be holding him (Oliver, if it is a him), and loving him, and sharing every ounce of my heart with him. Eleanore will be a big sister again, and Charlie a big brother.
After sorting through my thoughts and confusion, and typing all of this out into a big blurb of emotional chaos, I'm left with water stains down my cheeks, and an overall feeling of healing. Healing from what, I'm not sure, but- I can, and I will, love this baby.
The funny thing is, its almost like the little bean is trying to connect with me. I'm only 12 weeks along, but I can already feel it. I thought I was crazy, the first couple of times. I'd cup my hand around where I felt the kick or wriggle, looked down, and then shook it off. No way could I feel something so small, so early on. Or, could I? If you scroll up to the ultrasound pictures, and you look at the shape of my uterus, you can see that its literally "glued" to my skin. The scar tissue from my previous c-sections has bonded the baby's house right up against my skin. So it is the baby that I've been feeling. And that's why I look 6 months pregnant, rather than 3. So last night, when I felt a series of squirms, rather than tucking my happiness away, I let my wall come down, and I enjoyed it. I smiled, looked over at Christopher (who was on the computer behind me doing homework), and I said "the baby just moved". But this time, I was happy about it.
Its going to be a long journey, but hopefully, from here on out, I can let myself be a part of it.