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Accepting My Little Bean

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.


muffintopdesigns February 4, 2010 at 11:17 AM  

oh baby. i know how you feel - you know i was like that with the mini after we had lost the first one. and with all the stuff happening in our world today, it's hard to accept the blessings in our lives! and we are blessed. don't feel bad for feeling the way you do... you're human, sweetie!

love and love to you (yes, even in your hormonal state) and the rest of the family! xoxoxoox

Hollymark February 4, 2010 at 11:19 AM  

*hugs you* I've never been a mom, so I know I can't really relate to you. Just try to take a breather, and not worry so much about the "what ifs." I can see how it's kinda like you're protecting yourself, that's a logical/realistic way to think. But you deserve everything you have, just remember that you're blessed. We can't control what happens in the world, especially with things like the earthquakes in Haiti, but the best thing you can do is to remember to count your blessings. Don't let yourself feel guilty because of things being good for you, I have done that myself. Keep your head up.


Kyla Roma February 4, 2010 at 11:20 AM  

This is such a beautifully honest post, thank you for sharing this tough stuff. While I'm not a mom, I can completely understand how you would be building up a wall and almost bracing for something to happen when you see so much of the scary stuff out there.

But you are completely blessed, and that's something to be happy about. Your little bean is yours, and you guys have every right to be happy and excited for him or her. Maybe it would make you feel better to do something more concrete for those other mothers? Maybe send them cards or write out a few e-mails instead of bottling up your empathy- but if you can give yourself permission to calm down and go on this ride it sounds like it would do your heart a lot of good.

You're in my thoughts! <3

Right As Rain Creations February 4, 2010 at 11:30 AM  

Oh oh oh, I am crying. Your post resonated with me. My situation wasn't exact, but the emotions were similar. When I found out at the ultrasound that our 2nd one was another boy, I was so upset... and HATED myself for being so upset. I spent most of the rest of the pregnancy despising myself that I wasn't overjoyed to be having a boy and hating the disappointment I couldn't quite squash.

The guilt of being disappointed when so many women would just be thrilled at having a healthy baby and easy pregnancy, the guilt of being an obviously heartless and terrible mother to wish my son was actually a daughter instead, these feelings of guilt rose up and fought with the disappointment and made a beautiful thing something ugly and sad.

I prayed fervently every day, and slowly I did overcome most of those emotions. My triumph was complete when my son was born and I held him in my arms. The overwhelming love was like nothing I can even describe. I know God gave me an extra super special dose of it just for my Thaddy Bear.

I love all three of my children with all my heart (and I did get my girl!) but something sparkles in my heart when my Bear (now 4) gives me a hug and tells me that he loves me "sooo much!"

And now I'm crying again. :) But thankful tears.

Hang in there, and keep praying and rubbing that baby belly!
Love, Megan

Amy February 4, 2010 at 11:35 AM  

(Okay. Do I have time to even write all I have to say before some little person needs (demands) my attention...)

You know where I'm coming from in writing this, having experienced the death of a child, but I know exactly what you mean about expecting something to be wrong.

At every appointment of Nathaniel's (after we found out he was sick), I expected to hear/see nothing. That was understandable considering AT EVERY APPOINTMENT they were so good at reminding us that he would likely die in utero. But then all throughout Simon's pregnancy AND all throughout my pregnancy with Andrew, IT WAS THE SAME THING.

I had myself so convinced that something was wrong with Andrew that I was sure -SURE!- that he would have some sort of disability. Sometimes I even think to myself that he looks a little bit Down Syndrome-ish. THAT is crazy.

And I can't explain it other than to say that once you've experienced loss (or possibly even when you've experienced it at arms length when it seems to be happening all around you), you lose your innocence. You don't get to believe anymore that everything will work out. Cause it doesn't always. Not for everyone.

It seems to me that, like Christopher said, you're trying to protect yourself. You're being proactive. So that if, IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT, that something does happen, you'll be able to feel sort of prepared.

But let me tell you, Tia, there is NO WAY you can prepare yourself for the things that you fear happening. You can't prepare yourself for the loss of a child.

It is much better to open your heart and admit that you already love this little bean cause you know you do. Admitting it will open you up to a world of unimaginable hurt IN THE UNLIKELY ENVENT that something should go wrong, but it'll hurt anyways.

I read once that "Grief is the price of Love". Every time we open our hearts to love someone or something, there's risk. But it's worth it.

You know that.

Hugs, Tia.

(I have another story to tell, but this is getting long and I think it'll make a good blog post... when I have time to write it.)

Anonymous,  February 4, 2010 at 11:45 AM  

You are brave. Stay strong and don't be afraid to feel what you feel. Hugs to you!

-Lori at I Can Grow People

Laura Craig February 4, 2010 at 11:54 AM  

Tia, you are not alone.

I felt the same way with my last and final pregnancy. I had a really rough pregnancy the second time. Went in to preterm at 29 weeks and was in the hospital from 29 weeks to 36 weeks. I almost lost Nicholas several times. My OB said it probably wouldn't be a good idea to have another. But Adam and I weren't ready to make that final. Shortly after Nicholas turned two... I found out I was pregnant. Let me tell you the first thing I did........... I sat down on the couch, put my head in my hands, and I BAWLED!!!! I got so upset with myself for letting it happen. Risking the life of a baby who didn't ask to be here. I felt selfish. Here I had two amazing kids, pregnant with a third when so many of my other friends were trying so hard to conceive their first! And then I felt guilty. I hated myself for not being excited, I hated myself for wishing it weren't true. I put up a wall too. I didn't let myself bond with the baby at first because I feared something terrible was going to happen. I thought I would lose the baby earlier on. I thought having that mindset would make it easier. But, it just caused me more stress. I was in the ER and at my OB a few times with a threatened miscarriage, lots of bleeding and cramping, possible privia, etc. I started to feel guilty because I thought I wished it on myself and the babe.

After having our BIG U/S and we found out she was going to be our little Maddybug.... my heart melted and I fell in love with her on that monitor! My emotions took over and I was in tears because I was so happy we were having another baby girl and because I was so upset with myself for EVER thinking the way I did in the beginner.

When I was 22 weeks, I started leaking amniotic fluid. My Dr told me she was pretty sure I would have to deliver then and she put her arm around me and said "Madison will not be viable if we do have to deliver. You need to prepare yourself." After thinking the way I did in the beginning, you would think those words would not have hit me that hard. Well, they did. I lost it right there in her office. I couldn't pull myself together. I could barely call Adam and tell him what was going on. I was admitted and put on monitors and had several tests done to see how bad the tear was. I had to have an amnio done {MOST stressful thing ever and so glad I never had one with my older two) After 3 days in the hospital, God passed me a miracle! The tear in my amniotic sac had healed itself. And I was released the next day. I was never more happy to be pregnant!!!! To still have her tucked away in my belly keeping her safe (well, trying to anyway).

After the rest of my rough pregnancy with her, when she was placed in my arms... gosh. I never knew I could love three kids as much as I do. I never thought my heart was big enough to do so. I think that (even though I may not have thought so in the beginning)I needed her. I needed her in my life for some purpose. Only God knows what the reasons are and what purpose she has, but she is meant to be here and I am meant to be her momma. Just the same as this little bean of your is meant to be here and you are meant to be his/her momma!

Even though there are so many bad things going on around us, things beyond our control, every person in this world has a purpose. We are all brought in to this world for a reason. Your little bean has a purpose in life. And you are taking care of this lil one and bringing it in to this world to fulfill that purpose :)

All this {wow that was a lot longer than I thought it would be}to say,I know EXACTLY how you are feeling. And yes, it is normal. I am sure more momma's go through it than we know. Think of how many momma's that are embarrassed as well, but just couldn't bring themselves to admit it. I know I was mortified to admit I had ever felt this way. But, I needed to get it out too.


This Little Bird February 4, 2010 at 12:10 PM  

Oh Tia... thanks so much for sharing this difficult post with us.. it took a lot of courage.

The way that you are feeling is normal I think...you only worry because you care and because you are a loving mother and wife. I know its easier to say, but try to take one day at a time and love what you have NOW. You have been through difficult times earlier in your life (from what I've read) and you, Christopher and the kidlets definitely deserve another little Herman in your life...count yourself lucky (which I'm sure you do) and embrace the little bean and love it for whatever or whomever it is :) You are an amazing mother, and everything will turn out the way it is supposed to be. "Let go and Let God" is what my grandmother used to say... its something I always say to myself when i worry about things beyond my control. It is completely normal to be overly emotional at times, you are busy taking care of two young and very active beautiful kids... allow yourself to worry and to be happy or sad now and then.

Hugs to you Tia... I really do hope this slump will be over for you soon.

Thanks again for sharing such an honest and heartfelt post.

Unknown February 4, 2010 at 12:12 PM  

Aw, hugs, Tia!! I bonded instantly with both of my little beans... but at the same time, I nearly miscarried both of them, and had to have bed rest for weeks and progesterone shots to keep them hanging on... I can definitely understand your numbness as you deal with the terrible what-ifs that plague a pregnant mama!! Good luck, I'm sure everything will be fine!!

Unknown February 4, 2010 at 12:16 PM  

Wow, thank you so much for sharing. I have no idea how this tweet got on my business Twitter timeline but I'm glad it did! I must say that I have felt the same way love, so you shouldn't feel all alone in what you went through. I cried when I found out I was pregnant with my 5th and wished I wasn't. Hubby put me back on track, not to take God's blessing and treat it like a curse. And now, I could not imagine my life without him...he's secretly my favorite! Shhhhh! Looking forward to supporting through your pregnancy!

Unknown February 4, 2010 at 12:22 PM  

I think this is something every woman can relate to. When I first found out I was pregnant, I was so freaked out!
It wasn't planned, and I didn't know how I felt about it. And then my pregnancy was full of complications, and they had to induce labor very early, so they would not risk his life, or mine. But he's healthy now, and theres nothing I want more than to have another one!
Don't feel guilty, just embrace your emotions.

Petals February 4, 2010 at 12:41 PM  

Our oldest son passed away almost a year ago now and for the longest time it was impossibe to have any bit of happiness without huge amounts of guilt being attatch to it. How is it possible to find joy and happiness when everything is so misserable?
But it is so important to enjoy and love what is good around us and allow it to bring happiness into our hearts no matter how low we are. Allow your little bean to bring you joy.
Oh man, there are so many more things I want to say but I should be working right now.
Feel better, get lots of rest and enjoy everyone os those beautiful children you have been blessed with.

Beki - TheRustedChain February 4, 2010 at 12:57 PM  

Been there, done that. You are so totally normal. :) I mean that in the best way.

Mitzie February 4, 2010 at 1:26 PM  

Thanks for posting this. I also wonder quite often why I have what I have and why other people don't. I know that I'm blessed and still I manage to get into a funk and hate life. I had a hard time bonding with my little guy when I got pregnant as well. I was scared to death something would happen. I knew he was inside me but it wasn't real until I held a healthy baby boy on my chest after delivery.
You are not alone. I'm really glad you choose to write this blog. Now I feel better too. Thanks.


Alyssa S. February 4, 2010 at 2:10 PM  

Thanks for being brave enough to be honest about how you are feeling. A lot of people just paint on the happy face about pregnancy being sunshine and roses all the time.

When I got pregnant with Amelia I joined an site online meant for...well, pregnancy support. I hooked up with a bunch of women who were all due around the same time. I think I joined pretty early on...at 11 weeks maybe...and got to hear about miscarriages...and people with agonizingly high risk pregnancies...women who found out they'd have babies with birth defects...babies lost late term...a baby born 3 months too early (thank goodness she lived and turned 4 in November)...and some days I was downright embarrassed...and felt guilty to post about how uneventful and normal my pregnancy was. There I was...at an age where women start having trouble getting pregnant...and coming from a family where my mom and my sister lost pregnancies...and I got pregnant after only 3 months of trying. And with my second...I was even older...and yet again...got pregnant within 3 months again.

It's normal to protect yourself like you are...especially this early on. At least you are willing talk about and deal with the way you're feeling.

soul_searching_mama February 4, 2010 at 2:52 PM  

You are very brave for sharing your feelings, Tia. You aren't alone - many people are fearful that something bad will happen to their children or in their pregnancy. It makes it even harder to let happiness in when there is so much suffering and death going on in the world. Don't feel guilty for feeling this way; when you are ready to let your wall down you will. I am so happy that you had a good ultrasound and I hope that this pregnancy slowly becomes a very real and happy thing for you. :) Oh, and Oliver is a really cute name for a little boy! :D *Hugs*

merelythemoon February 4, 2010 at 5:26 PM  

Tia, I don't think it's abnormal that you are feeling the way that you are right now. I was pregnant once before, when I was in college, and it obviously didn't happen, but when I was, I knew deep down that I loved it, but I felt the same way that you're feeling now. I kind of resented it, and I kind of felt like it wasn't really there at all, and I felt numb too.
I didn't get to have my baby, so I don't really know what happens later on down the road, but I'm sure that as your baby grows, your positivity will also!

You're a strong woman! Don't feel alone! Lots of women feel this way, they're just not brave enough to say it. We're all here for you!

Giggly February 4, 2010 at 6:05 PM  

((hugs)) Oh Tia, this is totally normal. I went through the same thing when I was pregnant with my son, I also felt his movement very early, like you. :)

Thanks so much for sharing, there are probably lots of pregnant mama's that will stumble upon this post and sympathies with you, and will be helped so much by reading that they too, are not alone.

We all know that you are a great mother that loves her growing family and we love you too. :)

Thanks for letting us all be a part of your journey, good times and tough times. XOXOX

Esmeralda Bohemian February 4, 2010 at 7:49 PM  

I'm glad that you are brave enough to talk about this, you shouldn't feel guilty for your emotions-they're yours and they are valid. I hope the outpouring of love in your comment section shows you that you can talk about anything here- it's your space!

One bit of advice tho, you hit the nail on the head when you said that you feel that you should probubly turn away when you come across these tails of pain, loss and death. You are absolutely correct. You definately should turn away. It's not dishonoring those who have suffered, it's protecting yourself and that fragile little bean inside of you. Your energy is shared with his/hers and it's important to surround yourself with positive and loving stimuli. I was amazed at how different I felt after I stopped watching the news and reading the horrific headlines on yahoo.

Surround yourself and your family with positivity. You deserve it. You deserve all the love, health, happiness, and abundance that life has given to you!

Desiree February 4, 2010 at 8:40 PM  

It's totally ok for you to feel like this -- I've only been pregnant once, but I'm sure that the experience must be vastly different each time.
Give it a while and I'm sure your hormones will give in and you'll fall in love with your little one <3
Best wishes & lots of love!

Christina February 4, 2010 at 9:35 PM  

I am sorry you are dealing with such difficult feelings! We planned for our son but if I were to somehow end up pregnant soon I think my first reaction might be stress because my parents don't live nearby anymore and I don't know how I'd handle it all at this time. Because of that, the thought of wanting a 2nd right now gives me some fear. And then I feel like a wimpy mom, wondering why am I so overwhelmed with only one child? I think motherhood comes with great joy, but also great sacrifice and sometimes pain.

I think you do an awesome job of being a mommy of 2 and will continue to be awesome as mommy to 3. :) *hugs*

Oh Mandie February 5, 2010 at 6:02 AM  

When I was pregnant with both of my boys I was extremely sick and on besd rest the whole time and almost lost them both. The doctors told me that miscarring would probably happen and to expect it, so I forced myself to stay numb and not get attached up until the end.

My point is, sometimes you have 9 wonderful months to devolop that bond, and sometimes you have a bit less because of other circumstances, but just because you didn't bond right away doesnt mean that you will love that little baby any less. You're human, and you are strong and wonderful and don't you ever forget it Tia!!

Hugs and Love to you!!

Lauren February 5, 2010 at 7:12 AM  

There's something so refreshing about transparency. It's real & people connect to it.

Melanie @ Whimsical Creations February 5, 2010 at 10:00 AM  

Hugs, I know how you feel. You are definitely not alone. Thank you for being so candid.

Unknown February 5, 2010 at 10:19 AM  

Thank you so much for sharing this story with us. I'm glad you could share it, so that you could lift that weight off and see that you are not the only one dealing with those emotions. Just by the posts you write, I can tell what a wonderful mother, and woman you really are. That little bean of yours is so lucky to have you for a mom.

Unknown February 5, 2010 at 1:26 PM  

First thing: Big, big hugs!

Second: The first time I saw you in Flickr, I had to add you as a friend. Not only did I see a cool woman with awesome tattoos and pin-up style hair but a wonderful mommy who loves her kids. Tia, I envy you believe it or not. Not that I can't have children because my husband and I are working on it but I believe you've been blessed with a terrific husband and two great kids and I hope that one day my husband and I will be there too.
I always believe the cliche of things happen for a reason. There is a reason for you to have another baby. Cherish the joy for all the women out there who are less fortunate to have one. We are out there for each other.

Take care and God bless!

Sarah February 6, 2010 at 9:43 AM  

hey friend. i am sorry that i did not see this sooner, but i have been really down and out with the cold that i caught from my little lucia.

i am so glad you wrote this because it makes me feel so much less of a crazy person. i can totally understand what you are going through - i have never been there exactly, but i will say that sometimes i think that tragedy and gloom is coming my way because my life is so perfect. how could it be so wonderful and nothing bad happen? it is like i expect the worst because things are so good. a house, a baby, food to eat, no major illness... just like you said.

i just cannot tell you how comforting i found your words, which i almost hate to write because i hate that you are going through this and that i found comfort in something that you are struggling with ... anyway, hopefully you will find comfort in knowing that others too have struggled with similar feelings and you are NOT alone in this.

i think that Christopher is right and you are shielding your self ... trying to protect yourself. that little bean is trying to get your attention! if you already feel him at 12 weeks, he is telling you to listen and love! oh and you will and you do and you are going to have three lovely children! how blessed!!!!! how exciting.

i am here for you if you need anything and will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

this post, though twisted with heartache is so beautiful.

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