I would like to believe that those who read my blog can understand my joy in this miracle, but apparently many of those I encounter in my life feel as though I am not taking this miracle as a miracle.
This baby is what I have wished for my whole life: what I sacrificed my body/mental status/financial security for, what I had a marriage end over the strain and stress of the infertility diagnosis (amongst a few other things), what I have cried on the bathroom floor more times than I can count, what I watched so many people have in their life without going through all I had, what I criticized myself as less of a woman for, and dealt with the ultimate possibilities that I would never be a mother.
This baby is our miracle, I am so grateful and thrilled that we are going to have our dream after 3 years of heartache and depression. We cannot wait to meet her and watch her grow up, cannot wait to see who she looks like, cannot wait to experience all her firsts with her, and cannot wait to spend days/nights just simply watching her grow up.
So I shall explain to the best of my ability the difference between my gratitude and my feelings of frustration.
In any of the preparation for this baby (and believe me there was as much as I could possibly get my hands on!), I read about the symptoms of pregnancy some women may experience. I however, seem to be one of those women who have nearly all on this list at approximately the same time and with great intensity. It seems like a sick joke: we worked so hard and went through hell to get pregnant - now, have every single painful/difficult/harsh pregnancy symptom possible and see if it was all worth it? That's how it feels for me, like running a marathon immediately upon completion of an Iron man competition.
My complaining (although, I am aware it has been potentially excessive in some people's opinions and I am going to work on that - not perfect but trying to do better) has not been for just the sake of complaining.
I am in pain every single second of the day - the type of pain that cannot be described as anything but almost beyond my pain tolerance.
The type of pain from sharp sciatic nerve irritation that puts my legs to sleep where I nearly lose my balance at the most inconvenient times (such as staircases, icy spots on roads, etc), the type of acid reflux pain that is the equivalent of fire (simply from drinking water) and takes my appetite away, morning sickness that had me throwing up 4-5 times a days for the first 14 weeks on a good day, up all night, sleeping on the bathroom floor in 15-20 minute increments between vomiting fits, to the point I lost nearly 15 pounds and left me weak from not being able to keep down food to provide me with energy, exhaustion that makes physically sitting up in bed more than my body would allow me to do.
Yet, through all of this, I am at school teaching - somdays feeling like I am the bottom of someone's shoes and have been stepped on or run over by a truck. Standing on my feet and moving around the building to do my job to the best of the ability. Going to graduate classes 2 nights a week so I can finish this before baby girl comes and I can spend all my time with her. Attempting to keep my laundry from piling to the ceiling, and spending time with friends and my husband when I had the energy to do so.
But what does all of this pain I am in lead me to? Fear. Simple as that.
Fear - an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat - tied directly to pessimistic - tending to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen (ME 1,000 times over right now - explanation below.)
I am SCARED.
So scared to the point at some point, baby girl is going to stop breathing and I am going to have to be in an emergency delivery situation at any time.
Is this rational? Nope, not even a little.
Can I control it? Nope, hormones are making my brain do insane things.
I spend so much of my time trying to keep from being paralyzed by the fear and anxiety. Please try to remember that I have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and cannot take the medication for it due to pregnancy. This damn disorder can completely overrun my life (it has in the past and has been quite traumatic) and I do my best to keep from going back to that scary anxious place. I am working on using the calming techniques I have had success with in the past to help calm me down. However, they are not fool-proof.
I worry that with all of these pains and symptoms, my sweet miracle baby will lose her hold inside of me and I will miscarry. Which would be beyond devastation for me and Aaron.
In the movie, Sex and the City, Charlotte (an infertile like me) talked about having everything she ever wanted now that she was pregnant and it scaring her to death. She even had better odds at getting pregnant than I did - she was told 5%, my chances were 0%.
That is me.
I live in a perpetual state of fear that this miracle, this dream, this amazing step in my life will disappear without a warning.
I have not handled it all well - I have allowed my fear to turn into frustration/anger and people have not understood that I am afraid. Add to the fear, the loneliness I have felt with Aaron and I working opposite schedules for the past 3 months just to make ends meet and I have reached out through social media to have someone allow me to vent my fear or pain to get it out of my head or simply just have someone tell me it is going to be all right. The response has generally been that I should solely focus on the positives of the pregnancy - and try as I might with the pain and the fear, I have overwhelmingly failed at this.
I do not like failure and I do not fail at things in my life very well. Failures make me angry and are a driving force to my level of determination that pushes me forward. Somedays it takes every ounce of my strength and energy just to survive the day through the pain and exhaustion - even though I may not survive the day very well. Somedays by the time I get home from school, I am completely and beyond all belief exhausted in a way I have never experienced and am still adjusting to daily - there have been more days than not that I am in bed before 8 pm, deep in thought about all the changes in my life that have happened or that will happen.
So to be told that I am not grateful for this baby when really I am simply trying to understand what is going on in my body and that a huge portion of my fears are completely normal (without being judged for feeling it) to help calm the fear and anxiety, is beyond hurtful.
Have I reacted well? No. But, I am going to work even harder to do better.
Does that mean I am not grateful for my miracle baby? No.
The absolute opposite is true - she is one of the most amazing blessings of my life. She and Aaron are the most magical aspects of my life (please remember this does not in anyway downplay the other wonderful aspects of my life). I wished for someone to love me without condition for exactly as I am, flawed and outspoken as I am and my life changed forever when I met Aaron in 2007. My life changed again when I received the call from the RE's office that we were finally pregnant after the most insane ordeal of infertility to find out that baby girl was coming.
I cannot wait to meet my sweet baby, to hold her, and to know she is a part of my heart living outside my body. I cannot wait to see her grow and so excited to see the person she will grow into in her life. This is my joy and the part that keeps me from going completely off the deep end on the days the fear and anxiety take almost complete control of me. Knowing Aaron and I get to be there for her life, is the best thought of the day everyday.
I know we are lucky to finally have her after our struggle, I do not take this for granted - I am just a person who has had the rug pulled out from under her too often in life and had to take the hard road to get what I have wanted.
I cannot wait for the journey ahead of us - I simply wish it had less pain to get there so I could enjoy the new adventures that pregnancy brings.
Does that make me a bad person?
Now for the weekly update:
How far along? 24 weeks and 3 days
Total weight gain: I am sure I am gaining weight - my clothes are fitting more snugly in general, but no doctor appointment for over a week so we shall see
Maternity clothes? that's what I am fitting into right now, all maternity pants
Stretch marks? Pretty sure that I have some new ones as my stomach grows
Sleep: sleeping = about getting up every hour or so for some reason or another and about 1/2 hour or so to fall back asleep - in addition, I keep attempting to sleep on my stomach in the middle of the night which then wakes me up because it aches
Best moment of the week: Watching my stomach move from the outside as baby girl moved all around
Miss anything? Not really
Movement: she likes to move around the most at night, during the day she has very little activity and appears to be sleeping during that time
Anything making you queasy or sick: Random queasy feeling that comes and goes - kind of reminds me of the first trimester
Gender prediction: definitely a girl
Labor signs: Nope
Symptoms: ugh - where to begin??? Hip pain, sciatic nerve pain, stuffed up head, small bladder, sleeplessness, pain in my wrists and ankles
Belly button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? they are on a chain around my neck now, they only fit to my knuckle. I found a decent (although not real) replacement to wear so I don't have a bare hand which is very strange after wearing a ring for so long
Happy or moody most of the time? lately is a flip-flop between happy and sad.