The most present effects of pregnancy that I’m feeling right now, the day before I begin my 16th week (I’m suddenly feeling like I need to stop referring to this pregnancy as ‘mine’ and more as ‘ours’) are fatigue and emotion. Very strong emotion, especially as I read through some of my favorite blogs written by some magnificent ladies who happen to have already experienced the miracle of bringing new life into this world. I just nearly broke down reading Aspiring Kennedy’s post about giving birth to her twin girls and only bringing one home.
The other day, I read one of Kelle Hampton’s posts about Down syndrome and nearly lost it then too. It’s like I can feel my heart bursting open with all of this new found love and feelings of wanting to nurture and take care and… it’s overwhelming. Not to mention I’m spending WAY too much time on Baby Center’s birth boards, reading too many sad stories about loss and tough family situations.
I’ve always been empathetic, and sometimes it’s gotten the very best of me. Anytime I would observe someone struggling or read a heart wrenching story about someone overcoming challenges my throat would tighten and I would feel, I don’t know, heavy. The realization that I am lucky—blessed even—to be alive and healthy in a world where so many others don’t get to say the same… yes, overwhelming is how I would describe it. I never did particularly well with being overwhelmed by, well, anything.
I became accustomed to feeling helpless. I lived with two sick parents for most of my life. I couldn’t do anything to help them. I could be physically present and say all kinds of encouraging things, but none of that would stop my dad’s disease from ultimately claiming his life or my mom’s depression from dragging her down just when she starts feeling like she’s on the up.
The day I saw the word “Pregnant” pop up on that test, I was overcome. I remember the tears streaming down my face and me saying “thank you” over and over again. I don’t know who I was thanking. The universe, I suppose, for giving me—us—this opportunity. I knew instantly that helpless is no longer an emotion that I could associate with. This little life that I’m bringing into this world will be helpless, at least in the beginning, and it’s 100% up to me, to us, to do everything in our power to give as much love and support as possible no matter what. I can’t sit out on this one just because the world overwhelms me a little now and then.
I lost sight of it momentarily during those first several weeks. My hormones were going haywire and I started recognizing ancient feelings of depression and anxiety that really got me worked up. These feelings that I really thought I had buried long ago suddenly welled up to the surface and I had a moment where I genuinely freaked out at the reality that was playing out before me. Being sick and tired on top of it all, both literally and figuratively, just exasperated those feelings.
But here I am with a noticeable bump and I can say I’m now closer to the halfway point, and my perspective is coming back into focus. I am growing a tiny human inside of my body, one that is half me and half him and a slew of other things that make up who we are. And I am so, so looking forward to getting to know this human, learning and watching in amazement at all of the things they will bring into our lives. This thought alone makes my eyes fill up as I realize how ready I am to be a mother. I have moments where I realize there’s still so many things that we have to do to prepare, so much to learn, so many items that need to be acquired. But as far as love goes? I’m ready to give it all and more.
By the way, Evan and I have made a decision regarding the sex of the baby. As in, we’re not going to find out. We both agreed after a long discussion that it will add to that special moment, and hopefully motivate me even more to follow through with a completely natural birth, to be able to announce then and there whether it’s a boy or a girl. So friends, family, and other curious folks can just hold onto their pants cuz we ain’t spillin’ the beans.
|Is that a baby in there or did you just eat a really big lunch?