Monday, November 12, 2012
Our New Baby
The world I envisioned when pregnant has revealed itself. I have been let in on the conversations of body changes and breast feeding. I have answered the question,"How are you feeling?" several dozen times. I have purchased and read pregnancy publications, and not as a preemptive or positive thinking method, but because I am actually pregnant. My attention has maneuvered to the 0-3 sizes, the tiny clothes no longer a painful reminder that I would never hold my child the day they were born.
But somehow I just don't feel like I belong. I'm here. I'm bulging and sporting the belly band, but when I feel my hand approaching the small of my back in the traditional pregnancy pose, I smack it down. The voice creeps up and hisses, remember! Remember how the site of a pregnant woman turned your stomach in knots. Remember the buckets of tears you cried over the past eight years. Stand up straight and whatever you do, don't rub your belly.
We are our own worst critics, as they say. I understand that I am needlessly chastising myself for behaving 'pregnant.' But old habits die hard. I have reached the haven of pregnancy but with one foot out the door as if I am ready to run if the situation turns sour. My guard is continually up.
I'm on the platform but I cannot get on the train; and even though the whistle is blowing, I just cannot seem to make the leap to the comforting countryside passage.
I don't necessarily have these feelings because I am overly afraid of losing my baby. This is another thing that has caught me completely by surprise. While I have trepidation about my baby going to term and delivering okay, anxiety has not taken over my life as I always suspected. Every now and then a nervous thought creeps into my head about my baby dying in utero or being born with a disease or disorder. But my vision of being overly anxious because of our circumstances has not proven to be true. And I am extremely thankful for this sense of peace. It is as unexpected as the pregnancy itself.
My feelings of pregnancy-ostracism are completely self-inflicted. I am signaling reminders all the time that I am different. When I notice that a certain moment or instance would normally have ripped my heart to shreds, I cannot help but divert back to pre-pregnancy me. Recently I was enveloped in a conversation with a few women regarding pregnancy symptoms and birthing plans. I was sort of half listening well aware that for the first time I was actually participating in such a conversation instead of avoiding the circle at all costs.
It has been strange to discover that while I am allowing myself to be involved in pregnancy and newborn conversations, and others are now including me because they are no longer trying to protect me, I simply am not able to succumb to the feeling that I am finally a part of this ever-coveted genre of females. I don't feel this huge sense of relief that my place as a woman is finally secure because I'm in the circle. It is an acceptance that I cannot fully grasp; maybe it's that I don't want to.
I thought that when I became visibly pregnant which I am as of late, that my ability to see that this pregnancy is real would blossom. However, I still have to keep looking down at my belly as a reminder that this is true. But the reminders come often and my connection to the little one growing inside my body and not just inside my heart, becomes stronger every day.
When Min touches my belly and talks to the baby, I soften. I embrace all of these tiny moments, each one a miracle for us as a family. And then I am able to revel in this dream come true. I guess I should not be surprised that it is my two boys that extend my happiness, serving as a reminder that they will both be big brothers soon. As my five year old chirps that he can't wait for our new baby to come, my heart leaps.
This morning my mother-in-law lent us a book she read to my husband in anticipation of his brother arriving. It is entitled, "The New Baby." Thumbing through the pages I saw the illustration of a mommy with a big pregnant belly. Later I wondered if my MIL hoped to one day share this book with us, feeling her own sense of hurt for herself and us.
It made me realize again that the hurt of infertility is felt by those who love us as well. This pregnancy is a dream come true for our loved ones.This is the reason why I let my mother take a picture of me this afternoon. She has waited a long time to see her only daughter pregnant.
Before bed Min and I read the book about bringing a new sibling home. My sense of peace that this nearly nine year journey is finally boasting a clear understanding left a warm sensation around my heart.
Maybe next time I will forget my inhibitions for a moment and reveal my baby name list and park in the 'Expectant Moms' space at the grocery store.
Posted by Parenthood for Me at 11/12/2012