Another week has passed, and for that we are grateful. The days and weeks are starting to crawl by, even slower than before. Prior to our 19-week scan, I had hope that the “light at the end of the tunnel” was near. My hope had been to return to work and finish out this pregnancy with a little bit of normalcy. After that appointment I believe I was in shock, and the realness of everything really had not sunk in. The first day after the appointment I felt optimistic and was in a good head space for the most part. I knew I had no choice but to accept the decision of our specialist and to make the best of the situation. Later in the week though, the silence around the house, the fear of the unknown and the continued feeling of being alone started to weigh on me. As tension continued to build, my emotions started to take over, and unfortunately, Evan got the brunt of that. My two major meltdowns for the week were rough, and even though I knew it was hormones mixed with stress, I couldn’t contain the feelings.
It is really easy to talk about the good things when you’re pregnant, but discussing the bad and ugly can be a challenge. We spent years dreaming of starting a family, endless nights talking about what it would be like for me to carry our child and copious amounts of money trying to achieve that. Now that we are here, I am plagued with a great deal of guilt for feeling down or sorry for myself due to the circumstances we are in. Don’t get me wrong, I feel beyond blessed and grateful for this pregnancy and our sweet child, I just feel it wouldn’t be fair to only share those warm and fuzzy feelings. It has been my goal since day one to be transparent about our journey, and that is what I plan to continue to do as we progress through this pregnancy and even after.
At this time, my life revolves around sleeping, resting, eating, watching mindless television shows, reading and trying to find some purpose outside of making this small human. Prior to bed rest, I was a busy body that was always on the go. My career, the extra things I did around the community, my friends, family and husband all consumed every second of my days, and I loved that. When I had down time, I took pride in keeping our home clean, making meals for us at night and being the one to ensure that there was some sort of order and structure to our lives so that we could continue doing all that we did. The news in late January that I was being put on bed rest was a huge blow to this rhythm that we had, but I continued to tell myself that it was temporary. Once we found out differently and it sank in that this would be the duration of the pregnancy, the initial excitement of this journey began to dwindle. I am obviously still over the moon happy for this blessing, and wouldn’t trade it for the world, but in the same breath I am down in the dumps at times. When I pictured this pregnancy, I saw myself continuing to excel at work, in my outside activities and in our home. I never dreamed that I would be stuck on the couch, alone with my feelings and with fear of unknown possibilities.
This all may sound dramatic and some may think that I am being ungrateful. I promise you that I am not. Each day I count my blessings and thank the Lord for this blessing and miracle baby. If given the choice, I would do this 100 times over just to get to our sweet baby girl. There is literally nothing more important at this time to us than to ensure that she stays put, healthy and continues to grow so we can hold her in our arms once she is here. At this point I am taking it one day at a time, trying to stay positive and focus on the end goal… A healthy little baby girl.
Being alone with your thoughts for long periods of time can really take a toll. I am left alone in the house for 10-12 hours a day to battle the thoughts and what ifs that arise. When I say that I am lonely, I mean that in a sense that I am literally here by myself with lots of “activities,” but no real purpose except to keep this bundle of joy growing and healthy, which is a huge task and one that I take very seriously. At the end of the day my hard-working husband makes his way home from a 10-12-hour day, exhausted and ready to wind down. On the other hand, I am eager for him to walk through the door so we can chat and so that I can have some real interaction. He is tasked with taking care of me, keeping our house in order, cooking meals and basically everything that I am unable to do. To say that it overwhelms him would be an understatement. He is doing all that he can and doing a great job, but it certainly takes away from the down time we used to have together to enjoy each other’s company. For these reasons, I often feel a sense of loneliness that I have never felt before in the 9 years that we have been together, which leads to meltdowns that are irrational and unnecessary, yet unavoidable due to the rush of hormones. Some days I am able to stay overly optimistic and happy which is exactly what me, this baby and my husband all need. I just need to find a way to maintain that as much as possible so that we can push through the last half of this pregnancy.
I have learned a few really valuable things through this process so far. Things that I never had the time to think about before. The first lesson is that life brings new seasons that can shake us to the core, but if willing to slow down and look at the big picture, can bring positive and beautiful change. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and although I am not entirely sure what the reason for this rocky road is at this time, I know that we will come out on the other side stronger than ever. We have been faced with a lot of difficult situations over the past 9 years as a couple, some of the most difficult in the past 4 years around fertility, but we always find a way to get through and to build on these lessons to better ourselves and our relationship. I am truly blessed to have a husband who is logical, understanding, loving, caring and truly my best friend. We see relationships around us failing every day, but we have vowed to fight for what we have, always communicate and to support one another through all of the ups and downs thrown our way. Our relationship is far from perfect and we have our days, but I know that this process and any other challenges we are faced with are preparing us for our future family and life.
The other major lesson that I have learned is that it is okay to ask for help. The first few weeks being stuck on bed rest I was ashamed to ask for help and support, I had never really been faced with something that required me to do so. Friends, family and co-workers rallied around us by bringing food, showing up to help around the house and forcing me to accept the fact that this was going to be the new reality that I had to face to protect myself and the baby. Asking for help does not mean that one is weak, in fact, having the courage to ask for help is just the opposite. When we are vulnerable and let our pride go, we are able to lean on those around us to ensure we are able to do what is necessary and move forward. I truly think this is a lesson that I needed before becoming a first-time mom. I preach it to the women around me all the time who have children, yet I had never been faced with this predicament myself. When we bring our sweet baby home, I feel I will now be able to reach out to our tribe for help and guidance, but prior to this experience, I may not have been able to.
Although things have been difficult, I am making sure I step back and take a look at the big picture along the way. These life lessons are important and will provide a strong foundation for our family in the years to come. I joked with Evan the other day saying that nothing about our journey has been easy, so I am not sure why we thought this pregnancy would be any different. For whatever reason, we have had to fight from day one, but that hasn’t stopped us. One day we will look back at these moments and remember them as a small fraction of time that got us to our dream… the beautiful family that we have fought so hard for all of these years.