Today marks Week 14 of our first pregnancy. I am now at a point I can truthfully and sincerely answer the question, "Aren't you so excited?" with, "I am getting excited! I'm not as anxious about it as I was." It was only a couple of weeks ago that I was dealing with so much guilt and shame, which is accounted for in today's blog post.
This post was originally a journal entry written frantically into my phone at 2 am, about a week after we found out about our pregnancy. I was barely 6 weeks along. I thought a lot about whether or not I should edit this before posting it, or even if I should post it at all, because there are some expletives that are uncharacteristic of my writing for this blog. However, these words are my raw emotions, these words are real, and I would not be doing myself or other women like me justice by sugarcoating my experience.
Nothing like pregnancy has made me so painfully aware of how out of control I am of my life and everything around me.
Physically, pregnancy has made me feel like shit. I’m nauseated, exhausted, and all I want to do is sleep, watch tv, and eat grilled cheese sandwiches or peanut butter mashed into bananas. And none of this helps me actually shit anything out. I feel like a burden to my husband, who has taken up most of the cooking while taking care of me, and I feel like a bad wife.
Emotionally, pregnancy makes me feel like a lunatic.
I’m crying one minute, depressed the next, and then completely in awe of the life inside of me, only to feel all of the feelings all over again. It’s a never-ending fucking cycle.
I feel burdened by the possibility of miscarriage - it scares me, haunts me, and I have cried on many occasions just thinking about it, just saying it outloud.
All the while, I feel guilty about secretly hoping I will miscarry so that this will all be over.
As we have slowly started telling family and friends that we’re pregnant, people expect me to be more excited. They’re surprised by my candor - "how can you say it like it’s just something normal?" And I want to shout, "But it is normal! It's part of being a human! Should I have built up the suspense for you? Am I supposed to wave my arms around and shout, 'Surprise!' How am I to respond to your response? And how am I to respond to you responding to how I responded?"
I am left feeling so guilty and ashamed of my feelings, wishing I'd never said anything at all.
But why do I feel so guilty for feeling all of these perfectly normal human feelings?
Why should I hide these emotions away?
How dare others tell me that it’ll be worth it later?
How dare they tell me that having children will be so much fun?
What about me now? What about my emotions, now. What about NOW?
Do other pregnant women not feel this way? Or think these thoughts?
Am I alone?
In no way do I want to wrap this up and finish it off with a bow.
There’s nothing about how I feel that I want to package up all nice and neat and pretty.
I never wanted to be pregnant.
I will never say, “Every woman must/should/has to experience pregnancy and motherhood!”
No woman should ever be made to feel guilty or ashamed for not wanting to be.
I never wanted to be a mother.
I never even pretended I wanted to be. Whenever I played “house” with friends, I always refused to be “mom”; I called dibs on being the baby or the house pet.
I’m not even sure I feel love for the baby inside of me. And maybe that sounds terrible, but right now it’s the truth. I’ve seen the sonograms, heard the heartbeat, but it still doesn’t seem real yet. And maybe it won’t be until the baby is born.
I don’t want to lie and say, “I can’t wait to meet my baby!”
Honestly, in my bare-naked selfishness, I can’t wait to just not be pregnant.
I can’t wait to not feel like a burden on my husband.
I can’t wait to not worry about my heart rate spiking too high at the gym.
I can’t wait to eat all of the foods I love that I can’t eat or currently make me nauseous.
I just want my body back.
I want my life back the way it used to be.
And then I think about all of the women who have struggled and are struggling with infertility, those who know the pain of miscarriage, and I feel even more ashamed. I feel ashamed that the blessing in my belly seems nothing more than a curse to me, nothing more than a barrier to the things I want to do. And it all comes down to the shameful realization of how selfish I really am. The shame turns into guilt and then into fear - I am not ready to be a mother. I don't deserve to be a mother. Why have I been chosen to be a mother? Has God made a mistake?
I just want to trust God. I want to believe - no, I do believe He does not make mistakes.
However, in my flesh, I want control and have yet to let go of that control to God. But I don’t want that anymore. I want to put my trust Him.
Not trusting God is not a new thing. But now it’s amplified by my experiences of pregnancy thus far. I am hyper aware of the fact that God has been absent in my life for quite some time now - I’ve pushed Him away thinking I was fine without him.
But is my awareness enough for me to cry out to Him?
Is His goodness and grace enough for me?