I remember reading this post all those months ago and I remember thinking, She deserves an easy pregnancy. All women do. I also remember thinking that, wow, you sure have to be careful how honest you choose to be on your blog. Because someone, somewhere, is going to take it the wrong way and think you're whining or being ungrateful or looking a gift horse in the mouth when all you're really doing is reaching out for a hand to hold. So many women feel the need to disclaim that they're not whining or being ungrateful or looking a gift horse in the mouth in order to be open and honest and, really, that's tragic because as women we should be easiest on other women. We should be propping one another up and patting each other on the back and sending care packages and warm, fuzzy thoughts. We should not be eagerly judging from our safe corners of the world, where we're no doubt doing something wrong ourselves. It's our gender's fatal flaw, I think, that so many of us are prone to snap judgments and fake smiles. Myself included.
I threw up in my car and—fine, I'll be straight with you—on myself on the way to work yesterday. I couldn't get over in time. I couldn't reach for one of the many empty bags littering my backseat in time. There was nothing I could do. I pulled into a Wendy's parking lot just before 9am and cried because, well, throwing up on myself was not what I had in mind when I was dreaming about babies all those months ago. I called work to let them know I wouldn't be in, and then I rode home in a fog of guilt (among other things). I have a job I enjoy, and I'm not doing it to the best of my usual ability because I feel physically awful most days. I am on a steady and insanely, angrily expensive dose of Zofran. Some days it's a magic pill, and I'm able to eat an entire hot fudge sundae without problem and other days it works less magically, and I still get sick. On both the good and bad days I'm always, always tired.
Amy said in that mid-March post:
"But pregnancy...well, it's not the baby. I get that this time around. I get that my attitude towards the whole messy gestating process does not mean I have the same attitude towards the baby."
Amy is right.
I think about my baby every day, at least hundreds of times. I think about his—wait, can I just get a resounding "sure!" to using "his" because the whole its, their, his/her thing is getting rather cumbersome?—laugh and his soul and his little feet which I will absolutely put into shoes that are outrageously expensive and unnecessary. I think about Mike playing in the yard with him and Molly eventually snuggling up to him and even dropping him off at grandma's from time to time. (Or as often as we're allowed.) I also think I would really love for February to be here, like, tomorrow.
Pregnancy is hard, and here's my personal, feels-necessary-to-add disclaimer: I know it's hard for so many. I know women go through pregnancy with unsupportive partners and with other children to attend to and little to no insurance coverage and medical conditions I can't even fathom and, yet, they do it, they march on and have their beautiful baby and they don't bother spewing complaints on their blog, especially when they wanted this SO DAMN MUCH. But, well, it's still hard. The deep, burning desire for this doesn't change it being difficult. And you know what the absolute kicker of it all is? When I feel good, when I'm having a twenty-minute period of everything feeling like it used to and a stomach that actually CRAVES food, I panic. Is the baby okay? Why do I feel fine? WHAT IS GOING ON?
(Don't you want to send my husband flowers? Or beer? Or a sound-proof box with which to crawl in and ignore me from for the next 6ish months?)
I talk to the baby a lot, especially on my drive to and from work when I have a good hour or two to myself with nothing more than traffic and bad drivers to pay attention to. I tell him about his mom and dad and how we already leave him messages on our chalkboard and how we're not the tidiest of parents but all those dust bunnies will do wonders for his immune system. How we can't wait to meet him and how I'm just dying to find out what color eyes and hair he has. (Is your hair red, baby?) I tell him about the trips we'll take him on and that sometimes mama says "shit" but that doesn't make it right, it just makes mama HUMAN. I remind him that he'll say shit too, probably way before he should, but we're going to love him EVEN THEN. I am so happy and lucky and over the moon to be having a baby, and I am all of these things even when I am crying in bed because is KEEPING A SLICE OF PIZZA DOWN REALLY TOO MUCH TO ASK? There's not anything I wouldn't go through to get to the end of this, I want you to know, to the moment I get to hold my kid in my arms. I would go through—and will, undoubtedly—worse to get there. No matter how much I bitch and cry and throw up, that fact will never waiver.
But that doesn't mean I don't need a hand to hold every now and again. Not advice, not head pats, not judgmental whispers from afar, just support.
And I know I'm not the only one, pregnant or otherwise.