Dear pregnant friends,
There are a lot of you right now. And in fact, when I first started thinking of writing this blog post there were even more of you. So, I guess this could be titled, “To all my pregnant friends and those with newborns.” I’ve put off writing this post because well, I don’t want to make anyone upset. I don’t want to offend you. That’s not my intent. You have done nothing wrong at all. This post is about my feelings, about the way I portray things. I need to sort it out, I need to let go.
First of all, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I’ve been absent in the excitement of your pregnancy. I should be sharing in your joy, but I can’t always do that. And since I can’t always do that, I distance myself. You see, I am excited for you. I am happy for you. I am overjoyed for you. But a lot of times the jealous, fear, and resentment either overshadow those feelings or I have to work very very hard at keeping them at bay. Now again, these feelings aren’t directed at you. Specifically I want to make sure you know I do not resent you. It is an inward resentment. Let me clarify where these feelings come from.
The jealously…I am so jealous of your beautiful pregnancy. You may be sick, you may be big, you may be achy, you may be getting anxious…but you have no idea how amazing that all is. Well, you probably do have an idea, I know you all treasure your pregnancies. But I don’t think you can truly understand, not the way I do (and that’s okay, that’s good because that means you haven’t had the same experiences I have). You are all well into your third trimester. I am so jealous of that. The third trimester…I made it 5 days into it (going by the definition of 28 weeks) with Marcellus and I was 3 days shy of it with Ethan. I would give anything to feel as big as a house, to not fit into any of my clothes, ache from carrying around a huge belly. Sometimes I wonder if you have thought about that. When you hit 27/28 weeks, did you think about what it would be like if your baby was born then? Did you think of my boys? I know...your pregnancy is about you and that sweet precious child you are carrying, not about me. I know. But this post is...this post is about me and my feelings and those are some of the things I wonder.
And the maternity photos. I've seen some of your pictures. They are gorgeous. And I'm so jealous. I want that. I want to have nice pictures of me pregnant with my boys. But I don't. I never even got them scheduled with Marcellus. I came very close to having them with Ethan. Even scheduled them way early "just in case." But he was born the day before we were going to do them.
The fear, oh I have fear whenever anyone close to me is pregnant. I have to be careful not to project that on to you. You shouldn't go through your pregnancy in fear just because I did. And if my baby dying or my boys being born prematurely has taken away even the least bit of your naivety toward pregnancy, I'm truly sorry for that. Sometimes naivety can be a blessing. I know I wish I could go back to being naive in pregnancy like I was with Marcellus. I didn't know anyone personally who's baby had died. It was a foreign concept that didn't cross my mind.
Now the resentment, the resentment is a big one. But like I mentioned before it is an internal resentment. Toward myself, my body, my inability to make it as far into pregnancy as you are. Again, I am so excited for you, but why can't I have that too? Why are my babies born so early? Why did one of my babies die? Why did I have to spend 10 weeks worth of nights away from one of them with many of those days/nights fearing for his life?
So when I see a picture of you with your awesome belly, it stings a bit. When I read about you getting the nursery ready, it stings a bit. When I read about how far a long you are and the number starts with a "thirty", it stings a bit. But I am also so happy. And I can be both. I can be excited for you and sad for myself. I have to stop thinking I will only feel excited/happy. I am still grieving. I am still grieving from both of my pregnancies. There's a lot I've missed out on and I need to grieve that.
I am not writing this post to ask you to change anything you are doing. I am writing it to explain my silence and absence. I am writing it to sort out the mix of emotions in my head. Sometimes I try to make things black and white. Your pregnancy is a happy thing, so I try to make myself only feel happy about it. But I need to allow myself to feel what I feel. And in doing so I am not taking away from the celebration of your pregnancy. So please, don't ever hesitate to share about your pregnancy. I like seeing your beautiful round belly. I especially like knowing you and your sweet baby are healthy and everything is going smoothly. I am thankful you have that. I just want it too.
You all are amazing mommies and I can't wait to meet your little bundles of joy. I know you are aware how blessed you are. And if you get anything from my experiences, I hope it's to not take a moment of your pregnancy or motherhood for granted. It's all just so beautiful. I love you all!