A while back, I signed up for a service called Qeepsake, which is designed to make creating a baby's memory book simple and painless. They text you a series' of questions and then you reply to them and can add pictures of moments that stood out to you. Eventually, you have the option to order a book with all of your musings in it.
Well, my thing is... I usually have more to say than just a text. I'm also disabled, so I prefer to dictate long entries. So, I thought that I'd just migrate all of that over to my blog where I can then create my own book later. For me, I want to be as honest as I can possibly be about my pregnancy and the fact that this is not easy for me.
One question that recently came though was: "When you are alone with your thoughts, what do you think about? Any pregnancy-related things?"
Well, let me start by saying that, until recently, I haven't been at peace in my own home enough to be alone with my own thoughts. When I found out that I was pregnant, my first thoughts were abject terror. I knew that I was alone in this process, and by design so-to-speak. I was adamant about protecting myself and my family from any and all harm because, that's the job. A parent's basic job is to nurture and protect. So while I was scared about what that would look like forever, I was concerned deeply with societal judgment. Me? A single parent? That was something I had worked to avoid becoming for 30+ years, until now. What changed? That was a question that I had not asked myself and knew myself to be afraid of the real answer. What did change? my mindset? My earning potential? My age? My trajectory? Something had changed in order for me to make such a large decision for myself.
I still haven't granted myself the space to answer that question honestly. I was too busy trying to give way to the thoughts that I assumed everyone else was thinking. My mother, I thought, was saying inside, 'Oh great! Now shes pregnant too." I thought my father would be disappointed. I felt that my sister would roll her eyes. Instantly, I was hesitant to tell any of them, but I told them in the ways that I thoughts they'd handle it best. In retrospect, I told them in the ways that our relationships exist and with regard to our barriers. I mailed my mom a card and referred to her as Grandma with an exponent to indicate she now had an additional grand child. I called my father and asked him how he would prefer to receive the news and wound up telling him over the phone. I texted my sister and brother because our relationship is a cautiously distant one. In the end, I made sure that everyone in my family knew, and I now believe that the reason I did that was to pressure myself into making the decision that I wanted to make for myself. Can't terminate a pregnancy when everyone knows about it. So, I bullied myself into doing what needed to be done to prepare.
I tried so hard to be happy and see this as the good thing that I prayed for. My time had finally come. That thing I had been waiting for was given to me, because I sought it, but I couldn't be happy? Why? I think it was the energy in my household. Everything about the first trimester was a struggle. I was sick, every smell was an abomination, I couldn't sleep through the night, I had a hard time with the prenatal vitamins, and I couldn't see a doctor because of COVID-19 restrictions. My baby went from a blip on the screen to a full zygote when I couldn't see it, form an attachment, or feel anything but discomfort and I resented it greatly. By the time I had my first ultrasound, I cried because it all seemed to have taken place with the snap of a finger and, just like that, I now realized that I didn't have the time that I thought that I had any longer.
Luckily, I threw things into high gear. I grabbed up a fantastic job and I found what I needed to get through this pregnancy and come out better on the other side. I'm still seeking a therapist so that I can have a nice action plan in place in the event of post-partum depression, but I made that contact this morning.
So, my thoughts, now that the panic has abated and I have had time to sit with my choices and plan out my future, I am entering a very peaceful time in my life. This is most likely the calm before the storm, and I am aware. This seems to be a season of transition for everyone. I have friends experiencing rough seas and all that it means is that action is required in order to level your vessel.
Pregnancy throws a vessel into rough seas. Your body isn't your own, and that's a very hard concept to grasp or reconcile with when you can't see what's happening, and without a teammate. In the end, you're manufacturing your teammate. You're in this together.