And since my brother is not here to say “No shit” I will chime in on his behalf. I am a crier. I have always been a crier. But the tears of late are not of the “Jeez, I have so many feelings” Hallmark commercial tears ilk that have plagued me all my life.
They are the ugly, make your face all splotchy tears that came from a place of anger and fear and pain.
Sometimes it is hard to reconcile the two people that live inside of me. Three, if you count Baby D. Happy Go Lucky Kelly wishes Doom & Gloom Kelly would take a hike. It might leave more room for Baby D, and maybe s/he’d quit poking me in the ribs. Not likely but a girl can dream.
This hasn’t been the most glamorous of pregnancies. I never realized how fortunate I was before to feel so great so much of the time. I have complained about my heartburn. But heartburn is tolerable. I was completely ill-prepared for the day in and day out aches and pains. The can’t get out of bed flu like feeling of all over tired. The pain in my hips.
I am six years older. I sit all day now, instead of working two jobs on my feet as I did with Emily. Every pregnancy is different… blah blah blah…
I went in to labor last time strong. I was walking daily, miles, not steps to and from the door to the car. I was positive that an unmedicated birth was in my future. I was ready. And beyond hopeful. I was sure. And I failed.
This time I am afraid. I know how many things can happen, how many things can be outside of your control. My body feels weak. And tired. And yet I am hoping to make it happen this time. Because I don’t see myself doing it again. I see our family of four as complete. And I don’t want to do this to my body again.
So, it feels like my last chance to make it right. For me. This body I have struggled with loving, I want to see it do what it was designed to do. I want to feel it this time. I want to be in awe, just once, of this body.
But it isn’t the pregnancy and the labor experience that has me inside out.
Last night I finally found the words.
It’s the baby.
I am ready for this baby to make me feel good.
I know it will. I know when I can put my chin against my chest, my lips resting on a tiny little head, arms and legs all squished against my chest, my hand curled around a tiny little baby butt. Breathe in baby smell and exhale every fear I have carried in my heart for the last year, I know I will feel nothing but love.
But now. Now I don’t feel love all the time. Sometimes when I reach out for MQD I see this man I have been married to for less than year, I see this life I had been waiting for for so long and I can barely reach my arms around his waist. My face no longer fits in his neck as it did the day we were were married, his arms no longer create a space for me where I feel safe.
All I can say through tears is that I just wish it would all go away.
I don’t want to be tired. I don’t want to be cranky and short tempered. I don’t want to spend the next six months in a newborn haze. I want to rake my leaves. And stay up late and wrap Christmas presents. I want to drink Grasshoppers and write Christmas cards with this man I fell in love with. And be a newlywed. I want to roll down the hill with my kid in to the leaves we just raked.
But I can’t. Because I am tired. And dairy makes my heartburn worse. And I am too busy being weepy and peeing every five seconds and I can’t even get up off the couch anyway. Walking to the mailbox makes my hip hurt some days so there is no hill rolling on my agenda. Because I am fucking pregnant.
And “fucking pregnant” doesn’t make me feel full of magic and love. It makes me feel full of a lack of gratitude for this beautiful thing that is happening to us.
And even though I am nine feet wide, he finds a way. To wrap me in his arms and rock me back and forth and say “It’s gonna be ok. You don’t have to do everything yourself. I love you.” And he smiles. And as quickly as Doom & Gloom Kelly arrived she is gone again. And “Get a Load of THIS, shit, we’re gonna have a BABY, y’all!” takes her place.
And I am smiling, and hopeful. And excited. So maybe the smile is forced. But I am hopeful. And excited.
[Note: Dear Baby D, If you are reading this you are no longer a baby. You are probably a tech savvy pre-teen. And in case you are reading and thinking “Holy shit, you didn’t want me!! You said it!! That you wished “it” would go away!!” I have two things to say. Watch your mouth, we don’t swear in our house (ha!) and of course I wanted you. Some days I wanted you so badly I was ready to reach down my own throat and yank you out by the feet. Because I wanted you. Out here. With the rest of us, please. So I could have me back, too. Because contrary to what you might think the world does not revolve around you. Now, go clean your room. Love you, Mom. ]