One Year Later
CONTENT WARNING: this is about heavy emotions regarding pregnancy and postpartum. I can appreciate that much of this might be triggering to read, or you might think I’m being insensitive writing this. It is my experience and only the truth. Unfiltered. Vulnerable. Not easy to write. Important to share.
One year ago today I found out I was pregnant with our second baby.
It was one of the worst days of my life, thus far.
My husband was out of town for a few days. It was a Wednesday morning. I dropped my daughter off at her dayhome at 9am. I had 2.5 hours of childcare. I had a sinking feeling that I might be pregnant. I felt bloated. I felt…off. I was trying to convince myself that I wasn’t and couldn’t be pregnant, but somehow I just knew.
I had planned on going to a coffee shop to work, but instead went to the pharmacy, picked up two pregnancy tests, and went home.
I did not want to be pregnant. Not even a little bit. I was trying to not be pregnant. The thought of it terrified me.
Our daughter had recently turned two. We had weaned a couple months earlier, and I finally (FINALLY) felt like I was rounding the corner on a version of myself that felt like myself. I felt in my body, in my life, in my business, and in my marriage. For the first time in 3 years. Imagining coming out of that again, for another few years, was too painful to consider right now. Maybe ever.
I was scared of another pregnancy. Nausea and food aversions from start to finish. Exhaustion. Another birth experience. What more trauma would that bring? Postpartum recovery. Another newborn. A newborn and a toddler. Feeding around the clock. Broken sleep. Little energy for exercise. No time to work. Struggles in our marriage. The resentment, ohhh, the resentment.
The test was immediately positive. I took another. Again, positive.
I cried on our kitchen floor. Kicked. Screamed. Hated every second of it.
Text my husband, “OMG. Fuck.”, with a picture of the positive test.
I wished I would have a miscarriage. I booked an abortion. Went to counselling. Cried myself to sleep for weeks. Got up every morning, pulled it together and parented our toddler. Ran my business. Thought about it every minute. Had 8476 conversations with my husband about what the hell to do.
We didn’t know what to do. Nothing felt right. No decision felt like the best one.
The night before that morning abortion appointment, my husband and I flipped a coin dozens of time. Me, sitting on a stool. Him, across the counter, standing in the kitchen. Heads – go. Tails – cancel.
With every heads up, I felt…conflicted. In the depths of my soul, I wanted one more. But, I couldn’t say it out loud. I couldn’t say I wanted to be pregnant, I wanted to give birth, I want to be postpartum, I want to struggle. Committing to all of that was so overwhelming.
I went to bed still unsure. Cried. I set my alarm to get up in the morning with enough time to get ready, warm up the car, and go.
My alarm went off. I went downstairs. Sat on the couch in the dark. Cried.
I couldn’t go. For reasons that DID NOT MAKE SENSE, I knew this baby was meant to come to us. We were meant to have this baby.
I felt scared the whole pregnancy. I wondered if we made the best decision the entire time. I never felt big, bursting excitement. I was terrified.
The moment they lifted him over the C-section drape, it felt so right. I knew he was it. I was obsessed from minute one.
Every night when I get him ready for bed, I bounce him on a red exercise ball before putting him in his crib. I take myself back to that moment and picture his face because I never want to forget how I felt.
Having a second baby required me to be brave in ways I didn’t think I could do. I called that pregnancy an ‘investment’, because that’s exactly what it felt like. A friend told me to picture our Thanksgiving table in 20 years. What did it look like? He was there.
Baby Theo is 4 months old today.
I had no idea how I would feel at this point, looking into the future, during that pregnancy. The sense of peace I feel now is pure comfort. The relief is freedom.
If you’ve never experienced this, trust when I say that this decision can be torture going through it. If you’re wrestling with this, know that I’m with you and understand you.
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