Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter. When she smiles at me my heart melts. Everything I have gotten to experience with her is worth more than any plans I could have had for myself in my early twenties. Sure, I was the only person in my circle of friends to have a kid and when I met mommies I tended to be the youngest by almost ten years but somehow she makes it all worthwhile. The way I felt when I found out I was pregnant and the months of my pregnancy that followed are hard to put into words these days. So I thought that sharing a journal entry that I wrote from the 20th February 2008 when I was about four months pregnant was the best way to share what I went through. I want to be honest and transparent in all of my blog entries. Sometimes they will be funny and other times they will be painfully honest. So here it goes……
“I can’t explain the envy, sadness and the sense of being overwhelmed by everything that is going on in my life. One day I was trying to get to know myself. To figure out what dreams I had, what goals I wanted to set for myself, to discover what I enjoyed doing, what kind of life I wanted to make for myself! One test, one day changed that all.
I feel like I have to apologize for how sad I’m feeling. When people ask and say that I must be so happy that I’m expecting a baby, the normal answer should be “yes, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been!” But I can’t say that, it wouldn’t be the truth about how my heart and mind are feeling about it.
I’m hoping this feeling of being overwhelmed by all the rapid changes will soon pass. That I will begin to be happy with my pregnancy, to be content with what life I have now. But that’s all that it is- hope! I can’t actually make myself feel different. It would be fake, I would be fooling those around me and myself!
So many changes, the obvious changes for those around me are of course the physical ones. The fact that the money we need to be saving for the baby may need to be spent on clothes that fit me. The dreaded feeling of standing in front of my wardrobe and realizing that none of my nice clothes fit me. That my maternity bra’s are so tight that they leave bruises on my breasts. Yes, this has been and is hard to deal with but its not the toughest aspect of it all!
What I find hardest to deal with is my mind. The thoughts of sadness, frustration and jealousy that course through me: WHAT ABOUT MY DREAMS? MY SELFISH DESIRES? MY NEEDS AND MY PLANS? I can’t reconcile these with what I expect is to come. Perhaps I have a misguided conception of motherhood, that once you are a mother you no longer have time for yourself!
As it was, I was only just discovering what I enjoyed doing with my free time. How will I now be able to do anything other than breastfeed, clean, cook, change the baby, play with the baby, etc.? I repeat, what about me? What about my selfish desires?
Will I perhaps lose myself forever, before I really ever got a chance to find myself? Will my life, the way it was 5 months ago, become a distant memory? A faded reality of what once was? Why do I feel so much pain, so much sorrow, confusion and disappointment?
Then I feel mad at myself. There are young lives prevented from living on. There are women, and families that are unable to have children. And here I am being sad about very superficial issues! When I should just get over it!
This is where the difficult part begins! Perhaps it’s natural to feel this way, but how would I know when no one else around me has ever been through this or has ever mentioned struggling in this way. I think it may also be because so much is happening in so little time: a baby, a husband, a job, no job!
Reading over these words I wrote almost 8 years ago now still makes me cry. They bring back very strong emotions and if I am honest I am not sure if I have worked through all of them. All I know is that if I could go back in time to my 24 year old self all I would say is you are allowed to feel the way you feel. Own your feelings, work through them and have faith that in the end it will all work out for the best. Because guess what? It really truly has!
That’s not saying that the past eight years haven’t brought many challenges but the one thing I can say is that I made a choice when I decided to keep my baby to fight for my future everyday. To not let myself get defeated by my circumstances but instead grow stronger and wiser. Even today I continue the search to find “myself” which at times gets lost in being a mother and a wife. I am no longer overwhelmed with the feeling of not knowing who I am. I have found that I will never complete the task of knowing myself because the person I am today is very different from who I was even a year ago. My pregnancy changed me but then again the loss of my dad was also a very big obstacle in discovering who I am. I know that life still has many more curve balls to throw at me but I am ready to play ball!