The majority of people seem to believe that pregnancy is a state of bliss where you're on cloud 9. Most people feel pregnant women are simply patiently awaiting their little bundle of joy... this is especially true if you "planned" the pregnancy or have talked about wanting babies to anyone before. In an ideal world, that would be the case... but for some of us... well, it doesn't pan out quite as dreamy...
For as long as I can remember I have wanted kids-at least one. After an infertility diagnosis, 2 rounds of IVF, 2 miscarriages and a failed marriage, I had decided, maybe that was not for me. Instead I focused my energy in working with or volunteering abroad with high-risk children.
However, one seemingly normal day I met a guy that made me feel I could aspire to a family life. After almost 11 years without a real relationship, I decided to try it out. Still, knowing my reproductive history, I explained to him that I couldn't have children. He didn't mind, so knowing my past, I forewent all forms of birth control.
A year into the relationship, I became pregnant. Imagine my excitement!!! But life is full of twists and turns, like 50 cents says...At around 21 weeks into my pregnancy, I learned that my cervix was opening... and exactly 2 weeks after that I gave birth to a baby whom I wasn't able to bring home with me... her name was Alahna Maia King. The gut wrenching pain of carrying and giving birth to a child you will not bring home is subject to another writing
... for now it should suffice to say that holding the lifeless body of your newborn child is a pain I wish no one had to experience.
Yet, wanting to feel normal, and not like a complete wreck of a woman I decided to enjoy my relationship. And guess what? I became pregnant once again. The initial excitement was met by fear and doubt. I didn't want to allow myself to feel joy, or attachment; after all, I was well over the 12 weeks mark when I lost my Alahna.
Still I went to the doctor and the pregnancy plan was filled with weekly appointments, pills, weekly shots, a surgery, strict bed rest, pelvic rest, no work and pretty much nothing but laying around. After going through such traumatic events (at least they are for me) I would feel is expected to have others understand that every ache and every sensation is going to trigger a whole set of "abnormal" responses from the expectant mother.... but no...this is not the case... somehow, because I know my history and I still wanted to have a child, I lost every right to my emotions...
During this pregnancy I have heard some pretty hurtful things from many- doctors, friends, and yes, even the baby's father... " pregnant women feel sick... it's part of the package"
"You knew this could happen..."
"You're gonna feel all sorts of things. It's part of being pregnant...you have a high risk pregnancy, so it will be normal for you to feel things that you didn't want" And my very favorite, "this is what you wanted.... isn't it?"
Well no... actually, HELL NO!
What I wanted was to have a pregnancy that I could enjoy. I wanted to go to work wearing cute maternity outfits and still give 110% at my job. I wanted to be able to let my closest friends feel the baby kicks and laugh as I peed in my pants. Yes, I expected the pains and aches, the swelling and the ranging emotions, the sleepiness and the restless nights. I expected the backaches, the no-shoe finding days, the throwing up and the growing pains as your organs shift place...
What I didn't expect was to have to stop working, stop having sex for the entirety of my pregnancy, having to go to surgery, get a pay cut, or living in constant fear. I didn't expect to have to be inside my house all the time and basically live my pregnancy alone. I didn't expect, after doing everything I could possibly do, to still have my body work against me. I didn't expect praying for one more week every single day... so here I lay, at 26 weeks pregnant feeling and seeing things indicative of all efforts failing... and you ask me if that's what I wanted...no, that is not what I wanted...not at all... so my heart aches as I don't know what to do, when to call the doctor and who to talk to about my pains and fears... if you were in my place, would that have been what you wanted....?