A Lovely Day
Today started, halted with a screech and restarted again.
I bailed on my friends, couldn’t follow through with an important commitment, and had no hot water left as I cried in a bathtub half filled with barely warm soapy water lamenting all matter of silly things.
It’s been a rough couple of days emotionally. You should probably stop reading here if true talk about pregnancy offends you.
Still with me?
Good. (I think)
Growing a human is hard, y’all. Sure, I know I’m pregnant and I’m aware there will be crazy emotions as hormones surge and change.
Yes, I know that my body changing is a pretty crucial part of the process. Yes, I know there’s a baby girl growing inside me.
My brain knows these all things, but somehow my ego needs time to catch up.
Yesterday I cried when my only pair of jeans no longer fit and I had to rig a rubber band hair tie to hold them closed so we could go to a hockey game, then fretted the entire game about the strength and stability of said hair tie.
That was after taking not one but two naps amidst a day of doing almost nothing strenuous (unless brunch or grocery shopping counts).
I mumble and grumble because I’m so exhausted and go to bed at the earliest available moment, only to wake back up an hour, four hours, two hours and two more hours later to roll myself dramatically out of bed to hurry to the bathroom.
The fatigue and constant bathroom breaks are annoying, although tolerable. But when I finish eating a nutritious breakfast, complete with a huge green smoothie and almost make it out the door for the one time sensitive thing I have to do all day, only to wretch and throw it all back up, I die a little inside.
When I puke so hard that that green smoothie comes out of my nose, still cold…and I pee my pants while hugging the toilet, repeatedly, I am once again humbled by my body’s control over every moment. I cry in embarrassment when I realize I’ve peed on his pajamas, and again as he grabs a puppy pee pad from the closet to clean up the puddle on the bathroom floor.
“Welcome to that whole “for better or worse” thing,” I think. “Wait, why did no one tell me that I might pee myself when I puke?!” is my next immediate thought.
Being pregnant is hard.
It’s hard and sometimes it sucks and there’s guilt for saying all this stuff, because I hoped and wished and prayed for this for so long.
There’s guilt and I feel like a brat because I wasn’t supposed to be able to get pregnant in the first place.
Because like millions of others, I heard words from a doctor like “infertility” and “treatments” and “unlikely” and “high rates of miscarriage”. I had stories in my head that labeled me as “broken” and “defective” and “failure as a woman”.
These words catalyzed and epitomize the darkest years of my life — years where I destroyed relationships with my loved ones and burned a very specific version of Anne to the ground before running away from it all to start over in New Orleans.
I share because back then, around 2009–11, I felt utterly alone and caught completely off guard, as if one day my world was fine and the very next, nothing made sense.
It had never occurred to me that having a baby wouldn’t come naturally. I had been married for five years, I had worked hard and supported myself through four years of college, had graduated and began saving money, buying a home, investing in rental properties…
Never before had failure been so personal and heartbreaking. Never before had I set a goal, worked toward it, and failed. Month after month after month.
Those dark times made me stronger, made me more empathetic and made my future (my current present) possible. But not without severe and extreme casualty.
My marriage was a casualty. As were almost every one of my friendships.
Relationships with my family. Years of missing out on a close relationship with my Dad that would haunt me as I watched him die a few years later.
This too shall pass, I remind myself. The good and happy alongside the terribly unglamorous and humiliating moments. All of the discomfort in this moment, all of the guilt. They’re all moments that in time will surely pass.
In the end, it will all be worth it, as they say. One look at that little lady in my arms and I’ll likely forget all about the frustrations of the wardrobe and vomiting variety. A Bill Withers song comes to mind…
Then I look at you
And the world’s alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it’s gonna be
A lovely day.
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