Back to Myself

Back to Myself

I have always hated pregnancy. I know women who gush over the forty weeks as a “magical” time. Not me. It was forty weeks of suffering, but then at the end, I was handed a baby for my troubles. Until I wasn’t.

I’m counting down days, even though there are still so many (76).  It has been over two years and I’m tired and want my life back. I want myself back. The holding pattern of waiting for each day to pass in the gestational period has been torturous.  I have never in my life maneuvered through the hours so slowly.

I want to eat without needing to Google if the fish is pregnancy safe or if the cheese is pasteurized.  I haven’t been taking care of my diet, substituting the need to just get through the day and eating whatever sounds good. I fear that my lack of focus on nutrition, compared with my previous pregnancies, will have a negative impact on my baby.  I want to have a glass of wine with dinner. 

I want to use a beauty product or take a medication without needing to check the ingredients. I had to switch to a “pregnancy-safe” face cream since my regular cream contains myrrh.  Myrrh is not safe for pregnancy – who knew?  I could use some sleeping pills on the worst nights. I had to restock some supplies and calculated how many days are left (76) when buying more prenatal vitamins, alcohol prep pads for my nightly injections, and band-aids for the aftermath of those injections. 

I miss hot yoga.  So much. 

My shoes, my clothes. Constantly changing shape and a wardrobe that hardly feels mine. Some items falling apart after repeated wear through so many pregnancies, yet I refuse to buy more.  The changing shape now causes me to be out of breath with something simple like going up and down the stairs.  I want my own body back.  

I want to go through my days without feeling exposed.  There is no hiding pregnancy in the third trimester so I am constantly on display.  “How are you feeling?  Do you know what you’re having? Is this your first?”  There are still people at work who don’t know I’m pregnant, as I’m able to stay hidden behind working from home. But soon I will need to prepare for an upcoming leave and at that point be forced to put myself out there.  Which will likely prompt the question “Why didn’t she tell us sooner?”

I want to be done with injections, and kick counts, and checking every appointment off on the list I’ve created. I want to be done with staring at the baby toys and gear around the house, wondering if I’ll actually get to use them. 

Keeping up with the house is hard.  I’m so tired. Keeping up with the kids is harder. I looked at Theo the other day, standing so tall in his 7.5 years, and realized how little attention I’ve paid to him lately. He is always talking and perceiving and I have barely heard him. I’m just going through the motions and now he is almost done with first grade.  I felt so guilty for letting those moments pass me by. 

It hit me today, again, as I struggled to pull on my shoes, unable to bend in a necessary way. So tired.  So desperate to move forward.